The New Vang Vieng
Replies: 42 - Last Post: Feb 18, 2013 4:05 PM Last Post By: Vientianeboy
Nov 13, 2012 5:13 PM
Nov 13, 2012 6:08 PM
Nov 14, 2012 2:58 PM
A fantastic first post .. I love Vang Vieng ..
I've not been back there since January 2008 and have heard that since 08 the place has got worse and worse ..
I remember sitting up on the roof of my hotel in the afternoon occasionally , and the noise coming from the river was reminiscent of a Children's waterpark ..
I remember thinking that the view here would be incredible to kick back with a cold Beer Lao and take it all in ...If it was not for all the noise ..
On my next trip to Asia i'm very much looking forward to a quiet and relaxed Vang Vieng ...
It's going to be great kicking back with a book and a Beer Lao or so , going for a cycle , maybe some Tubing ....
Nov 14, 2012 3:46 PM
Nov 15, 2012 5:29 AM
19Thanks this is very interesting. I am going to Laos in April 2013 and was really in 2 minds about whether to visit VV or not. I think I might be able to fit in a couple of nights. I have read posts on other sites saying that the madness is continuing, it has just moved further into town, is this right?
I really like the idea of floating down the river, but I know April is towards the end of the dry season, is it even possible then?
Nov 15, 2012 5:40 AM
20^^I've been to VV several times in March/April over the years and the river has always had enough water for swimming, but be careful of rocks just below the surface before you dive in. In April also be aware of Pii Mai Lao (Laos new year) which is a big draw to VV for Lao/Thai/other tourists involving loads of water splashing/soaking. Nice break in the hottest time of year but accommodation fills up during the festival approximately April 10-16.
Nov 15, 2012 8:35 PM
21Well this is nice. I went in Jan of 2000 and had a great time. There was not that much in the way of tourisim at the time and the place was kinda quaint. I am heading out to SE Asia in Dec and I was not going to bother with VV as the unwashed masses of the hippy wanna be types disguest me. Nice to know they have been sent packing. Cheers for the heads up.
Nov 16, 2012 2:23 AM
22The last time I was in Laos was in 2003. I took a bus trip from VTE to Luang Prabang, not stopping at Vang Vieng. I noticed the karst limestone hills from the bus.
I'll be in Laos for only the second time in Feb 2013. This time, I'll be checking out Vang Vieng on my way from VTE to Luang Prabang.
Nov 18, 2012 7:30 AM
23I was one week ago in VV,
Infrastructure VV: excellent; it is easy to find guesthouse (80000 kip) and a restaurants (15000-25000kip for lao food). The tourist relevant part of VV is walkalble.
The majority of restaurants are empty (maybe 2 out of 20 tables with guest).
In the late evenig (10 pm- midnight) the street with aussie bar and Irish bar becomes the hotspot - I dont know why - maybe this will
change depending on travellers in town.
Tubing:No bars along the river - the majority brings theire own bottle. The majority stops somewhere along the river and has a good time .. no need of bars (I asumme you know how much drinks to bring..) - its only strange to see stairs going to nowhere...
=>If you find a good group it will be fun....
I saw one security man along the river - I guess they gov. wants to prevent illegal sales from locals.....
Doing a organized tour (caves) is not necessary. Around VV exists seveal caves and you can do a DIY Tour with a bicycle (30000kip/day).
"blue lagoon" (7 km: 1 hour by bicylcle) is not part of a tour in anyway.
Kayak: I heared good and bad stories (half day kayak tour was 1 hour in the water...)
The V.I.P. bus from LPG was not really VIP and took 7 instead of 5 hours. The street was not good => I was happy to climbout of the bus in VV.
Nov 18, 2012 9:59 AM
24The sad thing is this will impact the poorest people in laos. It is all very well and good for us to sit here and say young tubers are ruining a small quaint town, and that a communist government are these peoples saviours. This is the same government that has no problems with ruining the countries environment if they can make some money from big foreign investors. Very little of that money will make it to the average person. Without tubing a lot of young people just will not go to Laos at all. personally I loved Laos and the fact it is so unspoilt. But a lot of people will not go the country around it have more big draws attracting people.
Thailand well its thailand.
Cambodia people go to see Angkor Wat,
Vietnam has all the modern history and just the word Vietnam interests people.
Laos had tubing, young people will not be attracted to a country where they have to be back at the hotel by 10.
The poor lose out in this and it wont just be in VV.
Im not sticking up for people ruining a town or ignoring peoples customs, just pointing out that the people of Laos probably wont be any better off for it. And for these reason I give it two years tops before VV is just as it was.
Nov 18, 2012 10:26 AM
25for these reason I give it two years tops before VV is just as it was.
Fine post back here in two years time with your findings , but i doubt that there will be a return to the blatant drug taking and drunkenness that blighted the town for so many years ..
But what i can see is the Government ( well wealthy Government officials investing )In the area and building a few high end resorts and making some serious money .
Nov 18, 2012 10:33 AM
26So no doubt corrupt government officials then. Well this sounds like one big win for the people of Laos.
Like I say im not defending what went on in VV just that the money that it helped to attract in to the country went to the people who deserved it most.
Nov 18, 2012 1:22 PM
27Without tubing a lot of young people just will not go to Laos at all.
This is simply not true. A lot of people avoid Laos for the very reason it attracts drunken tubing teenagers.
Instead, they go for the reasons you and I go, regardless fo any big-name "tourist draws".
Nov 18, 2012 6:37 PM
28"But a lot of people will not go the country around it have more big draws attracting people. "
Nonsense. I was there 2 weekends ago and there were quite a few young people there. Yes, they were tubing, but it was a more sedate affair. As the owner of the Aussie bar stated, people are doing other things such as spelunking or abseiling instead.
#28 "So no doubt corrupt government officials then." Why do you automatically assume that anyone with wealth in Lao is corrupt? Is this the way it is in your country perhaps? There are plenty of wealthy people here now and most of them have nothing to do with the government.
Nov 19, 2012 8:26 AM
29Government officials in my country are wealthy not so much from being corrupt (I have no doubt some probably are).
But because they tend to come from wealthy families in the first place.
But wealthy government officials in a communist country must be corrupt by there own ideology surely?
I also didnt say anyone wealthy, it was just government I was referring to.
Edited by: danny842003
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