Once known chiefly for its raucous backpacker scene, the pretty town of Vang Vieng is now coming into its own as a haven for rest and recreation. This satisfying Vang Vieng escape exposes guests to the full array of attractions in the local vicinity. Highlights of the tour, meanwhile, include Tham Chang Cave, and a Lao cookery class at Vang Vieng Organic Farm.
Arrive in Vang Vieng, a small town on the banks of the Nam Song River surrounded by spectacular limestone karst scenery.
The rest of the afternoon is free at leisure with your driver and guide at your disposal. You might like to relax and enjoy the views. Do not forget to enjoy sunset on the Nam Song River! Overnight in Vang Vieng
- Vansana Vang Vieng Hotel
- Vieng Tara Villa
After breakfast, enjoy a full-day guided tour to discover the beautiful surroundings of Vang Vieng. Your tour begins by crossing the Nam Song River for a short drive to Tham Pou Kham (Golden Crab Cave). After passing through a small entrance hole you descend 100 meters into the ground. However, the cave widens once inside, where a reclining Buddha statue welcomes visitors to a place once serving as the home to bats, gibbons, monkeys, and antelope.
Tham Pou Kham displays several wet rock formations including a pair of "Golden Crabs". After exploring the cavern, you might like to go for a cold swim in the Ka River's water hole, locally called “blue lagoon”. The water is clean, deep, and safe for jumping in if you feeling brave, before transferring south to your next stop. Your guide will have brought along a picnic lunch so you can stop to eat whenever you feel like it.
Considered by many as Vang Vieng's most important cave, Tham Chang (or Jang) became the home for migrating people, who settled near the town's southern Meuang Xong Village to raise vegetables. The locals stumbled into the cavern during a civil war, while seeking refuge deep in the forest. Because its high location offered perfect views of Vang Vieng, the entire village moved there to sit out the war, and named their haven 'Tham Jang' (Hang Around Cave). Years later during the colonial era, the locals returned to cultivating the nearby fields and would bathe in the cave's basin, where the water was so cold they said it could freeze your legs to a firm stiffness. They then adjusted the cave's name to 'Tham Chang', which means "unable to move", leaving locals no choice but to "hang around"! Inside you will find spectacular stalactites and stalagmites and a viewpoint offers an impressive panorama. Once you climb back down you have the option to swim in the natural spring water.
Take a local long tail boat (2 people per boat) to cruise for approximately 1 hour upstream on the Nam Song River, enjoying the beautiful scenery as you go. You will then be driven back to your hotel, with the option to stop at local villages and a market along the way. Relax for the rest of the day and enjoy a beautiful sunset on the Nam Song River from your hotel.
NOTE: If you are feeling more active then options include cycling, kayaking, rock climbing and trekking. These activities are not included; please discuss with your travel consultants about the different options. Overnight in Vang Vieng.
Tham Pou Kham (Golden Crab Cave), Tham Chang Cave, River cruise on Nam Song River
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the extensive Organic Farm, which specializes in refreshing mulberry tea as well as having a range of livestock and organic crops. This morning, you will enjoy a rewarding experience at Organic Farm, which promotes the preservation of ecological diversity and provide people with accessible and sustainable ways to earn a living. Profits from the Farm are used to provide training and employment, support and education to the local villagers through various projects.
After a visit to the farm where you will learn more about the use of natural materials and traditional methods for growing its crops and raising its animals, you will start the cooking class. The chef will help you master three famous Lao dishes and one dessert, using farm-fresh ingredients. Then, it will be time to relax and enjoy the feast which you have created together. Do not forget to try the refreshing mulberry tea!
After a leisurely morning, it will be time to say goodbye to Vang Vieng and start the drive to Vientiane/Luang Prabang.
Visiting Organic Farm, Tasting Laos' traditional dishes
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