Friday, 17 April 2009

TUBING! 12th April 2009

Whenever you meet someone who has already 'done' Laos, the first (and pretty much only) thing they always want to tell you about is Tubing. Everyone raves about it, and everyone wears the same "In the Tube" t-shirts.

AS I said before Van Vieng is THE place for tubing. So this is essentially the story of tubing a la Don Det.

We got in our boat and set off down the Mekong with for others Chris and Hannah (experieced Van Vieng tubers) and Herpes and Pom (Pom couldn't swim). The next thing we know, we are thrown in the river with our tubes about 3km away from our island and the boat goes off.

We were slap bang in the middle of the widest part of the river.

From the stories I've heard, in Vang Vieng the river is not so wide and lined with a couple of bars which pull yo in by rope so that you can have adrink at each bar. It's essentially a bar crawl that you float along.

In Don Det, it was an altogether different story.

We had each bought a Beer Lao before getting on the boat so we just enjoyed the ride with beers in our tubes and we let the (slow) current take us.

The sunset from this aspect was beautiful. And it felt all the more special because we were bobbing along the river. Sadly no pics to match as we didn't take the camera with us into the river.

But as the sun was setting we realised we still had a long way to go before we would reach Don Det. Which was fine, except for the fact that once the sun set it would get dark. And once it got dark we woudlnt be able to see which way we were going - tubes don't have headlights. Hmmm... this one was going to be interesting.

We bobbed further, and started to paddle along in the vain hope that we might reach Don Det before it was pitch black. At this point we were still 1.5km-ish away from the island.

As it turned to dusk our boat driver appeared and came to rescue us. Not that we really needed rescuing, but let's be fair, it wouldn't have been as much fun in the pitch black.

The idea was that we would have reached the beach by sunset. But obviously the current was a bit slow that day.

Later that evening, as we sat on our balcony drinking Don Det Iced Teas, loking out over the pitch black river we were thankful that the boat had come to pick us up. So thankful.

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