Come to Vang Vieng to explore dramatic emerald karsts sheltering secret caves, drift down the Song River and cycle through paddy fields. Often referred to as the Guilin of Laos, in recent years this former agricultural town has managed to shed its image as a tubing hotspot for backpackers and reinvent itself as the adventure capital of Laos. Today, rock climbers tackle Vang Vieng’s soaring limestone peaks, travellers explore otherworldly caverns and hot air balloons float across the horizon at sunrise.
The town is bisected by the Song, which transports kayakers and occasional tubers past fishermen, who cast nets from their wooden longboats to a soundtrack of croaking frogs and humming dragonflies. A single bamboo bridge leads to the west bank, which is carpeted in rice fields scattered with wooden huts, grazing cows and farmers herding buffalo. Explore this karst wonderland by bike or foot; trek to mountain viewpoints, cool off in topaz lagoons and visit villages where locals produce handicrafts and weave plant-dyed textiles.
Talk to our Laos team to arrange Vang Vieng tours led by local guides, who’ll take you to the area’s most impressive caves, treks and on scenic river adventures.