(PICTURE: Hannah and I on the river.)
As I mentioned yesterday, one of the reasons backpackers go to Vang Vieng is to tube down the river. This activity is one of those things you encounter while traveling that you realize could never ever happen in a 1st world litigious nation. Frankly, this is one of the most dangerous things I've ever seen. It's not that the tubing is dangerous (although it was not the rainy season which meant low water and hence plenty of rocks nailing our butts), it's the things around the tubing that are dangerous.
The river is lined with makeshift bars. As you floast down the river employees from the bars try and rope you in. AKA: Throw bottles at you which are attached to strings. So you get pulled into a bar and proceed to have a drink. That's problem #1: Drinking and Tubing/Swimming.
Problem #2 is that at each bar has some kind of risky thrill seeking apparatus. i.e. A very high rope swing, a zip line, or an extremely fast slide that dumps you out on the river (and hopefully not on to passing tubers).
That said, Hannah and I were game for the danger. You're welcome for not telling you until after, Mom.