Vang Vieng, the adventure town of Laos, is said to be the best town by many travelers. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s the best town of Laos, but I sure enjoyed it a lot during my Laos backpacking trip. And I know you definitely will enjoy it as much too! If you’re backpacking through Laos, Vang Vieng is one of the few destinations you should never skip (even though you hate tubing!). And if you’re planning a visit, then I’m sure this 3 Days Vang Vieng Itinerary will help you plan your Laos trip!
With plenty of things to do in Vang Vieng, no doubt there will be something that fits you best whether you’re an adventurous person (tubing, motorcycling, hiking, etc), or you just want to chill off and relax. I spent 3 days in Vang Vieng but I wish I’d stayed a little longer, there are so many hikes left unexplored by me.
Now, let’s dive in and see what you can do in 3 days with this Vang Vieng itinerary!
- 1 Day 1 of Vang Vieng Itinerary
- 2 Have a Meal in Victor Place
- 3 Go For a Short Hike in Pha Poak Viewpoint
- 4 Enjoy BBQ Sticks in Riverside Restaurants
- 5 Claypot Dinner in Vang Vieng Night Market
- 6 Have a Drink in Sakura Bar
- 7 Day 2 of Vang Vieng Itinerary
- 8 Renting a Motorcycle and Explore the Outskirts
- 9 Hike Pha Poung Kham Cliff Viewpoint
- 10 Enjoy Panoramic View in Nam Xay Viewpoint
- 11 Have Fun in Blue Lagoon 3
- 12 Soak Yourself in Blue Lagoon 1 Too!
- 13 Visit Tham Pou Kham Cave
- 14 Day 3 of Vang Vieng Itinerary
- 15 Tubing in Nam Song River, Vang Vieng
- 16 Pay a Visit to Tham Chang Cave
- 17 Fly with Hot Air Balloons
- 18 Make a Passport Cover in Vang Vieng Night Market
- 19 Where to Stay in Vang Vieng?
- 20 What to Eat in Vang Vieng?
Day 1 of Vang Vieng Itinerary
For your first day, I’m assuming that you either traveling to Vang Vieng from Luang Prabang or Vientiane. Either way, you will be arriving in Vang Vieng at noon if you take the morning bus. With few hours left until the sunset, here are the things I suggest doing on your first day!
Have a Meal in Victor Place
Victor Place has the best menu I’ve ever seen and tasted throughout my whole Laos travel trip. And I’m not even exaggerating, because I literally had 6 meals there over the course of three days. The cozy environment and the local cuisines got me addicted and I’m pretty sure you’ll love it too.
The only downside is that there are not many customers in the morning and afternoon, the same goes for all other restaurants in the town. If you visit before evening, you might have to wait quite some time for your meals to be served.
If you’re venturing out of town for some hiking, I recommend buying a Banh Mi, or two (because who don’t love Banh Mi), and have a picnic at the peak of the hill.
Go For a Short Hike in Pha Poak Viewpoint
Pha Poak Viewpoint is located around 30 minutes walk from Vang Vieng town. If you’re not sure where is it, ask your hotel manager since this hike is lesser-known and it’s not on Google Maps. There is a red flag at the summit of the small hill, use that as your guideline.
Even though it’s a short hike, I wouldn’t recommend hiking with sandals because of the sharp limestone pieces on the trail. Some sections are quite steep and might require quite a bit of stretch on your legs, so make sure you warmed up beforehand!
There are no flat platforms at the summit. So, be careful while you’re up there enjoying the panoramic view of Vang Vieng town and the limestone hills surrounding you! It’ll take around 20 minutes to hike all the way up to the peak.
The entrance fee for Pha Poak Viewpoint is 10,000 Kip per person. If you’re interested, I have an article dedicated solely for Pha Poak Viewpoint, check it out!
