And while the town itself isn’t much of a gem, Vang Vieng is filled with natural wonders, adventurous backpackers, and wild party-hunters.
Ever since the Laos government opened the borders of the beautiful country to curious foreigners, the little town’s laid-back days and whiskey-filled nights has lured in travelers.
So, if you ever bless this little town with your presence, check out these top 7 things to do in Vang Vieng:
1. Load up on some free whiskey.
At most hostels in Vang Vieng, they hand out free whiskey in the evenings. Usually it’s from around 6 pm to 9 pm and it’s – of course – the cheapest whiskey you can purchase.
Additionally, once you’ve loaded up on free hostel whiskey, head down the streets of Vang Vieng to check out the banging clubs and pubs – which also usually hand out free whiskey. Viva Pub is by far the most fun – go there and dance your ass off. I ended up going there 7 nights in a row… whoops!
2. Hit up the (not-so) blue lagoons for a nice swim.
Around the area of Vang Vieng, visitors can find two different “blue” lagoons. Although, unless it hasn’t rained in the past week or so, don’t expect them to be very blue! They’re more likely going to be a shade of blue-grey with a hint of brown.
I’d recommend visiting both blue lagoons if you have the time but if you can only visit one, make sure you go to the less popular one. Whilst making your way to the blue lagoons, you’ll end up coming about a fork in the road. Most people will go right but go left instead and you’ll come to the better blue lagoon.
3. Trek up to the nearby caves.
At the more popular blue lagoon, which is to the right at the fork in the road, there’s a large cave visitors can explore called the Tham Phu Kham Cave. It’s pretty cool; there’s a Buddhist Shrine in the middle of the cave and you can go back pretty far into it. And while we were visiting, there were no other people hiking up or in the cave so we had the entire thing to ourselves.
Before going up, some people will likely try to sell you headlamps but they’re not necessary; an iPhone flashlight will suffice.
Additionally, the hike up to the cave was pretty intense – and very steep – so if you visit, be prepared! At least, I about died going up but that’s probably just because I need to exercise more and I’m clumsy AF.
4. Go tubing down the Nam Song river.
One of my favorite things to do in Vang Vieng is going tubing down the Nam Song river. Even though visitors can only go for a short time now, it’s still really fun!
Before the tubing pub crawl was only two bars, there used to be two different routes people could take; one route had about 20 something bars (or so I’ve heard) and the other had about 7. Both of those tubing adventures have been closed due to people becoming too intoxicated and either getting seriously hurt or drowning.
Although the other pub-river crawls have been shut down, the one visitors can do is still just as fun! At the end of the tubing, you stop at a bar where you can play beer pong, volleyball, or just have a drink, sit back, and relax.
5. Avoid doing the local drugs because they’re not reputable and could really hurt you.
In Vang Vieng, you’ll find multiple bars that hand out various drugs like mushrooms, marijuana, opium, MDMA, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) balloons, and more.
Though, I wouldn’t recommend taking anything you’re not sure of; a couple of the guys I was traveling with attempted to buy some pills of MDMA and it ended up not being that at all. Someone told them it was actually a form a meth, but who knows if that’s true either.
Also, a group of Brits that were staying at the same hostel as us were arrested and taking into custody for smoking weed. They were detained and had to pay $600 to get their passports back and be released.
So, case in point, maybe just stay away from drugs and stick to drinking the free whiskey. It’s a win-win situation! Just focus on other things to do in Vang Vieng and keep yourself safe.
6. Chill out and have a drink on the river.
There are multiple bars along the Nam Song River and each one usually has a great view, as well as a great atmosphere. Most will have awesome drinks, at pretty good prices as well, and cool things to do. A bar we hung out at had sweet hammocks, thus we just chilled out all day swinging about drinking tasty coconut and rum cocktails.
7. Rent a motorbike and just explore the area.
The area around Vang Vieng is absolutely beautiful. Surrounded by towering limestone rocks, lush jungle, gorgeous greenery, and shimmering rice paddies… it’s absolutely worth your time.
If you do nothing else, at least do yourself a favor and explore the area around Vang Vieng by motorbike! The scenery in this part of Laos is absolutely stunning and it’s 100% worth taking the time to just wander around.
There you have it, 7 incredible things to do in Vang Vieng, Laos!
Have you ever been here? What other things to do in Vang Vieng shall I add to the list? Let me know in the comments!
Pin 7 Incredible Things to Do in Vang Vieng ↓