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By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Vang Vieng with other popular and interesting places of Laos, for example: Vientiane, Luang Prabang, etc.
How to Book a Hotel in Vang Vieng
In order to book an accommodation in Vang Vieng enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Vang Vieng hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Vang Vieng map to estimate the distance from the main Vang Vieng attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Vang Vieng hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search in Vang Vieng is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Vang Vieng is waiting for you!
Hotels of Vang Vieng
A hotel in Vang Vieng is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Vang Vieng hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Vang Vieng are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Vang Vieng hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Vang Vieng hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Vang Vieng have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Vang Vieng
An upscale full service hotel facility in Vang Vieng that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Vang Vieng hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Vang Vieng
Full service Vang Vieng hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Vang Vieng
Boutique hotels of Vang Vieng are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Vang Vieng boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Vang Vieng may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Vang Vieng
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Vang Vieng travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Vang Vieng focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Vang Vieng
Small to medium-sized Vang Vieng hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Vang Vieng traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Vang Vieng hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Vang Vieng
A bed and breakfast in Vang Vieng is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Vang Vieng bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Vang Vieng B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Vang Vieng hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Vang Vieng
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Vang Vieng hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Vang Vieng lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Vang Vieng often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Vang Vieng on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Vang Vieng
A Vang Vieng motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Vang Vieng for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Vang Vieng motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Vang Vieng (Lao: ວັງວຽງ) is a tourist-oriented town in Laos in Vientiane Province about four hours bus ride north of the capital. The town lies on the Nam Song River. The most notable feature of the area is the karst hill landscape surrounding the town.
Vang Vieng: History
Vang Vieng was first settled around 1353 as a staging post between Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Originally named Mouang Song after the body of the deceased King Phra Nha Phao of Phai Naam was seen floating down the river, the town was renamed Vang Vieng during French colonial rule in the 1890s.
Significant expansion of the town and its infrastructure occurred during the 1964-73 Vietnam War when the US constructed an air force base and runway that was used by Air America. The airstrip was then called "Lima site 6". In more recent times, the town has grown substantially due to the influx of backpackers attracted by the opportunities for adventure tourism in a limestone karst landscape.
Vang Vieng: Tourism
Landscape, Vang Vieng.
Vang Vieng has become a backpacker-oriented town, with the main street featuring guest houses, bars, restaurants, internet cafes, tour agencies, and Western tourists Attractions of the town include inner tubing and kayaking on the Nam Song River, which, until the third quarter of 2012, was lined with bars selling Beer Lao and Lao-Lao, and equipped with rope swings, zip lines, swimming and diving into blue lagoon, and large decks for socializing.
Vang Vieng locals have organised themselves into a cooperative business association to sell tubing as an activity, in a system in which 1,555 participating households are divided into 10 village units, with each village unit taking its turn on a ten-day rotation to rent inner-tubes to the tourists.
Thanongsi Sorangkoun, owner of an organic farm in Vang Vieng, says that tubing inadvertently began in 1999 when he bought a few rubber tubes for his farm volunteers to relax on along the river.
During the wet season, the river can be a series of rapids.
Other activities include trekking and rock climbing in the limestone mountains. There are also numerous caves, such as Tham Phu Kham half an hour north of Vang Vieng by tuk-tuk or the Tham Non and Tham Jang caves closer to Vang Vieng.
A market five kilometres north of town sells Lao textiles, household items, and foodstuffs. The town is on the main north-south highway, Route 13 from Luang Prabang to the capital, Vientiane. It is about eight hours by bus to Luang Prabang and four hours to Vientiane (152 km).
Just a short walk from town are many ethnic Lao, Kmou, and Hmong villages, while Vang Vieng Organic Farm is around 4 km north of the town in the village of Phoudindaeng. There are opportunities for community involvement such as teaching, while it's also possible to stay in a house made of mud bricks at the organic farm. Another new organisation since December 2012 providing community activities is FruitFriends.
Wat Done Hor is the oldest of the five temples in Vang Vieng, built in 1903.
Vang Vieng: Impact of tourism
A poster in Vang Vieng urging foreign tourists to respect local habits and culture.
Due to the influx of backpackers, Vang Vieng locals have seen drastic changes in their community. In recent years, Vang Vieng has become a stop on the Southeast Asia backpacker circuit and the main street has many guest houses, bars, restaurants, internet cafes and tour agencies.
There are concerns that the town is in danger of losing its charm as it becomes full of tourists, mushroom shakes, and episodes of Friends, a US sitcom shown in many bars. The New Zealand Herald wrote, "If teenagers ruled the world, it might resemble Vang Vieng". Safety measures for the tubing have been described as "non existent". Tubing combined with heavy drinking has resulted in tourist drownings. It was reported that 22 tourists died on the river in 2011.
The Lao government is planning to put more controls on the urban sprawl of Vang Vieng, while the Laos National Tourism Administration has "awareness programs" that ask tourists to "respect and strictly follow the rules, regulations, tradition and cultures of the Lao people", while also educating local people to maintain the Lao identity, way of life, tradition, and culture and not imitate tourist behaviour. Vang Vieng is known to have a problem with drugs, which are easily accessible to both tourists and local children.
Locals have said that tubing and tourism are destroying the town's culture and encouraging crime among children, while loud music destroys the area's tranquility. A report on the future of tourism in Vang Vieng found that many budget tubers were "oblivious to, or uncaring about, the types of social, economic and environmental impact they are associated with." A master plan for Vang Vieng notes that local grievances include pollution, inappropriate behaviour of tourists and environmental damage.