Enjoy BBQ Sticks in Riverside Restaurants
On your way to Pha Poak Viewpoint, you’ll need to cross a bridge, where the end is sandwiched by riverside restaurants. It’s a perfect place to be in after the hike.
I couldn’t really remember the exact name of the restaurant, but the BBQ sticks are so addictive and I couldn’t help but stuff my stomach with it. You can also soak your feet into the water in Nam Song River, and there’s a swing built on the shallow area of the river coast.
Enjoy your drinks, and enjoy the sunset while people kayaking across the river and hot air balloons rose up the sky.
Claypot Dinner in Vang Vieng Night Market
I know I emphasized a little too much on food on your first day, but I’ve found that Vang Vieng has a lot of easily accessible great foods. I think that’s because the town itself is small.
If you’re here for dinner, I suggest having the claypot dinner from one of the stalls, especially when you’re traveling in the colder months. The set usually comes with glass noodles, various vegetables, meat slices of your choice, and an egg.
Have a Drink in Sakura Bar
Sakura Bar is one of the most famous bars in Vang Vieng, and most of the time, you’ll find it crowded. Since it’s also located on the main street, you can consider taking a visit to Vang Vieng Night Market before that.
It’s a great place to meet other travelers from all around the world.
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Day 2 of Vang Vieng Itinerary
In Day 2 of your Vang Vieng itinerary, we will be focusing mainly on venturing out of the town in search of amazing hikes, viewpoints and of course, the Blue Lagoons.
So, on your first day, I suggest you start looking for motorcycle rental shops when you’re exploring around the small town. I highly suggest that you pay a little more for better motorcycles because once you’re out there, it’s difficult to fix your bike if you have any issues with them.
Now, let’s see what you can do on your second day in this Vang Vieng itinerary!
Renting a Motorcycle and Explore the Outskirts
When you found a motorcycle rental shop, be sure to make a booking with them on Day 1. Most of them open in the early morning around 7 am to 8 am every day. You will need to hand your passport as a deposit, along with paying the fee.
Check your brakes, lights, tires, and mirrors, preferably in the street where you rent the motorbike. Talk to the owner if you have any issues with them, and NEVER take the risk if the brakes aren’t working well.
After renting your motorcycle, fill your gas tank full and you’re ready for a day full of adventures!
Hike Pha Poung Kham Cliff Viewpoint
Pha Poung Kham Cliff Viewpoint is one of the best hikes you can do in Vang Vieng, and it might be the highlight of your Vang Vieng itinerary. It’s located near to the famous Nam Xay Viewpoint, offering very similar views, but with almost zero crowds.
You can hardly find any information on this hike because we accidentally stumbled upon it when we’re searching for the Nam Xay Viewpoint entrance.
There is a small dirt alley leading to the entrance, which is handled by an old granny. The signboard said it takes only 15 minutes to reach the top, but we eventually took 30 minutes. It’s super steep and stretches your legs more than Pha Poak Viewpoint.
At the peak, you’ll get to enjoy the surrounding limestone hills and farms, coupled with the moo sounds from the cows below. The hut built on top is a great place for a photo. Having a picnic there is also an awesome idea.
I could spend 3 hours up there reading something or just staring at the landscape, bet you could too!
The downside is the lack of information. It’s difficult to find the entrance since it’s not listed in Google Maps. The best way would be practicing some basic Laotian language and ask the locals on the way!
The entrance fee for Pha Poung Kham Cliff Viewpoint is 10,000 Kip person. The opening hours are from early morning until 5 pm in the evening.
Enjoy Panoramic View in Nam Xay Viewpoint
If you love hiking that much and you aren’t tired from the previous hike, then consider tackling the Nam Xay Viewpoint as well!
The entrances are located not that far from each other, and Nam Xay Viewpoint is much easier to find comparatively.
The hike also takes around 30 minutes up with loads of steep traverses and sharp limestone karsts. There will also be a hut on top of the hill where you get to enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding.
