The small picturesque little town of Vang Vieng is located about 150 km north of Vientiane by a river called Nam Song, off Route 13 between the ‘new’ capital of Vientiane and the old royal capital of Luang Prabang. Backpackers started showing up in 1990, and the village quickly became a hot spot due to its strategic location, majestic limestone mountains, lush greenery, undiscovered caves, cascading waterfalls, and secret lagoons.

Vang Vieng, Laos
Highway 13 North to Vang Vieng, time for us for a stretch, Vang Vieng, Laos

There are many ways to get to Vang Vieng from Vientiane. I Took an early morning Express air-con bus (departs 10:30, 13:30, takes 4 hours, costs 60,000 kips/US$ 7.50) loaded with tourists from all over the world.

Getting Around In Vang Vieng

It’s a small town, so everything within the town is easily within walkable distance, but at night you need to watch out the sidewalk for holes and uneven surfaces.

Renting a Motorbike or Bicycle

Guesthouses and travel agencies rent out bicycles for 10,000 kips (approx). But a mountain bike is recommended with extra money. Renting a motorbike is convenient if you are planning to visit out-of-town attractions such as Blue Lagoon, Caves, and tubing, then it is worth spending 70,000 kips and up for a day.

Vang Vieng, Laos
Rented Motorbike next to the guy ready for a fight later in the afternoon

Day Trips From Vang Vieng

There are a variety of well-developed tourism services in Vang Vieng and a wide range of day trips and activities offered by them; this is convenient for those who are there for a very short trip and don’t have the time to explore on their own.

Vang Vieng, Laos
I am heading for kayaking, tubing, and hiking trips from here

What attracted me to Visit Vang Vieng

Water sports such as kayaking, tubing, and popular rock climbing, including a few peaceful places like 16th and 17th-century monasteries and the small Hmong villages, were in my mind to visit this unknown destination. As an amateur travel photographer, Vang Vieng was a picture-perfect dreamlike place to visit for its landscape of extraordinary limestone mountain peaks and scenic cliffs, the beautiful Nam Song River flowing through the town, the huge green paddy fields, bird watching in Nong Nok reservoir, Buddha images and sculptures inside the dark caves and so on.

Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng, Laos

Things to do in Vang Vieng

Apart from the advantages and a day full of activities, the place is peaceful. Perfect for relaxing and admiring the scenic beauty. I enjoyed the beautiful limestone picks sticking out through the foggy clouds, the beautiful blue lagoons, and the mind-blowing surroundings of paddy fields that stole my mind for the few days I spent in Vang Vieng. Here are a few recommendations that I think will make your trip enjoyable.

Kayaking in Nam Song River

Kayaking the Nam Song river is exciting, and the colorful sunset adds more when the sun drops behind the towering mountains, making it a photographer’s paradise. Apart from that, kayaking is the best way to explore the surrounding villages and local lifestyle and enjoy the stunning untouched scenic beauty with soaring limestone mountains as the backdrop. You will definitely remember your experiences many years from now.

Nam Song River, Laos
Nam Song River is perfect for Kayaking, Vang Vieng, Laos

Try Tubing In The Water 

Tubing is one of the most famous recreational activities in Vang Vieng. Most visitors tube down the Nam Song River, which is an exciting experience and a secure option. However, I opted for tubing inside a dark cave. Entering through a tiny entrance and floating inside a low ceiling-dark cave was adventurous but not ideal for everyone, especially if someone has claustrophobia. I had to leave my camera at the base camp; therefore, I got no photos to share.

Vang Vieng, Laos
The Tubing Entrance to the Cave

Visit Blue Lagoon in Vang Vieng

There are a couple of blue lagoons that are worth a visit. However, due to their popularity could be crowded; therefore, visit one of the less popular ones. Or visit early in the morning, way before the day trippers arrive, so you have the place to yourself. Also, depending on the season, the water may not be as blue as you expected.

Blue Lagoon 2, Vang Vieng
Blue Lagoon 2, Vang Vieng Water Activities

Visit a Local Village

Not that far away from Vang Vieng, a typical village is worth a visit. If you have rented a motorbike, head there early in the morning, spend a few hours sightseeing and walking around the village, and sit back and relax in one of the local restaurants. Have them cook a chicken, duck, or freshly caught fish for you, and enjoy the local delicacy. The village I visited was right next to a river with a breathtaking view.

Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng, Laos

We visited a lesser-known Buddhist Temple in a village; to get there, we had to walk through the rice fields and cross a creek. We learned more about local people and their living.

Vang Vieng, Laos
Walking through the Rice Field

Scenic view of Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng, Laos
Bridge Over a Canal in Vang Vieng, Laos

Where to stay in Vang Vieng, Laos

Sansan Resort, Vang Vieng

Located in a quiet garden setting, Sansan Resort is a 5-minute walk across the old airfield to the main street of Vang Vieng and the night market. Free WiFi access is available in the restaurant. The resort is a 5-minute drive from Na Song River. It is a 30-minute drive from Phou Kham Cave. Wattay Airport is a 3-hr drive away. The resort is equipped shaded hammock, luggage storage, and laundry service for guests’ convenience. Other services offered include information on local tours, bus services, and mountain bike rentals.

Tmark Resort Vang Vieng

Located in Vang Vieng, an 18-minute walk from Post Office, Tmark Resort Vangvieng provides accommodations with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a fitness center, and a garden. In addition, the property has a business center, a concierge service, and a currency exchange for guests. In addition, a seating area is available to all guests, while selected rooms come with a DVD player. In addition, guest rooms include a closet. Tham Chang Elephant Cave is an 8-minute walk from the accommodation, while Tham Phu Kham Cave and Blue Lagoon are 4.6 miles away. The nearest airport is Wattay International Airport, 71 miles from Tmark Resort Vangvieng.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Vang Vieng, Laos? Any cool tips to share?

loved being in Vang Vieng, Laos, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Laos.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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