Myles Harrington

Back In The Tubing

In Laos on December 5, 2010 at 9:42 am

Vang Vieng was the final stop off on Shubes’ journey and I wasn’t too disappointed to be returning to one of the legendary destinations of the South East Asia backpacker circuit. We got to it straight away, renting out the tubes and booze cruising our way down the Nam Song on our first day. Then we got a bit lazy for four days pretty much just eating, sleeping and watching TV. The Lao baguettes were a firm favourite for our diet and I can’t resist ordering the cheap noodle soup at least once a day.

On our last day we decided to do something slightly cultural and went to a cave with a beautiful blue lagoon at the bottom, stupidly we didn’t think about taking our swimming stuff so all we could do was look at it, but at least the walk there was nice.

Take it to the bridge

Before we knew it Shubes’ time with me was up and after five nights in Costa Del Lao I was going to leave the next day too to visit one of Lao‘s top tourist sites; The Plain of Jars in Phonesavan.

I checked in to a hostel up the road from the guesthouse Shubes and I had been staying in, Spicy Laos hostel was top rated on hostelworld for the party scene and atmospheric bamboo hut style dorm. As soon as I arrived I felt like I’d been christened into a family. The sign above the door to the hostel’s entrance says ‘welcome home’ and it really felt like it. Everyone was chatting like they’d been friends for life and I decided instead of moping around doing nothing for a day waiting for the morning bus I’d go tubing with my new spicy brothers and sisters.

The Spicy chillout area

There are a couple of people staying at Spicy who have been there for weeks and been tubing everyday. As it happened I ended up staying for an extra three days of partying, but by the time I managed to leave I was definitely pleased to be escaping. There was a mass exodus on the day I left as about half of the people all decided to leave on the same day, it felt sort of like an end to a tubing era but the loyal regulars Geoff and Scott are probably still there now.

The Dutch guys and I

I decided not to go to the Plain of Jars in the end because it was out-of-the-way from my route north to the Thai border, plus no one else seemed to be heading there apart from old people and the guide prices for rooms seemed a bit step to my ever reducing low-budget. So I once again returned to another place I loved three months ago; Luang Prabang.

The dude in the hill, Luang Prabang

I missed a couple of sites on my last visit due to time constraints so it was good to have a bit more time in the picturesque town just milling around and taking in my surroundings with another boozy English guy called Adam who I’d met in Vang Vieng. The view from the top of Phu Si, the dominating mound directly in the middle of the town was spectacular with 360 degree river views. I sadly didn’t return to my favourite waterfall though but the pictures fellow travellers returned with made it look even better than I remembered.

Phu Si all around

I’d been told a lot about the Utopia bar in Luang Prabang, a chill out lounge type place hidden down the back alleys with views over the Nam Khan river. I obviously liked the place returning three times in two days. My budget can’t handle many more Beer Lao binges but at least for the 15,000 price tag (£1.25) I got a rare romantic moment spotting shooting stars.


5k remaining: £190.33


  1. […] the evening, strolling down Khaosan I bumped into Arjen and Chris, two of the Dutch guys I’d been persuaded to stay in Vang Vieng with. Venetia and I went and got a free fish massage that attacked my crusty mosquito bites to […]

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