Vang Vieng Travel Guide

  • Vang Vieng
    by leon.partsi
  • Nam Song scenery
    Nam Song scenery
    by triplehelix
  • me getting ready to cave!
    me getting ready to cave!
    by triplehelix

Vang Vieng Things to Do

  • Cross the Nam Song River

    The Nam Song River offers many opportunities to make excursions that the travel agencies in Vang Vieng will sell you.Since I only stayed there two days, one in my way to Luang Prabang and another one in the way back, I did not join any excursion, although they seemed very attractive. I just crossed on foot the bridge over the river Nam Song and...

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  • feeding the goats

    It used to be good place to have a lunch that Organic farm here. We would come here more than once in different line up and had happily strolled through their majestic yard. We fed goats and enjoyed luxurious shades at this almost tropical rainforest-garden.When we last visited the farm (in 2013) we were received with mixed feelings. My Lao...

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  • UP,UP AND AWAY

    On a clear day it might be worth taking a ride up in a balloon, cost was around $70 if i remember and this can be organised from many of the agencies in town. Wonderful views of the town, river and surrounding scenery.

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  • TUBING

    Please be warned how dangerous tubing and other activities can be on the river. it's great to have some beers, Lao whiskey and party at many of the riverside bars, but did you know that 22 people died there last year due to overindulgence in alcohol or drugs. The swings, slides and zip lines are not up to safety standards and sometimes the river is...

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  • RENT A MOTORBIKE AND EXPLORE THAM PHU...

    Tired of the hot dusty days, then rent a motorbike for around $5 and head to Tham Phu Kham, a cave with Buddhist relics, located 10 kms across the main bridge in Vang Vieng. once climbing the steep steps to the cave entrance take a dip in the cool pool by the cave at the bottom. The water emerges from the bottom of the karst hill and the colour of...

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  • Tubing: The Best Pub Crawl (drift) of...

    Tubing is a real draw card here. It's been covered so many times before I feel bad repeating it, but it truly does bear repeating:You can hire a big, inflated round yellow tube like a tyre, take a tuktuk out to one end of the Namsong river, and drift in the current down to the other end right near where you hired the tube and your accommodation...

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Vang Vieng Hotels

Vang Vieng Restaurants

  • Great salad

    River Hills is pretty naff. The location is great, overlooking party island and the river and there's an extensive menu but it lacked atmosphere and the pizza was dreadful. Anyas curry was ok though and the big bottles of beerlao at 10k kip weren't too bad

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  • Rubbish pizza

    River Hills is pretty naff. The location is great, overlooking party island and the river and there's an extensive menu but it lacked atmosphere and the pizza was dreadful. Anyas curry was ok though and the big bottles of beerlao at 10k kip weren't too bad

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  • enjoy the ambience

    We ate at this restaurant several times and always enjoyed their food. It is located a few metres to the right from the road that goes down to the narrow bridge across the river. You can sit on Thai cushions at a small table where you can enjoy the view over the river. Excellent service from this family run business.

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Vang Vieng Nightlife

  • Bars on the island in the middle of Song

    Note: this review was written on Jun 13, 2009Island in the Song river is probably the most popular party spot in Vang Vieg. Has few bars there, all open air, between bamboo and banana trees, some has hammocks, some bamboo mats to sit on and small wooden terraces under the straw roof. Music from one bar and another melts together in cacophonic...

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  • Western bar games & food

    This is one of many bars in Vang Vieng and is located near the Sakura, off the main street that runs through town. You can find all the usual western bar games such as pool tables, darts etc plus they also serve a wide choice of Irish food and drink.

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  • Oh La La... between the paintings

    It's very friendly place with nice atmosphere, local and western foods, (free) pool table and choice of cocktails: probably the cheapest mojito in Vang Vieng. You pay 10 000 KIP for Beer Lao or 12 000 KIP for Tiger beer. Has a lots of oil painting on the walls (for sale) with Lao motives and bamboo decorations (which is very typical here, anyway)....

