4 Great Things to do in Vang Vieng

20. July 2019

Vang Vieng used to be a classical backpacker destination and famous for mainly one thing – tubing. Because those backpackers consumed lots of alcohol and drugs and performed some stupid stunts, a relatively large number of them died. In 2011 there were 27 tourist deaths recorded and therefore the government ended this Sodom and Gomorrah.

After the government clean out more reasonable backpackers came but also a lot of Korean tourists arrived. They still like to party but they come mainly to enjoy the mountains, caves, lagoons and rice paddies surrounding the city which are simply breathtaking.

1. Go tubing

After the many deaths tubing was first banned but then reinstalled. There is only one operator renting out the tubes and only four bars along the river are permitted to be permanently open. But this is absolutely sufficient and the tubing in this breathtaking landscape a lot of fun.

We did the tubing with a group of Canadians we had met on the Mekong cruise and a group of Koreans that signed up at the same time. It was super relaxing and a so much fun to tube down the river that we immediately wanted to do it again.

2. Cruise through the rice paddies

The landscape with its endless rice paddies and the vertical green limestone mountains is the main attraction of Vang Vieng. Rent a motorbike, cross the toll bridge and drive off into an amazing scenery. There are three blue lagoons to swim in, many caves to explore and even a waterfall to swim in.

We mostly enjoyed the rice paddies and the Laotian farmers working on them. They looked so picturesque and the farmers were in such a good mood that it was infectious. As the roads are very dusty, we wanted to refresh at the Blue Lagoon 1 but it was so overcrowded with Korean tourists that we left after half an hour. At Blue Lagoon 3 we were luckier as there were way less Koreans. And it was so much fun to swing into the water that we didn’t want to leave any more.

3. Climb to the Nam Xay Viewpoint

It is only a 30min climb but so steep and thanks to the high humidity in the Laotian summer so sweat pouring that you reach the viewpoint completely exhausted and dripping wet. But it is so worth the effort, as you reach a little platform on top of this needle and are able to enjoy a 360° round view that is probably one of the best in the world. And then there is a motorbike.

We weren’t sure if we should really take this climb as we were already suffering from all the sweat and dust. But then we couldn’t resist. We suffered on the way up but when reaching the top, it was hard to describe what we saw. From up there we could overlook the entire mountain range and another pinnacle perfectly placed within an endless sea of rice paddies. And of course we had to climb on the motorbike that some brave people had transported up there and chained to the ground right at the edge.

4. Party with the Koreans

While we weren’t particularly happy with the crowds of Koreans at the Blue Lagoon 1, we enjoyed a lot to party with them at the Sakura Bar. For them Vang Vieng is a typical party destination. They come for a week, cruise around with buggies and party like hell. So, in case you like to party from time to time, they are the perfect crowd to do so.

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