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An update from Evaneos
Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng (Laos)

Practical information about Vang Vieng

  • Viewpoint
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Mountain
  • River
  • Caves
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
4 hours from Vientiane by bus
When to go
From November to May
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Vang Vieng

Bettina Zourli Travel writer
66 travel articles

Vang Vieng has the reputation of being a destination for backpackers who come to party day and night. Nevertheless, this city and its surroundings are unbelievably beautiful, ideal for hiking.

My suggestion:
Rent a bike in a guesthouse and spend the day to discover the valley. 

Vang Vieng was the great surprise of my trip to Laos. I had heard of the Blue Lagoon, the lake where backpackers from the world over meet to party, but nobody had mentioned there are also plenty of things to do in Vang Vieng. So I took a bike to make a grand tour of the area, a trip of around forty kilometres. On the road, you can stop at several trails that lead up the many mountains. My favourite was the summit of Pha Ngeun which, after an hour of steep uphill climbing, offers a unique view of the valley, the rice fields and the mountains. 

I then stopped at the famous Blue Lagoon: nice but not essential. 

The strong point of the region: you can go there year round. During the rainy season, the lush green landscapes and the rice paddies are breathtaking, and during the dry season you can swim more easily. 

The summit of Pha Ngeun
Travel writer
193 travel articles

Vang Vieng is a town in the centre of Laos. It is on a plain surrounded by karst mountains which dominate the surrounding countryside. The town is well known for welcoming party goers from all over the world.

My suggestion:
If you want a little calm then chose the guesthouses in the south of the town, along the Nam Song river. The atmosphere there is calmer than in the centre, where there are lots of young travellers who go there to party.

Vang Vieng has a reputation for being a den of debauchery where hordes of young western tourists go to indulge in drink and drugs before going tubing, or sailing down river on a big rubber ring. There were a lot of accidents in 2012, which led to a large number of bars being closed, and the town nowadays is slowly becoming more "normal" although the party animals haven't completely abandoned it.

Despite its dodgy reputation Vang Vieng has some great tourist attractions. I encourage you to go there during your trip to Laos and explore the surroundings - there are magnificent mountains, waterfalls and some caves. One of the well known attractions is the Blue Lagoon, a turquoise coloured river where you can swim, although it is a bit over used. On the other hand, just above it is the "Golden Cave" where you will find a golden buddha which is worth a visit. Remember to bring or rent a lamp before going into the cave because, although the entrance is lit by the sunlight, once you go further in it is totally black and easy to get lost - and I know what I'm talking about!

The Golden Cave near Vang Vieng
Marine Faure Travel writer
47 travel articles

Vang Vieng is a small town in Laos 4 hours by road from the capital of Vientiane.

My suggestion:
Hire a bike or a scooter to go and explore the surroundings!

I arrived in Vang Vieng and found a friendly hostel in the middle of the countryside, surrounded by cows, hens, and greenery, with a super view over the surrounding mountains which are nicknamed Ha Long Bay on Land. Guaranteed relaxation!

I rented a bike and cycled along narrow earth roads, which was quite amusing as I had a town bike and, as the roads were more stone than earth, it would have been quicker to walk! In any case, the scenery was magnificent.

I also visited some caves on the route without a guide or ropes, or anything. You pay to get in, are given a torch and then left to get on with it, which was quite scary as in fact it was pretty dangerous, so it's definitely for those who like to get off the beaten path!

Around Vang Vieng