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Vang Vieng Transportation

  • Minibus to Vientiane

    If you book a mininus to Vientiane in your hotel (most likely 50000 Kip, 4 to 5 hours on a bad road) you get pickend up there, last stop will be at the National Museum in walking distance to many cheaper accomodations, it stops also near the Airport, about 500 m walking.

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  • Getting to Vientiane

    Bus is the only way to travel overland in Laos. Tickets are cheap but often tourists are crammed together in uncomfortable seats. I spent the three hours in a tiny space meant for baggage but with 6 seats fitted.

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  • bus to Phonesavanh

    Once daily at 9.00 am there's bus (VIP of a local kind) to Phonesavan, Xieng Khouang province. It's okay if you buy the ticket by yourself at the station; in that case it's good to be there at least half hour before scheduled departure. Agenices in VV can also do the job for you and maybe you'll get free tuk-tuk service to the station if you book...

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Vang Vieng Local Customs

  • li-anne's Profile Photo

    by li-anne Written May 23, 2008

    When we came back from a bicycle ride we saw a whole community taking a daily (or was it a weekly?) bath in the Nam Song river.
    I think this is village life, the people over here don't have any showers or washbassins at their home.
    There nothing wrong taking a bath in the river.

    taking a bath in Nam Song River washing the dishes in the river too? washing and splashing getting dressed again
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

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Vang Vieng Warnings and Dangers

  • finding accomodation in high season

    In 2008: Vang Vieng has become even more popular than on my first visit in 2005 when we didn't have problem to find accomodation in high season just after we arrived by bus in late afternoons. Nowsadays the situation looks completely different and it takes long search and lot of luck to find yourself a room if you haven't book it prior to arrival,...

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  • drinking and tubing, not the best...

    Don't want to discourage you from both but it's worth warning: deaths have already been reported of few people who got drunk (or stoned) and drowned when tubing in Vang Vieng. It can be so delusing: waters of Song river are rather lazy, not often with rapids and in certain parts deep. It is safer you take tuk-tuk back to your guesthouse when you're...

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  • GUST OF WIND

    While we were by the river walking back to our motorbike there was a sudden gust of wind lasting no more than a few seconds, but strong enough to lift a roof off of a hut, narrowly missing us. A little further upstream the gust of wind was strong enough to knock down a bamboo bridge over the river.

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Vang Vieng Tourist Traps

  • too many charges for foreigners

    I don't mind paying 1 or 2k kip for toilet charge as the locals built the toilets for a business and have to clean them and provide water, but it seems like in Vang Vieng these small charges can add up. There are several bridges in the surrounding area that can be crossed by m/bikes, but there is up to 10,000 kip charge. There is a charge to climb...

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  • From the bus station

    When arriving from the bus station, you will be met by tuk tuks drivers telling you the centre is a long way off, it isn't you can walk (10 mins left along the road) or negotiate for a better deal, if the guy doesn't agree walk away and he will follow you with a better price.

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  • Tourist traps everywhere

    Vang Vieng is notorious for its many tourist rip-offs. These are roughly of two kinds: ominous fees and pay-more-for-extras. The first is especially obvious in the town itself. For all of the bridges, tourists have to pay a fee, except for those leading to the island bars. This might not sound too much like a rip-off, but it's really annoying if...

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Vang Vieng What to Pack

  • Sandals with Full Strap!

    I think a Sandal with Full Strap is a must!!! why? because u can wear it while tubing and river swing! if u don't wear it, then u have to risk ur feet to step on something unnecessary. if you wear slippers, you might lose it!For Ladies: bikini for the water games and a big scarf to cover your body while visiting villages Sun Block, Mosquito...

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  • Torchlight

    Exploring the cave need a pair of good shoes. Dont wear slipper because the cave can be slippery. Torchlight is a must when you go to Vang Viang. One of the reason is stated in warning and dangerous tipr- there is no street light at night. The other reason is if you want to check out some of the caves, torch light is definitely a must. Bring a...

