Surrounded by limestone mountains rising above the paddy fields, Vang Vieng is a little picturesque town by the Nam Song river.
The town has become very popular with tourists in the recent years attracting many to indulge themselves in different activities whether it being exploring caves nearby, lie in a hammock in the glowing sun without a worry in the world or jump in the cool waters of the blue lagoon. However, river-based activities such as tubing and kayaking accompanied with binge drinking have given this pretty town a bad reputation with some of these activities resulting in fatalities in the last decade. This once quiet sleepy town has now turned in to a party goers’ paradise. Because of this some people we were talking to in Luang Prabang were giving Vang Vieng a miss altogether. We believe we have to form own opinion by experiencing it so we went to check out the town for ourselves. We came to the conclusion, after spending 6 days there, is that you should not skip Vang Vieng. It’s a gorgeous place and you can easily avoid the loud, irresponsible crowd by choosing your accommodation wisely.
This is a perfect place, wonderfully located across the river with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the valley, a peaceful heaven away from the madness and the chaos of the town, yet not too far if you want to cross the bridge and have a look around. Nevertheless, once you step in to its magnificent garden with resident kittens and dogs welcoming you and multicoloured butterflies joining in the welcoming ceremony, you may never want to step out of the property.
We settled in to our bungalow originally for 3 days but ended up having to drag ourselves away after a week. Plus the whole time we were there was spent pretty much either sitting on our verandah reading or walking by the river catching a sunrise/sunset.
So that’s it, although we can’t talk about exploring the nearby caves and lagoons as we have never made there, we can certainly show you in pictures why we have done nothing else but enjoy ourselves at the guest house when the views are like these right by your door step…
The daily lives of the villagers
At the times we did leave our bungalow, we wandered around observing the daily lives of the local people. It’s a shocking fact that tourists now outnumber the locals in the area. Catching them getting on with their lives is more appealing to us than having a few shots by the river not meeting any of its residents.
Friends make it a better place
We met Jane & Duncan from To Travel Too when we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand and were inspired by their journey and the travel stories they shared with us. We felt a sudden, strong connection to them after our meeting and hoped that our paths would cross again one day. So finding out we both would be in Vang Vieng around the same time was a very pleasant surprise. We met up for drinks and shared more stories and laughs with these beautiful souls. We knew back in Chiang Mai and now know for certain that this is a beginning of a great friendship that will last a long time! Their cheerful company made Vang Vieng even more special for us…