Laos III: Vang Vieng – The City of Wild Parties and Beautiful Mountains - VIDEO
Vang Vieng is about 4 hours ride from the capital in the direction to Luang Prabang on the Nam Song river. There is no other way to reach it than by some vehicle, fortunately the road going there is one of the best in the country. You can choose from a variety of private minibuses. The best is to take a public bus. They are cheaper and more comfortable. Only be sure to book your ticket ahead as they sell out pretty fast.
Everyone who has already been to Vang Vieng will think of „tubing“, a ride in the river on rubber tubes. It doesn’t sound particularly interesting. Yet in Vang Vieng, they made this activity perfect as they built many bars alongside the river where you can take a break. It is almost impossible to reach the finish sober. Most of people continue to some bar in Vang Vieng right away. Bars there close late in the evening and prices are dangerously low.
Vang Vieng was formerly known for really cheap accommodation. This, however, has been changing fast in recent years - it is increasingly popular among Chinese, Japanese, and mostly Koreans. They ask for better quality instead of low prices. Still, you can easily find a room for two for 70 thousand kips, about 200 crowns.
It would be a pity to visit Vang Vieng for endless parties and cheap alcohol. The area around it is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. And I have seen only a fragment of it The city is located in a vast karst territory. Except for beautiful rocks and views there are many karst caves . Some of it is open to the public upon paying a small admission. Don’t expect concrete pathsways and electric lights. At the entrance, you are given a headlamp (try if it works!) and then it is only up to you where you go. You can also hire a guide. If you do, then expect him to ask you usually a ridiculous money after you get outside.
You find several waterfalls and lakes around Vang Vieng including the famous Blue Lagoon where many travel to swim in it. Tourist agencies offer you climbing activities and mountain treks. These can be fascinating experience. I also recommend you to take a stroll in local fields and pasture lands. It takes you to a different world.
Once in Laos, don’t miss Vang Vieng. I think a day and a night would be sufficient. There are even more beautiful places in the country that are not infected with excessive tourism.
Text/photo/video: Matouš Vinš
Hudba: Graphiqs Groove
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