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‘Tipsy Tubing’ In Pai Hit by Alcohol Ban

On the heels of a viral video showing hundreds of backpackers taking part in ‘tipsy tubing’ festivities down the Pai River in Mae Hong Son, TAT officials have taken action and implemented an alcohol ban on the activity in the name of keeping everyone safe and protecting travellers from poor service, price gouging, and unwanted accidents. Operators are now required to enforce a prohibition on drinking alcohol while tubing down the river and also must provide at least one lifeguard for every 10 tubers. As things currently stand, there’s only five river-tubing operators registered with the Mae Hong Son Tourist Police that will be affected.

Our Take


Although ‘tipsy tubing’ sounds super fun, it does feels like a bit of a disaster waiting to happen. You have a bunch of sketchy elements in play… hundreds of intoxicated travellers, scorching sun, a flowing river, and likely nowhere near enough lifeguards to monitor everything properly. It’s probably a good idea that TAT has told operators to no longer sell or permit booze, but in all honesty, I’ll believe that when I see it. I suspect that ‘tipsy tubing’ will push on par for the course and continue to play out exactly like it always has. Perhaps I’ll head to Pai sometime this spring to do a little field research and report back to you 😉