Vang Vieng is definitely the new outdoor and relaxation hub of Laos. Yes, I said new! Vang Vieng used to be a notorious party town, popular among backpackers for its crazy drinking culture along the Nam Song River.

But guess what? Vang Vieng has reinvented itself over the years as an oasis for outdoor lovers and those seeking relaxation. Now it's all about hiking, kayaking, and biking, and trust me, Vang Vieng does it all amazingly well!

This little town is nestled in the scenic countryside of Laos, about 4 hours south of Luang Prabang and 2 hours north of Vientiane. It's home to some of the country's most beautiful limestone formations, lakes, and hiking trails.

Vang Vieng absolutely lives up to its reputation as a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of big city life.

To help you find the perfect accommodation in this charming town, I've prepared a guide on where to stay in Vang Vieng, featuring my favorite areas and the best hotels with all the stunning views that the town is known for.

Best areas to stay in Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is such a charming little town, so it's crucial to find the perfect spot that suits you and your travel style.

If it's your first visit, I recommend staying in the City Center. Here, you'll find some of the most popular hotels and resorts, and everything you need will be right at your fingertips – restaurants, shops, markets, and outdoor tour agencies.

For a more romantic or relaxing experience, I suggest staying at one of the amazing hotels along the Riverside. The views of the river and countryside are simply breathtaking. 

If you're traveling with your family or prefer to stay a bit further from the hustle and bustle of the city center, but still within walking distance, South Vang Vieng is the place to be.

Lastly, I highly recommend staying in West Riverside for all adventure enthusiasts who want to be close to the action.

1. Where to stay in Vang Vieng for first-timers: City Center

where to stay in vang vien - city center

The City Center is an amazing choice for first-time visitors who want to be right in the heart of the action.

The centre of town is packed with a variety of nice hotels and budget hostels, perfect for those backpacking throughout Laos. Moreover, you'll find the most popular restaurants, bars, and even the night market in this vibrant area.

From the City Center, you can easily explore the rest of the town and also venture to the west side of the river, where all the outdoor activities are happening.

Best area for:

  • First-timers

  • Backpackers

  • Nightlife

Things to do in the Vang Vieng City Center

In the city center, there's plenty to do. Let's start with the Vang Vieng Night Market, also known as the Vang Vieng Walking Street. It's the perfect place to try out some delicious local food such as the local noodle soup, shop for souvenirs, and find some handmade crafts.

It may not be the biggest or prettiest Night Market, but it definitely gets the job done. At the end of the night, try the coconut pancakes, yum!

If you're looking to experience what's left of Vang Vieng's nightlife, make sure to check out Gary's Irish Bar and Sakura Bar. These spots are popular among travelers to enjoy a cold beer at night. It may not get as wild as it used to, but it's definitely a great spot to grab a drink!

Best hotels to stay in the Vang Vieng City Center

($$) Premier Vang Vieng Hotel

This Vang Vieng boutique hotel features an outdoor pool surrounded by lush greenery, modern rooms with balconies, and a prime location in the center of town. Good value for money!

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($$) Sansan Resort

One of the best Vang Vieng hotels in the City Center is undoubtedly Sansan Resort. This beautiful resort offers an on-site swimming pool, restaurant, and bar. The rooms are spacious and stylishly decorated with traditional Lao accents.

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($) Vang Vieng Chill House

Another great Vang Vieng hotel is the Vang Vieng Chill House. It's a cheap hostel that offers comfortable private rooms and dorms, perfect for backpackers or those traveling on a tight budget.

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2. Where to stay in Vang Vieng for couples & the best views: Riverside

where to stay in vang vieng - Riverside

The Riverside is hands down one of my absolute favorite places to stay.

You'll find some of the best hotels in Vang Vieng right here. Picture-perfect luxury resorts and hotels with breathtaking views of the river and countryside are all lined up along the Riverside.

If you're on a honeymoon or a couples getaway, I highly recommend staying here. The hotels are perfect for a romantic escape, and you'll still be conveniently close to the city center and the west side of the river, where all the thrilling outdoor adventure activities take place.

Best area for:

  • Couples

  • Relaxation

  • Honeymooners

Things to do in Riverside

The Riverside is an awesome spot to explore the river and nearby caves. Back in the day, kayaking or tubing down the river used to be part of Vang Vieng's party scene, with bars lining the Riverside for some drinks and fun. But, due to accidents, most of these bars closed down and the tubing culture faded.

