Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

Nong Khiaw vs Vang Vieng

Posted by CaptainScott on 22/3/2013 at 08:51

Hi folks,

I am going to be in northern Laos for a limited time (just a week unfortunately) and an debating whether to spend two nights in either Nong Khiaw or Vang Vieng . I am looking to chill out and enjoy the scenery/peace and do a bit of trekking/caving.

If I were to go to Nong Khiaw, then I would bypass VV due to time constraints and fly from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. I've read that Vang Vieng has calmed down a lot of late due to interventions from the Lao Government, but I basically don't want to end up in gap year hell, when I can enjoy similarly spectacular scenery somewhere else. Setting/scenery-wise, how does Nong Khiaw compare - and is Vang Vieng a 'must-see' despite it's firm position on the well-trodden tourist trail?

#1 CaptainScott has been a member since 22/3/2013. Posts: 28

Posted by DSawyer on 22/3/2013 at 09:44

I'm going to Nong Khiaw the end of May/beginning of June.I have the same restrictions for time as you, but what made my choice more clear was the river trip to Nong Khiaw...hear it is just a great way to take in the country side.Plus there are some cool hikes around Nong Khiaw...Hope your choice works out for you

#2 DSawyer has been a member since 9/1/2013. Posts: 48


Posted by DSawyer on 22/3/2013 at 09:44

I'm going to Nong Khiaw the end of May/beginning of June.I have the same restrictions for time as you, but what made my choice more clear was the river trip to Nong Khiaw...hear it is just a great way to take in the country side.Plus there are some cool hikes around Nong Khiaw...Hope your choice works out for you

#3 DSawyer has been a member since 9/1/2013. Posts: 48

Posted by mooball on 24/3/2013 at 22:07 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

Vang Vieng has quietened down a lot, but it's still not pristine. Either is Nong Khiaw for that matter. But there are fewer 18-22 year olds in Nong Khiaw and you might enjoy that more. For caves, Vang Vieng is better.

If you want to relax, I think Nong Khiaw is still the way to go, but it is going to be a lot more time out of your travels in just getting there.

#4 mooball has been a member since 19/6/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 429
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Posted by CaptainScott on 26/3/2013 at 05:39

Cheers for the replies, folks. I think Nong Khiaw might be more the kind of thing I'm looking for. Can't be arsed with gap year kids and their happy pizzas, even if the party has calmed down. Whilst I'm disaapointed to miss the scenery/caving around VV, I'll hopefully be able to do a good trek at NK and chill out for a couple of days then fly down to Vientiane.

#5 CaptainScott has been a member since 22/3/2013. Posts: 28


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