Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is a tourism-oriented town located in Vientiane Province about four hours bus ride north of the capital. The town lies on the Nam Song river. The most notable feature of the area is the karst hill landscape surrounding the town.

Vang Vieng has become a backpacker-oriented town, with the main street featuring guesthouses, bars, restaurants, internet cafes, tour agencies, and western tourists. Attractions of the town include inner tubing and kayaking on the Nam Song River, which, until the third quarter of 2012, was lined with bars selling Beer Lao and Lao-Lao, and equipped with rope swings, zip lines, and large decks for socializing.

vang vieng

The Vang Vieng local community has organized themselves into a cooperative business association to sell tubing as an activity, in a system in which 1,555 participating households are divided into 10 village units, with each village unit taking its turn on a ten-day rotation to rent inner-tubes to the tourists. During the wet season, the river can be a series of rapids. Other activities include trekking and rock climbing in the limestone mountains. There are also numerous caves, such as Tham Phu Kham cave half an hour north of Vang Vieng or the Tham Non and Tham Jang caves closer to Vang Vieng. A market located five kilometers north of the town sells Lao textiles, household items, and foodstuffs. The town is situated on the main north-south highway, Route 13 from Luang Prabang to the capital, Vientiane. It is about eight hours by bus to Luang Prabang and four hours to Vientiane (152 km).


Just a short walk from town are many ethnic Lao, Kmou, and Hmong villages, while Vang Vieng Organic Farm is located around 4 km north of the town in the village of Phoudindaeng. There are also opportunities for community involvement such as teaching, while it's also possible to stay in a house made of mud bricks at the organic farm.

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