Discover the hidden gem of Vang Vieng, where breathtaking landscapes and adventurous activities await around every corner. There are plenty of things to do in Vang Vieng that you can’t skip this destination when exploring Laos.

Vang Vieng has the wow factor and was one of my favorite places to visit in Laos. The town is jaw droppingly beautiful. Tall dramatic limestone karst mountains jut into the sky as the Nam Song river cuts through the town.

Once a popular backpacker party destination, today Vang Vieng has rebranded itself and is now a popular destination for outdoor adventures including tubing, hiking and rock climbing.  

In this article, we’ll uncover the best things to do in Vang Vieng. After we’ve gone over what to do in Vang Vieng, at the end of this post I’ll also include some practical information that will aid you in your trip to Vang Vieng, including where to stay, best time to visit and any useful tips to know before you go.

Things to do in Vang Vieng, Laos

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Before we get started with all the awesome activities in Vang Vieng, let’s answer the question, is Vang Vieng worth visiting? Vang Vieng offers travelers a unique blend of natural wonders, outdoor adventures, and a social backpacker vibe.

From thrilling outdoor adventures to tranquil river cruises, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this idyllic town. I say without a doubt that Vang Vieng is absolutely worth a visit and you’ll soon understand the charm of this enchanting destination.

Things to do in Vang Vieng

Things to do in Vang Vieng Laos
Tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos

Tubing in Vang Vieng | The Best Thing to do in Vang Vieng

By far the number one thing to do in Vang Vieng is to go tubing down the Nam Song River. This Vang Vieng attraction used to be a giant rager at all times back in the day. It’s since calmed down, but here’s what to expect.

You rent a tube and will get dropped off a couple miles north of town. You will then float down the Nam Song River getting lassoed in by people so you can come to there bar along the river and drink.

Rope swings and slides used to dot the riverbanks but these have claimed a few lives over the years and have since been taken down. Now only a few bars line the Vang Vieng river.

Although it’s not the large production that it once was it is still a highlight of many peoples trip to Vang Vieng. I mean going tubing in Vang Vieng is the main reason that backpackers flock here after all.

Book a Tour →

Go Zip-Lining 

Of course, it couldn’t be an adventurous destination in Southeast Asia without zip-lining. Strap in and soar high above the lush landscapes of Vang Vieng. As you zip from the platform, you’ll be treated with epic views of the Nam Song River.

This is a quicker activity therefore you can pair this thing to do in Vang Vieng with other fun things to do in Vang Vieng.

Book a Tour →

Rent a Buggy

You’ll see many shops where you can rent a dune buggy and explore the area around Vang Vieng. Theres a 24 kilometer loop that has 4 different viewpoints to stop at and go for a hike.

I traveled here during rainy season so being on 4 wheels and romping through the mud made this activity much more enjoyable. I haven’t played in the mud like that since I was a child and it was liberating.

It cost 400,000 to 600,000 KIP to rent the buggy. Choose quality over quantity, you’ll be glad you it.

It also costs 5,000 KIP per person to go to each different viewpoint.  Most of the viewpoints require you to hike up to which leads me to our next topic.

Hiking in Vang Vieng to the Nam Xay Viewpoint

If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’d know that I love to hike. Hiking to Nam Xay Viewpoint was what I was looking forward the most when I was planning to travel here.

The weather had other plans for me. Traveling here during rainy season made this adventure particularly difficult. The Vang Vieng viewpoint(s) that I mentioned earlier are reached by climbing up the fairly steep limestone mountains.

It rained every day of the week that we were here and this made the trails very muddy. If hiking is a top priority make sure you come here during dry season.

Book a Tour →

Hot air ballon ride one of the Best Things to do in Vang Vieng, Laos

Hot Air Balloon Ride | Bucket List Thing to do in Vang Vieng

If you are looking for an incredible journey then you must opt for a hot air balloon ride in Vang Vieng. There’s nothing quite like soaring high above scenic landscapes. Truly a movie scene.

I never personally experienced a hot air balloon ride in Vang Vieng. I did however ride a hot air balloon in Cappadocia and it was life changing. That’s why I suggest you go.

With the gentle hum of the balloon and the majestic scenery unfolding beneath you, it’s a serene and unforgettable experience that offers a bird’s eye view of epic natural beauty.

Blue Lagoon Vang Vieng

The Blue Lagoon is another one of the best things to do in Vang Vieng. This beautiful lagoon, surrounded by lush jungles, is the perfect place to go swimming.

Adventure travelers can partake in the rope swing that hangs over the water and go cliff jumping. Plus, it’s very photogenic.

It’s located about 5 miles outside of town and is often paired with exploring the Phu Kham Cave. It’s a short steep climb to get to the entrance of the cave and it cost 10,000 KIP to enter.

 Book a Tour →

Go Kayaking

Kayaking is one of the most popular things to do in Vang Vieng. As you paddle along the Nam Song River, you’ll be surrounded by towering limestone karst mountains, lush greenery, and rice paddies.

With the opportunity to spot wildlife, discover hidden caves, and swimming spots along the way, kayaking in Vang Vieng promises a great adventure.

Book a Kayak Tour →

Go Caving

Another one of the best things to do in Vang Vieng is to go caving. The most enjoyable cave is Pho Thao. This cave is full of stalagmites and stalactites and you can explore it for over a mile.

There will be times that you’ll be in water up to chest deep so make sure you wear clothes that will be comfortable in the water. A dry bag is necessary to keep your belongings dry.

