Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng

Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng

I absolutely love hiking! Being outside all day, enjoying nature and being physically active beat any day of sitting in an office behind a laptop. I hiked a lot during my 5 month trip, I did a 3-day hike through the rice terraces of Batad in the Philippines, climbed Mount Doom on the North Island of New Zealand and hiked many other tracks on both the North and South Island of New Zealand.

The major difference with the hike in Vang Vieng was the temperature… While the weather had been amazing for pretty much all our previous hikes, we had not hiked in very hot weather… YET;-). Even during the hike in Batad the temperature was quite comfortable because the villages and rice terraces are about 1500 meters above sea level.

Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng

Hiking in Vang Vieng

How very different than the hike we did in Vang Vieng! The day we arrived in Vang Vieng it wasn’t very hot and a little cloudy so we enthusiastically booked a hiking tour at our hotel.

The day of the hike the sky is a stunning blue. And even at 8 in the morning it’s already pretty warm… But we are nothing if not committed so we hop into the van picking us up for the hike and off we went.

There are lots of other people in the van, but none of them are wearing suitable shoes for hiking. After driving for a while, the van pulls over at the stat of a little dirt road and a friendly Lao calls our names. Turns out he is our guide and we are the only hikers. The rest of the people are headed to the tubing drop-off point, also a fun activity and definitely more suitable for the weather;-).

With two 1,5 liter bottles each (so 4 in total!) we set off, following our guide over the dusty road.

Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng

Our guide tells us a little about himself and his family. We learn that he is just 2 years older than we are and the father of 4 children! Such a different life than our own! He also tells us more about the schooling system in Laos, very interesting.

I am very happy with our plentiful water supply because I sincerely think I have never sweated so much in my entire life. But the surrounding nature is totally worth it!

Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng

After a while we come across a concrete construction, our guide tells us this was supposed to become a bridge but the money ran out… He makes a call to someone who usually takes people across the river in a little boat, but no answer. Not a problem, he says to us, we’ll just cross a little further downstream where the river is not so deep.
Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng
The unfinished bridge…
Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng
And the boat that was supposed to take us across… I didn’t mind walking a little further and cross the river on foot;-).

Well, it may not be deep but it’s not easy getting across! The stones are sharp and slippery and the water is streaming quite fast! With help of our friendly guide we both make it across:-).

Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng
Help me please!

The trail keeps climbing, we keep sweating and the views keep getting better…

How Much Does It cost To Travel Laos For 14 Days?
Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng
Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng
Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng

Along the way our guide tells us about our surroundings and shows us how the local people make use of the food that can be found in nature if you know where to look…
Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng
Check out the steps on the tree, our guide told us these steps are used to get to the beehives hanging in this massive tree. Would you dare to climb it…?

We walk between steep limestone cliffs until we reach a tiny trail through the dense green jungle leading to… a waterfall! We both immediately jump in the water, so good to cool off!

Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng
Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng
Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng

While our guide prepares a delicious barbeque lunch (nomnom) we jump from the rocks into our private pool, splashing around and taking pictures of our piece of paradise.

I vividly remember sitting on a rock, listening to the calming sound of the waterfall and trying to absorb every minute of that blissful moment. For one second I thought about how next month I would be back at my office but I immediately pushed that thought away and focused on how completely happy I was in that moment, enjoying just sitting there….

Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng
If you look closely you might spot me on a rock, being happy…

We have a delicious lunch with BBQ chicken, vegetables, rice and baguette and reluctantly leave this piece of paradise to start the journey back.

Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng

We are now mostly descending, looking down over the valleys and hiking through the tall grass.

Hiking In Vang Vieng: The Most Beautiful Place In Laos
Hiking Between The Beautiful Limestone Cliffs of Vang Vieng
hiking in vang vieng

The hike ends at a small bamboo bridge. And just like the bamboo bridge in Luang Prabang this bridge is rebuild after every rainy season, only to be washed away by the water during the next one. The circle of life in Laos… an amazing country!

Read more about my trip in Laos in my 2-week itinerary and my budget breakdown infographic. Also check out this post about the best things to do in Laos on a first time visit.

Have you ever been to a place that felt like paradise?

Vang Vieng is famous for it's bars and tubing but why don't you go hiking instead! I hiked an amazing trail which went along impressive limestone cliffs and through the dense green jungle, leading to a secret hidden waterfall...Vang Vieng is famous for it's bars and tubing but why don't you go hiking instead! I hiked an amazing trail which went along impressive limestone cliffs and through the dense green jungle, leading to a secret hidden waterfall...

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28 Comments

  1. Anna
    February 13, 2016 / 5:07 pm

    Oh I wish I did this when I was in Vang Vieng!! I’m glad you pushed out thoughts of your office. Live in the now and enjoy each moment!

    • Lotte
      Author
      February 13, 2016 / 11:27 pm

      There is always next time Anna;-) And very true, cheers to living in the moment!

  2. February 13, 2016 / 11:23 pm

    I also love hiking and have done some pretty good trails (including in New Zealand!). And you’re right, hiking with warm temperatures (and humidity I guess) it’s not really easy but can also be quite good..when you find a waterfall or a nice looking lunch!

    • Lotte
      Author
      February 13, 2016 / 11:34 pm

      The New Zealand climate is definitely more suited for hiking;-) Despite the heat and humidity, this was still one of my favorite hikes… Particularly because hiking is so much less common in Asia than in NZ. And the waterfall, it was heaven…

  3. Brianna
    February 14, 2016 / 12:09 am

    Wow, what a great hike! The views were fabulous and the waterfall was just the cherry on top.

