5 Days in Mystical Laos: Vientiane and Vang Vieng

Want to experience a laid back pace of life while having an exhilarating travel adventure? How about witnessing amazing natural sceneries and going to places of rich history and culture dating back to centuries ago? Giving you the best of both worlds, a trip to Laos is your answer. On this 5 day travel in Laos, you will find yourself immersed in the culture, history and traditions of right at the heart of Laos in Vientiane, followed by a travel adventure of a lifetime in the cozy town of Vang Vieng.

Laying beside the Mekong river, Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos where economic growth and its beloved cultural sites has made this town bloom. Next, you will travel to Vang Vieng and be surrounded by fascinating limestone mountains and caves. Vang Vieng has reinvented itself as Laos’ hub of adventure travel, offering a lengthy menu of adrenaline-fuelled experiences.

Enough said, it’s time for you to take a trip to Laos and see it all for yourself. 




Welcome to Laos! Upon your arrival at Wattay International Airport, travel to the capital, Vientiane where you can check into your accommodation. After you have taken a short break, grab a fully filled water bottle and put on some comfortable walking shoes as you will be going temple-hopping, before feasting on delicious and authentic Laos cuisine at the night market later in the day!

First up on your trip, you will head to the stunning Pha That Luang located a walking distance from the center of Vientiane. You will first notice its majestic and gold exterior as you approach. With its architecture closely linked to Laotian culture and identity, it is no wonder that it has been termed as Laos’ national symbol and regarded as a sacred religious site. Spend some time admiring the tall fortress-like walls, the two temples, the 45m high main stupa and the pinnacle which is covered in real gold. It is no doubt the first on the itinerary of many visitors in Laos – and for good reason! If you are staying near central Vientiane, come back to view the temple at sunset, you’ll find yourself blown away by how this building lights up into a glorious warm gold. 

Afterwards, you will then travel to the next temple, Haw Phra Kaew (Hor Pha Keo). This is another notable temple in Laos, having been built in 1565 to house the precious Emerald Buddha. Though the Emerald Buddha is no longer housed here, it is still worth the trip down to Haw Phra Kaew museum where you can find out more about its history and appreciate traditional Laos art, sculptures and artefacts on display.  From the terrace of Haw Phra Kaew, you can even enjoy a panoramic view of the President’s Palace and its surrounding garden. Moreover, the temple is also a stone’s throw away from Vientiane Night Market, where you can head to after the temple. This is the place where you can feast on Laos cuisine and shop without burning a hole in your wallet! You will then spend the night in Vientiane before a new  day of experiences tomorrow.



Today you will be leaving the city for the rural experience! Travel to Vang Vieng, about 160km North from Vientiane. Upon reaching Vang Vieng, take a quick breather as you settle into your accommodation and put on some sunscreen because you’ll be heading out into the sunshine. What better way to spend your first day in this beautiful Laos riverside town by going to the river itself! No we are not talking about a swim down Nam Song river, but river tubing!

To do so, head to the tubing center located east of the main road in town and right across the street from Hally’s Coffee. From there your rental will include the tubing itself and transportation up the Song river to the starting point where you can slowly drift down. Relax and admire the surrounding Karst hill landscape around or grab a quick drink at one of the 4 bars along the Nam Song river banks. Afterwards, head back to the office to return the tubing. Be sure to keep your electronics in waterproof bags if you are bringing them along with you on your ride.



Saving the best for last, you will end your trip by traversing impressive Phu Kham Cave and perhaps taking a swim in the crystal clear blue lagoon. This site is highly popular with both locals and tourists alike, so do travel here early to avoid the crowd.

To get to the cave entrance you will have to follow the hiking trail about halfway up the limestone cliff. The 200 meter climb is quite steep at places but don’t worry as the trail is equipped with handrails at the steepest sections to help you keep your balance. Once you reach the entrance, head in. The cave is a labyrinth of chambers, galleries and crevices filled with stalagmites and stalactites. At the first chamber you will see a reclining Buddha image. Do note that the holes in the ceiling make the first chamber relatively well lit, however as you venture into the deeper chambers, the amount of light diminishes quickly so be sure to bring sufficient torches and batteries. Red direction arrows have been painted on the rocks to mark a trail. After a while the arrows disappear and there is no clear path to follow. While some of the chambers are quite large and relatively easy to navigate, venturing into other parts of the cave means climbing over ledges, crawling through low crevices and wading through the water. Make sure to take great care wandering deeper into the cave. 

Although exploring the cave may not be everyone’s cup of tea, this is still a place that is worth the travel to. At the bottom of the track to the cave is the Blue Lagoon, where you can take a chance to cool down and wash off the cave’s dust. Next to the pool is a tree with ropes hanging down from its branches where you are able to swing off from into the water!

After a long day out, travel back to Vang Vieng where you will bid goodbye to amazing Laos and head back home.





On day 2 of your vacation in Laos, you will be personally taught traditional Laotian skills at the Houey Hong Vocational training Centre for Women. You can take a traditional Laos natural dyes class or weaving class here. You can also choose to dye your own silk scarf from natural ingredients such as Jackfruit (Yellow) and fermented Indigo, or opt for a one-hour weaving introduction. If you fancy a cooking class, you can even sign up for a Laos cooking class with restaurants and groups like Khop Chai Deu or Tuk Tuk Safari. Note that you will have to pre-book these activities online beforehand to avoid being disappointed.

After a day of hard work, travel back to the city center where you can go for a Vientiane massage at one of the many massage parlours around town. This Laos-styled massage uses soothing essential oils and combines Swedish and Thai techniques for the most optimal result. Laotian massages are generally gentler than traditional Thai massage, making it popular and suitable for those with a lower pain tolerance. A great massage can do wonders for the body and a trip to Vientiane, Laos would definitely not be complete without one.



Rise and shine! Today you will be heading for a hike on the Pha Ngeun Trail which will take you all the way to Pha Ngeun, the highest point in the Vang Vieng area. As it is quite well marked, this trail can be done with or without a guide, though it all depends on your preference and pace you want to go at. However, this Vang Vieng trail is not for the fainthearted and will require some physical stamina as the path is steep on most of the journey. There are 2 sections on the trail, and it would take about 30-60 mins to reach the first viewpoint depending on your speed. Upon reaching the peak, make sure to breathe in the fresh and cool Laos air and admire the lush Vang Vieng greenery, and know that the journey up was worth it. When you are ready to descend, walk down by the same way and at a safe pace, take your time to slowly descend and watch out for any loose or slippery rocks. 

For adventure seekers, fulfil that appetite with a trip to a zip-line trail. To embark on one, head to one of the many companies round Vang Vieng that offer these services. These companies are usually located in the center of the town of Viengkeo. If that does not suit you, fret not, you can opt for a hot air balloon ride over the beautiful Laos countryside. Whether you choose a zip-line adventure or a hot air balloon ride, you are sure to be treated with dazzling sights to behold and a whole lot of fun and travel memories in Laos. Who wouldn’t want that? 



  • Spice up your trip to Vientiane with traditional activities and Laotian massage

  • Go tubing down the Nam Song River in Vang Vieng 

  • Take a plunge in the mesmerizing blue lagoon in Vang Vien