Photo: Kayaking in Vang Vieng.

Accommodation

Vang Vieng town

Vang Vieng town lies in between the Nam Song river and an old airport runway that runs parallel to Route 13. Vang Vieng is overrun with same-same budget guesthouses but the good news for travellers is that accommodation here is excellent value. Backpackers can get great budget digs for not a lot and some even come with five-star views. Even though a bed in a hostel costs nearly the same as a fan room with private bathroom, they remain a big hit with the younger crowd.


Central Backpackers
Backpacker - Under US$10
Main road, Vang Vieng
T: (023) 511 593

This backpacker hostel really is popular with the backpacking crowd and rightly so. The owners have done a great job of providing good quality budget accommodation when most places in this price range are downright scary. The dorm rooms, which have four to six beds each and a shared bathroom ensuite, are clean and tidy and your only concern is going to be if you get noisy roommates. The clean and... Read our full review of Central Backpackers.

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Domon Guesthouse
Flashpacker - US$10 to 20
Riverside
T: (030) 522 3855, (020) 9989 8678

Domon is among the breed of big multi-level concrete guesthouses that have popped up along the riverbank. It’s great value and a top guesthouse in Vang Vieng, especially if you shell out some extra kip for a room with a view. Domon's best rooms have private balconies with unobstructed view of the mountains for under US$20. All rooms, even the cheapies, are spotlessly clean, freshly painted,... Read our full review of Domon Guesthouse.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Elephant Crossing Hotel
Midrange - US$20 to 50
Riverside
T: (023) 511 232

Elephant Crossing is a popular midrange hotel with a five-star view. Perched on the Nam Song, it has 31 rooms spread out over four floors and the top floors get spectacular unobstructed views of the river and mountains from the balconies. Incredibly, rooms on the third and fourth floor are classed as standard rooms and are actually cheaper. Yes, they are slightly smaller and not as refined, but... Read our full review of Elephant Crossing Hotel.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Malany Hotel
Flashpacker - US$10 to 20
Main road, Vang Vieng
T: (023) 511 632

Opened in November 2012, this hotel is one of the newer style multi-storey monoliths that have become so prevalent in Vang Vieng over the years. Despite its businesslike exterior, Malany Hotel is actually a fantastic deal for flashpackers. The rooms are all naturally well lit by the windows connecting to the balcony, the beds are hard but feature crisp white linen, the TVs are flatscreen cable... Read our full review of Malany Hotel.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Riverside Boutique Resort
Luxury - over US$100
On the river, beside the toll bridge, Vang Vieng
T: (023) 511 726-8

Like a college student trying to smarten up and shake off a party-boy reputation, Vang Vieng is evolving to attract a different sort of tourist. Opened in 2012, Riverside Boutique Resort is Vang Vieng’s first luxury boutique hotel and it has rolled out the welcome mat for upscale travellers to discover the region. Finally, the town boasts a hotel befitting of its spectacular... Read our full review of Riverside Boutique Resort.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Vilayvong Guesthouse
Flashpacker - US$10 to 20
River Rd, Vang Vieng
T: (023) 511 703

Vilayvong is our top guesthouse pick for flashpackers looking for bright, new and clean rooms. The guesthouse, located a block north of the toll bridge, has undergone significant expansion over the past couple of years and what used to be a cluster of simple bungalows now includes a new towering building with modern rooms that represent excellent value. We’ve been throwing our pack down... Read our full review of Vilayvong Guesthouse.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Dokboua Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Centre of town, across from BCEL bank branch, Vang Vieng
T: (020) 5985 1803

It was all smiles when we visited Dokboua Guesthouse. Centrally located, Dokboua is run by a lovely, friendly family keen on ensuring budget travellers have a comfortable stay and it’s no wonder they have remained popular for many years. This feeling is refreshing in Vang Vieng, as many locals have become so jaded by the tourist masses. The concrete guesthouse has three levels of rooms. The... Read our full review of Dokboua Guesthouse.

Kianethong Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
South end of town, Vang Vieng
T: (023) 511 069

There are two different rooms available at Kianethong Guesthouse, those in the main house and those in the newer motel block style building. The rooms in the building are typical guesthouse: small and basic with big hard beds that take up most of the room, old cable TVs and dimly lit hot water bathrooms. But they're very clean and come with free WiFi, a rarity in this price range. The rooms in... Read our full review of Kianethong Guesthouse.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Pan's Place
Backpacker - Under US$10
Main road, south end of town, Vang Vieng
T: (023) 511 484

Backpackers gravitate to Pan’s Place, perhaps drawn by the yin-yang symbol, the canary yellow building or the congregation of other scruffy backpackers chatting away out front. Pan’s Place is not the cheapest, nor does it offer the best value, but this is the place to make new friends, meet new travel mates and have fun in its friendly, chilled out communal atmosphere. Pan's has changed hands... Read our full review of Pan's Place.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Pany Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Lane off of main road near the old runway, Vang Vieng
T: (020) 5562 4444, (020) 5606 0722

Another top flashpacker pick, Pany is a two-storey block guesthouse set back less than 100 metres off the main road near the old runway. Rooms are sparkling clean, as are the large attached hot water bathrooms, and tall folks will appreciate the lofty ceilings. Everything feels bright and new and the rooms are solid with big spring beds, desk/vanity, air-con, minifridge, flatscreen TV, cool tile... Read our full review of Pany Guesthouse.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Villa Vang Vieng Riverside
Toprange - US$50 to 100
Beside toll bridge, across the lane from Riverside
T: (023) 511 460

