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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Fact Check: Thai Tubing Video Falsely Attributed to Vang Vieng

This Week

A video depicting hundreds of people tubing down a river widely shared on social media did not take place in Laos.

The original TikTok video was posted by user, roritarkratair, at 9 pm on Tuesday, with the event in the video taking place in the town of Pai, in Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province. 

Most of the user’s videos have taken place in Thailand, while in the caption of the tubing video, the user had written: “Perfect for tubing”, along with the hashtags “Tuesday Vibes” and “Pai District” (written in Thai).

 

The Laotian Times reached out to roritarkratair, who confirmed that the tubing event took place at Pai River in Pai district of Mae Hong Son province, Thailand. She said that tourists regularly take part in a floating tour downstream called “Tipsy Tubing” every Tuesday and Friday.

“It seemed like a huge event because there were so many tourists in the video, but it was just a normal floating tour,” she said.

“I was there helping my sister sell things. When I saw a lot of tourists enjoying themselves, I pulled out my phone to record the scene.”

“I really did not expect the video to go viral. I just thought it looked fun so I filmed it,” she added.

Thai travel agent advertises a "Tipsy Tubing" tour in Pai, northern Thailand.
A Thai travel agent advertises a “Tipsy Tubing” tour in Pai, northern Thailand.

Another Tik Tok video posted last year by cptravel_  shows a similar scene in Pai. The user has included a caption with the video describing his tipsy tour. 

“Tipsy Tubing Pai” is described as an ultimate daytime activity that sees visitors floating down the river while enjoying alcoholic beverages.

Similar activities can be enjoyed in Laos, particularly in the tourist town of Vang Vieng, which is why many Lao people misidentified the location of the video as Vang Vieng before sharing on social media. 

Story by Phontham Visapra & Jonathan Meadley

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