Vang Vieng, Laos – Tubing and Mud Bath

Short Note: I'm beginning to feel annoyed that some people think that all my trips are sponsored. Unless someone out there is willing to quit his/her job, I am travelling the world on my own with my own hard earn money. Thank you very much.

Sun sets around 4~5pm here in Laos. By 7pm the land would have been completely shadowed.

banana pancake - laos

It was pitch dark when the bus stopped and I peeped open my eyes from my slumber.

“va veng~” croaked the lady conductor. Barely making out the destination, Raj and me, along with other few other travellers, hurriedly hopped off the bus and have our backpacks “grabbed” by the driver and thrown out onto the street before he left, as abruptly as he stopped.

Few street stalls with measly light bulbs flickering in the night stood near us, but it was too dark to make out the location of the area.

We walked across a vast and dark air strip towards some lights in the distance and landed ourselves on the main street of Vang Vieng.

vang vieng at night
Vang Vieng at night

Vang Vieng, a town constructed mainly on a single road, is small enough to walk from one end to other end in 10 minutes. 15 is you’re a slow walker.

vang vieng at night with power cut
Vang Vieng at night with power cut

Due to its geographical placement, many travellers stopped by Vang Vieng for a few nights and to partake in some outdoor activities before heading on to Luang Phabang in the north.

barber shop
Reminds of Sweeny Todds

Most guesthouses and restaurants here cater to foreign travellers, don’t be surprised to see more Caucasians here than the locals.

ang mo heaven
am I in Europe?

Despite its underdevelopment (except some tour agencies that offer pretty good outdoor package), Vang Vieng itself isn’t exactly cheap.

A meal can come as easily as 10,000 kip for a bowl of soup noodle to 45,000 kip for a set of American burger with chips. (RM4 ~ 17 / $1.20 ~ 5). Exchange rate here can be as outrageous as $1 = 8,000 kip. So make sure you have enough kips to survive through the town, however there are many tour agencies who accept US dollars as well.

I checked into a riverside fan hut at the end of the town for 48,000 kip (RM18) with no attached bathroom,

riverside fan huts

it was dark and shabby looking at first but I didn’t have a choice as midnight is catching up.

fan hut interior

Little did I know, that night I had the most amazing view. As I switched off the light and lay down on my pillow in the enclosure of a pink net (to protect from bugs), the street light traced through slits on all four walls of the rattan hut and cast a double reflection on the swaying net.

And stars started dancing and swimming in the hut. I was bedazzled, like a baby in her crater with thousands of toys hanging high above singing and cooing her to dreamland; I was brought to baby world in no time.

view from hut
The view in the morning was quite breathtaking too

You can find anything and everything to do in Vang Vieng to test your endurance, from Kayaking, rock climbing, half day trekking to a full 3 days trek and camp package, mountain biking, caving, etc. It is endless, just be sure to watch out for your wallet.


If you’re on a tight budget, like me, there is one thing in Vang Vieng that doesn’t really come at a price to do.

me tubing

With a mere 40,000 kip (RM15 / $4.5), you can rent a tube, get a tuk tuk ride for free to a drop off location 4km upstream of the river and well.. start tubing!

me in tuk tuk to tubing

number to track tube
Tube number just in case I get lost (with the tube)

Tubing comes as extraordinary as it gets, almost everyone who has been to northern Laos will talk about the tubing experience here in Vang Vieng.

begining of tubing
At the beginning

me with tube

2 hours down the stream without stopping can last up to a whole day if, like me again, you’re stuck at one of the stops somewhere in the middle for too long just because you don’t know how to stop having fun.

bar stop hut - river view

At these stops, they serve cocktails and alcohol from 10,000 kip to next to nothing.

bar stop

Steer clear of Lao-lao (local Whisky), a drink that starts to burn not at your throat but your lips the moment you drink it. It’s free if you want to get cheap high.

And once you’ve reached that point, don’t forget to climb up a very high plank and jump/swing /flying fox into the river.

swinging into river
Wee~~ Oh shit this is high~ Mommy~!!!

My tubing mates:

John from Ireland (can’t remember his friend’s name)


Beth from Australia (and her bunch of friends too)


beth and will

beth and john tubing
Drinking and tubing, what perfect way to enjoy

One of these stops has so many topless bodies on it, you can spot the whole flesh war before the loud boom box music get to you, and they say sound travel faster in water, pfft. (Oh you mean I have to be underwater? )

Volley ball, alcohol, music, alcohol,

volley ball

hot hunks, alcohol, hot chicks, alcohol,

hot bikini chick back

hotter chicks, alcohol,

bikini guy

Topless hot hunks (and bikini chicks) covered in mud dancing to music and alcohol…

mud party

What?! Mud?! Hot bodies?! Did someone say mud?!

