Dune Buggies & Rock Climbing
I think for a lot of people, Laos is associated with tubing. Especially Vang Vieng. However, little did we know, how beautiful & adventurous it was going to be. We had a couple of recommendations from friends, but we didn’t really know what to do until we got there. Here are a couple of things you can do in Vang Vieng and you wont regret it!
On the top of our list we’re the dune buggies. Now especially for Joe, this sounded bloody fun and the best way to get around. There were some bl
ue lagoons nearby & apparently blue Lagoon 3 was the best due to being less touristy. So our plan was to rent the buggy for a few hours and head straight there.
There were different options of dune buggies. You could go on a tour following each other & a tour guide or rent the buggy by yourself. With gasoline in
cluded, we paid 410,000 for a 500cc buggy for 3 hours.
We wanted to make our own way there and that was our best option. We want to do as much as we can while we’re travelling and we knew it would be so worth it!
What was it like?
Of course, Joe was first to drive. I think he was pretty keen plus I wanted to see what they were like before I got in the drivers seat. Like a lot of places we’ve noticed in SE Asia, roads are full of potholes. It’s not just the odd two or three on the side of the r
oad like back home. They literally fill the roads here. It’s just one big pot hole. So the dune buggy was the best and most fun form of transport. We took it easy for the first bit just to get used to everything but we started seeing other people razzing it past us. We’re we going to slow? Being too careful? So we thought, fuck it! It’s what these things are made for so we started picking up a bit of
speed. Bouncing over pot holes and getting absolutely soaked with muddy puddle water. Thanks again rainy season 👍🏼
Note- Take a dry bag as your stuff is going to get caked in mud & water.
Blue Lagoon 3
20 km and about an hour later, we reached blue lagoon 3. We parked up and paid an entrance fee 20,000 each. Only about £2. The place looked so surreal & there was just a handful of people which was perfect. We sussed the place out and decided t
o leave our belongings on the side and jump in. Everyone had left the clothes & bags on the benches at the side so we did the same.
The lagoon was gorgeous. Staff at the hostel said to expect brown water due to the rain but they were so wrong. The water was a emerald bluey colour and so refreshing. Joe headed straight to the rope swing and managed a double summersault… show off.
There were zip lines, rope swings, kayaks and wooden planks to walk along. It was just a peaceful little playground. It then decided to chuck it down but that didn’t stop anyone. I didn’t last long and we all stayed in the water, swimming around in this incredible little place.
We couldn’t stay long as our buggy rental time was running out. So we started heading back & i drove this time. A little slower than Joe but obviously he kept telling me I couldn’t drive properly. Apparently I was going straight through the potholes rather than around them and then getting too close to the ditch. Someone isn’t a good passenger! Then more rain came making more puddles and getting us even more drenched. We were completely soaked and brown with mud.
Probably one of the best days we’ve had so far on this trip!
Another recommendation we had from some friends. We’ve done some bouldering at home, so we couldn’t miss out on the chance of rock climbing in SE Asia.
A lot of people kept mentioning Adams Rock Climbing School. It’s a very well known place in Vang Vieng and I think a lot of people go there to feel assured with safety and prices maybe? With the amount of tour shops & hostels in the town, we knew there had to be other options.
After asking around, we managed to book half a day rock climbing for 150,000 each. A much better price compared to Adams Rock Climbing School for 180,000. Just remember to look around and weigh up your options before agreeing on the first place.
We got picked up at 9am and picked up our harness & climbing shoes. We then travel about 10 mins out of town towards the mountains and met our tour guide Tank. He took us through a ‘short cut’ through muddy fields and climbed over rocks to get to the rock face. I have no idea if it was a short cut or where he took us, but it was actually quite fun. Tank was always chatting to us explaining what was happening and telling us where to go. We didn’t feel worried once.
We got to the rock face and Tank began showing us climbing tips, knots and how to abseil. There was only 3 of us in the group, but he gave Joe the job of Belaying while he climbed the rocks to set up the ropes etc. Joe learnt pretty quickly. Well I suppose he had to as Tanks life was pretty much in his hands. Joe sort of took on the role of Belaying for the rest of the day.
We did 3 climbs, the highest being about 20 metres. Some were more technical than others but Tank demonstrated and showed us pockets in the wall to use. It was incredible and the views once we reached the top were insane. He was always reassuring and we had the choice to abseil down whenever we wanted to.
Although we didn’t go with the most popular climbing school. We still had the most amazing experience and felt so safe throughout the whole thing.
It’s a big deal climbing so high, with your life in a strangers hands. Tank had the ropes and we were 20m metres high, but not once did we question anything.