Vang Vieng's geological wonders can be explored in a variety of ways:
Trekking: Step away from the tourist hub and explore Vang Vieng’s unrivalled natural surroundings on foot, whether through an organized multi-day trek, walking by yourself along marked trails, or strolling on the cultural side of town to visit four peaceful temples. Check out some of the treks offered by the tour companies and enter a side of Vang Vieng that’s well-worth the hike. You can follow streams, explore caves, eat organic local foods, go for a swim, camp out, and visit villages with an overnight stay.
Caving: When it comes to caves, Vang Vieng is king - it has 17 distinct caves, many of which are conveniently clustered in groups. You can visit the caves on your own, hire a local guide, or join a tour. Most of the caves are easy to reach by motorbike, cycle, and foot, and each one has its own tale to tell, whether they are legends or historical facts. All the caves are managed and maintained by local communities and entrepreneurs, and they charge a small entrance fee for their efforts. You may also have to pay a modest toll to cross bridges leading to the caves, with much of the payment going into village funds.
Rock Climbing: Ardent rock climbers will feel an adrenaline surge when they see the sheer cliffs around Vang Vieng, and would-be climbers can learn the art of scaling rock walls. Green Discovery and Adam’s Climbing School have teamed with climbing enthusiasts from Australia and Europe to carve out almost 100 routes on eight of Vang Vieng’s crags.
Biking: Whether you’re looking to tackle the trails on a rugged mountain bike or take a leisurely pedal in and around Vang Vieng, a number of shops in town rent a range of two-wheel cycles to meet your needs. You can head out on your own and follow the roads and trails or join a mountain-bike trek organized by a local tour company. Biking is a perfect way to access the quiet rural areas and caves along the outskirts of the town.
Motorbike and ATV riding: Grip the handles of a motorcycle for a stunning adventure a bit further afield. You can motor your way to waterfalls and caves, or journey along a 5-km unpaved road out of town to the popular 100m-deep Tham Poukham (Golden Crab Cave) and water hole for a cool swim. Four-wheel ATV (also known as buggies) are also now available for those who don’t mind the mud.