Vang Vieng in Laos is tourism-oriented little town, around 150km north of Vientiane Capital of Laos. The small town of Vang Vieng is nestled on Nam Song River and encompassed by the karst hill landscapes. The town was named Muang Song formerly, but then it was renamed Vang Vieng during the French colonial time in the 1890s. In recent years, the backpackers and almost Laos package tours include the title of Vang Vieng.
About Vang Vieng in Laos
With the huge influx of backpackers coming every day, Vang Vieng becomes a backpacker-oriented destination, in which the streets are dotted with numerous guesthouses, bars, restaurants, etc. The thrill-seekers, in general, find it incredibly exciting to travel to Vang Vieng and try out the enjoyable activities including tubing (the young people sit in the big inner tube floating downriver) and kayaking on Nam Song River, swimming and diving in Blue Lagoon, hot-air balloon riding, rock climbing, and more. The town of Vang Vieng owns the picturesque landscapes, making it a piece of heaven on earth. Here, you find the romantic rivers being in harmony with the dreamlike karst mountains, the scenic cliffs, and the mysterious cave systems. Together with the fascinating nature for adventures, Vang Vieng has the 16th-17th-century monasteries and the traditional Hmong villages for the visitors to rest peacefully and learn about the local culture as well as spirituality.
The Best Activities to Do in Vang Vieng
Tubing in Vang Vieng
Tubing is the unique and favorite activity to enjoy in Nam Song River. The tubing trip allows the inner-tubers to discover Vang Vieng’s water world excitingly. This activity is perfect for the outdoor people and thrill-seekers who are long for the ultimate fun. However, the downsides of tubing did happen when the young backpackers drunk beer and tubed down the river uncontrollably, which urged the Lao government to announce the changes for better in 2012. Then, the unsecured bars are not allowed to run this activity, but tubing itself is still worth experiencing that lets you explore the amazing scenery of karst over the river. You now can rent a tube for 55,000 kips, for example, and then enjoy tubing downriver in the designated route, ending at the seasonable bamboo bridge. It is required to return the tub by 18:00 or later you will be fined. It must point out that: Tubing is not for those that cannot swim.
Hot-air Balloon Ride in Vang Vieng
Once exploring the ground of Vang Vieng, it’s time to go watching its sky via the hot-air balloon riding. Please note that Vang Vieng is one of the few places to enjoy the affordable and dramatic hot-air balloon tour in Southeast Asia. While some book the early balloon ride to view the stunning karst landscape in the sunrise and mist, the others are eager for the late journey to discover the different charm of the town in the sunset. Whatever choices, the hot-air balloon ride provides the dramatic opportunities to see Vang Vieng from the top dimension. The stress-free and enjoyable balloon journey is what you desire for the new experience just in Vang Vieng, Laos.
Blue Lagoon & Cave in Vang Vieng
Blue Lagoon is an extraordinary attraction to give you a feel of Avatar right in Vang Vieng. Just take a tuk-tuk to reach the prettiest swimming hole called Blue Lagoon where the blue streams flow slowly out of the lush jungle. Swimming in this blue heaven, people can relax and cool off, especially during the hot afternoons. More and more dramatic pictures about Blue Lagoon have been shared, and all agrees on its evergreen blue charm. The Lagoon has long been famous for the turquoise blue, cool, and transparent water. Besides, there are some trees offering the ideal shade and background for relaxation. Here, you also find the rope swings to enjoy swinging lazily. This slice of paradise is also blessed with the natural cave named Tham Poukham (or Cave of the Golden Crab), making up the impeccable shelter with the stalactites and stalagmites in the shapes of the golden crabs, and the bronze reclining Buddha statue inside. If wanting to explore the cave deeper, remember to bring a torch!
Kayaking and Canoeing Tours in Vang Vieng
If tubing doesn’t interest you, but you’re keen on the water sport, please consider kayaking and canoeing! It is possible to hire a kayak to sail down the river for hours or a full day. The river trip is a must to try out in Vang Vieng. You can enjoy either kayaking or canoeing toward the Water Cave and stop by the local houses for lunch if wanted. While the delightful kayaking trip lets you discover the charming riverscape of Vang Vieng peacefully, the safe canoeing provides the scenic ride along the river. In either case, please make sure you enjoy these water activities in a safe manner. It must be said that kayaking and canoeing might be not the top choices for anybody who cannot swim. Anyhow, the availability of life jackets can ultimately help.
Biking in Vang Vieng
If wanting to explore the pretty town of Vang Vieng on your own, then biking is the other top thing to do. Just rent a bicycle to get out and bike to the surroundings of the town including the spectacular rice fields, the long-lasting karsts, the farming activities, and the traditional local houses. Once witnessing the countryside living ways, you are back to the basics of life in which stress and bustle have no place. Due to the intentional destinations, you can hire either the mountain bike (from 20,000 kip) or the street bike (from 10,000 kip). The good recommendations for biking are to visit the famous Blue Lagoon, the stunning Kaeng Nyui Waterfall, the Water Cave, the little village of Ban Patang on Nam Song River, and the magnificent Phtang cliff. Apparently, biking brings to the hidden and beautiful slices of paradises. Along the ride, expect to feast the eyes with the fabulous and spacious rice fields.
Rock Climbing in Vang Vieng
People can enjoy rock climbing year round in the grandiose limestone karst landscape in Vang Vieng. For the safest climb, you’re advised to work with Adam’s Climbing School founded in 2004 and dedicated to offering the rock climbing courses for beginners and the experienced ones. You can join the half-day or the full-day courses, or the courses in several days, due to the tour schedule. The teacher will give instructions for climbing skills from the basic knots to the multi-pitch climb. This outdoor and challenging activity is only suitable for those who come prepared with equipment and skill. In general, all companies in Vang Vieng that offer rock climbing activity arrange it in the same place, for instance, in a cave 2.5km west of the town.
The Best Periods to Visit Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng is an exciting place to see all year round. Here is the quick recap of the local weather:
- November – February: The sky is blue and sunny, with the little chilly atmosphere in the morning and evening. So, this is the best period to see Vang Vieng and enjoy the outdoor activities.
- March – May: These are the hottest months, especially in April when celebrates Laos New Year. The cool-off ceremony of splashing water on each other is fascinating.
- June and July: The weather becomes humid with some rains.
- August and October: The rain comes thick and fast. People say these are the ideal months for kayaking and tubing downriver.