As we drove closer to Vang Vieng from Vientiane the landscape changed. The scenery became more lush and the mountains more majestic. As we passed little villages and children playing by the side of the road I knew we were going to love it here.
Vang Vieng is situated 4 hours from Vientiane and between 3-6 hours from Luang Prabang. (Depending on your mode of transport).
Vang Vieng has a reputation of being a party place where backpackers come to let loose and tube down the Nam Song River. In 2012 the government shut many of the riverside bars and the problem is not as big as it once was.
Vang Vieng still attracts many backpackers but if you steer clear of the North side of town (the backpacker area) you will find the laid back country town with amazing views.
While in Vang Vieng we stayed in the South side of town where the majority of families and other tourists stay. Our accommodation looked out over a working farm and the amazing karst mountains were our backdrop. While in Vang Vieng we got into a good routine of studying after breakfast, and then going out just before lunch until the late afternoon.
We enjoyed walking from our guesthouse down to the river to play and then hiking up into the mountains to visit caves or temples. You will not get bored in Vang Vieng as there are many caves, temples and waterfalls to visit. We also hired bikes and biked out to the Blue Lagoon one day. We enjoyed the scenery but don’t recommend this mode of transport at all. The road is very bumpy and we had a few accidents on the way.
If you are into hiking there are several hiking trails and interesting things to see in Vang Vieng and we enjoyed being close to nature after all the big cities we had been in.
Another highlight from our time in Vang Vieng was our visit to the Organic Farm. The kids enjoyed seeing different animals and we loved the yummy food on offer! It is 4km out-of-town and we hired a motorbike to head out here. We would have ridden our bikes but we still had 2 kids nursing injuries and refused to ride.
Our recommendations for the Organic Farm are the Mulberry Fruit Shakes, the Tempura Mulberry leaves and the Fresh Spring Rolls.
While we are on the subject of food, it was fresh, cheap and delicious. We ate one meal at a local restaurant and the other at a local food stall. The local food carts in Vang Vieng specialise in Baguette’s with a variety of fillings, pancakes and fruit shakes. We loved the crispy chicken baguette, banana chocolate pancakes and fresh coconut shakes. The best thing though about these carts was that the food was only $1-2.
Vang Vieng is a great place to visit with the family and we enjoyed being close to nature and immersing ourselves in the great outdoors while visiting. It was such a refreshing town to visit.