Laos authorities have closed seven bars along the Xong River in Vang Vieng in an effort to lock down drug and alcohol fuelled dangerous water sports and promote the popular tubing spot as a safe ecotourism destination.
Seven bars along the river were closed after authorities found they were serving tourists alcoholic drinks laced with opium and hallucinogenic mushrooms, according to the Vientiane Times.
An explosion in popularity of Vang Vieng among backpackers seeking tubing - floating down the river in inner tubes while drinking - has brought an unsavory reputation to the area after several deaths on the river in the past year.
At least six tourists died from accidents on the river so far this year with sources agreeing a majority of these accidents involved alcohol.
Vang Vieng tourism office head Phouvieng Sikaisone said authorities have launched a safety campaign engaging some of the 100 resorts, restaurants and bars line the Xong River to inform tourists of what "they should and shouldn't do".
Some of these restaurant staff have also been taught first aid to deal with accidents on the river, Mr Phouvieng Sikaisone.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W