Vang Vieng is a popular tourist destination in Laos, especially for backpackers who want to drink beer while floating down the river in an inner tube. Unfortunately, this risky excursion has led to an increase in tourist deaths in the past few years. Now, authorities are cracking down by closing certain bars along the Xong River and setting stricter policies for establishments staying open.
According to news.com.au, officials are trying to promote the area as a safe, environmentally friendly destination. To do this, they have had to close seven bars down that were found to be serving alcoholic drinks laced with opium and hallucinogenic mushrooms to tourists.
The death toll for tourists in 2011 is said to have been 20, a majority of which had to do with alcohol, and several relating to dangerous water activities.
There are about 100 restaurants, bars and resorts lining the Xong River in Vang Vieng. To help make the area more secure, these establishments are being taught to inform tourists what they should and shouldn’t do to stay safe.
[Image via sweet_redbird]