Top 10 Things to Do in Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng, a small riverside town, is 150 kilometers from Vientiane. Blessed with picturesque landscapes, towering limestone cliffs, and the turquoise river, Vang Vieng is known as the party central for backpackers. If you have no idea for what to do in this lovely town, the list of top 10 things to do in Vang Vieng may help you.

1. Hot Air Balloon Ride

There is nothing more amazing than floating in the hot airballoon basket high above this charming town. A professional pilot will guide you so you don't have to be too worried. Besides, in Vang Vieng, the company Balloon over Vang Vieng has taken visitors on these air flights for many years. Despite the high price, about $90 per person, it is so worthwhile because you will have a chance to see the green Laotian landscape at an elevation of 900 meters (2,950 feet). In order to secure a spot, you should email to your travel agencies in advance and pay upon arrival in Vang Vieng.

Price: $90 per person through Wonderful Tours

Schedule: 6 am – 5 pm

things to do in vang viengFlying over Mountains in Vang Vieng on Hot Air Balloon

2. Tubing

Going tubing down the exotic Nam Song River in Vang Vieng will bring you relaxing moments. Just rent a tube, catch a free ride up the river, float your way back down and enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding you. There are many bars opening along the route so do not miss sipping some Beerlao here. The best time of the year to go tubing is during the dry season (November to March) when the river flows slower, which helps you get more time to enjoy floating along.

Price: 55,000 Kip ($6.8) for tube rental, 60,000 Kip ($7.4) for deposit

Note: be sure to return the tube by 6 pm or you will be fined.

things to do in vang vieng 2Tubing and Relaxing in Vang Vieng

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3. Exploring Water Cave (Tham Nam)

Opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm

The Water Cave (Tham Nam) is one of the most popular caves in Vang Vieng. When you arrive at Tham Nam, you will be given a tube and then pull yourself along a rope into the darkness. Then, inside the cave, you will keep floating along in total darkness but it is likely to get a head torch so as to see all around. The cave is not large so you can make it through in about 30 minutes. But be sure to consider your safety. To rent a tube and a torch, you need to spend 10,000 Kip ($1.25).

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4. Exploring Elephant Cave (Tham Chang)

This cave is easily reached by a 20-30 minute walk from the town, across the Nam Song River and rice paddies. There is a small lagoon at this cave that you can splash around in if you want. In addition, the inside of the cave is well lit and easy to explore, which makes it a perfect place for the beginners who desire to get a good introduction to Lao caves.

Note: you have to pay a toll of 2,000 Kip (about 25 cent) to cross a bridge before reaching Tham Chang. Also, the entrance fee to the cave is 15,000 Kip (around $1.84).

things to do in vang vieng 5Stunning Rock Formations inside Tham Chang Cave

5. Rock climbing

The limestone mountains of Laos have several crags which is ideal for rock climbing. If you are worried about having limited experience, you can hire a guide and rent equipment from one of several rock-climbing schools like Adam’s Climbing School. During the course, you will be taught tope-rope climbing, belay techniques, safety measures, and basic climbing techniques. There are three options to choose, from Half Day Course for the beginners, Full Day Course, to Three Day Course with the fee from $25 - $165. 

You can contact Adam’s Climbing School at (020) 5656 4499, (020) 5501 0832

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6. Cooling off at the Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon, which is 7 kilometers from the city center, is a great place to escape Lao heat. Apart from having crystal blue water, the lagoon is filled with a lot of colorful fishes. You can try the swing and jump into the lagoon from the top of a big tree. In case you cannot swim, just rent a life jacket or tube from one of the on-site vendors. However, before that, make sure to visit the cave in the mountain nearby. The climb only takes you 15 minutes and once at the entrance, you should spend at least an hour to exploring the cave. Flashlights that help you explore some of the deepest, darkest parts of the cave are available to rent for a few thousand Kip.

Opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm

Admission fee: 10,000 Kip ($1.25)

things to do in vang vieng 7Blue Lagoon - A Paradise of Happiness in Vang Vieng

7. Kayaking

Kayaking in Vang Vieng is an amazing way to explore the Nam Song River. During the dry season, the river is very calm so paddling is hardly necessary and you can just float along while viewing the around beautiful nature. In contrast, in the wet season, the river flows much faster. You can rent a kayak for half day or full day from one of many tour companies. Usually, the kayaking can be combined with some exploration of caves such as Tham Nam or Tham Chang. The price for a day trip is about $12.25. To protect your belongings, you should buy dry bags to hold your phone or wallet.

things to do in vang vieng 8Kayaking with Friends on Nam Song River

8. Sampling the local food

There are tons of affordable and delicious places to eat in Vang Vieng. Get your culinary adventure by dropping into some local restaurants that serve authentic Lao food. Especially, the evening barbecue joints at the north end of the town are where you can enjoy the tastiest grilled duck, pork, and chicken. Furthermore, you should also try the baguette sandwich and banana pancake at the street food stands

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9. Having a Crazy Night in the Urban Jungle

Forget about having a night out at the bars and go to a wild jungle party. This weekly event is one of the biggest ones in Vang Vieng that you should not miss. Don’t let the name fool you since “jungle” in Vang Vieng means ‘someone’s backyard with potted plants scattered around’. Just immerse yourself into the excitement of the party while listening to the latest EDM music in someone’s backyard. To get to the party, take a free tuk-tuk out from the city center.

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10. Connecting with your Inner Farmer

If you want to enjoy the slow pace of life, you can spend your time at one of two local farms. Mr T’s Organic Farm, which is in the north of downtown Vang Vieng, specializes in producing mulberry wine and goat cheese. Staying at the farm, you can help out with daily tasks such as caring for the goats, feeding the guinea pigs, or assisting at the nearby community center. Another choice is SAE LAO Project, out by the Blue Lagoon, where the flat daily fee gets you room and two meals a day. You can do whatever tasks for the day, then watch the sunset over the fish pond after finishing all the farm work.

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To sum up, natural adventure center is the appropriate label given to Vang Vieng. Please do not limit yourself to one activity, take advantage of the endless fun in Vang Vieng and you will have an unforgettable trip to this small piece of heaven in the middle of Laos.


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Brian Vu

Working for a travel company is a big chance for me to feel love with travel. Specially, leisure is not my style, riding motorbike to discover everywhere is really great for my trips. On each miles I reach, I get opportunity to learn more about the local culture, to see ... [View Details...]