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Step 19/60: Laos - Muang Vangviang

Muang Vangviang photo by Jantine De jong
This small town is famous for 3 things: Tubing, Bucket Bar and Friends. Vang Vieng pretty much only consists of guesthouses with restaurants that have lounge seats and multiple tv's that show every episode of 'Friends' (some show 'Family Guy') all day long! During the day there aren't many people on the streets...they're all either watching tv or they are outside of town tubing and hanging out at one of the 12 bars along the river. At nighttime the streets are buzzing, people eating and again watching tv. Everywhere you'll find stalls where you can buy delicious sandwiches or chocolate pancakes. Around 10pm it's off to the bars. Bucket Bar being the most busy one. The next morning the streets are quiet again...
Bus/Coach icon
How I got here ?

Price: 3 €

Traveling time: 5 hours

Price: one way, time: one way. Took the 3pm local bus in Vientiane. You'll get to V.V. in the dark and they'll drop you off outside of town, in the middle of nowhere. Walk towards the lights!

Tips & Tricks

  • Try to get here before dark...easier to get your bearings and to find a hostel.
  • Watch out: many people have died over the last years while tubing & drinking!

Things to see

In the Tubing on Nam Song River 7 /10
5.5 €
In the Tubing on Nam Song River photo by Jantine De jong

User's opinion
It's €5.50 to rent the tube and there's a €6 deposit (be back before 6pm or loose it). The price includes a tuk-tuk to the startingpoint. There are 12 bars (only on the first half) offering free shots, slides and zip-lines. Do take in mind the low tide (Nov-April): There's hardly any current and it will take about 3 hours paddling yourself back into town. It only takes 1 hour during the monsoon.
Blue Lagoon 6 /10
1 €
Blue Lagoon photo by Jantine De jong

User's opinion
The water looks extremely blue, but the surroundings are really bare and boring. There's also a cave you can visit (lights can be rented). We didn't think it was interesting and pleasant enough to stay all day. You can't really cycle all the way here. The dirt road is bumpy and it's about 6 km out of town. Cheapest way is to find more people to share a tuk-tuk with (with 4/5 people it will cost €2.50 each)


Guesthouses 7/10
Price 3 €

Vang Vieng

User's opinion:

Plenty! I don't remember the name of the one I stayed at, but it was on the 1st street left of Kangmuong street (seen from main road). It was cheap, clean, cool (temp.) with bathroom and warm water.

No Curfew
Sandwich/pancake stall... 8/10
Price 2 €

All over town
Vang Vieng

User's opinion:

These stalls sell delicious sandwiches with French bread (bacon, chicken and cheese with lettuce, tomatoes and mayo-mustard-ketchup is my favorite!). Chocolate pancakes are great before partying :)

Bucket bar 8/10
Price - €

Near the river, everybody knows where!
Vang Vieng

User's opinion:

Famous for its buckets, full of alcohol mixers (€4). Lovely place with good music and really nice hammocks to chill in. Even a nice dancing stage! Light garlands everywhere make the place cosy.

Smile bar 6/10
Price - €

Near the river, up the road from Bucket Bar
Vang Vieng

User's opinion:

Some people start at Smile bar for the free drink, but most people come here after the Bucket Bar closes.