The countryside around Vang Vieng is stunning: khasts (big limestone cliff-rock-things) everywhere! It made the long day in a minibus definitely worth it :). The town itself is very odd - it's a small place, but has many, many bars and restaurants, and nearly all play 'Friends' episodes non-stop on big TVs. We'd come (like all the other involuntarily friends-watching falangs) to tube down the river, because that's what you do here - rent a tube, get taken a few kilometres up the river, and then float back, bouncing from river-side bar to bar. Each has people with long sticks and floats on ropes to haul passing tubes ashore, and each has at least one rope swing, zip wire or slide into the river (as well as music, food and a bar, obviously). We'd met a lovely group of Irish travellers on the minibus here, and went tubing with them - it's a fantastic way to spend a day, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves :). The rest of our time in Vang Vieng, we spent recovering from the tubing(!), and cycling to some beautiful limestone caves.