It was four o’clock in the afternoon, when we left our room and headed outside. We didn’t have to look for long, as our friends found us. They told us, they were going tubing down the river, and said we should come along. With that, we returned to our room to grab our swimming gear, then, Duncan, Brandon and I, bought some rum and coke to sip on as we floated down stream.
The tubing of Laos, used to be a much bigger attraction than it is now. The reason for this, the river used to have bars that were dotted all over, and, as you floated by, you could stop in for drinks, and fly from rope swings situated over the water. It was July of this year (2012) that the bars had to be shut down, as people were getting too drunk, and, fatal accidents occurred. This in turn, had a negative impact on the levels of tourists that came through Laos.
It cost one hundred and fifteen thousand kip, to go tubing, however, we would get our sixty thousand deposit back, if we returned before six p.m. The roads of Laos, leave a lot to be desired, this caused our short tuktuk journey, to the start of the river, to be extremely bumpy. Upon arrival, our friend Corey, said it was tradition to have a shot of tiger whiskey, which we all did, before hopping aboard our inflatable rings and floating down river. We initially started off all over the place, but, much like in Pai, we all joined together, to enjoy the experience. As we made our way down, it was very peaceful, as, unlike the river in Pai, this one was deep enough to ensure we didn’t get stranded on rocks. The views around us were stunning, consisting of high mountains tickling the sun, and, big trees leaning over to admire their reflections in the water. We were on the river for a good two hours, when all of a sudden, a new friend of ours called me over, as Sarah was in trouble. Without thinking, I jumped from my hoop, causing me to lose my prescription sunglasses in the water, and swam to her rescue.
As I pushed Sarah to the shore, Duncan jumped from his hoop as well. He helped her across the rocks, while I pushed Sarah’s hoop to a friend. It turned out Sarah was feeling sick, and, dizzy, and seeing black spots. As we walked up the cobbled path, Sarah told me to go back, to try and find my sunglasses, safe in the knowledge that Duncan was with her, I did, but to no avail. When I got back to shore, I couldn’t find Sarah or Duncan, after a bit of running around, they pulled up behind me in a tuktuk. The driver took us back to the hostel for an unreasonable price, where I darted in to grab the money for him. After showering, we decided to go to a local hospital, just to make sure Sarah was ok. Before we set off, the rest of the guys had returned and we got our deposits back. Duncan, Sarah and I, eventually found the place, where, we had the fun job of trying to explain what was wrong. Inside of the hospital room, it resembled something from a saw movie. The bed, and, gas canisters were so old, they had bits of paint flaking off, and Sarah was certain she saw an old blood stain on the bed. After we were done talking with the nurse, she prescribed Sarah some antibiotics. Unsure of what they were, she thought it would be best to look them up online before ingesting them.
After leaving the hospital, the three of us headed to a restaurant named the Otherside. It was here, we met up with our friends for food and drinks. I was feeling quite tired, so, I didn’t drink like the rest of them. However, our Scottish friend Duncan did, and quickly turned into a little gay terrorist. It made for a great nights entertainment, as, if he wasn’t dancing all over the place, he was running around like Sully (from the movie Monster’s Inc) making roaring noises, with his arms out to his sides.
We went to a couple different bars that night, where Duncan continued to provide us with entertainment, he would dance with different girls, and kiss their cheeks, to the point we began to believe he was heterosexual. Duncan continued to wind up people he both knew and didn’t. At one point, he annoyed a rather fat Israeli man, by repeatedly bumping into him, bottom first, to which the fat man, kindly said “eff off.” His next proud moment came, when he attempted to help Brandon win a game of pool, by dangling his danglies in one of the pockets, aptly naming it a sacrifice, Brandon lost the game, but the thought was there. For the rest of our time at that bar, Duncan threw water all over the place, aiming mostly at Brandon. Luckily, Brandon didn’t mind, as the night was very humid anyway, however, i dont think the same could be said for the other punters that got caught in the crossfire. The curfew in Laos meant the bars had to close at eleven p.m., which was great, as I was ready for bed by this point. with that, Sarah, Brandon and I, returned to our rooms, while the rest of the group went to a local bridge, to continue drinking, with their new terrorist friend, Osama Bin Bummin’.