Karst Scenery and Caves
If you are a fan of karst scenery then you won't be disappointed with that found around, and north of, Vang Vieng.
Areas of limestone karst formations are well known for their caves and Vang Vieng has these in spades. The most famous of these are Tham Jang, Tham Phu Kham and the small group of caves around Tham Sang. Tham Jang, used during the early 19th century by locals to hide from marauding Chinese is reached by a flight of stairs and the entrance offers fabulous views over the surrounding area.
Tham Phu Kham is considered sacred to locals and the main chamber contains a reclining Buddha statue. At the foot of the cave is a cool, clear pool perfect for cooling off after your climb down from the cave, or if you have walked or cycled here.
Tham Sang and the surrounding caves are a little north of Vang Vieng and best reached by motorized transport. Tham Sang itself contains a number of Buddha images along with a Buddha 'footprint', while the surrounding caves contain an underground lake and some impressive stalactites.
Adventure Sports & Cycling
If soft adventure is your thing then Vang Vieng has lots to offer. The town has gained the reputation of having some of the best rock climbing in Southeast Asia and more than 200 routes have been identified in the area. We use only reputable climbing operators, with fully outfitted courses from beginner to advanced. While the Nam Song river does contain some rapids to entertain kayakers, the level of difficulty depends very much on water levels which vary quite significantly during the year. Further details regarding kayaking and climbing are available on request.
While Tham Jang cave is easily reached from Vang Vieng on foot the majority of the other caves are several kilometers away, and cycling is by far the best way to do a tour of these sights. Peddling your way between limestone outcrops is a fun and memorable experience; our guides will arrange bicycles for you and show you the way!
Until a mere 20 years ago or so Vang Vieng was an unknown and peaceful village, surrounded by stunning karst limestone mountains, dotted with caves and Buddhist shrines. Once Laos started to open up to foreign visitors in the mid 90s, its location on the main road between Vientiane and Luang Prabang meant that Vang Vieng soon started to attract the attention of travellers, due to its natural attractions and potential for adventure sports. Before very long the village had grown to a small town, and had become the party centre of Laos with a wide selection of budget accommodation. Times have moved on and Vang Vieng now boasts a range of more comfortable hotels, the party scene has been greatly toned down and Vang Vieng has become what it was always destined to be: a centre for walking, cycling, kayaking, caving, rock climbing or simply just relaxing in a beautiful environment. The road journey between Vientiane and Luang Prabang is so often sacrificed by travellers in favour of the convenience of the short flight between these two centres but in reality this route offers some of the most stunning scenery in the whole of Southeast Asia, with Vang Vieng being the natural overnight stop on the two day journey. Our advice? Don't miss it!