Yea baby that’s what I’m talking about!

mud party 2

Mud Bath!!! Phewit!!!!

No! Don’t hug me!

mud hug
hunks: com’on give us a hug~

It gets as dirty and naughty as it can get. Yum~

Remember to start early, as I said, this can take a whole day.

mud group

After the stops, you can enjoy the rest of the 90 mins ride gently and quietly down the stream till you end up where you begin again. :)

muddy me and dirty eyes

me tubing on the river

mountain view

In the evening, you can chill at one of the many bars on the island.

bar hut

resting feet

At night, the whole island lit up and the party began,

bridge to bars in island
Left to lucky bar, right to smile bar. How are you feeling today?

provided it doesn’t rain.

riverside bar

So what do you get after 3 long hours of hot sun and cold water, mud bath, lots of alcohol and hot hunks overload?

Fever, that’s what!

That night, I came down with high fever and was resting my sorry ass in the hut missing out on the BEST party (it was a Saturday night) ever!! *sob*

*Ah choo~*


25 kissed Nicole

  1. so happening ... envy

    hope that you will have a speedy recovery :). Take care :)

  2. Hey gal,

    What an interesting adventure you have over there, i was looking forward every day to read more about your journey~I wish I'm there too...

    Take care ya,and wish you a quick recovery ^^

  3. *Ah choo~*

    bless you!

  4. tubing!!! that's what I did a few weeks ago. But the tube i rented had a covered bottom so I could actually sit in it... but it had holes so the water got in too... wet and cold butt... :(

  5. I'm seriously puzzled... there's a picture of a person wearing blue neon bikini and a bermuda but to me the person looks like a man! but got breast! Is he hiding his man boobs in a blue bikini top? I dont get it!

  6. do you have medical insurance coverage ah?....go check it up wey, could be something more serious.... you have a speedy recovery ok?

  7. get well soon! But u had so much fun, it's worth it =) I also wanna go backpack.. but mentally not prepared yet. lol

    How do u put the words at the bottom of every pictures one ah? Hav to put the words one by one to the pictures ah?

  8. beau n exciting adventure, only wish to tag along...

    take good care...

  9. the essence of backpacking, have fun, mix it up, unfortunately getting sick is also parts and parcel about it.

    get well soon, if things turn out bad, there's always home. cheers~

  10. If yr fever don't go away in the next few days... Check yr blood for dengue or malaria... :(

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Get well soon! Looks like you are having fun with your adventure.

  13. Hope you get well soon and always take care :)

  14. haha, and i thought laos is like in the hutan lidat.. haha.. glad u've fun. get well!!

  15. did u have any vaccination before u actually depart to those countries? u shd hav studied regarding this n get few shots of vaccine if u dowan 2 end up sick like this during ur travel.. better start doing so if u havn't, look 4 a doc in laos.. get well soon yea?

  16. I like yr description on how u fell asleep on the DOUBLE bed mattress complete with 2 pillows, in the mosquito netting. So sensual..................must b really tired. LoL.


  17. It sure is incredible how many ang mohs you see partying with cheap alcohol in rural Laos! I love reading about your travels, I'm missing my backpacking trip in Vietnam last year already.

    Take care babe, and have fun! You're having the time of your life! Get well quickie!

    Warmest regards from Singapore,

  18. Take a closer look at the picture where Nicole is lazying on a tubing. It has the words ''.


  19. Thanks to you Nicole, now I know why my hubby likes to visit Laos.....alone!

  20. I enjoyed it there last year!

  21. I noticed your "Short Note" at the top. Whether your trip is being sponsored or you are doing this out of your hard earned RM, it's none of their business. If it's sponsored, I will say you're very lucky; if you are doing this out of your own savings, I envy you! So...just get back in one piece...hehe

  22. have u slept with anyone yet?

  23. Nicole,

    In response to your SHORT NOTE of how you are annoyed with some of your readers;

    Please advise us readers how in the world at your young age of 24, who is still a semi student, are able to travel around the world which cost at least hundred of thousands of ringgit , flight alone? Even if you back-pack, which i doubted, still will cost you hundreds and thousands of ringgit. True, it is none of our f'king business but if you are kind enough to educate us on how to earn this hard earn money, this will do you good deeds and us a lot of good. A lot of us readers wanted to earn the kind of money that earned. Show us how! We all like to travel too.

  24. where did you stay in VV? it looked those guesthouses across the river. were u at Smile Bar? did any swinging (trapeze style i mean =D) lovely place VV is right? i was just there recently. =D

  25. wow i enjoy reading ur blog...its fun
    hope to be travelling around the world like u were doing right now someday in the future =)