Set in the garden of a local house, Pizza Luka serves up delicious pizzas from their outdoor oven. From the bar, you can watch the master as he creates your dinner. Local ingredients, like goat cheese, combine excellently with imported sausages to create flavors uniquely Vang Vieng.
Happy Mango Thai Cuisine
If upscale dining exists in Vang Vieng, this is as close as it gets. A mango and sticky rice shop on the street serves pedestrians, while inside all of your Thai favorites are available. Tom yum and Thai curries are highly recommended.
Baguette sandwiches – Vang Vieng’s most ubiquitous street food – are served all over town, but the vendors outside of Roung Nakhon Vang Vieng Palace offer an incredible variety of delicious options, as well as fruit shakes. They are excellent to take along for any adventures into the surrounding countryside. Other innovations include Beerlao Burgers and more!
Gary’s Irish Bar
A lively establishment serving up Irish comfort foods and burgers. Major sporting events are also televised here, and live music is played most evenings drawing locals and tourists alike. Local and imported beers and whiskeys are available to keep the fun going into the night.
This artistic riverside bar is made of recycled and repurposed materials. Beautiful views and live music keep people coming in, while delicious burgers, beers, and cocktails keep them staying.
The Other Side
For a more local experience, cross the bamboo bridge to the other side where many tents and huts are set up on the riverside. Dip your feet in the water as you enjoy Lao favorites like grilled fish, papaya salad, and delicious cold Beerlao.
SEE and DO
Blue Lagoon and Pou Kham Cave
What is more iconic than crystal blue water with a rope swing and a chill garden setting? The nearby cave is also a bonus for those wanting escape from the tropical sun and home to a mythical golden crab. If seasonal crowds are not to your liking, there are two other spots in the surrounding area also called Blue Lagoon, so you can find a more secluded spot.
Tubing and Kayaking
For years, tubing was the main draw in Vang Vieng. But now it’s a quieter experience than years past, as the number of riverside bars has decreased. It is still a lovely float (or paddle) down the Song river through the breathtaking scenery that Vang Vieng is rightly famous for.
Pha Nam Xay Viewpoint
A favorite of shutterbugs and instagrammers, a climb up to the top of Pha Nam Xay will reward you with sweeping panoramas of rice fields and limestone karsts in the area. The hike is steep and is best avoided in the heat of the day.
Riverside Boutique Resort
This high-end boutique resort is located at the river’s edge just next to the main bridge. The restaurant is excellent and drinks can be served at the poolside gazing directly at the unlikely limestones. Pinch yourself to check that you are not dreaming. http://www.riversidevangvieng.com
Amari Vang Vieng
A newcomer to the hotel scene, Amari offers an international standard like its sister properties in Thailand. Riverside rooms have astonishing views of the mountains that can even be viewed from the bed or the bathroom. You might even forget the room has a television! https://www.amari.com/vang-vieng
Inthira Vang Vieng
Inthira recently rebuilt their hotel on this riverside spot. The stylish modern concrete exterior offers a break from the usual hotel style in this area. Rooms are well equipped and the infinity pool is a great place to cool off in the middle of the day. https://www.inthirahotels.com/vangvieng
Text by: JASON ROLAN
Phorographs by: JASON ROLAN & PHOONSAB THEVONGSA