Book a Tour →

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Rock Climbing in Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is a popular destination for rock climbers as rock climbing offers thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts an exhilarating experience amidst the stunning limestone karst formations that characterize this region’s landscape.

With towering cliffs, dramatic overhangs, and challenging routes, rock climbing is one of the best things to do in Vang Vieng. There are several tour companies that will take you out for half day and day climbs.

Book a Tour →

Vieng Travel Guide Tips

How to Get to vang vieng

Vang Vieng is located in the middle of Laos so getting here takes some time and forethought. There is a small airport in the middle of the town that you can fly into (most expensive) but most people arrive by bus.

How to get to Vang Vieng from Vientiane? Buses Vientiane to Vang Vieng takes 3-4 hours.

How to get to Vang Vieng from Luang Prabang? Buses from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng take 4-6 hours.

The buses pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the Vang Vieng bus station in the middle of town. Roads aren’t the best as most are unpaved and full of pot holes. But it gets you to your destination.

How to go from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang? There are multiple buses that run Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang if you’re starting from Southern Laos and working your way up North.

How to go from Vang Vieng to Vientiane? The Vang Vieng to Vientiane bus takes 4 hours and costs $9.

How to go from Vang Vieng to Pakse? Thre is a Vang Vieng to Pakse bus that we took overnight.  It was about an 8 hour bumpy, ride and cost around $12 USD’s.

Book Transportation → 

View over Vang Vieng Laos

When to Go to Vang Vieng

The best time to travel to Vang Vieng is during the dry season, which typically lasts from November to April. During this period, the weather is generally warm and sunny, with minimal rainfall and lower humidity levels, making it ideal for outdoor activities.

December and January are particularly popular, as they offer comfortable temperatures and clear skies. This also means the busiest months to travel Laos or Southeast Asia in general.

These are nice months to travel Laos but will be cold at night in the mountains. March and April are the warmest months.

Rainy season is during the summer months May through October. This means that it pours rain every day for at least a couple hours and flooding could occur. 

This makes the sidewalks very muddy as they are roughly paved and could affect outdoor activities. I recommend you travel to Vang Vieng during the dry season.

Average Daily Cost to Travel Vang Vieng

At the time of writing this  when I was here the conversion rate was about 8,000 KIP to  1 USD.  U.S.  Dollars were also widely accepted.

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Accommodations

  • Dorm bed around 40,000 KIP
  • Basic double bed with a fan 100,000 KIP
  • Nicer private room with A/C 150,000 KIP

🛺

Transportation

  • Tuk tuk ride 30,000 KIP

🧗‍♀️

Activities

  • Tubing 60,000 KIP
  • Blue Lagoon 10,000 KIP

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Drugs

  • Joint 30,000 KIP
  • Bag of weed 300,000

🍜 

Food

  • Fruit shake 10,000 -15,000 KIP
  • Big beer Lao 15,000 KIP
  • Street food baguette sandwich 15,000 KIP
  • Sit down meal chicken curry & rice 40,000 KIP
  • Cocktails 40,000 KIP
  • Happy pizza (yes you read the right) 110,000 KIP

This being said its obviously is more expensive if you like to party.  Vang Vieng is a party town. 

It has been cracked down a bit in the past couple years and the party scene isn’t as rambunctious as it used to be but if you are looking for it, you’ll find it.

There are a few bars in town where you can order basically anything you want.  Ask for the Vang Vieng “happy menu”.

Where to Stay in vang vieng

There are hotels in Vang Vieng that will accommodate every type of traveler and on every type of budget. Check the article below for more details of the the best places to stay in Vang Vieng.

🍳 Read Full Guide:  Where to Stay in Vang Vieng

Where to stay in Vang Vieng, Laos

How Long to Spend in Vang Vieng?

Is 3 days in Vang Vieng enough? Is 2 days in Vang Vieng enough? I think 3-4 days is enough time to tackle several of the things to do in Vang Vieng and also have a day or 2 to explore the town.

What to Pack for Vang Vieng, Laos

  •  Swim Suit
  •  Water shorts for over your suit
  •  Dry Bag for your belongings
  •  Sunscreen
  •  Shades 
  •  Flip Flops or as we call it in Hawaii ‘slippas’.
Exploring Laos by moped

Vang Vieng Travel Guides

Vang Vieng is one of the most popular destinations in Laos. Check out the guides below to help plan your trip to this Southeast Asian nation.

Where to Stay in Vang ViengBest places to stay.

Best Restaurants and Bars in Vang Vieng – The best places to eat and drink in Vang Vieng.

The Ultimate Guide to Laos – The big guide with everything to see, do, eat, stay, how to get around and tips to prepare you for a trip to Laos.

2 Week Laos Itinerary – How to spend 2 weeks in Laos – Stunning waterfalls, motorbike adventures, and PDR ‘Please Don’t Rush’.

7 Incredible Places to Visit in Laos – 7 dreamy place to inspire you to travel to Laos.

Follow Me on YouTube – Do you know that I have a YouTube Channel? Would love a subscriber, that helps me continue  to create free and helpful content for you to enjoy.

Final Thought on the Best Things to do in Vang Vieng

Those are the best things to do in Vang Vieng, from tubing down the Nam Song River. to scaling the tallest mountains, Vang Vieng will be a trip of a lifetime. 

If you found this article useful, let fellow travelers know in the comments below 👇.

Laos Travel Guides ↓

📍 Planning a trip to Laos? Check out the guides below for more inspiration and help in planning your travels.

Where to Stay in Vientiane 

A Guide to Don Det/4,000 Islands 

Unique Things to do in Luang Prabang

Border Crossing with AVT

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