February 2022 - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Monday, February 14, 2022

Vang Vieng: The Eco Adventure Paradise of Laos

Crazy Jumping Stunts at Vang Vieng's Blue Lagoon

There was a time when it was a backpacker’s haven and Laos’s party capital with drunken parties, tubing down the river and chilling at its iconic river side TV bars. Today, it is an eco-tourism hotspot that is known for its adventure avenues, pristine nature spots and oodles of relaxation. I am talking about the tropical green paradise called Vang Vieng that is surrounded by gorgeous karst topography in Central Laos.

Headlamps dance inside Poukham Cave, Vang Vieng, Laos

Located by the Nam Song river, Vang Vieng is blessed with gorgeous nature all round. It was this very beautiful nature that made it extremely popular in the backpacking circuit. Unfortunately, instead of nature, tourists focussed on drinking and drugs and a good many of them lost their lives while participating in adventure activities in an inebriated state. The good news is that Vang Vieng has rediscovered its mojo with version 2.0. This version 2.0 is more focused on promoting Vang Vieng as an eco adventure destination of Laos.

The river that put Vang Vieng on the world map

This eco adventure includes kayaking and rafting on the Nam Song river, trekking to beautiful caves and view points, swimming and diving at turquoise lagoons, zip lining, trekking and rock climbing some of its stunning karst topography, visiting its ethnic minority villages full of paddy fields and water buffaloes, mountain biking around its rustic countryside, indulging in a Lao style steam sauna and even going on a hot air balloon ride over its lush jungles.

Blue Lagoon near Vang Vieng, Laos

The top highlights in and around Vang Vieng are Tham Poukham or the Blue Lagoon, Padeng cave, Ring cave, Xang cave, Nang Oua Kham cave, Thang Loub, Tham Hoi, Nam Song river, Tham Nam cave and other surrounding authentic Lao villages. Once you have your fill of adventure, you can return to Vang Vieng, put your feet up while enjoying a drink and soak in the riches of nature here in this gorgeous mountain town.

The famous river side TV bars of Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng is that perfect destination for those who love nature, relaxation and outdoor adventure. Now, that all illegal activities have been banned, Vang Vieng is slowly returning to its past glory, which is a lush mountain and jungle experience with plenty of nature and rustic Lao atmosphere to go along with it. Add to it the TV restaurants by the Nam Song river and the eco adventure adventure paradise and you have a fabulous holiday destination in Central Laos. Oh, and did I forget to mention that it is easy on your wallet too. So, when are you planning your next adventure holiday? I hope Laos’s Vang Vieng will be one of your top options.

Swimming and Diving in Vang Vieng's Blue Lagoon

How to reach there: Vang Vieng is on the highway between Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Regular buses ply on this route. It takes about 8 hours from Luang Prabang and about 4 hours from Vientiane. The nearest airports would be Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

Where to stay: There are a lot of backpacker hostels and budget accommodation on the main street of Vang Vieng and by the river side to cater to the budget travelers. Off late, a lot of mid range hotels, resorts and boutique style residences have come up to cater to those travelers who wish for some luxury.

Where to eat: The numerous TV bars and restaurants on the main street and by the river side are the most popular places to eat. They offer a wide variety of dishes, serve decent food, are affordable and have the Vang Vieng special ambience. There are also street vendors selling a wide variety of local dishes and they come real cheap. There are also specialty restaurants, either independent or associated with hotels that offer some of the best cuisine that this town has to offer. They charge a premium, but their food is worth the price. Some of these specialty restaurants are Vang Vieng Thai, Organic farm cafe, The Green Restaurant, Sae Lao restaurant and Bamboo Tree Bar and Restaurant.

Canon balls, reverse canon balls, and many other forms of jumps at the Blue Lagoon, Vang Vieng, Laos

Other nearby tourist attractions:

1) Luang Prabang: Laos’s top tourist attraction, a UNESCO world heritage city and a fairy tale town

2) Vientiane: The quietest capital city in the world

3) Bolavan Plateau: A must visit and top motorcycling destination in Laos

4) Nong Khiaw: Excellent riverside retreat in Laos

5) Muang Knoi: A perfect relaxed riverside holiday destination

6) Kuang Si Waterfalls: Of secret turquoise pools and magical nature near Luaag Prabang

7) Tad Lo: The scenic waterfall town in Southern Laos

8) 1000 Islands on the Mekong: A proper river island holiday destination for some super idling fun

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