Having a long-lasting history since 1353, Vang Vieng was first settled as a staging post between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. This town was originally named Mouang Song, then renamed Vang Vieng under French colonial rule in the 1890s.
Once being known as a party destination for years, Vang Vieng has been reborn itself into an eco-adventure destination, attracting not just the usual backpackers but the adventurers and thrill seekers alike.
1. Visit Caves
As home to dozens of caves, there are some favourite names of caves to explore in Vang Vieng.
Firstly, Tham Chang Cave (or Tham Jang) is considered as the most famous one around the town which includes both nature value and history value. You need to walk across the long bridge built across the Nam Song River, then climb steep stairways up to reach the cave which is cool inside. A bonus thing here for you is a blue lagoon is swim in. The best time to visit will be in the morning to beat the crowds, especially during peak season.
Secondly, the spot that should not be missed is Tham Phu Kham Cave & Blue Lagoon. About 20 minutes west from Tham Chang, Tham Phu Kham is also a favorite cave in Vang Vieng with cave interest (flashlight is necessary to explore the cave with steep climbs) and some fun activities at nearby blue lagoon such as swimming, jumping off from the tree into the water. However, when the rainy season comes (June-August), the water color will be not blue. You can also find another blue lagoon named blue lagoon 3 with less touristy but further at around 1 hour from town.
The next two places on the list are Tham Nam (Water Cave) – Tham Xang (Elephant Cave). Called as Water Cave, Tham Nam is an approximately 500m long underground cave including some streams running through the mountainside which takes about 30 minutes to reach the end before turning back. In dry season, you can walk into the cave as the water level is low, while you will get inside the cave with a tube and a rope in rainy season due to high water level and strong flow which can be more difficult when the darkness covers everything. For those who love adventure, it is worth changeling one time.
With the special feature of the cave is an elephant-form stalactite, Tham Xang is called Elephant cave. This is small in size and not far from Tham Nam so taking combined tour with other should be more worthy than visiting itself only.
2. Experience Waterfall
Kaeng Nuyi Waterfall is the one that you can spend time when visiting Vang Vieng. Around 25-minute drive away from the center of town on the east side, this 30-m tall waterfall which is located in a park maintained by the villagers of Ban Naduang. Rainy season is the best time to visit the waterfall while the flow dramatically differs in the dry season. There are several smaller waterfalls that you can swim in.
3. Enjoy Adventurous Activities
Known as an adventure paradise, Vang Vieng is a great place for those who love activity. There are many activities that you can much enjoy here. One of them is to Hike up to mountain viewpoints that offer you an amazing viewpoint of Vang Vieng. Some viewpoints in the list can be Phangern Mountain or Nam Xay. For smooth hiking, you will need to wear proper shoes & bring enough water with you. Also, be careful when towards the end the path can be muddy and slippery.
Another attractive activities include Tube & Kayak on Nam Song River. Settled on the banks of the river, your trip would not be completed without experiencing the river firsthand. Tubing can be arranged around the town while kayaking can be arranged as a part of a day tour including lagoons and caves.
4. Amazing Balloon Over Vang Vieng
Enjoy amazing view by taking a hot air balloon flight over Vang Vieng will definitely be a relaxing way before your day of activities starts or finish. There are 2 flight times per day for your choice, including sunrise flight (5:30 am-6:10 am) and sunset flight (5:30 pm-6:10 pm).
Operated in dry season, you should check the availability, condition and policy in advance before service.
According to laostravel.com