|"Vang Vien.....welcome to the drug induced Backpacker Haven". As we arrived in this little town we wondered what everyone did besides party and watch 'Friends' reruns at several restaurants in town. We found out that tubing down the Mekong River is what most did to escape the heat. Buy a tire tube, get dropped off at a spot up the way and spend 5 hours making your way back. The entire ride was a party. Huge wooden platform bars had been built over the river selling beer, food and other medicinal crops (which we did not partake in of course). Most bars had huge zip lines and rope swings that launched people 30 feet through the air into the river. It was pretty neat to watch... from AFAR. We just couldn't imagine that the people building these things put a whole lot of care into clearing boulders in the river but, we didn't see any deathly plunges while we were there. After 4 days of watching 'Friends' to try to recover from our ever lasting illness we had to get out of there.