To think that at first we even thought of skipping this 'Party town', boy we would have been mistaken. Luckily the party has stopped, no more crazy zip lines and reckless tubing. Vang Vieng is really trying to clean up its bad reputation. Most of the happy bars have disappeared, it seems that now most people come here looking for some time to lay back, enjoy the beautiful surroundings and have a swim in the blue lagoon. The town has a great laid back vibe, the streets are reasonably quite and calm during the evening. There are many bars and restaurants serving western favorites. We found some great local spots on the main road where we enjoyed, what we think was, the best Laab in Laos.
The scenery is definitely beautiful, the town is facing impressive karts mountains that are dotted with countless caves, most of which are worth a visit. Not being that much in to caving we decided to rent a bike for the day and did 'The Loop' a 30 km+ trip through the villages and countryside just north of the river. The roads are possibly the worst we have seen in Laos, but the views and the refreshing swim in the blue lagoon are worth the occasional discomfort. If your into hiking there are a few viewpoints along the loop, some of which are quite challenging. Rewarding views yet again.
Whether you come looking for outrageous parties, which you'll surely be able to find, or you want to relax and take in the sights. Vang Vieng is a great stop, not to mention it boasts the best value for money rooms in Laos.