Information


Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is a riverside town in Central Laos. The town has been known as a party destination for years. Once little more than a bus stop on the long journey between Vientiane and the World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng has managed to become a destination in its own right – and rightfully so. While the town still isn't much more than three streets and a bus station, it is the stunning scenery of river and rock formations surrounding this place that will keep you dreaming of Laos long after you've settled back into real life. 


Currency


RM1 = 1923 Kip
Easier to round up to 2000 Kip 


Around town

Vang Vieng is so small that everything is easily reachable by foot. If you want to venture outside of town, bicycles are widely available and can be rented from hotels or local businesses. Most outfits charge 20,000 kip for a day's rental.

There are few Motorcycle rentals available near the river bank and at the main street - good selection of scooters. You can rent a small semi-automatic scooter for 40,000 (morning to evening time) - 60,000 (24 hour) kip.

Several tuk tuks are also scattered around town. 10,000 kip per person will be plenty to get to anywhere within Vang Vieng.

To rent a tuk-tuk for the day costs about 130,000-150,000 kip.


Nam song river


Many who have traveled around South East Asia have heard about tubing on the Nam Song River, an activity that long-dominated the town and its visitors. Originally, the bars catering to tubers along the river were opened up by hedonistic backpackers.


Tubing or Kayaking

Tubing, (There is an office in downtown Vang Vieng that now monopolizes all tube rentals. They will rent you the tube and organize transportation up the river a few miles.). From around midday to 14:00 is reasonable to go because earlier everyone else would be still asleep. To get the deposit back tubes have to be returned by 18:00, but be warned that the place will keep 20,000 kip if you arrive past 6pm. In winter temperatures fall from 16:00, so start back early. Beware of tubes getting stolen while stopping at bars.. 55000 kip for the Tube + 60,000 kip deposit.

Kayaking the river. This covers the same part of the river as tubing (and a more untouched part further upriver). Kayaking trip can include a quite exciting swim on the tube through a cave situated about 15 km from Vang Vieng and lunch. Some of the caves takes more than an hour to walk through, with bats and other animals. A kayaking trip from 9:00 - 16:00 


Zipline

Tham Nam Cave (10km north of Vang Vieng), ☎ +856 20 5503 3665. Opens 09:00. Newly opened at Tham Nam (The Water Cave) is a western standard series of ziplines. A world away from the ziplines of old at the tubing bars. Set above the Water Cave it offers tourists a chance to venture into the countryside away from the bars. You can visit Elephant Cave & the Water Cave, swim and tube inside the cave and of course soar through the jungle.


Places to Go

Tham Poukham - Blue Lagoon, (7 km west from town, accessible by mountain bike or motorbike). 8AM-6PM. The toll bridge in town on the way costs 10,000 kip. 10,000 kip more to enter the lagoon/cave site. The lagoon is a small pond, no more than 10m wide. The cave above is decent. A modest 100 m climb up rocks and stairs. Once inside, there is a short walk to the Sleeping Golden Buddha and glimmering stalactites about 300 m further inside.

Padeng cave and Ring cave

Nang Oua Kham Cave,



EATS

Viman Vang Vieng is an eccentric little place with an eccentric chef. The menu of Thai-German food is brought to you by a Thai-German chef born in Bangkok. Here you can have pad thai (30,000 kip) or Berlin-style Bratwurst (50,000 kip). Chef Mr Katz claims to have the best Thai curry outside of Bangkok 40,000 kip, as is the beef laap and vegetable stir-fry, all MSG free. Those craving a good well-cooked Western meal should try the authentic grand schnitzel with fried potatoes (80,000 kip).

The Kitchen at Inthira Hotel
has the same kind of Western and Asian fare more professionally presented than most restaurants in town. Mains start at 30,000 kip while nibbles like fried spring rolls and meat skewers start at 25,000 kip. This is also a decent place to get an a la carte breakfast. Eggs, bacon and baguette for 28,000 kip, an omelette for 16,000 kip.

There are a few Barbecue joints serving up tasty grilled duck, chicken and pork. It’s served Lao-style: stuff a lettuce leaf with meat, herbs and sweet, spicy sauce to make a wrap. Order some fiery papaya salad and cold BeerLao to wash it all down. Two people can be fully satisfied for 50,000 kip. Extremely popular with Asian tourists who prefer an early dinner so get there early if you want any chance of getting good meat; by 19:30 it’s sold out or there are only fatty bits left.

A far less expensive spot for a proper coffee is at Vieng Thara Guesthouse which has a front of house eatery on the river road, at the top of the toll bridge. It has an espresso machine and a long black is only 12,000 kip, a latte 14,000 kip.

Sababa serves Israeli food. The 45,000 kip falafel pitas and schwarmas stuffed with chicken and fresh salad here don't disappoint. Give this restaurant a go before you resign yourself to yet another baguette sandwich.

If you’re heading out for explorations in the area west of the Nam Song, stop in at Lao Valhalla Guesthouse for refreshment or a meal. Not only is the Lao food cheap and tasty, proprietress Nout is a delight. Your mango shake (10,000 kip) and spicy vegetable curry (20,000 kip) will be served with warmth and care. The guesthouse is located just over one kilometre west from the toll bridge, on the road to the blue lagoon. Look for it on your right hand side.

Though the guesthouse at Vang Vieng Organic Farm, the restaurant remains a great spot for a meal and it’s a worthwhile pit stop before tubing or if you’re out exploring by bicycle or motorbike. The yellow harvest curry is superb as are the spring rolls and the mango sticky rice. You have to try the mulberry juice for 15,000 kip. Main dishes start at only 25,000 kip. Vang Vieng Organic Farm is located four kilometres north, directly next to the tubing start point. Open 07:30-21:00.

Kangaroo Sunset Restaurant and Bar is a good spot for watching the magnificent Vang Vieng sunset while snacking on a tasty burger and sipping on a cold beer. What really sets this place apart is the bright and breezy pavilion -- a perfect place to chill. Open 08:00-midnight.

Competitor Aussie Bar is famous in Vang Vieng for serving big portions of Western food to Western standards alongside ice-cold beer. The menu is actually a lot more complete than that with a huge section of tasty Asian dishes on offer as well. Good burgers, steaks and chips. Open 07:30-23:45.

What remains of Vang Vieng nightlife centres on Gary's Irish Bar. Gary’s Irish bar serves up tasty pub grub in a great little two-storey shack. Get a beef burger with chips for 25,000 kip, homemade pie with mash and gravy for 39,000 kip or tuck into a full Irish with sausages, bacon, baked beans, two fried eggs, tomatoes and buttered toast for 39,000 kip.

Sakura Bar Currently, it is the busiest nightspot in town with beer pongs, dance floor and happy hour promos every night. edit

To get away from it all, away from the burgers, banana pancakes and beer, Riverside Boutique Resort’s restaurant-bar is the place to treat yourself to a more civilised dining experience and good Lao food. You may be surprised to learn that prices are very reasonable. The beautiful restaurant surrounded by a serene garden serves up a stunning view of the mountains along with favourite Lao dishes such as laap (55,000 kip), mok pa steamed fish wrapped in banana leaf (75,000 kip) and grilled beef with lemongrass and chilli (85,000 kip). Appetisers start at 35,000 kip A glass of red or white is 42,000 kip. The property is located beside the toll bridge.