Relaxed, scenic adventure in Vang Vieng

Chilled out and superbly scenic, Vang Vieng is archetypal Laos, and even a couple of days here are prone to induce total relaxation in all but the most tightly wound. Defined by picturesque rural landscapes with dramatic mountain backdrops, the region is known for excellent caving, trekking, climbing and kayaking, but equally rich in tranquil river cruises and walks around local Hmong villages. It’s a wonderful place to shrug off any tension before continuing your journey.

What to expect in Vang Vieng

There’s a lot on offer in Vang Vieng, particularly in the realms of light adventure, so your time here can be fully customised to suit your interests. The region is especially blessed with caves, many with rivers running through them and full of impressive limestone formations, so a ‘typical’ day in Vang Vieng might include visits to a number of subterranean wonders, before a picnic in the countryside and a light trek to visit a village or two.

In the process of recreating itself as a family-friendly boutique Eden, the region is known for its idyllic, laid-back ambiance. There's still a nice backpacker vibe to the place, but it has thankfully shrugged off the hordes of partying gap year students who used to misinterpret Vang Vieng’s relaxed atmosphere and local politeness as permission to party too hard.

How you spend your time here will be very much down to your personal preferences, although we will of course arrange all the logistics - all you need to worry about is how many caves or climbs you can handle in one day, and finding your ideal ratio of action to loafing at the riverside, cocktail in hand.

Vang Vieng’s stunning landscape has a limestone geology - this means the rock is relatively easily dissolved by water, which is why the hills and mountains are so gorgeously craggy, and of course why there are so many superb caves. It also makes for really satisfying climbing, with lots of foot and hand-holds. There are petite rocky outcrops ideal for beginners, challenging peaks to tempt the experienced climber, and a healthy quota of qualified climbing instructors in the local population, to make sure you’re safe. 

A network of rivers and tributaries carve their way through this exciting natural playground, with many of them excellent for kayaking - it’s a peaceful way to explore the local countryside, and when the waters are high there are also rapids to please the adrenalin-seekers.

For those less determined to hurl themselves down holes, up mountains or through white-water, Vang Vieng’s pastoral landscape offers light trekking, breathtakingly scenic walks, and visits to nearby Hmong villages.

Accommodation ranges from luxurious boutiques to more simple hotels by the riverside, but they all benefit from superb locations and great views, and the town’s variety of eateries provide a tempting array of novel experiences for your tastebuds!

Location: Vang Vieng, Vientiane Province, Laos

Duration: as long as you like

Accommodation: a selection of Vang Vieng hotels

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Nick says...

'base yourself at the exceptional Vang Vieng Riverside Boutique to make your visit to the region that little bit extra special. The views, location and serene atmosphere all make for a very special stay in deed.'

Important to note...

You will need to be reasonably fit to participate in Vang Vieng’s adventure sports, but you can just as easily enjoy the place at a sedate pace.

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