3 nights in Vang Vieng
It’s really easy to get from Vang Vieng from both Luang Prabang and Vientiane. We were travelling from Luang Prabang and got a mini bus that picked us up from our guest house for 200,000 Kip. The journey takes around 4 hours.
We stayed at rock backpackers hostel in the centre of town. It has a really friendly vibe with a social area with a bar and pool tables etc.
The owner was super friendly and helpful. Really useful for arranging tours and bus tickets.
We had a private room which was very basic but perfectly acceptable and it was super cheap at around £16 in total per night.
The main reason people come to Vang Vieng is for the tubing and nightlife. Although since the government closed down some of the bars along the river it has become a slightly more tamer affair there is still lots of fun to be had.
Tubing costs around 50,000 Kip but you have to pay 60,000 deposit for your tube as well (obviously you get that back as long as you don’t lose your tube).
After signing your life away they just drop you at the river and say have fun.
Now I know I wasn’t suppose to get my elbows wet, and most definitely not in the dirty Mekong River, but you only live once right?
There was no way I was sitting back and letting everyone else have fun while I stayed at the hostel. So I wrapped cling film round the bandages and hoped for the best.
Note 1: if you have no idea what I’m on about with my elbows read my Chiang Rai blog.
Note 2: if you were wondering cling film does not work. They got soaked.
On the river
The river flows a lot faster than we were expecting, you essentially have to jump on and hope for the best.
Everybody just sort of floats down the river with the current. When you get to a bar they chuck a rope out and you have to pull yourself in.
Be careful though, I had hold of the rope and some one else grabbed onto it further up meaning I was getting strangled. I had to abandon my tube to free my neck. Elbow soaking starts here.
You can get all sorts of drinks at the bar, buckets, shots, spirit mixers and beers. As well as balloons and other ‘stuff’ if you want it.
But it’s great fun to just mingle with everyone and enjoy a few drink in the sun. We played beer pong, people climbed massive polls, football etc.
Looking after your stuff
Stephen and I bought dry bags (as did most people) but I decided to leave my phone at the hostel, only bringing my go pro.
This was a wise move as Stephens phone ended up getting very wet and dying (since been bought back to life by rice and a clever mobile technician in Vientiane).
When your finished
So the final bar is not where you need to get off unless you want a long walk. You need to get back on and cruise down to another point on the river.
It’s actually really hard to get out here, the current is really strong and the river bed is rocky and sharp.
Stephen had to grab my tube and help me in as us girls were off down the river. We both ended up with cuts and bruises and my shorts got ripped!
Gary’s Irish Bar
This is a great spot for food and drinks. The food is reasonably priced and really tasty, I loved the chunky cheese chips with gravy (no I’m not northern).
There is a pool table and a tv showing sports, and in the evening there is a live singer playing guitar.
All the staff here are great, super friendly and helpful.
There is still very much a party vibe in Vang Vieng. Once 11pm hits (curfew time) in Laos, there are only a select few places open. But this really doesn’t stop the party.
A lot of people head to Viva (same road as rock backpackers). Outside there is a bar area with ping-pong tables and inside there is a club.
This is the sort of place where a lot of drugs are taken, it seemed everybody in the club was high on mushrooms, pills or coke.
There was crazy dancing, people standing in a trance, hugging/kissing, and just generally looking off their faces.
To me it felt like a slightly younger vibe, yes, I know I’m only 24 but everyone in there seemed more like 18-21. Just finished college or on uni break kind of age.
Definitely a place to let your hair down!
Beforehand you could even go to the pizza place a couple of doors down and have a ‘mushroom’ pizza or just smoke a joint if your feeling really keen!
Whilst I really enjoyed tubing in Vang Vieng and had a really fun day meeting new people, i would say there isn’t really much else there.
You could do tours such as caving and kayaking but that was pretty much it.
It’s definitely a place people go to party and take drugs. It also felt like there was a younger crowd here, perhaps drawn by the party?
3 nights, 2 days was definitely enough for me personally, as I wasn’t about the mushroom life.