Located in central Laos, Vang Vieng is a small town located by the river. It's known for parties, river tubing and adventurous activities.
Things to do
The beautiful blue water makes Blue Lagoon a popular attraction in Vang Vieng. There's also a tree you can jump off as well. We personally didn't like it too much because it was overcrowded. However, Tham Phu Kham Cave is amazing! There's a Buddhist shrine, but it was defaced when we got there. So please be respectful. You can rent a headlamp for 10,000 kip.
There's an entrance fee of 10,000 kip.
2) River tubing
This is the most popular attraction in Vang Vieng. Tubing costs 55,000 kip with a deposit of 60,000 kip. They drop you off upstream and pick you up down the river. It's the perfect activity for a lazy hot day.
This used to be party central for backpackers, but now many of the bars along the river have closed down due to safety concerns. But don't let that stop you from having a good time!
There's so many caves to choose from. Grab a bike and cross the bridge to the other side of the river. If you take a left and bike along the same path for Blue Lagoon, there are many signs for different caves along the way. If you take a right, then you'll head towards Lusi Cave - there's a lagoon in the cave, but it's pitch black.
4) Adventure treks
There's so many adventure treks to choose from: kayaking, caving, rafting, zip-lining, biking tours, tubing and visiting waterfalls. Head to any tour agency to learn more.
5) Hot Air Balloon
For around $80 USD, you can go on a hot air balloon ride over Vang Vieng. Take a sunrise or a sunset ride for beautiful view. We heard it's about a half hour ride. It's also good to check the weather to see if it's hazy or not.
Where to eat
Amigo's Vang Vieng
If you have a Mexican food craving, you can get your fix here. From tacos and quesadillas to fajitas and Chimichangas, Amigo's has it all. Try the supreme tacos and nachos!
Luang Prabang Bakery
This bakery has everything you need: baked goodies, good atmosphere and reliable Wi-Fi. However, it does come with a price. A brownie cost us 30,000 kip and ice coffee was 20,000 kip.
These can be found all over the streets in Vang Vieng. Make sure to try a sandwich before you leave. They're pretty filling and range from 10,000 kip to 30,000 kip. Fruit shakes are 10,000 kip.
The local restaurants are pretty cheap. Fruit shakes are 5,000 - 7,000 kip and dishes range between 15,000 - 45,000 kip. The best part about them are the comfortable lounging tables you can sit at. They also play Friends re-runs all day, so we ended up spending a little too much time there.
Where to stay
It's hard to beat the price for a private room at 60,000 kip. It's a small room with little space, but decent enough if you're on a budget. Just note that they advertise hot water, but our shower was cold. So make sure you check before committing to the room.