A Vang Vieng Travel Guide for people who would just like to chill.
In my early years of traveling, I used to create a detailed travel guides beforehand, but this trip to Vang Vieng was different as I somehow mastered the art of talking to strangers, I know going on an adventure without a plan will be easier, plus I’m with my friends who originally plan this Vang Vieng trip so I leave the planning to them.
A night before our trip to Vang Vieng, we started to look for contacts that will bring us there from Vientiane. If you are already in that place, you might think that Google is your best friend to do research. Nope, the locals know it better.
I talked to our hotel receptionist and help us plan to get a van to Vang Vieng. I noticed that he’d like to engage more in conversation, he told me that he would like to practice his English more so I took this opportunity to know more about their culture, his life, and the life in Laos.
This gives me some surprising facts about Laos. Did you know that the minimum salary per month is around 130usd? The minimum pay somehow gave me relevance to the socio-economic progress of Laos. The standard of living is really low, he said that he is paying around 20usd a month for his apartment shared with his sister.
I asked him if he is interested to work in other neighboring cities like Bangkok, he said he is not a fan of big cities and he loves the chill set up of Vientiane. Instead, he wants to work with the government because it pays better.
Our van was set to depart at 9:00 a.m to Vang Vieng from Vantiene, travel time is around 4 hours, the cost is around 8usd. We waited at the hotel lobby until our van arrives. we had a comfortable sit, typical van wherein a mixture of around 15 passengers mostly Europeans were picked up from different hotels in Vientiane bound to Viang Vieng.
I’m sitting beside a girl name Lara from Germany, who eventually I found out is going to the Philippines too on her trip to South East Asia. I never missed this opportunity to highlight some of the best that she can see in her given time frame. Though, she already listed some on her notes like Camiguin and Cebu. We kill the time talking of her possible routes.
The view as we travel to Vang Vieng is like going somewhere central Luzon in the Philippines. The road is in good condition though some parts are dusty red. As we approached Vang Vieng, the view became more interesting as we see striking limestone and mountains. Imagine the view of island hopping in El Nido but this time you’re inland not water.
Vang Vieng Travel Guide – Where to stay and what to do.
Where to stay in Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng is a small town north of Vientiane. Finding a place to stay depends on your budget is very easy. There are guesthouses, hostels, and hotels next to each other.
1 bed on dorm-type guesthouse can cost you for as low as 4usd per night and a luxury stay can go just up to 100++usd per night. If you have a budget, you will find a luxurious stay still cheap.
We stayed at Magic Monkey Garden Bungalow and Dormitory, though this a bit away from the center, around 10mins walk. I will still recommend it for some reason. First, they have a free breakfast, they have a small kitchen in their common area where you can cook your own breakfast, Second, they have their own pool with a nice view of the sunset, third, they have helpful staff in case you need tour assistance or service around Vang Vieng and lastly given all of this with its cheap price of around 10usd for dorm type room, its a really good value for money.
What to do in Vang Vieng
My friends told me that Vang Vieng used to have a wild reputation. It attracted a young crowd who liked to get drunk, get high on drugs and swim in the river. Predictably, this led to a number of accidents over the years and way back 2012 the local Lao government decided to clean up Vang Vieng’s image. This becomes the town little less wild and a little more focused on cultural and nature activities instead of hard-partying
That said, we still had a fun nightlife scene at Sakura Bar, I must say the center of Party in Vang Vieng. There are also a huge number of local cafes, eateries, and bars.
Another key reason to come here is to enjoy the idyllic river scenes while watching the sunset. we both tried it at Smile Beach Bar, this is more local, there are nipa huts standing next to each other where you can stay for free lying on their hammock but they will be requiring you to buy something on their bar. I also love the river scene from Inthira Hotel Vang Vieng, because it’s cozier.
There are many activities to do in Vang Vieng like exploring limestone caves, river tubbing or kayaking, renting a bike or ATV to explore the town, rock climbing and ride a hot air balloon.
If I have more time on this trip, I will continue my Laos tour to Luang Prabang from Vang Vieng instead of going back to Vientiane. You can also book a flight from Luang Prabang back to Bangkok.
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