The rooms at Villa Vang Vieng Riverside are bungalow style, but they are solidly built, made entirely out of wood and concrete and feel more like small traditional Lao houses, complete with terracotta roof and decorative trim. Each bungalow comes with a big hot water bathroom with bathtub, old cable TV, big bed with soft linen, hardwood floors, air-con and free WiFi. The river view rooms have... Read our full review of Villa Vang Vieng Riverside.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Khamphone Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
South end of town, Vang Vieng
T: (023) 511 062

In a town with so many good value budget options, you still can’t go wrong with Khamphone Guesthouse, a long standing quiet and clean choice. Khamphone is now comprised of three buildings: two adjacent houses and one across the street. The clean, cheerful rooms have firm beds, a table, chair, minimal decoration and screened windows you can open for fresh air. Some newer rooms also have a TV and... Read our full review of Khamphone Guesthouse.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Malany Villa 1
Backpacker - Under US$10
Main road, beside Central Backpackers, Vang Vieng
T: (023) 511 750

Malany Villa 1 is a budget hotel located on the main road smack dab in the middle of town. Ignore the sullen unfriendly reception because it’s great value at a central location. The very big rooms are clean, and come with old cable TVs, windows, WiFi, bedside table, mirror, springy beds with clean threadbare sheets and ensuite hot water bathroom. Most budget travellers will find the rooms here... Read our full review of Malany Villa 1.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Villa Nam Song
Luxury - over US$100
Riverside
T: (023) 511 637

Set in an immaculately manicured garden, this cute riverside hotel is a pleasant higher-end place in Vang Vieng. The exteriors are painted cheerful tropical salmon pink while the interiors are subtle, simple but elegant, with dark hardwood floors and furniture, crisp white sheets and silk pillowcases. They also have modern comforts like air-con, hot water and minibar fridge. The grounds are... Read our full review of Villa Nam Song.

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Inthira Hotel
Midrange - US$20 to 50
Main road, Vang Vieng
T: (023) 511 070

For a long time Inthira was the only upscale accommodation in Vang Vieng. Times have changed and the hotel’s appeal has faded. The hotel boasts no riverside location or views, and in fact the ground floor rooms face a solid fence which means the rooms receive little natural light and feel slightly claustrophobic. Instead, we’ll focus on the best room, the superior rooms on the second floor... Read our full review of Inthira Hotel.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Nana Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Main road, south end of town, Vang Vieng
T: (023) 511 036

At the south end of the main road well from the bustle of restaurants, Nana is for those travelling on a tight budget. Overall the place is fairly run down and everything is in need of several coats of paint, but it’s just about the cheapest room with private bathroom that we’d deem passable in Vang Vieng. Rooms are fairly standard with simple beds, slightly mildewy ensuite bathrooms, and the... Read our full review of Nana Guesthouse.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

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Other side of the river

The other side of the river is just a hop and a skip away, but it feels like another world. Staying west of the Nam Song removes you from the hustle and bustle of town and gives you more opportunity to appreciate Vang Vieng's natural beauty. The other side is accessible via the permanent toll bridge at the south end of town, and a bamboo bridge in dry season or a ferryboat in wet season in the north end.


Lao Valhalla
Backpacker - Under US$10
Other side of the river, 1 km from toll bridge on the road to the blue lagoon, Vang Vieng
T: (020) 5546 2120

With six lovely bungalows surrounded by a beautiful garden, rice paddies and cliffs, Lao Valhalla is well worth the one kilometre bike ride from town. Hardworking owner Nout gives guests true Lao hospitality, and her disarming friendliness and genuine care is heart warming. It’s a wonderful feeling and a rarity in this jaded over-touristed town. Cool off and chill out. Head down one... Read our full review of Lao Valhalla.

Cliff View Bungalows
Flashpacker - US$10 to 20
Other side of river, directly across seasonal bamboo bridge, Vang Vieng
T: (020) 5555 7780, (020) 2241 1203

The bungalows at Cliff View are more expensive than those next door at Banana and Otherside -- but that's because they are far better. Bungalows are less rustic and more refined, and rooms come with better linen, mosquito net, bedside table, older-style cable TVs, solid wooden floor boards and clean hot water bathrooms with Western toilet, plus air-con in the more expensive rooms. The best rooms... Read our full review of Cliff View Bungalows.

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Otherside Bungalows
Backpacker - Under US$10
Other side of the river, directly across seasonal bamboo bridge, Vang Vieng
T: (020) 5610 6070

With a recent addition of new upmarket bungalows, Otherside has something for everyone. The original bungalows are set away from the river and have mountain views. The bungalows without private bath are simple shacks, very rustic with reasonable beds, mosquito net and a hammock though we’re sceptical anyone could lie in it without bringing down the whole building. The bungalows with attached... Read our full review of Otherside Bungalows.

 Book Now Pay Later with Agoda.com

Banana Bungalows
Backpacker - Under US$10
Other side of river from Vang Vieng

Sandwiched together with Cliff View and Otherside bungalows, Banana Bungalows shares the same basic bungalow design and style as its neighbours. All bungalows have the same rate regardless of location and come with an attached bathroom with hot water shower, decent bed, balcony and hammock. The older rooms line the river and have the view but they are built closer together and the interiors have... Read our full review of Banana Bungalows.

 Pay Only When You Stay with Booking.com.

Maylyn Guesthouse
Backpacker - Under US$10
Across the river from Vang Vieng
T: (020) 5589 8038

Maylyn Guesthouse feels like a secret garden for backpackers. It has the typical chilled out, friendly and welcoming vibe backpackers love but does not sacrifice on cleanliness and comforts. Though not far at all from town (it’s just across the river close to the toll bridge), you feel close to nature and the place has plenty of nooks – hammocks, balconies, lounge sala – to enjoy the peace,... Read our full review of Maylyn Guesthouse.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Vang Vieng? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Laos.


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