24 hours in Vang Vieng (Laos)

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Date: March 31st 2017
Traveller: Carla Rijnders
Many people know Vang Vieng as a party hub for backpackers, with its bars along the river and people passing by on a tube. However, since many of the bars were closed in 2012 this all changed, but people still keep on coming to this town. And for good reason, as this city on the Song River offers a backdrop of amazing cliffs and stunning green paddy fields. Since 2012 it has reboot itself into an active, adventure destination with fun activities on its interesting river. Besides that, you can enjoy the beautiful limestone mountains, explore caves and meet local hill tribe people in the surrounding villages.

Day 1:
But what to do here when you only have 24 hours? Well first off, start with checking in to your hotel. One of our favourites is the Riverside Boutique resort – as you can understand from the name it’s set on the Song River in a tropical garden. One of the reasons we love it so much is that it has a great swimming pool to jump in after spending the day in nature. But we have several other hotels we can recommend, so check them out here

Once you have settled in, it’s time to head out. As said this city is on the edge of the beautiful Song River, and a trip to Vang Vieng would not be complete without a ride on it. It’s a great way to see the beautiful countryside pass you by, watching out over the Limestone Mountains and the stunning green paddy fields. While floating down the river you’ll see local villagers fishing and work the land, and you’ll also have the chance to stop at some of the caves along the way. One of the more impressive ones is the Elephant Cave, not only due to its natural elephant formations but also as it has Buddha’s footprint.
Before heading back to the city make a stop at one of the bars along the river, enjoy a local lunch and let your inner Tarzan out when swinging into the water from one of the rope swings created on the side of the river.

Once you’ve seen the stunning nature from the water, why not see it from the sky? Joining a hot air balloon ride for sunset gives you the opportunity to float above the gorgeous limestone mountains and enjoy the stunning forestry that Laos is famous for. After a 40-minute ride, enjoying the stunning views, you’ll be picked up with a truck to bring you back in town where you can enjoy a nice meal before heading back to bed.

Day 2:
On your first day here, you experienced all the beauty Vang Vieng has to offer without lifting one finger, so today let’s experience this amazing place by joining a full day trek.
During this trek, you’ll be taken across the 1500mtr high ridge of Vang Vieng to remote places that even many locals don’t know about. You’ll start in the Phathao village, some 12km north of Vang Vieng. Once you’ve reached the mountain range, a climb leads you to spectacular stunning views. Close by you’ll also find the Tham Hok Cave, famous for its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit, as you wouldn’t want to miss a cooling jump in the natural pools that are created in the river.

Once you return back to Vang Vieng, you’ve already finished your 24hrs here in which you’ve enjoyed this marvelous place from the water, the sky, and the mountains. Are you sure you only want to stay here for such a short amount of time? There is so much more you can explore, such as a mountain biking across rice fields, learning how to Rock Climb, or if you’re an experienced climber join a full day tour, alternatively join the ultimate Vang Vieng Experience and go kayaking and caving. Whatever you wish to do, we can make sure you’re time here is well spent, so take a look at our page with day trips or contact us for more information!

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