Over the years, Vang Vieng, Laos has gotten a bad reputation for being too touristy and party-driven. Today, some travellers even choose to skip it when planning their backpacking trips.
Don’t make this mistake.
Vang Vieng is a magical place that is NOT to be missed and should definitely be on your bucket list!
Here are 11 Reasons Not to Skip Vang Vieng, Laos:
1. Get the bird’s eye view:
Vang Vieng, Laos is one of the cheapest places in the world to find hot air balloon rides. In Myanmar you’re looking at a $350 price tag and across North America, prices are typically in the $300+ range. It only costs $80 USD for a hot air balloon ride in Vang Vieng!!
2. Conquer a Mountain:
It’s a great place to learn how to rock climb. If you’re a pro there are amazing mountains for you to scale at every turn.
3. Ride a River
Tubing on the Nam Song River is serene. The Nam Song River is lined with the most picturesque scenery you will ever find. Vang Vieng is infamously known for the crazy partying and river tubing where many people have lost their lives. But if you’re not doing drugs or incredibly drunk, there’s no way you should drown in that water. It’s only about 2-3 feet deep (but there is a pretty strong current so be careful). Kayaking down the Nam Song River is also an experience like no other so make sure you try that too!
4. Cave Tubing:
Yes, it is what you think – tubing through a dark cave while pulling on a rope to navigate through the cave and following the light your guide provides. It was so cool!
5. You won’t break the bank
The excursions are incredibly cheap and you can negotiate prices to get better deals! We paid $20 USD (the price for having a group of 3) for a day trip that included cave tubing, kayaking, lunch and the Blue Lagoon!
6. There’s no rush
Vang Vieng is a calm, peaceful place with almost no traffic. You can ride a scooter or an ATV through the desert and feel like it’s all yours while enjoying the most breathtaking scenery in the world.
7. Affordable alcohol
And by affordable, I mean really, really, REALLY cheap. You can get a bottle of vodka and a bottle of Sprite for the same price. Some hostels even have happy hour where they give you free shots and bottles! Be open and friendly and you will meet so many amazing people!
8. Friends Cafes
They have cafés known as “Friends” Café Why? Because they have the tables set up with lounging pillows and they play episodes of Friends ALL DAY LONG. EVERYDAY. I had a really nice afternoon here recovering from the hangover I got while tubing the day before.
9. The party scene
Partying at Sakura Bar is like a rite of passage in Vang Vieng. There are free drinks between 8 -9. And you also get a free singlet when you buy 2 vodkas! You’ll meet people in other countries sporting these singlets and it’s an instant conversation starter!
There will be no commuting for you because your hostel is guaranteed to be a ten-minute-or-less walk away from nightlife. Kangaroo Sunset Bar, Sakura Bar and Gary’s Irish Bar are all on the same street! I stayed at Real Backpackers hostel which was located right across from Kangaroo Sunset Bar. Real Backpackers was really cheap and had a delicious free breakfast included in the price.
11. The non-party scene
If you don’t want to party, you don’t have to. That’s the great thing about Vang Vieng. There are so many other things to here. All you have to do is give it a chance.
You won’t regret it.