Been there, Don Det.

4 November 2016

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Been there, Don Det.

When the mighty Mekong River flooded its banks, it created an archipelago known as Si Phan Don. It is translated as 4,000 Islands and, although the river swallows most of these islands in flood season, some remain above water level, boasting riverside bungalows, guesthouses and a refreshing tranquility away from the chaotic backpacker trail of Southeast Asia...

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Vang Vieng, Laos 2016: Is Tubing Still Alive in the Once Notorious Party Town?

19 September 2016

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Vang Vieng, Laos 2016: Is Tubing Still Alive in the Once Notorious Party Town?

Ever since the government crackdown on Vang Vieng following the horrific death toll in 2011, it has been somewhat of a mystery to tourists what the town is like today. Are the river parties still out-of-control-crazy? Did all of the bars close? CAN I EVEN GO TUBING?

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Beer to Mulberries! Is Vang Vieng, Laos, Turning Around Its Boozy Reputation?

17 June 2013

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Beer to Mulberries! Is Vang Vieng, Laos, Turning Around Its Boozy Reputation?

'Tubing' was a phenomenon that spun out of control, an activity that made the sleepy town of Vang Vieng, Laos, a notorious hotspot on the backpacker party scene. However, in September 2012, the bars along the infamous stretch of the Nam Song River closed. The slides and the zip wires were demolished and the drinking was stopped. With a reported 22 deaths taking place over high season last year, the Laos Government decided enough was enough. Tubing was banned. So what has happened to Vang Vieng since? Are backpackers missing Laos from their itinerary? Writer, traveller and volunteer at the SAELAO Project, Linda Stansberry discovers an interesting 'Eco-Tourism' revolution taking place in the former party town...

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Going Back to Nature: The Gibbon Experience, Laos

10 February 2013

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Going Back to Nature: The Gibbon Experience, Laos

Just like out of a storybook. It was flying among the trees of the rainforest during the day and seeking shelter in our tree house at canopy level come night. Even the images I saw before embarking on this experience couldn’t do it justice. It was an experience I will forever try to match. An experience I don’t know if I can ever quite match. A journey they call, 'The Gibbon Experience'...

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Newsflash Laos! Is this the END of Tubing, Vang Vieng?

8 November 2012

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Newsflash Laos! Is this the END of Tubing, Vang Vieng?

You’ve heard the rumours filtering from the Banana Pancake Trail and you don’t quite want to believe it. What’s that? Noooo! Frame and mount that ‘In the Tubing’ vest of yours... is ‘Tubing’ really over? We spoke to bar owner, Greg Haywood of Fluid Bar and the local Laos government to find out what the hell is going on? What lies in store for the future of South East Asia's most popular party spot? This is the absolute latest news, November 2012!

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Interview with Vang Vieng Entrepreneurs, Greg & Owen

20 June 2012

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Interview with Vang Vieng Entrepreneurs, Greg & Owen

Undoubtedly the star attraction of Vang Vieng, a town on highway 13 between Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Laos, is the Nam Song River lined with rope swings, zip wires and a multitude of cool bars - a veritable playground for backpackers! Karen Farini catches up with Greg and Owen, 27 year old UK twins, who own the coolest and quirkiest entertainment space in town to get the low down on running a business on a river bank prone to annual flooding, the locals' view of the abrupt change in culture and of course the crazy and controversial phenomenon known as tubing...

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Volunteering at Mr T’s Organic Farm in Vang Vieng, Laos

6 October 2011

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Volunteering at Mr T’s Organic Farm in Vang Vieng, Laos

If you’ve been to Vang Vieng’s town centre you’ll be familiar with the alcohol buckets, 24 hours ‘Friends’ marathons and souvenir shops that compose the backpacker enclave. You’ll definitely be familiar with the popular 'Tubing' scene. You may not, however, have heard of Mr T’s organic farm. It’s only 4km away from Vang Vieng’s town centre, but feels another world away from the hedonistic tubing and party culture that the small Laotion town has become so famous for in recent years. Traveller, teacher and writer, Penny Atkinson describes a very different side to the popular Laotion party destination...

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Joma Fair Trade Coffee: Helping Communities & The Environment in Laos

8 August 2011

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Joma Fair Trade Coffee: Helping Communities & The Environment in Laos

Joma Bakery is leading the way in Fair Trade, organic coffee in Laos and Vietnam. Working with the Jhai Coffee Farmers Co-operative (JCFC) to cultivate the unique 'arabica' coffee bean, Joma is able to serve coffee that is delicious, ethical and environmentally conscious. The local ethnic groups who work in the Bolaven Plateau coffee growing area are ensured a fair sale price and the plants are grown in an eco-friendly way. Learn more about where coffee comes from in Laos and why it is important to be aware of where your food and drink comes from!

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Off The Beaten Track In Laos: The Bolaven Plateau

30 May 2011

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Off The Beaten Track In Laos: The Bolaven Plateau

The Bolaven Plateau, Laos, home to a cluster of small villages, is less prominent on the standard backpacker itinerary and, despite being only a stones throw away from Four Thousand Islands, has only been lightly grazed by the hand of tourism. Visitors will experience authentic village life amongst friendly chain-smoking locals and discover a magical and hidden watery world of natural jacuzzi's and waterfalls...

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Backpacker Video Diaries: A Traditional Good Luck Ceremony in Laos

29 November 2010

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Backpacker Video Diaries: A Traditional Good Luck Ceremony in Laos

After teaching English to local children in a small village outside Luang Prabang in Northern Laos, Courtney, Kaberly, Danielle and Jacqui are asked to take part in a traditional Laotion ceremony. They are thanked for helping the students and blessed with good luck for their onward travels. A 'Baci Ceremony' only occurs once a year and the girls were overwhelmed and honoured to be a part of such an incredible cultural experience. Watch the video of their special travel moment here!

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