Vang Vieng - The tranquil and dreamy town of Laos

Vang Vieng is a small town located in the mountains of central Laos, known for its breathtaking natural scenery and outdoor activities. Let's dive into Vang Vieng travel guide for your unforgettable trip!

About Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is located in Vientiane Province, 150 kilometers north of Vientiane, about four hours bus ride north of the capital. This small town sits between Vientiane and Luang Prabang, on the Nam Song River and is set in the middle of towering limestone karst and paddy fields.

Tubing is one of the top things to do of Van Vieng, you will regularly see young travelers sitting in large inner tubes floating downstream of Nam Song River.

With so much natural beauty, it has a few stunning blue lagoons which are pleasant to swim in. You can also explore a limestone cave above the lagoon – inside. Also, there are tons of bars and restaurants and accommodations to fit every budget. Vang Vieng is a town well worth a few days of outdoor fun on any itinerary of Laos.

Best time to visit Vang Vieng

The best time to visit Vang Vieng is during the dry season from November to March, when temperatures are slightly cooler and more pleasant. While the temperatures in the hot season - from March to May can reach 40ºC or higher. From May to October is the rainy season and the rains can make traveling around more challenging.

Where to visit in Vang Vieng

Blue Lagoon 3

There are diverse blue lagoons in Vang Vieng for you to choose from but if you are looking for an equally turquoise-colored natural pool and non-touristy, then Blue Lagoon 3 will be a perfect choice for you when this is an entirely remote place and a virtuous opportunity to challenging experience a true adventure against the path that fills with bumpy.

It might make you miserable a little bit to ride with the rough route, but while you keep riding along the way there will make you will get better because of the mind-blowing and extraordinary panorama along with the rice paddies on the roadside and limestone karsts throughout the journey. You can stop taking photos at plenty of spots, whether on the limestone karsts, with blue sky and farmland as backgrounds and furthermore.

While the Blue Lagoon 1 is the most well-known, which also makes it the most crowded, it is the easiest one to get to from the centre town; and the Blue Lagoon 2 is worthy for a relaxing laid-back day as the are several of pools, ziplines, swings, and deck chairs.

The Blue Lagoon 3 is located around an hour ride away from Vang Vieng city and it is the farthest blue lagoon among Blue Lagoon 1 and 2 but it similarly has a round-shaped natural pool, several swings, the bamboo rafts floating on the lagoon, and even a huge flat tree walk, where you can try your balancing skills plus a zip-line crosses the lagoon which is requiring you to drop off in the middle of the lagoon and there are tubes and kayak boat for renting as well.

Apart from that, there are numerous chill-out huts which is one of the advantages of this spot and a small stall where you can grab some food.

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Blue Lagoon 3 zipline

Nam Xay Viewpoint

Your Vang Vieng itinerary can't complete without Nam Xay Viewpoint. Just cross the wooden bridge after Riverside Boutique Hotel on the other opposite of Nam Song River and continue on the track to Blue Lagoon 1. Before arriving at the lagoon, turn left onto the dirt path and you will encounter a hut within a parking area with a sign representing the start of the trail.

This is one of the best sites for a spectacular view of Vang Vieng and the climb is nearly 20-30 minutes. Upon arriving at the top, you can soak in the incredible views of the jagged limestone cliffs, lush forests, and rice fields while catching your breath and relaxing in the hammocks.

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Panoramic view from Nam Xay Viewpoint

Tham Nangfa (Angel Cave)

Vang Vieng has amazing countless caves waiting for you to explore and one of them is the new cave that was recently uncovered by the owner of the land so-called Tham NangFa (Angel Cave) which is located on the banks of Nam Song River around approx. 5 kilometers from the town at Wan-Sa-Ngao village in the north of Vang Vieng.

This grotto is considered a big cave with spotlights that filling by the huge limestone and spectacular stalactites in various unique formations. Take a guided or self-guided tour walk through the grand hall, along the roadside into an alley, and relish the attractiveness of stalactites that was hidden in this cave.

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Angel Cave, Vang Vieng, Laos

Furthermore, after completing the exploration here, you can continue to sightsee the next by a cave named “Tham None” that has water inside it then ziplining along the Nam Song River to admire the aesthetic overview of the river, cliffs, and mountains from on high.