However, kayaking down the river can still be fun. There are a couple of bars left where you can stop for a cold beer. You'll find plenty of kayak rentals on the Riverside.

Alternatively, you can book a guided kayak and cave tour for a great experience.

And don't miss out on exploring the Tham Chang Cave, just a short walk from Vang Vieng. If you're up for it, you can also rent bicycles and venture into the stunning countryside surrounding Vang Vieng.

Best hotels to stay in Riverside

($$$) Tmark Resort Vangvieng

While there aren't many luxury hotels in town, Tmark Resort Vangvieng is probably one that comes a little closer to a luxurious stay. This charming hotel in Vang Vieng offers cozy rooms with balconies, a large outdoor swimming pool, and a restaurant with views of the river.

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($$) Riverside Boutique Resort, Vang Vieng

If you're looking for a luxurious yet tranquil escape, the Riverside Boutique Resort is one of the best Vang Vieng hotels for that. The Riverside Boutique Resort offers spacious and elegant rooms with balconies overlooking the Nam Song River. It also features a beautiful outdoor pool, a hotel restaurant with free breakfast, and a bar.

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($) Amari Vang Vieng

Another top-rated Vang Vieng hotel is the Amari Vang Vieng. The Amari Vang Vieng features a prime location on the riverside and offers modern rooms with balconies, an outdoor pool, and an on-site restaurant.

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3. Where to stay in Vang Vieng for families & relaxation: South Vang Vieng

where to stay in vang vieng - South Vang Vieng

The southern part of Vang Vieng is a delightful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the town center. It's perfect for families and anyone seeking relaxation within the most stunning scenery imaginable.

In this area, you'll come across a few charming restaurants, shops, and some of the absolute best kid-friendly hotels and resorts in town. It's a wonderful place that allows you to experience more of the local life in Laos and escape the crowds.

From here, you can easily explore the outskirts of Vang Vieng, visiting stunning waterfalls, temples, and even some of the nearby lagoons.

Best area for:

  • Families

  • Relaxation

  • Outdoor activities

Things to do in South Vang Vieng

From South Vang Vieng, it's super easy to make your way to some of the coolest waterfalls in the area!

One of them is Kaeng Nyui Waterfall, which is absolutely worth the visit. It's the perfect way to cool down on a hot day.

The journey takes about 20-30 minutes of scenic drive through Laotian nature, passing by rice fields and local villages.

Then, a 30-minute trek through the jungle leads you to the waterfall. Don't worry, it's a pretty easy trek, even kids can do it. Just be careful during the rainy season as things become more slippery!

The entrance fee to the waterfall is about US$1.50, and it includes parking if you're coming by scooter, which I highly recommend.

Best hotels to stay in South Vang Vieng

($$$) Vang Vieng Topview Hotel

A great affordable option and family hotel in Vang Vieng. The Vang Vieng Topview Hotel offers spacious family rooms with balconies overlooking the beautiful countryside and mountains. It also features an outdoor pool and a restaurant, however, the breakfast can be a bit hit-and-miss.

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($$) Garden Resort

A favorite hotel in Vang Vieng when looking for a family mid-range option, is Garden Resort. The accommodation offers family rooms, a large outdoor swimming pool, and even a kids club. On top of that, the hotel offers bicycle rental, motorbike rental, and car hire.

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($) Vang Vieng Diamond Resort

For a budget-friendly option, Vang Vieng Diamond Resort is an excellent choice. This charming hotel offers family rooms with mountain views, an outdoor pool, and a bicycle rental for exploring the area.

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4. Where to stay in Vang Vieng for outdoor lovers: West Riverside

Where to stay in vang vieng - West Riverside

If you're an outdoor lover, the best place to stay in Vang Vieng is West Riverside. This area is surrounded by nature, with farms, rice fields, and a few local houses.

Plus, there are some awesome homestays, villas, and bungalows where you can stay right in the middle of nature without any neighbors in sight.

Keep in mind, you'll be a bit further from town, so it might take a little longer to get to the city center. But trust me, it's totally worth it!

You'll have breathtaking views of limestone formations and rice fields right outside your door. Not to mention, you'll be closest to the most amazing viewpoints, caves, and lagoons that make Vang Vieng so special.

Best area for:

  • Outdoor activities

  • Seclusion

  • Nature

Things to do in West Riverside

The west side of the river is, without a doubt, the highlight of Vang Vieng. You'll find a ton of fun activities here, from viewpoints and caves to lagoons.

