Arrival

The trip through the countryside of Vang Vieng is incredible. The route from Luang Prabang is only 4 hours and with the views, time will honestly fly by. With the bus rolling high with mountainous scenery, you can’t help but be away with the clouds – quite literally.

To read our previous trip in Luang Prabang, read here

Accommodation

There are so many accommodation providers in Vang Vieng. But, as long as you are near the main hub you will have access to bars, clubs and restaurants at your door step. The place we stayed was called Malay Villa 2. Right in the centre of everything, we were able to experience what Vang Vieng had to offer without venturing too far out.

Nightlife

Vang Vieng is known as the party capital of Laos. The only city with no curfew. Whilst by Thailand standards it wasn’t as impressive, it was still a nice contrast to the usual sleepy way of life in Laos. With two main nightclubs and countless bars it was easy to have a good variety of atmospheres. That being said the recent influx of Chinese and Korean tourists has changed the types of music and cultures of the nightlife but it was by no means worse by our reckoning, if anything it was better.

Tubing

Being the #1 activity in Vang Vieng, you have to have this on your itinerary. Although it comes with a sad past, it’s still a great way to spend time. Honeycombed with mountains complemented with the Sam Song river at its foot – it’s a no-brainer. Floating along in, what can only be described as a tractor tube. Whilst, the sun beats down on you with a few friends. The day gets better with a handful of bars draped alongside the river for you to grab a beer. How? Well, the owners drag you in via a rope they’ve just thrown into the river – it is so surreal. You must try it for only £12! (£6 redeemable deposit when you return the tube)

Vang Vieng’s Horror stories

Not to scare you, but it is worth mentioning as to why ‘tubing isn’t as good as it used to be’. If you were to go back roughly 5 years (before the ban in 2012), it used to be more party than what the average backpacker would experience now. This is due to many people passing away due to irresponsible drinking. Therefore, Laos decided to put a few bans in place to stop this horror from ever repeating. So, now there’s not as many bars or activities to go as you’re floating along.

Food

There’s so many good food places here! Several different cuisines to master your tastebuds. From succulent Chinese, to missed western to typical Asian foods, you will never be disappointed – only stuck with which one to choose. Some favourites are listed below;

  • Gary’s Irish Bar – believe it or not, an Irish bar. But, with the most amazing dishes you can ever imagine. It’s perfect if you are really missing home and missing mum’s cooking! It’s not #1 on Trip Advisor for nothing!
  • Luang Prabang Bakery – in Vang Vieng? We know. Regardless of the name, this place makes you have a food orgasm. From cakes, to pastries, to every flavour smoothies and coffees – it’s obvious why we went here every morning.
  • Earths recycle bar – Despite not being in the ‘centre’ it’s only a 5 minute walk. Relaxing atmosphere, chilled music and a-mazzz-ing food. Hammocks you can lay in, river that you can wistfully overlook and swings where you feel like a child again – it’s one to add to the list.

Chilling

Similar to Don Det (4000 Islands), Vang Vieng is the main place to chill in Laos. Mainly due to all the hangovers you wake up the next day with. There are many activities to fill up with your days both adventurous and easy-going. These include hostel pools, blue lagoons, cycling and ‘friends’ bars. If you thought nothing was better than sitting on the sofa at home, eating crap watching friends on Comedy Central’s repeats… your dream has come true, the place where you can do just that.

Tham Chang Cave

Caves tower all almost Vang Vieng. One of the main ones in which you can visit are the Tham Chang Caves which are located about a 15 minute drive from the town centre. Walking over the orange brass bridge to walk up what seems like a mountain of stairs, to an amazing geological masterpiece. This cave is massive in size, it’s defiantly something you should experience if you are nearby.

What’s next?

Over the next couple of days, we are taking various trips to the south of Laos. This starts with leaving at 10am the following day to arrive in Vientiane.

Tips

  • Go with an open mind if you’re tubing, you will still have fun if you don’t compare to how it used to be
  • Research about what Blue Lagoon to go to, as they’re quite far away from each other.
  • Here they sometimes suffer with ATM issues, but not having enough cash – try and draw some out prior to coming here if it’s a short stay for you.
  • Eat at Gary’s Irish Bar – trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

About The Author

Wanderlust Lab is a collaboration between Abbie and Luke for the sharing of travelling knowledge to help backpackers and travellers all across the globe. Live Wanderlust.

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