Wednesday, 16 March 2016


Our plan for the day was tubing, but I was worried I'd feel too ill to do it. Fortunately I powered through, and we got to partake in the strange activity for which VanVieng is well known. It involves taking a rubber ring and riding along the river for about 3 hours, usually more, being pulled into bars on the bank's for drinks. Up until recently they were famous for selling drugs, but also for a high number of deaths every year, causing the government to clamp down.

We set off, after signing some paper work which essentially meant we couldnt sue them if we died and consuming a portion of chips (a healthy brunch) and got in the river. The water was a surprisingly nice temperature. Only two of the now remaining seven bars open each day, and within about 20m we were at the first one. I had pretty high expectations given their reputations but they have seriously toned down. The bucket drinks were tiny and overpriced. Sad times. We left pretty quickly. Fortunately within another 100m or so we were at the next one which was much better. 

The bar had a load of little rooms with carpeted floors and hammocks, it was just really nice and chilled. After a while we decided to explore the cave there- it was terrifying. We paid £1 and climbed the most unstable wooden ladders up a cliff until we arrived at the cave entrance. Molly decided not to go in but me and Lauren braved it, and using the torches we'd been given began to ascend into the cave. It was okay to start with as you could see the daylight, but it got scarier the further we went in. As far as we would  dare to go was a randomly placed table with a Buddha status, a satsuma and two full drinks complete with ice, despite no one else being I the cave. Both of us started to scare ourselves thinking why it could be there and then saw a pair of flip flops abandoned on the floor. At that point we decided it was a good point  to leave. Where Molly was waiting was also several pairs of flip flops and a bag of money- we decided it must be some kind of offering and climbed back down. 

We stayed at the bar for a while then me and Lauren jumped off a little ledge into the water and then we continued on our way. It took soooo long; when I thought it must nearly be over we had another 2km to go. It was fun- don't get me wrong, hour the fun started to wear off after a couple of hours as I could see my skin burning but couldn't do anything about it; we'd just about for our money and my phone into a little waterproof bag we bought. 

Eventually we did reach the end- most people give up and get a tuk tuk back- people were impressed we made it, and then walked back to collect our bags. We went to a restaurant for dinner; lured in by a sign saying 'mega burger' and then got a tuk tuk to tonight's accomodation. We're staying at an organic farm near where we started tubing, you can volunteer during the day with goats or teaching children English which we're hoping to do tomorrow, and are in our first dorm room of the trip. It seems fine so far apart from some mice running round in the corner of the ceiling, at least they're not rats i guess! Still feeling a little bit sick and everyone's tired so having an early night.


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