The most popular thing to do is to drive the big West Loop and check out all of the amazing sights along the way. There are several stops along the loop and you might need two separate days to see them all.

The best way to do it is to either rent a motorbike or, for even more fun, rent one of the off-road buggies in town. You'll spot the rental shops anywhere alongside the river and the main road.

The loop starts with Blue Lagoon 1 and the Phu Kham Cave, which are just about 20 minutes out of Vang Vieng and provide a fantastic swimming spot where you can grab a bite, enjoy the cold water, try out the ziplines, and even do some diving jumps and swings.

Close by, you'll find Nam Xay Viewpoint and Phapoungkham Cave, which are viewpoints on top of the limestone cliffs. These are perfect spots for sunrise if you're up for waking up early. On top of the viewpoints, you can also take cool pictures that are a bit random – choose between a plane or a unicorn.

Next on the agenda is Blue Lagoon 3, which is usually the least busy as it is the farthest away from town. It also has a super cool swing and zipline and is perfect for a lunch break in the heat.

Lastly, you'll come to Blue Lagoon 2, which is the least popular of them all. It has a big diving board but often gets overlooked by many tourists.

Best hotels to stay in West Riverside

($$$) Vieng Tara Villa

For a luxurious stay, Vieng Tara Villa is an amazing option. It is one of the best hotels in Vang Vieng, offering secluded villas with clean rooms that have stunning views of the mountains. Vieng Tara Villa also provides great photo opportunities with its long wooden path through the rice fields. It looks absolutely dreamy!

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($$) Bearlin Bungalow

If you're looking for a more affordable option, Bearlin Bungalow is probably the Vang Vieng hotel with the best views in town. These cozy bungalows (there are only 6, so book early!) offer stunning views of the countryside and mountains, with an outdoor seating area and bicycle rental available.

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($) Hailin Resort Vangvieng

For a budget-friendly stay, Hailin Resort Vangvieng is a great choice. This charming resort is surrounded by nature and offers bungalows with beautiful views of the mountains. It also has an outdoor pool, free bicycle rental, and is located within walking distance of the Tham Chang Elephant Cave.

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Where to stay in Vang Vieng – Frequently Asked Questions

🚌 How to get to Vang Vieng?

The most common way to get to Vang Vieng is by bus. Buses from major cities like Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Pakse are available daily. You can also take a minivan or private car from these destinations. Laos has two international airports, one in Luang Prabang and one in Vientiane, so it's most likely that you'll be coming from either of those cities.

🏞️ What is there to do in Vang Vieng?

Vang Vieng is known for its natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities. Popular things to do include exploring the limestone formations, caves, and lagoons, as well as kayaking, tubing, and rock climbing. You can also visit local villages, temples, and markets to immerse yourself in the culture of Laos.

🍹 Does Vang Vieng have a good nightlife?

Vang Vieng is no longer just about its wild party scene, it has more and more shifted its focus to eco-tourism. However, don't worry, there are still plenty of bars and restaurants along the main street that offer a lively atmosphere at night. If you're a backpacker, know that the hostels themselves still throw some pretty epic parties, especially the amazing Mad Monkey Hostel located just outside of town!

🌧️ When is the best time to visit Vang Vieng?

The best time to visit Vang Vieng is from November to February when the weather is cooler and drier. March to May can be very hot, and June to October is monsoon season with heavy rainfalls. However, if you don't mind the rain and want a more peaceful experience, visiting during the low season can also be a great option. Just make sure to check the weather forecast before planning your trip, especially when planning to do a lot of outdoor activities.

✅ Is Vang Vieng worth visiting?

Absolutely! Vang Vieng is a must-visit destination in Laos for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. With its stunning landscapes, adventurous activities, and unique cultural experiences, it's a place that will leave a lasting impression. Plus, with the added bonus of being budget-friendly and having options for all types of travelers, there's no reason not to visit this gem of a town. 

Where to stay in Vang Vieng – Final Words

Many people might call Luang Prabang the nature hub of Laos, but Vang Vieng definitely doesn't have to shy away. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, Vang Vieng has got something for everyone.

With its stunning natural scenery, vibrant culture, and laid-back atmosphere, it's no wonder that Vang Vieng is becoming a top destination in Laos. And let me tell you, renting a scooter, mountain bike, or even one of the off-road buggies and exploring the Laotian countryside will definitely be the highlight of your entire trip!

I hope I could bring Laos' former party town, now transformed into an outdoor adventure town, a little closer to you and make it easier for you to decide where to stay in Vang Vieng.

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