Vang Vieng basically is small town in the middle of nowhere.
I stopped there for few days in order to take a rest during the long toad trip to Luang Prabang.
The nature around Vang Vieng is amazing and it definitely worth a motorbike trip. Vang Vieng is situated on the main north-south highway, Route 13 from Luang Prabang to the capital Vientiane.
One of the main features of Vang Vieng is a long, mostly unused, airfield runway parallel to the road. It was used during the Vietnam War by the Air America’s planes.
Vang Vieng started to grow in 1980, due to the influx of backpackers; the opportunity for hiking and the laid-back atmosphere attracted more and more visitors.
Vang Vieng today is mainly a backpacker town. The main street of Vang Vieng is littered with guest houses, bars, restaurants, internet cafes and tour agencies.
One of the main attractions of the town is inner tubing on the river, during the wet season the river can be a series of raging rapids, but during the dry season, some of it is little more than a trickle.
I cut one of my leg with a bamboo trying doing that, so be careful.
The market in Vang Vieng is located five kilometers north of the town selling Lao textiles, household items and several stalls selling dubious foodstuffs. It is possible for stalls to sell bats, squirrels, monkeys, rats, mice and other animals as food.
The real attractions of the area are the scenery, the limestone hills and the numerous caves and caverns. The town is riddled with guesthouses, restaurants and shops that it’s hard to know what to do on arrival. Just about every shop front on the main streets of this small but rapidly developing town caters exclusively to the tourist dollar. If you’re looking for some Lao culture, Vang Vieng isn’t the place to find it.
The town itself is not anymore Laos, the village has received tons of backpackers that for some reasons have decided that this place was ”cool”.
Regretfully the situation reminds me Pai in Thailand, all you will find are cheap coffee shops, cheap guest houses, horrible burgers and some questionable pizza. Stunning at any hour, the mountains are of course particularly beautiful with the golden pink glow of sunset behind them.
Every property in the town is undergoing some kind of building work, and the development is now starting to take its toll on the special environment which has created the tourism.
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