Also, I’ve heard of people staying up there overnight to enjoy the sunrise the next morning. If you’re going to do that, make sure you tell the receptionists so that they won’t wait for you in the evening.
The entrance fee to Nam Xay Viewpoint is also 10,000 Kip per person.
Have Fun in Blue Lagoon 3
The Blue Lagoons is one of the best things to do in Vang Vieng. And if you don’t know it yet, there are several blue lagoons throughout Vang Vieng.
The most popular ones would be Blue Lagoon 1, 2, and 3. I wrote an in-depth comparison between Blue Lagoon 1 and Blue Lagoon 3, which I think you should definitely check out.
I’ll just briefly talk about them here.
Blue Lagoon 3 is located around an hour motorcycle ride from Vang Vieng town through the bumpy dirt roads. You can easily navigate there using Google Maps.
In Blue Lagoon 3, you’ll find a small lagoon beside a huge limestone hill. There are zip-lines, kayaks, tubes, floating rafts for people to have fun with. It’s a great place to be in after the exhausting hikes.
But hey, don’t dine in the restaurant unless you have to. They serve Korean instant noodles for a big price. Other dishes don’t seem appealing at all. Unless that’s your thing, I’d recommend bringing your own lunch here.
Make sure you visit early before the tourists come. The entrance fee is 10,000 Kip per person, and the parking fee for your motorbike is 5,000 Kip.
Soak Yourself in Blue Lagoon 1 Too!
I actually visited both Blue Lagoon 1 and Blue Lagoon 3 because I had some time left before the sunset. Blue Lagoon 1 is located very near to the town center, taking less than 20 minutes to get there on a motorbike.
If you’re lazy to read my comparison article, the major differences between those two are:-
- Blue Lagoon 3 is farther but more suitable for travelers looking to chill out and enjoy.
- Blue Lagoon 1 has more facilities, more expensive gears rental (especially safety jackets), and is more crowded with tourist groups. The parking lot alone is almost larger than the lagoon.
If you don’t like crowded places, add Blue Lagoon 3 into your Vang Vieng itinerary.
There is no zip-line here but there is a huge tree branch with a platform, where people dive down 10 meters into the lagoon. The on-site restaurants have more choices for meals too!
Visit Tham Pou Kham Cave
Pou Kham Cave or Tham Pou Kham is located very near to Blue Lagoon 1, so it makes perfect sense to visit them both in one go.
The cave itself is very dark so I recommend renting a headlamp at the entrance, which will cost you 10,000 Kip.
Inside the cave, you’ll find Buddhism sculptures and statues. Don’t expect too much since it’s not a major attraction. There is a more popular cave, which we’ll get into later.
The entrance fee for Tham Pou Kham Cave is 10,000 Kip per person. Now that I think of it, why is every entrance fee 10,000 Kip?
Day 3 of Vang Vieng Itinerary
Day 3 in your Vang Vieng itinerary will be another full day because I assume that you’ll be leaving in the morning of the fourth day. If so, ask your hotel manager or the booking offices nearby to get your bus tickets booked. There are buses as early as 7 am.
Tubing in Nam Song River, Vang Vieng
Tubing in Nam Song River has been one of the most popular things to do in Vang Vieng. It has been around for decades, and are the catalysts to the tourism you see in Vang Vieng today.
While there are dozens of operators for tubing, I couldn’t recommend because I never tried them all. What I did was booked it through my hostel receptionist. The price ranges can be huge, from 60,000 Kip per person to 150,000 Kip per person.
For my 60,000 Kip package, a whiskey bucket, transportation, and guide were included. There is also a free zip-line station at the end of the 2-hours tubing trip.
If you’re wondering what tubing is like, basically, you’ll be given a huge rubber tube. You’ll sit on it, with ur butt touching the water, and float with the river flow until you reach the station.
Speaking of that, sunscreen is essential because the 2-hours sunbath can kill your skin pretty quickly.
