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Vang Vieng Laos was a paradise for alcohol and drug addicts just a few decades ago. Being the largest opium den in Asia, foreigners used to visit Vang Vieng just to spend time, drink alcohol and get wasted away. But after the government decided to step in, things have changed ever since.
Vang Vieng now became one of the most popular towns in Laos for tourists and backpackers seeking adventures. In this article, let’s talk about 5 Adventures in Vang Vieng, Laos you must have!
Go Tubing Along Nam Song River
Nam Song River is the river where most tourist activities take place. And tubing is probably the best-known things to do in Vang Vieng, especially for backpackers. People used to bring bottles of beers for their hours-long tubing, but that’s rare now.
To avoid the crowd, go for the earliest session in the morning when most foreigners are still asleep. You can have all the river to yourself!
How does it work? First, you’ll be brought to a riverside far north by tuk-tuk. The operator will provide you a safety jacket (if you want one) and a red tube. A guide will lead the way in front and helps just in case anything happens. Tubing can last for 1-3 hours depending on your package.
After that, you’ll stop at a bar where people have their party. In the morning, it’s most quiet and less ‘noise’, you could basically enjoy the peace. You’ll get to enjoy your Lao whiskey bucket and unlimited zip-lining there for free.
How much is it? Depending on which company you registered with, you can get 1.5 hours tubing, free whiskey bucket, free zip-line, and free tuk-tuk transportation for 60,000 Kip (around $7).
Hike Pha Poak Viewpoint
One of the most challenging short hikes in Vang Vieng Laos, Pha Poak Viewpoint is a perfect destination for those who have only a half day before the sun sets. Maybe you just spent your morning on mini-van from Luang Prabang or Vientiane and you don’t want to waste any more time on your Laos adventure itinerary.
The reason I’m saying this is because it only takes you 30 minutes to reach the entrance for Pha Poak Viewpoint from Vang Vieng town, and another 20 minutes to hike up to the peak.
Pha Poak Viewpoint has the most unique view in Vang Vieng, with one side overlooking the town and another side surrounded by massive limestone karsts. While the hike isn’t beginner-friendly, due to the sharp-jagged limestone, it’s still approachable if you take it slowly.
The entrance fee would be 10,000 Kip (around $1.25) per person. Pay a visit to Lusi Cave, which is located on the hill too. You can also take an organized tour.
Enjoy Panoramic View at Pha Poung Kham Cliff Viewpoint
Pha Poung Kham Cliff Viewpoint is probably one of the most underrated adventures in Vang Vieng. It offers almost the same epic panoramic view on the surrounding limestone karsts and farms as the more well-known Nam Xay Viewpoint.
The entrance itself does not look appealing at all, which is why the view on the peak punches you so hard in the face. The granny in charge at the entrance later told me that this is the best hike in Vang Vieng Laos, we couldn’t agree more.
According to the signboard, it only takes 15 minutes to reach the peak, but it’s almost impossible. We took 30 minutes ascending to the hut at the peak, and spent an hour enjoying the view and moo sounds from the cows at the farms hundreds of meters below us.
It takes around 45 minutes motorbike ride from Vang Vieng town and can be visited any time of the day, though I recommend visiting in the morning or evening.
Zip-lining in Blue Lagoon 3
What’s more fun than swimming and chilling around in a lagoon beside massive limestone hills? Blue Lagoon 3 is an hour drive outside of Vang Vieng town, offering free zip-lines upon entrance, kayaks, tubes, bamboo rafts, and a whole lot more!
Due to its far location, it’s less popular for tourists. Therefore, you get to enjoy a more peaceful swim under the shades. Facilities are also very well-maintained there, with campfires and lots of small huts for a picnic.
There’s a small restaurant there, but the food is slightly more expensive and of a smaller portion. Buy some sandwiches from the town, and ride a motorbike there to cool off your exhausted body after the long bumpy ride! Lots of people had a dilemma when it comes to deciding between Blue Lagoon 1 and 3. But I’d go for Blue Lagoon 3 at any time because of the smaller crowds and better facilities.
The entrance fee to Blue Lagoon 3 is 10,000 Kip per person, which is amazingly cheap for all the facilities. You’ll have to pay extra for the safety jackets, but those are not compulsory. Blue Lagoon 3 is probably the best adventure you can do in Vang Vieng Laos!
Rent a Buggy Car For A Wild Ride
Buggy cars are the best option if you’re sick of the bumpy dirt roads and not sensitive on your pocket. Wherever motorbikes can go, buggy cars can bring you there – Nam Xay Viewpoint, Blue Lagoon 3, you name it.
Buggy cars rental are usually charged on an hourly basis, but the longer you rent, the better rate you get. Be sure to check the cars before getting excited and riding off into the wild.
I’ve seen buggy cars broken down in the middle of the road outside Vang Vieng town. All they can do is wait for help, as it’s a bit technical to deal with.
There are a lot of rental offices for buggy cars all over the town, so you’ll never have difficulty finding one. Rent yours from more established companies for a better-quality assurance.
Watching The Sunset From Hot Air Balloon
Here’s the most expensive attraction in Vang Vieng. Surrounded by massive limestone hills all around, there’s no better place in Laos for a hot air balloon ride.
The hot air balloons take off in the evening an hour before the sun sets, so passengers will get to enjoy the birds eye’s view on the town after their worn-out day.
While the seats can be quite limited, be sure to book early once you arrive in Vang Vieng. Most travel agencies and hostels will have a booking service, and the price is around $90 per person. Pretty expensive, yeah, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some!
Pin this guide to the best adventures in Vang Vieng Laos if you enjoyed it!
Are You Ready For Your Adventures in Vang Vieng Laos?
Here are the 6 best adventures you can do in Vang Vieng. Feel free to comment below if you have more suggestions and tips for visiting. Til next time, happy traveling and hope you enjoyed reading!
Thanks for the guest post, Yen!
Yen (pictured above) is a full-time university student who always takes full advantages of his holidays to travel for new experiences. He’s been to New Zealand for 6 months, volunteered in Nepal, worked in the US, and backpacked Southeast Asia countries. Having spent months in foreign countries, he gives in-depth travel tips and guides in his travel blog, Swing Abroad.