7 Awesome Things to do in Vang Vieng, Laos
These 7 awesome things to do in Vang Vieng, Laos changed the sleepy town Vang Vieng once was.
It became famous when the first hippies arrived and spread the word about the absolutely amazing views, and the tubing was introduced. Today, a lot of activities have developed in the town.
Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Vang Vieng.
1. Hot Air Balloon ride
Being in a hot air balloon was always a childhood dream of mine. Arriving in Vang Vieng, I found out that here it will cost you only 50 USD, and I didn’t think twice. I booked that hot air balloon straight away. It must be the cheapest place in the world to go on a hot air balloon ride. It surely was a dream come true. Even though we crashed (softly) into a tree while landing, the whole ride was absolutely breathtaking, jaw dropping and amazingly fantastic. I am unable to describe it in words, that’s how good it was. The surreal mountains of Vang Vieng with the most beautiful sunsets are just unlike anywhere else, and it must be one of the most awesome things to do in Vang Vieng, Laos, if not the whole world!
2. ATV quad bike / buggy ride through the countryside
The definition of “high on life”, that’s what we called this trip. And it really was one of the most awesome things to do in Vang Vieng, Laos. The buggies are quite expensive (about 150.000 Kip an hour), so we decided to take the ATV bikes, which are 70.000 Kip an hour. We drove around Vang Vieng for two hours, crossing through mud pools, passing villages where kids came running outside screaming “Sabaidee!!!” and families invited us in to drink some traditional Lao Lao whisky with them. The views with the mountains and rice fields are just breathtaking. Being all covered in mud (and some cow poop here and there) makes you feel badass when you return back home.
3. Visit the Blue Lagoon and cave
Best visited in the dry season because in raining season it won’t be blue, but still very enjoyable. In dry season, the blue water looks like a blue sky. Enjoy a cooling swim (very much needed in the heat of Laos), chill out in the swing that hangs in the water, and jump from the tree if you have the guts. Just recently they build a waterslide which you can enjoy unlimited for 10.000 Kip. Really worthwhile is the climb up to the cave, which is enormous and you might get lost in it, but you will always find your way back. You will come across a Buddhist altar which is really nice. Torches are for rent at the entrance (and you’re gonna need one).
4. Tubing down the Nam Khong river
Even though it is not like it was in the old days, tubing is still an absolute must-do while staying in Vang Vieng. The bars are reduced to 7 (watch out, they will tell you in the first bar it’s only 4 bars, not true!) and the swinging ropes have been removed due to a lot of accidents. Now the tubing is relatively safe, a lot more quiet, and still fantastic. Every bar still has some kind of party going on where you can enjoy a game of beer pong, a cocktail or retrieve your next beer to enjoy while chilling in your tube floating down the Nam Khong, meandering through the mountains. Alas, no pictures of this adventure, taking a camera down the river is not that easy…
5. Drink Beer Lao and Enjoy the awesome views
Okay, okay, I know this is what you practically do while tubing, but believe me, you will never, ever, get enough of these views. Pick one of the many riverside restaurants, preferably during sunset. They all have a balcony looking out over the river, sit yourself down in the comfy pillows and mattresses, grab a cold Beerlao and just enjoy and take it all in: a memory to never forget.
6. Mountain biking or hiking through Laos’ countryside
Like said, Vang Vieng is one of the most beautiful places in Laos. There’s a reason why it became so popular, and a really good way of exploring it will be on a mountain bike or just go hiking. There’s a couple of awesome viewpoints and enjoying the local life while cruising on your bicycle is very rewarding. It’s advisable to not do it on a city bike, I know they are cheaper to rent, but the roads are pretty horrible once you get out and you’ll be happy to be on a decent bike with good tires. If you rent a mountain bike you will receive a free map which will point you to either the Blue Lagoon, caves or waterfalls. You can also buy a more detailed map at one of the mini markets for some DIY hiking: take your pick on which awesome things to do in Vang Vieng, Laos!
7. Zip-lining, Via Ferrata and Abseiling
I haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying this myself, but I know Green Discovery just build up this whole parkour, and it should be one of the most awesome things to do in Vang Vieng, Laos. The zip-lines take you over the jungle in between of the mountains and the abseiling goes through a waterfall. How much more exciting can it get?