Vang Vieng
Laos
By Chelsie Kozera

Sa-bai-dee!” is the greeting you’ll commonly hear from the mouths of the meek and lovable Lao people.  Four hours north of the capital is the sleepy town of Vang Vieng, Laos: a party place and peaceful tourist town just the same.  The landlocked country of Southeast Asia is known for its roads less traveled and the kindness of its country’s people. In Vang Vieng you’ll most likely find yourself enjoying a Beer Lao and floating down the Nam Song River on an inner tube.

This backpackers’ hub doesn’t have an airport, but you can fly into Vientiane’s Wattay International airport (VTE) only a four hour bus ride from Vang Vieng or fly into Luang Prabang International airport (LPQ) a 7 hour bus ride to Vang Vieng. The carriers that commonly fly into Laos are Bangkok Airways, Lao Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines. Tickets to this uncommon location can be pricey, but if you book your flight to Laos with WhatsCheaper.com you’ll find the best deals (http://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php).

Since you’ve just spent big bucks on a plane ticket to your exotic vacation destination, you may be worried about budgeting for the rest of the trip. Don’t fret because everything else on your vacation will be unbelievably affordable.  There are no districts in this oasis along the river, but WhatsCheaper.com would recommend accommodations near the water. You can enjoy river view bungalows and hotels for an affordable rate. Book your hotel by clicking here. (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php)

You cannot take a trip to Vang Vieng without experiencing tubing. Riding an inner tube down the Nam Song River where bars, water slides, rope swings, alcoholic beverages, loud music, drinking games, and hundreds of carefree tourists polluting the river banks is an experience completely unique to this area. A total of twenty odd bars line the river and young natives are waiting to toss you an anchor to pull you in so you can enjoy the different festivities at each bar. WhatsCheaper.com warns you to be careful during the rainy season (June through August) because a fast-moving river, an inner tube, and alcohol can be a deadly combination. If enjoyed responsibly tubing in Vang Vieng is a blast!

Tubing is what Vang Vieng is noted for but not the only activity in town. Renting bikes or scooters is a perfect way to explore the limestone landscape that makes up Laos. The countryside is so incredible, especially during the rainy season when everything is lush and green.  You can rent a bike for as little as $1/day and a motorbike for about $8/day. Bikes are a nice way to get around while you search for “The Blue Lagoon.” Vang Vieng has a true blue lagoon equip with rope swings, a bar, and thatched roof pavilions. This lagoon is only a few kilometers outside of town, but beware that there are many lagoons that claim to be “The Blue Lagoon.” These imposters are equally as fun and less crowded, but not as large and blue. 

While you’re biking around try to stop at the many temples and caves that Vang Vieng has to offer. Some interesting temples to visit are Past Wat Klang and Wat That, walkable from the center of town. You can also book tours with companies in Vang Vieng to take you on an all day excursion of caving, trekking, and kayaking. You can even kayak through a river cave. WhatsCheaper.com recommends Green Discovery for all your Lao tours. They provide you with an English speaking guide, they’re extremely affordable, and go above and beyond to make sure you’re enjoying your trip whether it’s just one day or multiple. This backpacker’s town in Southeast Asia is a great vacation destination to explore the outdoors.

But if you’re having a tubing hangover day, then Vang Vieng has plenty of western restaurants uniquely equip with televisions that play Friends and Family Guy on repeat. Enjoy lying on the floor amongst pillows as you kick back to watch some familiar television on your lazy day in Laos.

Whether you’re going to Vang Vieng to explore the breathtaking limestone landscape or you’re anticipating falling into a Beer Lao coma while tubing the river, WhatsCheaper.com knows you will have an exotic and relaxing vacation in this country less traveled.

MUST SEE IN Vang Vieng LIST:

  • 1. Tham Chang Cave
  • 2. Green Discovery Kayaking
  • 3. Tubing the Mekong
  • 4. Motobike Tours
  • 5. Rock Climbing
  • 6. Lusi & Pha Poak Caves
  • 7. Lao Massage
  • 8. Cooking Classes
  • 9. Organic Farms
  • 10. Boat Tours

Vang Vieng EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. Pii Mao - April
  • 2. Boun Bang Fai - May
  • 3. Boun Ork Pansa Festival - October
  • 4. Lao National Day - December

PHOTO GALLERY