Brett Dakin, the author of Another Quiet American, a chronicle of two years in Laos working for the tourist authority, said, "Each time a young Australian woman strolls down the street in a bikini, a bearded American smokes a joint on a guesthouse terrace, or a group of Koreans tumbles drunkenly out of a restaurant, it saps a little more of the essence of a town like Vang Vieng."
Vang Vieng: Crime
As of June 2014, the US State Department says that although Laos generally has a low rate of violent crime, "some tourists have been robbed and sexually assaulted". Many restaurants in the Vang Vieng area offer menu items, particularly "pizzas", "shakes", or "teas" that may contain unknown substances or opiates. These products are often advertised as "happy" or "special" items. These unknown substances or opiates can be dangerous, causing serious illness or even death.
Vang Vieng: Tourist deaths and injuries
Vang Vieng's hospital recorded 27 tourist deaths in 2011 due to drowning or diving head first into rocks. Most fatalities occur on the same bar-heavy stretch of river that's less than 1 km long. In a 2012 interview with The Guardian newspaper, a senior doctor at the Vang Vieng Hospital, Dr Chit, said the overall figure is higher because "many fatalities are taken straight to Vientiane". In early 2012, two Australian backpackers died within a month. Dr Chit said five to 10 backpackers a day arrive at the local hospital with injuries such as broken bones or infected gashes, or sickness caused by alcohol intoxication or other drugs. "There are no safety measures or supervision, no helmets," says Dr Chit. "We're not equipped to treat anything serious."
The Guardian reported that tourist deaths have brought a sense of bad karma for Laotian villagers living near the river. Today, local people avoid the river, once a part of everyday life for bathing, playing, fishing, and washing clothes. "We don't want to swim in the river any more," explains La Phengxayya, 25, a primary school teacher in Phoudindaeng, the village closest to the tubing area. "We believe there are evil spirits in the water because so many young foreigners have died."
Vang Vieng: Government crackdown
In the third quarter of 2012, the Lao government carried out a crackdown in Vang Vieng, pulling down all the riverside bars. Tubing is still going on, but in a much more controlled fashion.
One climbing instructor was reported to have said that visitors are now spending more time participating in activities such as climbing, kayaking, and mountain biking. "Vang Vieng has come back to us again… it's like it used to be", he was quoted as saying.
The Bangkok Post reported that although the number of Westerners has dropped, visitors from Japan, China, and South Korea are on the rise, making up for the loss. The changing trend posed a new problem as tourists from Asia did not favour cheap accommodation and preferred more upmarket places, the report added.
Vang Vieng: See also
Banana Pancake Trail
Vang Vieng: References
"Vang Vieng". VangVieng.org. 2011. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014.
"Vang Veng Staying Longer Spending More". STDP Laos. Aug 2009.
"History of Vang Vieng". MUONGLAO.COM. Retrieved 12 Oct 2011.
"Vang Vieng Travel Guide". Lao Travel Guide. 2008. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
"Vang Vieng tubing". goseasia. 2011.
"Down the tube". Sydney Morning Herald. 30 Jun 2011.
"Vang Vieng ... as it used to be". Lao.co.uk. 2007.
"Volunteer Laos-Vang Vieng". Travel to Teach. 2008.
"Vang Vieng's little big man". Green Traveller Guide. 5 Jan 2009. Archived from the original on 2 April 2013.
"Party town". Sydney Morning Herald. 12 Apr 2012. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012.
"Paradise Lost". Sydney Morning Herald. 26 Aug 2009.
Kennedy-Good, Matt (2009-09-22). "Vang Vieng: A tragedy waiting to happen". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
"Bournemouth man died after river 'tubing' in Laos". 14 Sep 2011.
"Man dies 'tubing' in Laos river". The Age. 12 Jan 2012.
"A plan to keep Vangvieng tourism alive". Vientiane Times. 16 Jun 2009. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011.
"Laos threatened by sex and drugs". The Daily Telegraph. 17 Mar 2010.
Dhiradityakul, Kris. "The decline and fall of Vang Vieng". Chiang Mai Mail. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
"Down the tube". Sydney Morning Herald. 30 Jun 2011.
"Vang Vieng Town and Environs Master Plan, 2010 -2020" (PDF). Hansen Partnership. Dec 2009.
Laos, US State Department, retrieved June 2014.
Haworth, Abigail (2012-04-12). "Vang Vieng, Laos: the world's most unlikely party town". The Guardian-The Observer. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
"The Party's Over". SBS Dateline. 16 Oct 2012.
"On my bike in lovely Laos". IOL Travel. 30 Oct 2013.
"Backpackers shun Vangvieng in Laos". Bangkok Post. 11 Oct 2013. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
Vang Vieng: External links
Vang Vieng travel guide from Wikivoyage
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vang Vieng.
Lao National Tourism Administration Archived 16 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
Tourism in Vang Vieng: Strategy for Staying Longer – Spending More - Dr Paul Rogers, Lao National Tourism Administration-Asian Development Bank, GMS Sustainable Tourism Development Project, August 2009
Vang Vieng Town and Environs Master Plan, 2010 -2020 - Hansen Partnership, Lao National Tourism Administration-Asian Development Bank, GMS Sustainable Tourism Development Project, December 2009
Vang Vieng Travel Guide Archived 2 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
Ultimate Vang Vieng Travel Guide Archived 31 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
Tubing Vang Vieng Guide Archived 30 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
FruitFriends community-based development programs.
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