Arriving to Vang Vieng after traveling in non-touristic places in Laos, was a big change for me. Vang Vieng is designed as a party zone for the backpackers, that’s why most of the hostels have pool and bars. I knew this from before so I wasn’t shocked after seeing quiet places in Laos.
I wanted to have a stop here because nature here is beautiful and they offer a lot of activities outside. I took this opportunity to try new things here and to face some of my fears, like the fear of water and the fear of height.
The central and northern part of Laos is known for the limestone mountains full of beautiful caves, so most of the activities here will include caving. I booked a day tour in Vang Vieng including Elephant Cave, Water caving, Lunch, Kayak Canoe, Zypeline and Blue Lagoon, for the price of 240.000 KIP. We started at 09.00h and came back at 17.30h, it was a full day but with enough time for all the activities.
The first stop was at the Tham Xang (Elephant Cave), located 14 km north of Vang Vieng, on the opposite banks of Nam Song. Honestly, the cave is not so impressive it’s more like an entrance into the mountain. But it’s an important Buddhist Temple having a huge footprint of Buddha who traveled here in the past.
We walked for 15 minutes through the village nearby and we arrived at the Snail Cave where we did water caving. I was the only one from the group nit knowing to swim, of course, I wore a vest all the time but it wasn’t really necessary because the water is not deep. So we took big tubes and we followed the guide being connected through strings. We explored the beautiful limestone corridors of the cave for approximately one hour. Be aware, the water is super cold, I wouldn’t recommend it for young kids. But the silence and the wonderful formations of the walls reflecting in the water are creating a mysterious vibe that is taking your breath away. I felt like an explorer in one of Jules Verne’s novels.
Afterward, we had a delicious lunch in this beautiful scenery and we drove to the starting point of Kayak canoeing. So we came back to Vang Vieng by kayak on the Nam Song River on a trip of almost two hours. The river is surrounded by striking karst rock formations. Upstream from Vang Vieng, numerous bars have been built on the river’s banks to attract the tourists floating by.
In the middle of our kayak adventure on the river, we stopped for the zipline activity. I was sure that it will be one round but it turned out to be a circuit of 7 different zip lines with transfers where we had to climb too. As a beginner, this circuit was too much for me but with a lot of patience of the guys working there, I finished it. Anyway, most of the time I had the eyes closed because I felt too much dizzy. When I was brave enough to open my eyes the scenery was absolutely wonderful and I was asking myself why I was screaming so much. We spent more or less in an hour there and then we continued our journey in the river to Vang Vieng, arriving in the center around 15.30h.
The last activity of the day was going to the Blue Lagoon1. It seems that Vang Vieng is known for its idyllic blue lagoons, beautiful turquoise pools with super cold water and many fishes inside. I was mesmerized by the color of the water and by the idea to be inside the water with so many fishes. Of course, the water was too deep just play around so I had to ask help to reach the swing in the middle of the lagoon. The fishes were coming to my feet…it was a super fun experience. I will totally recommend it even if you don’t know to swim.
It was a wonderful full day of new activities for me that gave me the chance to face some of my fears. I think the price was quite balanced for all these experiences and the guides were pretty funny and nice.