Vang Vieng is a well-known vacation destination in Laos. It is located in the northern mountainous region of the nation, to the north of the capital city, Vientiane, and to the south of the ancient city of Luang Prabang.
The karst landscape is comprised of beautiful hills and caves with rivers and lakes for youngsters to have adventures and fun. If adventurous games are not for you, Vang Vieng is also a relaxing place to stay for a day or two.
Here, we have provided you with some useful information and details of the top 8 things to do in this scenic city. No matter what kind of activities you like, you will get the experience you want in Vang Vieng.
The Best Time to Visit Vang Vieng
November to February is the best time to enjoy outdoor activities in Vang Vieng as the temperature isn’t too hot and there is little rainfall.
In March and April, the temperature during the daytime might be hotter than you realize. Take care not to get sunburnt or heatstroke.
During the wet season in May to October, outdoor activities might be canceled due to heavy rain and typhoons.
How to Get from Vientiane to Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng is about 160 kilometers north of the capital city, Vientiane. Buses and minivans are the only way to travel around.
You can book the tickets one day in advance in your hotel. Before the departure, a tuk tuk will take you to the bus station. The journey takes about 3 hours and costs 40,000 kip (about 4 USD).
Please note that the journey to Vang Vieng might be a little bumpy and it could be dusty in the hot and dry weather. Avoid wearing your best clothes and shoes and carry some motion sickness drugs if necessary.
The Top 8 Things to Do in Vang Vieng
1.Tubing on the Nam Song River
The Nam Song River is the place to go for tubing, which means riding on top of an inner tube and floating on the water. This is the most popular activity there for people who are willing to get wet.
You can rent an inner tube for 10,000 kip (1 USD) from a riverside booth and use it to go tubing for a whole day. You can even carry a bottle of iced beer with you!
The dry season from November to April is the best time for this activity. Remember that it’s sunny, hot, and dry at this time so use sunscreen before you rush to the water.
If tubing is not for you, you can go kayaking or take a ferry ride to enjoy the scenery along the banks.
2. Dive in the Blue Lagoons
Have you ever dreamed of swimming in emerald-colored water? If so, the blue lagoon at Tham Phu Kham Cave’s entrance is the place for you. The site is about 8 kilometers west of the city.
The color of the blue lagoon comes from the calcium carbonate it contains. Local youngsters and travelers love to have fun in the water — some even dive in the lagoon from the high tree branches at a height of 5 meters.
When you’re tired of playing in the water, you can have a rest on the grass. The karst cave nearby is also a good place for an adventure.
3. Try Rock Climbing at Nam Song Riverbank
If tubing and splashing around cannot fulfill your adventurous mind, then enjoy a challenging rock climb at Pha Daeng Mountain on the bank of the Nam Song River.
In recent years, international rock climbing teams developed several routes on the mountain’s limestone cliffs. There are English-speaking coaches and professional equipment (gloves and shoes are excluded so take your own). Newbies are also welcome.
4. Walk Around the Gardenesque City
If you are seeking a Southeast Asian township, Vang Vieng is one of the best places. Although it is not a fast-developing city, the people never stop striving to make their home prettier.
Many buildings along the streets are built in the traditional Laos style with pointed triangular roofs and delicate decorative patterns. Some local people also beautify their homes with blooming flowers. If you love photography, you are sure to find a lot of wonderful backgrounds.
5. Make Friends in a Roadside Bar
During the peak season, many travelers from American and European countries go to Vang Vieng. Many of them may come from your country. The roadside bars are often used to find fellow travelers and to make friends.
The televisions in the bars always play drama series from the US or UK, which are also liked by the locals. So bars are great places to get closer to the local youngsters. Although the local people’s English pronunciation can be limited, the language is not generally a barrier if you have similar interests.
6. Visit Vang Vieng Elephant Sanctuary
If you are an animal lover or want a joyful and meaningful day with your family or kids, visiting the elephant sanctuary is an excellent choice.
Different from the zoos and circuses you have visited, the elephant sanctuary is not a place that treats elephants as showpieces or playthings but a place built by volunteers to save those animals who used to be enslaved.
There, you can see another lifestyle between humans and nature — not owners and belongings but friends who live together. You can learn about the protection of elephants, help to clean their residences, try to feed them, and enjoy having a mud bath with them.
7. Enjoy the Panoramic View from Pha Ngern Viewpoint
If you have half a day free, enough physical strength, and want to see some magnificent views, you can take a hike to Pha Ngern Viewpoint and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the whole of Vang Vieng.
There are well-preserved stairs and handrails on the way to the first viewpoint but the way to the higher viewpoint is more challenging. It may take 4 to 5 hours to get to the higher viewpoint and descend again. Reaching the top can be tiring but the 360-degree view is rewarding.
8. Go Higher in a Hot-Air Balloon
If going up to the higher viewpoint is not enough for you, why not ascend higher in a hot-air balloon?
A tour company there provides this experience and you can book a ticket from your hotel. The price is about 1,000,000 kip (about 100 USD) per ride. You are recommended to do this as your last activity in Vang Vieng so that you can review all the places you have visited.
Enjoy Vang Vieng Activities with Us
We will help you to manage your experiences in Vang Vieng and book everything for you. Just leave all the stress to us and enjoy a smooth tour in the charming city.
Check out our most popular Laos tour for reference and add Vang Vieng as one of the destinations: