Vang Vieng is a small village nestled on the banks of the Nam Song River and surrounded by a landscape of plains, mountain peaks and tranquil rivers.
Vang Vieng has become a haunt for backpackers, 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 is lined with bars selling Beer Lao and Lao-Lao, and equipped with rope swings, zip lines, and large decks for socializing.
The Vang Vieng local community 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.
Other activities include trekking and rock climbing in the limestone mountains. There are also numerous caves, such as Tham Phu Kham cave half an hour from Vang Vieng by tuk-tuk or the Tham Jang cave closer to Vang Vieng. A market located five kilometres north of the town sells Lao textiles, household items and foodstuffs. The town is situated 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.