Pay a Visit to Tham Chang Cave
Tham Chang or Chang Cave is the cave I mentioned earlier. It’s more spectacular than Tham Poukham, hence a more expensive entrance ticket fee.
Since it’s located very close to Vang Vieng town center, you can practically walk there in roughly 30 minutes.
To get there, you’ll have to cross a bridge that charged a toll fee of 10,000 Kip per person. After some time, you’ll reach the Orange Bridge, which leads to the entrance compound of the cave.
The Orange Bridge is less impressive than I imagined, but the facilities in the compound are well-maintained. From the entrance, pay 15,000 Kip, and you’ll need to climb up hundreds of staircases to get to the cave.
Inside the cave, you’ll see different structures, most of them are Buddhism-related. Tap the stalactite three times and make a wish!
Fly with Hot Air Balloons
Hot air balloons are actually quite popular in Vang Vieng, however, you might want to skip it if you’re on a tight budget. A trip to the sky with a hot air balloon costs around $90 per person.
The hot air balloon trips usually start in the evening, so that passengers can enjoy the sunset glow and the surrounding landscape. The ride lasts around 30 minutes, and I recommend you book on your first day in Vang Vieng to secure a seat for yourself.
With the magnificent landscape around Vang Vieng, there is no better place for a hot air balloon ride other than this very town!
Make a Passport Cover in Vang Vieng Night Market
Before you leave this lovely town, other than having a great dinner, buying a customized souvenir can be a good idea.
There is this guy in the night market who lets you choose the color of your passport cover, along with the metal tag you want on the cover. It’s actually not that expensive to get one, but you’ll have to wait around 10 minutes for him to complete it.
Get one for yourself and your family before leaving!
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Where to Stay in Vang Vieng?
Since Vang Vieng is a small town, there is no particular area that I recommend. Some of the good hostels, like the one I stayed in, are located a few minutes walk from the main street. This is the hotel that I recommend staying in.
The name sounds fancy and expensive, but hear me out. This hotel has one of the most versatile choices in Vang Vieng.
They offer clean, air-conditioned mixed dorm rooms of rigid bunk beds with curtains. It’s the best place I’ve ever stayed throughout my Laos trip, and I’ll surely stay there if I were to travel to Laos again. The compound is so big that they even have bungalows, double rooms, triple rooms, all with mountain views or city views.
The toilet is super clean, and the heater works wonder. Boasting a rating of 8.9 in Booking.com, it’ll be a crime to not consider this hotel for your Vang Vieng itinerary!
Check out more about Faraway Suites here!
What to Eat in Vang Vieng?
As mentioned in the beginning of the article, Victor Place is the restaurant that I recommend most. The restaurant serves more than just Laotian cuisines. You can also find great pizzas here, which I also recommend. It’s not the best I’ve tasted in my whole life, but it’s the best I’ve tried in Laos.
The restaurant opens in the morning but you won’t see much crowds here until the evening. Basically, every restaurant is dead quiet until the evening when all tourists and travelers return from the attractions outside of the town.
If you’re not sure what to choose, the noodle soup is pretty good for breakfast!
Vang Vieng Night Market
Vang Vieng Night Market is the best place in Vang Vieng for dinner. When it comes to the variety of food, Vang Vieng is still a step behind Luang Prabang Night Market. However, having dinner here is a perfect way to end your day because of the slow-paced environment.
I highly recommend the claypot meal, coupled with a beer. But honestly, you might not get full from that, so get yourself a chocolate banana pancake after that!
Excited For This 3 Days Vang Vieng Itinerary?
That’s all I have for you to plan your Vang Vieng itinerary! What do you think of them? Let me know if this article helps you in planning your Vang Vieng trip. Check out my other Laos articles if you’re doing a Laos backpacking trip too, like this 3 days Luang Prabang itinerary. I got them covered pretty well. Nevertheless, enjoy your trip in Laos!
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