Vang Vieng is a relatively small town on a Nam Song river with spectacular nature attractions surrounding it. Nearby there is striking limestone mountains, karsts, caves, rice fields and lagoons. With so much natural beauty, tons of bars, restaurants, accommodation option to fit every budget and their sweet location between Vientiane and Luang Prabang gave it perfect ground to be converted into huge tourist trap for travelers of any kind.
In 2012 Lao government took initiative to clean up Vang Vieng image and whipped out most of toxic party scene and wild reputation this town had. The reason behind it was that young people who came here, enjoyed cheap drinks and swam in the river led to a number of accidents over the years. They closed many businesses including river rave bars where people could enjoy cheap alcohol and get drugs. After conversion community is trying its best to adapt and now it became more a family or adrenaline-fueled adventure destination rather than those who are looking for a hard party scene.
Even though there is no problem to find an exciting nightlife scene as there is a great number of local cafes, restaurants and bars, the town is little less wild and a more focused on cultural activities. Vang Vieng itself is nothing special at all. Covered by concrete hotels built bigger than their neighbors to get a better view of the Nam Song river. Idyllically, after crossing the river something changes. The life on the other side is more rural, there are multiple magical limestone caves, karsts and mountains. Spending few days, climbing a cliff, ziplining, tubing, trekking or renting a motorbike and exploring the surroundings allows to scratch the surface of life here and witness the true natural beauty of Vang Vieng surroundings, one of the most picturesque spots in Laos.
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