Vang Vieng Travel Guide

Most people traveling through Laos wind up in Vang Vieng sooner or later. Once just a dusty bus station on the way to Vientiane, this picturesque village is really throwing itself at backpackers these days.

Many people who arrive in Vang Vieng feel slightly let down by the contrived nature of the village. Restaurants show Friends reruns throughout the day and night, there are plenty of cheap guesthouses and bars, and most restaurants serve a selection of backpacker favorites such as pizza, pasta and spicy curry.

However, the tranquil atmosphere of Vang Vieng is very addictive. The landscape is incredibly serene and picturesque; beyond the sparkling river, sheer limestone cliffs rise from a plateau of paddy fields. The river is spanned by a number of wooden bridges, which despite their flimsy appearance complement the scenery perfectly.

Walking through the scenic landscape is also popular and there are some beautiful caves to explore on the far side of the river. Alternatively, if you fancy something a bit more energetic, why not hire an inner tube and float away down the river? As they say, if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them!

Getting There & Away

Most visitors travel to Vang Vieng by bus from the capital city of Vientiane, which takes three of four hours, while others travel from Luang Prabang in the west, which takes around eight hours in total, including time for the bus to break down on the way.

Things to Do

Vang Vieng Attractions

Tubing down the river

A popular backpacker pastime, floating down the river is a good way to see the mountains that line the river.

Tham Jang

Climb the 147 steps for enchanting views of the surrounding countryside and sparkling rocks inside.

Lao-style steam sauna

The perfect way to sooth sore muscles.

Vang Vieng Resort

Set in a large, picturesque garden with a large cable bridge spanning the river.

Blue Lagoon

Take a boat trip down the river and hike through the countryside to discover the sleeping golden buddha in golden cave.

The scenery

Hire a bicycle or moped and simply explore.