    • Lotte
      Author
      February 14, 2016 / 10:07 am

      Absolutely Brianna:-)

  4. February 14, 2016 / 8:55 am

    Sounds like a great hike Lotte – I can’t decide which view I would enjoy more – the view of the stunning scenery or that of the BBQ after such a long hike! Seriously, the kebabs look so good! I could definitely go for a private lagoon dip right now!

    Glad you had a fab time!

    • Lotte
      Author
      February 14, 2016 / 10:15 am

      It’s definitely a tie between the views, the waterfall and the delicious lunch;-) And all of that in 1 day!

  5. melody pittman
    February 14, 2016 / 6:57 pm

    That is a gorgeous hiking spot! You made the most of it! Loved that you were cooking the kebabs, too! So much beauty around you!

    • Lotte
      Author
      February 14, 2016 / 8:56 pm

      Thanks Melody:-)

  6. February 14, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    I’m not much of a hiker but every time I read a post about hiking I think I have to do it more! Just go out and enjoy the nature.. I really should start doing that!

    • Lotte
      Author
      February 15, 2016 / 10:16 am

      Haha I can definitely recommend it;-) You see places you wouldn’t visit if not hiking a beautiful and remote trail…

  7. February 15, 2016 / 10:16 am

    What a gorgeous hike! Hiking is always one of our favorite adventures, and this one looks so great, especially with the beautiful mountain scenery. I would have loved to jump in the water, too–always so refreshing on a hot hike!

    • Lotte
      Author
      February 15, 2016 / 10:20 am

      It was a gorgeous hike:-) And the waterfall, I still dream about it every now and than…

  8. February 16, 2016 / 2:54 am

    I’m glad you were able to take a dip after hiking in those temperatures! The hikes I did were in Colorado so the temperatures were a lot cooler! But a dip and then some BBQ sounds pretty awesome. 🙂

    • Lotte
      Author
      February 16, 2016 / 8:34 am

      Haha, it was pretty awesome indeed Vicky:-)

  9. Carol Colborn
    February 16, 2016 / 3:50 am

    Hiked Batad, too!!! OMG, couldn’t have done this hot hike! But the waterfall must have felt like paradise! And you had such good food!!! Congrats!

    • Lotte
      Author
      February 16, 2016 / 8:33 am

      How cool you also went to Batad! A totally different landscape than Vang Vieng but very beautiful as well:-) The waterfall was bliss, as was the food…

  10. Katharina
    February 16, 2016 / 8:53 am

    Oh I am so jealous Lotte! This looks amazing. We were wanting to go to Vietnam this year but this makes me consider Laos instead. You were lucky to get the guide to yourself. How high was that waterfall? Not sure I would have been brave enough to jump. Nor fit enough to hike ha!

    • Lotte
      Author
      February 16, 2016 / 9:33 am

      Vietnam and Laos are both worth a visit, you cannot really choose wrong picking either of these amazing countries! We were very lucky indeed to have a private guide, he was very knowledgeable about the area and he cooked a delicious lunch! Í jumped of a rock next to the waterfall, wasn’t brave enough to jump from the top of the waterfall;-)

  11. Ron Robbins
    March 5, 2016 / 8:59 pm

    What an incredibly scenic hike – reminds me of the one I did just outside of Kathmandu, Nepal! I bet it was still fun crossing the river though…not going to lie, despite the fast stream, I probably would have stripped down and just jumped in! haha

    • Lotte
      Author
      March 6, 2016 / 11:10 pm

      It was such a gorgeous hike! Crossing the river was so much fun, but I agree stripping down would probably have been a faster solution;-).

      I would love to visit Nepal, hiking there is one of my bucket list items… Plus, I think after the earthquake the people can use all the support they can get and you can say whatever you want about tourism, it does provide jobs and money!

  12. Angela
    March 6, 2016 / 9:33 pm

    Great pictures. I don’t like hiking in hot weather as I tend to over heat, but I do try when I can. Nice that you were able to have a private guide 🙂

    • Lotte
      Author
      March 6, 2016 / 10:31 pm

      Thank you Angela! It was great to have a private guide and he was really nice and knowledgeable as well:-)

  13. Dominique
    March 17, 2017 / 10:58 am

    Hi! I found your blog via google. I’m in Vang Vieng now and love to hike! What compant did you use?

    • Lotte
      Author
      March 18, 2017 / 5:50 pm

      Hi Dominique, how is Vang Vieng treating you? Beautiful place, isn’t it:-). We booked our hike via our hotel, the Boutique Hotel in Vang Vieng. We paid 150.000LAK per person (including water, a guide, a BBQ lunch and transport). Let me know if you have any questions!

  14. Nathalie Schottey
    December 3, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    Hi there,
    I love your story about your hiking experience in Vang Vieng. I am in Vang Vieng now , do you remember some details like the company name / the name of the hike / the name of the village where you started hiking ?

    Thank you !

    Nathalie

    • Lotte
      Author
      December 3, 2017 / 11:58 pm

      Hi Nathalie,

      What’s the weather like in Vang Vieng? About your questions:

      1. Company name: we booked our hike via our hotel, the Boutique Hotel in Vang Vieng. We paid 150.000LAK per person (including water, a guide, a BBQ lunch and transport).
      2. Name of the hike: I don’t know the name of the hike but if you show the Boutique Hotel the waterfall picture they will know which hike you want to do.
      3. Name of village where we started hiking: we were picked up in Vang Vieng by a tuktuk and dropped off on a dirt road with our guide.

      Hope this helps!
      Lotte

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