Kayaking tours are more popular these days than tubing due to the decline in backpacker numbers caused by the closing of the riverside bars.
Tours differ depending on tour company, but a popular option is to include the kayaking tour with a tour of the Water Cave and Elephant Cave about 10 clicks north of town. This full day tour is a great way to see and do a number of different things in the one day without the hassle of having to figure it out all by yourself.
Tours include the hire of a kayak and lifejacket as well as a simple lunch. This is a great way to experience the scenery along the Nam Song and is fantastic value — a chartered tuk-tuk ride to the caves alone would cost in the region of 100,000 to 150,000 kip.
if you;d prefer a boat tour, near the entrance to Nam Song Villa, you can charter a longtail boat for a scenic ride up the river. It’s a good, considerably safer alternative to tubing. This is an especially good option if you’ve got young kids in tow.