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Tham Nam Water Cave

Tham Nam Water Cave is one of the most remarkable natural highlights of Vang Vieng. There is a river system with 15 kilometers long from Vang Vieng town running within the cave that is accessible by road.

You will need to use a tube to get into the water cave. Then through a system of ropes attached to the end of the cave, you pull yourself within the water cave system.

Once you reach the end of the rope system, it is towards the deeper areas where you will be required to swim.

Besides the Water Cave, there is an extensive zipline platform with cable bridges, treetop views/tree houses that are not to be missed.

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Than Nam Cave, Vang Vieng, Laos

Pha Ngeun (Silver Cliff)

Among many impressive geological wonders in Vang Vieng Pha Ngeun (Silver Cliff) rises 250 meters high and offers stunning views of Vang Vieng from its top. It takes a bit of a climb to reach the peak then from the cliff, you can look down on the forests, rice fields, and villages below as well as across the valley to Pha Boua Mountain.

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Sunset at Pha Ngeun

Tham Chang Cave

Considered by several as Vang Vieng, most important cave, Tham Chang (or Tham Jung) was used to be the home for migrating people, who stayed near the town’s southern Meuang Xong Village to grow vegetables. The locals found the cave during the civil war while seeking a place to hide from dangers which is deep in the forest. As its high setting offered a perfect view of Vang Vieng, the entire village moved there to get through the war without involving it.

After years during the colonial era, the local returned to cultivating the nearby fields and would bathe in the cave’s basin, where the water was frosty, they said it could freeze your legs to a firm stiffness. Then they adjusted the cave’s name to Tham Jung, which means “unable to move”.

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The bridge leads to Tham Chang Cave

Wat That

Wat That is the largest and the most well-maintained temple in Vang Vieng. The temple is fairly large compared to other temples in other small towns in Laos.

There are several buildings at Wat That which is a functional Buddhist temple with resident monks. The largest and most ornate of these buildings in the main prayer hall.

Undoubtedly, the oldest part of Wat That is the chedi tower which has been faded over time. Chedi towers are the oldest part of Buddhist temples in Asia as the solid construction tends to outlast the buildings which often need to be replaced.

Ban Tham Xang

Journey North of Vang Vieng - a gathering place of four caves across the Nam Xong to explore the Ban Tham Xang (Elephant Cave) at its gateway.

Northmost is Tham Hoy (Shell Cave), which is named after Hoysang, a hero who protected his aunt from giants in this tunnel with no known end.

Moving south along by the canal, Tham Loup (Hole Cave) appears as a huge cleft created by Laos’ massive mythological elephant to hide from his enemies. Further along, the 500m-long Tham Nam (Water Cave) was once an intricate wooden irrigation system and now a mysterious experience for thrill-seekers. It takes 40 minutes to pull yourself through the cave using a rope. Depending on the season, you may have to walk with your tube over certain parts of the cave.

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The elephant-shaped rock in Ban Tham Xang

Nightlife activities in Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng Walking Street

Walking Street is located on a side road of the main north to the south road in Vang Vieng town. It’s close to most accommodations in the town, just need a 5-minute walk or less. And during the high season, it’s one of the liveliest places to visit during the night in Vang Vieng.

There are countless clothing stalls on Walking Street. If you need to buy clothes to change or find some t-shirts with unique print style as the souvenir, this is a good place to take a visit.

Walking Street is also the best place in town to buy for some souvenirs and gifts. A wide range of items is sold here. If you search around, there are some genuinely interesting items on sale.

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Vang Vieng Night Market

Sakura Bar

Sakura is an ideal spot for party-lovers as it is a place for dance parties. The bar has a big open patio and disco dance floor, catchy music, cocktails, fancy light...

Smile Beach Bar

Reach the mega-chill riverside bar by crossing the footbridge to Don Khang, this is an ideal place for an afternoon or sunset drink. You can order a glass of beer and swing in a hammock or dip your toes in the river.

Smile Beach Bar is the end of the line for tubing – a popular activity along Nam Song River for both locals and tourists.

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The view from Smile Beach Bar can bring you a whole relax afternoon

Vang Vieng is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Laos. So pack your bags and head to Vang Vieng for an experience you'll never forget!

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