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  • Vang Vieng Hotels

    9 Hotels in Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng Off The Beaten Path

  • Tha Heua village

    This is village about 25 km south of VV to Vientiane direction - you can see here that it has lots of fish on display for which is famous for and those fish are popular snack with Lao. Tha Heua is nestled along the main road, between shores of Nam Ngum lake and below the slope with small temple.Not much to do here unless you come when there's...

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  • Caves

    There are alot of caves in the surounding areas, you can buy a map of the places in town but most of them are useless. You might be able to walk to some of them or you can get one of the MaoTseTung tractors that take people to the caves from various locations around town. If you have nothing to do, which is very possible in Vang Vieng then some of...

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  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Vang Vieng Sports & Outdoors

  • Swinging from the rafters

    On the river there are lots of little bars, at some you can slide along ropes or even jump from trapezes into the water, just watch your entry and don't slam into someone swimming below, often people are pretty legless there so stay safe.

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  • Kayaking with TCK advanture tours

    TCK seems to be the cheapest agency to offer trips on the Nam Sang. For a full day trip, starting with the elephant cave, tubing into a cave nearby, lunch and kayaking I paid 90000 kip. Compared to other agencies that is quite a bargain, as they offer exactly the same package for about 30 US$! Don't pay more just because it says "eco" or "green"....

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Vang Vieng Favorites

  • Massage

    I had a back massage at pop massage just along from our hotel. I've not had many massages but I could this was pretty crap and I would certainly not recommend it. I guess you get what you pay for, just 30k kip for half an hour so I didn't lose out much just half hour of my time!

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  • The best and the worst of tourism

    Vang Vieng is a completely manufactured tourist resort in the heart of Laos. So you won't find many signs of authentic Lao life here, more like young enterprising English speaking guides selling trips and tuk tuk rides. Saying that you can have a great time on the river and in the town, with loads of tourist amenities, restaurants, internet cafes,...

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  • Choosing a Guesthouse

    Upon getting off the bus, there is no shortage of tuk-tuk drivers and hotel staff hitting you up for business. Don't bother with any of them. The furthest hostel is probably no more than a 10 minute walk. And the ones that are further than 5 minute are not serviceable by a tuk-tuk anyway (since you may have to cross a foot bridge). Nearly all...

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Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Vang Vieng
CAREFUL CROSSING THE RIVER
Warnings and Dangers
try best pancake in Laos
Things to Do
Super Salads, veggie delights!
Restaurants
Danger - Motorbiking Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang
Warnings and Dangers
Nice quiet and tasty food
Restaurants
Tubing and caving
Things to Do
Tham Chang Caves
Things to Do
Temples
Things to Do
Tubing
Things to Do
Great breakfasts!
Restaurants
The wooden Footbridges
Warnings and Dangers
...or any other US cartoon sit-com
Restaurants
Airstrip
Things to Do
Applepie in Laos
Restaurants
food stalls - better than you think
Restaurants
Rent a bike and get out
Things to Do
Visiting fake caves
Warnings and Dangers
Friends vs. Family Guy
Restaurants
streets of Vang Vieng
Things to Do
former air field
Things to Do
Dangerous Caves
Warnings and Dangers
Good ideas and delicious foods - Organic farm
Restaurants
place to try Indian
Restaurants
Partying along the Namsong River
Things to Do
Kayaking down the Namsong River
Things to Do
Tubing in the Cave
Things to Do
Watch out the Dung!
Warnings and Dangers
Village Visit
Things to Do
Vientiane to Vang Vieng
Transportation
1 Day Tour - Caves, Kayak, tubing, villages
Things to Do
Popular Xanasai
Restaurants
Authentic Lao, Best in VV
Restaurants
Beautifull butterflies in Vang Vieng!
Favorites
Splash into the Blue Lagoon at Tham Phu Kham!
Things to Do
Explore Tham Chang cave
Things to Do
Have fun tubing on Nam Song river!
Things to Do
The Vang Vieng restaurant scene
Restaurants
Organic and homegrown veggies, but less tasty!
Restaurants
Don't miss the Malay Satay at Xayoh restaurant!
Restaurants
Trying the local wine
Things to Do
Map of Vang Vieng

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