The Nam Song River is a small river flowing through the town of Vang Vieng. Anyone who has traveled around South East Asia must have heard about the infamous tubing on the Nam Song River, an activity that long-dominated the town and its visitors.
Originally, the tubing and party scene has become an irreplaceable image of Vang Vieng where there were literally thousands of drunk youngsters at the lively bars tubing on the river every single day. However, those days have come to an end since Lao government has decided to step in before Laos’ international image in Vang Vieng got damaged any further. Now there are fewer bars on the river bank since most of them have gone out of business and there are only a few hundreds of people a day tubing on the river. Anyone who goes to Vang Vieng and expects wild full moon parties and a huge party scene will be quite disappointed since this just doesn’t happen anymore. Still, there are still a dozen of lively bars hanging to the town’s party vibe past: Bucket booze, psytrance music, an Irish bar etc.
To many visitors, this is actually a welcome change because Vang Vieng is much quieter and calmer now, just like it used to be before the tubing really kicked off in the mid-2000’s. Thus, tourists can freely enjoy numerous majestic caves, stunning lagoons, and adventure sports in the surrounding area without worrying about the drunk tubers.
In addition, visitors can experience the adventurous kayaking on Nam Song river. According to Wikitravel, the kayaking also covers the same part of the river as tubing (and a more untouched part further upriver). Kayaking trip can include a quite exciting swim on the tube through a cave situated about 15 km from Vang Vieng.
Overall, Nam Song has dozens of exciting and enjoyable activities where visitors can sink deeply in a tube with a few cold beers, try kayaking with families and friends or just simply enjoy the picturesque scenery of the magnificient sunset from the river bank.