Vang Vieng was a hell of a place! We had the time of our lives there, getting closer to our travel buddies and each other all while having fun! From Tubing to Blue Lagoons, we’ve put together a list of all of our favourite things to do here!
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What To Do:
This is absolutely incredible! A whole day of tubing down the Mekong River? Sign us up! You stop off at a few bars along the Mekong that have rope swings, jump offs, areas to sunbathe and pumping music. Obviously the vibe is helped with a few of your favourite drinks along the way though. We recommend stocking up before hand to ensure maximum fun! Make sure you bring a waterproof bag big enough to fit all of your valuables, which you can obtain from the Night Market in the city centre if you don’t have one already. The sun really scorches you while chilling in the tube so please lather on the sunscreen an hour or two before you set off! It costs about 50,000 Kips (roughly £5) to hire a tube for the day and this can be done at pretty much any travel agent/hostel in Vang Vieng. Bring some drinks (and friends too!) and make sure to stay safe on the water!
Nam Xay Top View –
Another must do in Vang Vieng, the view is well worth the treacherous climb! DO NOT wear sliders/flip flops under any circumstances as it’s quite slippery even when dry. It’s around 30-60 minutes to get to the top depending on how quickly you move so brace yourself for a bit of exercise. Make sure to bring water with you as the heat is intense & the climb is strenuous. You’ll find some shade at the top for a well earned rest. Two motorbikes greet you at the top of the summit which make for great (if not bloody terrifying) photo opps. We’re still wondering how the hell the motorbikes got up there. One of the best viewpoints in all of our travels and if you’re in Vang Vieng, make sure to check it out! It’s around a 15 minute drive from the city centre which can be arranged with a Tuk-Tuk driver. We’d recommend making a full day of it, hiring a Tuk Tuk driver out for the day and visiting some Blue Lagoons too!
Blue Lagoons –
There are apparently 7 of these in total around Vang Vieng and you can normally do a few in one day. Our personal best lagoons were 1, 3 and 5, so if you only have time for a few, check these out! 1 is very crowded but has the most of offer in terms of swimming. 3 was a lot quieter and had a much more chill vibe. 5 was the quietest & furthest away but our fave with zip lines, rope swings & even a few caves to explore (which were a tight squeeze). We recommend doing a few in one day and hiring a TukTuk driver from the city centre (and tying in the Nam Xay Top View). For our group of 6, it cost 200,000 Kips (£20) for the entire day which we arranged ourselves. The travel agents we tried to arrange the day with were quoting us 600,000 Kips (£60) for the group so arranging yourself with a driver really can save you some money! Unfortunately we have no videos or pictures because both of our phones had run out of battery but seriously check the lagoons out!
The Night Market/Walking Street –
One of the main things to do in the hub of Vang Vieng at night. It’s on every night & there’s so many cool little stalls and shops there. Something we picked up that we found really useful was a 5 litre waterproof bag that ended up being used for our day of tubing and a ton through the rest of our travels! The waterproof bag cost around 80,000 Kips (£8) but get haggling and you may be able to get a better price than us (we were a bit haggled out after Thailand for a few weeks)! The food here is AMAZING too, particularly the red/green curries. It’s all so cheap too, around 20,000 Kips (£2) for a big meal. We’d recommend eating dinner here a lot as it’s so much cheaper than most of the restaurants in the city.
Tham Chang Caves –
There’s a really nice walk which takes around 30 minutes from the city centre and takes you to a temple/system of caves. You cross a really nice little red bridge over the Mekong River and end up going into a quiet little residential complex near the riverbed. It only costs 5,000 Kips to get into the temples & caves and is a great way to spend a morning and see some awesome sunrise/sunset views (whichever you prefer)! The steps are killer though, not many of them but just SUPER steep so bring some water with you or risk feeling parched. Just outside the caves are a few abandoned buildings which were cool to explore and get some nice shots in. There are plenty of other cool little walks we did around the city centre which involved going to some temples under construction which was pretty cool but we couldn’t find the names of them! These are definitely worth it for a good bit of exercise though!
How to Get There:
A bus took us from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng & was the only mode of transport we found. Unless you fancy renting a scooter and driving there yourself. The bus seated 10 but was jam packed with 13 so was very uncomfortable. The roads are also super bumpy and it made us both feel a bit trash, making the journey a bit rough. It’s cheap though, we paid 60,000 Kips (£6) per person which you can’t sniff at. Take our advice on this and pay for the more expensive option as it probably won’t be overloaded. The trip took about 4 hours in total so bring snacks, drinks & travel sickness tablets to be on the safe side!
How Much Did it Cost?
Vang Vieng was honestly just as cheap as Luang Prabang. There was some great food at really low prices, we ended up eating at the Night Market or one particular restaurant most night just due to how good it was! Accommodation was pretty cheap too and we’d recommend checking out Pan’s Place below:
Most of the activities are free or really cheap in Vang Vieng too so take our advice and book things yourselves. Travel Agents make things easier but also cost a lot more so it’s up to you what is more valuable to you!
That wraps up our post on Vang Vieng! We hope you enjoyed it and took some inspiration for your travels from it. If you’re keen on more from Laos, why not check out our Luang Prabang post below:
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Stay Safe & Much Love,
Matt & Mik
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