Vang Vieng is renowned for tubing (Read more here) but no one has really mentioned much more than that. We did a post on the Do’s and Don’t’s of Chiang Mai and received some positive feedback so thought we would try another for one of our top destinations thus far.
Do actually go! We have met a lot of people who had been put off by the “reputation” and tubing and didn’t actually go, there is so much to do and see or alternatively a great place to relax and should be a priority if you do go to Laos.
Do be prepared for the rough bus journey to and from Vang Vieng, the roads are surprisingly smooth for Laos but they need to be as the winding roads are quite difficult to accommodate if you do suffer from travel sickness. Try and concentrate on the stunning views.
Do go Tubing. As we write this the bars are closed… bar one (no pun intended). The views along the river are stunning and it’s something that we will never forget. If you do want the “Full Tubing” experience then we advice to stock up at the nearest 7 Eleven. Please be careful and drink responsibly as we didn’t see any life guards or forms of safety.
Do visit Tham Chang (Tham means cave), it was well-lit and bigger than we expected. As you come out of the cave follow it round to the right and there is a small but incredibly clear stream that comes out of the mountain that you can swim in.
Do take a trip on a hot air balloon, it cost $80 and can be taken in the morning or afternoon. We didn’t ourselves (as we’re cheap) but friends of ours who did said the views were stunning.
Don’t cycle to the “Blue Lagoon” (Read here). It’s seven kilometers of the worst road in Laos. You can pick up a Tuk Tuk for 20,000 Kip per person and that is return. If you insist on cycling then pay the little extra and pick up a mountain bike.
Don’t sit and watch the bars that play endless episodes of FRIENDS, South Park and Family Guy. If you actually walk through to the back of these bars you will find tables overlooking the view of the Nam Song river and Red Rock… We are guilty of doing this ourselves and speak from experience.
Don’t book a tour from your Hotel, Hostel, Guesthouse. We booked from a shop for our tour (Read here) for 90,000 Kip and people in our guesthouse paid 150,000 Kip from the guesthouse for the same tour!
Have we missed anything out? Let us know and comment below!