Vang Vieng Remains a Strong Feature of Laos Tourism

Known for a long time as a paradise for backpackers and young westerners looking for booze and fun, Vang Vieng (150 km north of  Vientiane) has been cleaned up following the death by drowning of a few tourists. That was in 2014 and Vang Vieng has since bounced back…

Vang Vieng, one of the most favorite tourist destinations in Vientiane Province, recorded more than 183,000 visitor arrivals last year creating a cash flow of more than Kip70 billion (US$8.52 million) from its tourism industry. Vang Vieng is a three-hour and a half drive from Laos capital Vientiane.

More than 141,000 visitors visiting the district were identified as foreigners, with half of them from Asia, 30 percent from the EU and 20 percent from other parts of the world.

“Since the beginning of 2016, visitors have tended to come to Vang Vieng in groups or as families, especially those from Korea. This has helped boost the tourism industry in Vang Vieng over the past twelve months,” said Bounmy Phommavongsa, Director of the Information, Culture and Tourism Office of Vang Vieng district.

There are 43 natural tourist sites in Vang Vieng. These include 34 caves, two waterfalls, four cliffs with viewpoints on top, and three natural reservoirs.

Vang Vieng has more than 145 places of accommodation for visitors, including 17 hotels, one ASEAN green-standardised hotel, 10 resorts, 116 guesthouses, and one home-stay unit which comprises 8 houses. The district has  a total of 2,745 rooms.

There are more than 150 businesses involved in tourism-related services, such as catering, entertainment centres, massage parlours and souvenir shops, along with 16 tour companies, 21 kayaking service units, one tubing service group and one long-tail boat service group.

Over the past years, Vang Vieng authorities have made amendments to rules regulating tourism businesses in the district to ensure that peace and order would be maintained in the district. Many coffee shops and clubs for backpackers along the river were closed down. Tourism-related businesses were ‘educated’ to adhere to established rules in an effort to tackle social ills associated with the influx of tourists such as drug abuse as well as the wearing of skimpy and immodest clothing among visitors.
(Source: KPL)