Known for its party scene, in recent years Vang Vieng has reinvented itself as the outdoor capital of Laos. Now an adventure seekers paradise, the destination is all about hiking dramatic mountains, kayaking through rapids, hot air ballooning through the natural scenery and practising yoga moves in the serene rice fields. So if you’re like me and your partying days are behind you, check out this list of epic things to do in Vang Vieng (other than drinking) that should be added to your Vang Vieng itinerary.
Whilst it’s possible to get an e-visa before arriving in Laos, the Laos visa on arrival is the quickest and cheapest way to get a Laos tourist visa. This can be obtained if you are arriving at either Luang Prabang airport, Vientiane airport or 25 other border checkpoints surrounding Laos. The visa on arrival for Laos is available for most nationalities and only requires 1 passport photo and US dollars for the application fee. The Laos visa on arrival fee varies between 30 USD to 40 USD depending on your nationality (UK and US citizens are currently $35) plus 1 USD for the visa service fee. Tourist visas in Laos last for 30 days.
The currency in Laos is the Lao Kip, and the exchange rate is approximately 9000 LAK to 1 USD. There are plenty of places to exchange money in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng, however they offer different rates dependent on the bill, $100 bills will get a better rate than smaller bills. To counteract this as much as possible, bring larger denomination USD bills with you and shop around for the best exchange rates. It is also possible to exchange GBP, EUR and other major currencies into Laos Kip.