Vang Vieng Nam Song River
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Vang Vieng Travel Guide

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Located in central Laos, Vang Vieng is a small town on the banks of the Nam Song River. It is blessed with stunning karst mountains, strange caves, tranquil lagoons, lush countryside scenery, and peaceful rivers.

Once a famous party town being teemed with riverside “tubing” bars, Vang Vieng has now become a sanctuary for nature sightseeing, thrilling jungle hiking, cave exploration, rock climbing, drifting, zip line, etc. What an ideal destination for adventure and outdoor enthusiasts! Though most of its former waterfront bars have been replaced by excellent restaurants and hotels, it still offers awesome parties if you like.

This travel guide to Vang Vieng is collected to help you to discover the best this popular outdoor destination has to offer. Ideas for top things to do and essential tips for trip planning are all covered.

The bank of Nam Song River in Vang Vieng
The bank of Nam Song River

Top Things to Do in Vang Vieng

1. Explore Blue Lagoons in Vang Vieng

The serene lagoons with turquoise waters are the top highlights in Vang Vieng and can be easily reached via a short tuk-tuk ride. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit to enjoy a peaceful swim here.

The original Lagoon 1 is the most popular one with a tree growing over its deepest part. Many tourists like to challenge themselves by jumping off from the highest branch of the tree. To avoid the large crowds, you’re recommended to visit the lagoon in the morning. Otherwise, the lesser crowded lagoon 2 or lagoon 3 can also be good alternatives.  

Entry fee for Lagoon 1: 10,000 LAK

Blue Lagoon

2. Explore Vang Vieng by Motorbike/Bike

Vang Vieng has many scenic routes which will allow you to soap up the magnificent surrounding views. ATVs and dirt bikes are popular in Vang Vieng, by which tourists can flexibly take in the stunning countryside scenery, encounter local villages and daily life, and pass through blue lagoons and some awesome viewpoints for 360-degree views.

Tips:

You can rent a motorbike from your hotels or famed rental shops, the cost is usually around 80,000 to 100,000 LAK per day.

Bike around Vang Vieng
Bike around Vang Vieng

3. Take Part in Thrilling Adventurous Activities

As an adventurous paradise, Vang Vieng is never short of thrilling outdoor activities. No matter your interests, there are plenty of companies operating various challenging activities to satisfy you. Some of the most popular activities include cave explorations, rock climbing, trekking and hiking, zip lining, and hot-air balloon rides.

You can book these activities from either your hotel or your travel agent.

4. Kayak along the Nam Song River

The serene Nam Song River is embraced by magnificent limestone mountains and local rice fields. Kayaking along the Nam Song River will offer you a leisure trip to get close to the peaceful natural beauty.

Before 2014, Vang Vieng was widely known for its tubing activity: people drift down the river on rubber rings until a riverfront bar throws them a rope and pull them in. Given its unsafety, the government has imposed tight restrictions on this activity, but some excellent bars are still left along the river banks. Kayaking thus becomes an alternative for the tubing to reach the bars.

Kayak along the Nam Song River in Vang Vieng
Kayak along the Nam Song River

5. Visit Wondrous Caves

The karst formation endowed Vang Vieng with a wealth of wondrous caves, which will introduce you to unique rock formations and thousands of years old stalactites.

Tham Phu Kham is the most famous cave in Vang Vieng which can be reached within 20 minutes on foot. Bring a torch or headlamp with you to discover the bronze reclining Thai Buddha and eye-catching galleries in the cave. The cave is also connected to a blur lagoon where you can enjoy relaxing time and swimming.

Tham Phu Kham Cave in Vang Vieng
Tham Phu Kham Cave

6. Go Tubing on the River

Though tubing is less popular after the government’s restriction, it is still a unique activity in Vang Vieng. And the existing tubing is much safer, with no waste people and excessive partying. You can enjoy your leisure time by lying in an inner tube and floating lazily along the river as you soak up the fairy-tale limestone landscapes. A few excellent bars are still open on the riverside, welcoming visitors to sip a drink. The cost for tube rental is about 60,000 LAK.

Vang Vieng Weather: Best Time to Visit Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng enjoys a tropical monsoon climate with plentiful sunshine and rainfall.

The dry season from November to March is the best time to visit this city when it enjoys comfortable temperatures and sees more sunny days. It is also the peak season of the city when it is more expensive and crowded.

Its wet season runs from April to October when the city is dominated by hot and humid weather.

Its lowest monthly average temperature is around 13.5°C in December and January, and its hottest period is from March to May when the average temperature reaches 34 °C.

Vang Vieng Transportation: How to Get to and Get around

How to Get to Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is located in Central Laos, between Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Visitors can fly to these two cities before they take taxis, buses, or trains to reach Vang Vieng. A minivan ride from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng takes about 5-6 hours and costs about 35,000 – 50,000 LAK. And from Vientiane to Vang Vieng, the bus ride will take about 4-5 hours, and cost about 80,000-120,000 LAK.    

A private car is an ideal option for those who want to enjoy more comfort and flexibility. The way from Luang Prabang/Vientiane to Vang Vieng is rich in local village life and stunning scenery, you can make a stop whenever you want if travel by private car.

There are two daily high-speed trains from Vientiane to Luang Prabang, which will stop at Vang Vieng.

How to Get around Vang Vieng

The small size of Vang Vieng makes it easy to walk to most attractions in the town. And it is also easy to travel to attractions outside the town by bicycle, motorbike, or tuk-tuk.

Bicycles and motorbikes are really popular in Vang Vieng, and you can spend about 20,000 LAK to rent a bike for one day. The motorbike rental will cost about 80,000-100,000 LAK per day.

A tuk-tuk ride in the city will cost no more than 10,000 LAK for one seat. You can also hire a tuk-tuk for a whole day by spending about 130,000-150,000.

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