Vang Vieng is a tiny little town in Laos snuggled up against the Nam Song river bang in the centre of strikingly gorgeous limestone karst landscape.
The tourists do not come here for any ancient historical monuments of for the culuture, rather they come for one thing and one thing alone – to lose themselves in mother nature and boy! She has gone out of way to show off her beauty in Vang Vieng.
The entire area in and around Vang Vieng is honeycombed with caverns and unexplored tunnels against the backdrop of spectacular limestone cliffs. It makes you feel like you’re one of the Hardy Boys. There are numerous caves and cliffs around, which are supposedly haunted by spirits, making them all the more exciting and adventurous. They also are probably the caves and cliffs which make for the best rock-climbing in the area.
Thanks to the Nam Song gurgling and twisting its way through the tiny town, there are plenty of kayakers around waiting to get a turn. You can choose to trek, hike, climb or raft in this beautiful little city.
The downside – There are increasing complaints that Vang Vieng has lost its very soul and essence of being Vang Vieng. The traditional local market has moved to a more modern location to the North. Instead of the traditional hospitality, you will now find multi storey guesthouses. However, this is more of a personal opinion sort of thing. While some prefer traditional settings, others like the luxuries and amenities of a modern hotel. It’s entirely up to you. Today Ill list a few of the Vang Vieng hotels that I think manage to just about strike a balance between traditional and modern.
Villa Nam Song Vang Vieng
If you are looking for luxury, then I would suggest you stay at the Villa Nam Song Vang Vieng. The Villa Nam Song is right on the banks of the Nam Song River and offers the most glorious views of the Limestone Mountains. It brings along with it the charm of riverside residence. All rooms have air conditioning and very clean private bathrooms. The architecture and furnishings are of the colonial era. If you’re hungry stroll down to the La Verandah Riverside Restaurant. If offers the best French and Asian cuisine. The Terrace Bar is an ideal place for you to watch red sun dip into the river. This is one of the few Vang Vieng hotels that promise you a walking distance to all of the town’s highlights. Room rates are inclusive of daily American style breakfast, local taxes and service charge and vary according to season. Usually the most basic room cost about USD 60 per night and can do up to USD 100.
Ban Sabai Bungalows
If you’re looking for a mid range hotel, I suggest you try staying at Ban Sabai bungalows. There are plenty of Vang Vieng hotels to choose from in the mid range group but none as great as this tiny boutique resort located along the Nam Song river. Your stay is bound to be great when you have the most amazing and comfortable bungalows to go back to. The bungalows itself have been created in a delicate fusion of contemporary style and Lao traditional architecture. The rustic bungalows are placed on stilts and offer great views of the sun set. If you’d like to indulge your taste buds just stroll down to the Xayoh Riverside Café. The food served is predominantly Asia though European specialities are also available. Rates vary from USD 30 for the most basic rooms to USD 60 for the deluxe rooms. Please note rates may vary according to season.
If you’re a budget traveller, this is the ideal place for you. The rooms all have a view of the gorgeous mountains and you get a complete supply of tea, coffee and water. There’s no restaurant within the guesthouse but you can simply stroll down the street and you’ll find plenty of tiny restaurants. Rates begin from USD 5 and may vary according to season.