Best time to visit Laos

Tubing in Laos

If you can swim, this should be on the top of your list in Laos

Best time: June–September


Until recently tubing was a controversial activity in Laos, as it included not only an extreme descent down the river, but also lots of drinking, and even drugs. Today due to government action tubing is now strictly a water activity with maybe some beers in the nearby bars.

In order to start tubing one should find a rental office in Vang Vieng and then head to the Nam Song river. A tuk tuk driver can take you with your tube to the best starting point near the Vang Vieng Organic Farm. This is where you drop your tube on the water and then begin your crazy trip down the river. The trip usually takes from two to three hours, depending on the season. Of course, no one can assure complete safety for tubers, as during the dry season and low water you can scratch your back on the bottom, and during the rainy season and high water you may fall off the tube on steep turns or huge slides.

Overall, tubing is a great way to enjoy beautiful landscapes while lying on the tube or chilling on the banks.

Practical info

When is a good time for tubing in Laos?

From June to September, the Nam Song River has enough water for an enjoyable tubing experience. Tubers shouldn't go during the rainy season because sudden water height changes can be dangerous. Show more

Is tubing in Vang Vieng possible, and how can I get a tube?

In Vang Vieng, multiple offices rent tubes for travelers to go tubing. They are located on the main road near the river. A tube and transportation to the starting point are included in the rental price. Tubers should review tubes for holes or defects before setting off to avoid any surprises. Show more

How far is the tubing route, and what is there to do?

The route stretches for about 3 to 5 kilometers down the Nam Song River, taking two to three hours to complete. Along the way, tubers can stop at riverside bars to enjoy food and drinks. The tubing scenery is breathtaking and offers swimming and sunbathing opportunities. Show more

What safety precautions should I be aware of?

With many accident-related deaths, the government of Laos banned alcohol and drugs during tubing while enforcing mandatory life jacket use by tubers. Additionally, police officers monitor the situation, and signs highlight dangerous zones on the river. However, it's crucial to be cautious and avoid taking risks while tubing. Show more

Can I swim during tubing on the Nam Song River?

Tubers on the Nam Song River expect to swim, and it's an activity to enjoy as a way to beat the tropic sun. The river is usually clean, although it may become muddy after the rain. Water depth and flow typically vary, so other tubers can help give proper guidance on how to swim safely. One can also dive off ropes or swings, but first, check for obstacles or shallow points before taking the plunge. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin