For or against Vang Vieng - esp recent opinions
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Oct 17, 2012 3:01 AM Last Post By: norrie19
Oct 14, 2012 6:09 PM
For or against Vang Vieng - esp recent opinionsHello,
We are are a couple, 28 and 34 who are going to Laos over Christmas and New Year.
We fly in and out of Vientiane, but are planning on flying back from Luang Prabang into Vientiane for our return flight at the end of the trip.
We were going to do a Kayaking Trip that picks up in Vientiane, then drops off in Vang Vieng at the end of the day. We were going to have 3 nights in Vang Vieng, as in arrive just before dinner night one, first full day is tubing in the morning then some caves in the afternoon and then the second full day being a rockclimbing or cycling trip. Then we get the first bus out of Vang Vieng headed for Luang Prabang the following morning.
We liked the idea of tubing, and having a couple of drinks on the way down, but in no way would want to take drugs or get hammered on the water. We are not big party people. We saw a couple of youtube videos of insanely drunk kids and we are just not like that.
Is it possible to go to Vang Vieng, but not get overwhelmed with backpackers, but still have a good time? Don't get me wrong we like a few drinks and a happy hour but probably will be in bed by midnight!
We have a hotel budget of $50 per night, including a good breakfast. Can anyone recommend a good place to stay for that? Ideally we would want to be close enough to be able to easily walk to stuff, but we wouldn't want it full of rowdy backpackers?
Also any tips on the quickest and least vomit inducing bus to Luang Prabang. Budget is not really too much of a factor, but would like to get a reasonably early one.
Oct 14, 2012 6:24 PM
1It sounds like you have a good attitude and are perfectly suited for Vang Vieng and it's activites. The town has a nice vibe, plenty of western friendly restuarants, bit a party atmosphere sometimes, so you will probably have a excellent time. There are plenty of wide open spaces around Vang Vieng and the youtube clips were probably concentrated on a small cental area, so you will be able to avoid rowdy backpackers if need be.
Re Buses: The buses generally are the older type, I just booked whatever the my hotel offered and off I went. You will most likely end up with a pile of locals and the odd bag or two of produce, but that's the fun of travelling. It was always the locals filling up their shopping bags (handed out by busman) . Some mini buses were floating around, so they may be an option for you.
Re Hotel, I didnt book, just wandered into some hotel off the street, but it could be peak time with you guys, so better book.
Oct 14, 2012 6:39 PM
2As of the other week there are no bars open on the river, you can still float down but minus booze...for now. There are plenty of things to do to avoid backpackers. hire a bicycle or motorbike and head into the surrounding area there are swimming holes and cave tubing, plenty of places to just take in the scenery. Its a very small town and everything is within walking distance.
Oct 14, 2012 6:52 PM
Oct 14, 2012 7:15 PM
4Thanks both of you. I reckon we will go then, its breaks the journey from Vientiane to LP up nicely too. Thankyou
Oct 14, 2012 7:22 PM
Oct 14, 2012 7:43 PM
Oct 14, 2012 9:16 PM
Oct 14, 2012 10:19 PM
Oct 14, 2012 11:45 PM
Oct 17, 2012 3:01 AM
10Hotel-wise try the Thavonsouk Resort. Check out the reviews on Agoda / Trip Advisor.. it's OK, reasonable food (which can be a bit hard to find in VV), it's right on the River with great views. Well within your budget. Nowhere in VV is more than a few minutes walk away from anywhere else.
The hotel can arrange your transport onto Luang Prabang for which you'll probably have to pay in advance. They'll pick you up in the morning and take you to whatever bus park they use. It's pretty hit and miss what type / standard of vehicle you'll get and exactly when it leaves etc. If it's a quiet day and they can't fill their bus often a couple of companies will club together, pile everyone on the same bus and split what they save on the fuel. Plan for an early start and a bit of messing around but if you can get going mid morning you should just about make LP by dark. "vomit inducing" ?... Yes it can be a bumpy ride and sitting as far forward in the bus is probably better than the back and you shouldn't get any rain at that time of the year.
Flying back to Vientiane is a good choice. Any bus journey of any length in Laos takes the best part of a day compared with an hour in the plane.
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