I needed to get away from Bangkok for a bit, and it was low season and rainy everywhere.
No good options for a mini trip.
Or so I thought.
There’s a lot of complaints and fears about low season travel, namely:
1. There will be NO ONE there!
For those of us seeking solitude and some peace and quiet, that’s a POSITIVE! And there’s always someone there.
2. It will rain ALL THE TIME
Not true. In most of Southeast Asia, even during rainy season, the rains come for an hour or two (or overnight) and then stop. And to be honest, they’re quite refreshing.
3. There will be less transportation available
The number of tourist buses was not inconvenient, and the planes and trains ran as normal. A huge perk was that they weren’t overpacked of sweaty tourists like in high season.
There are other major positives to low season travel, including availabilities in all of the hotels and activities, HUGE discounts in pricing, and more comfortable temperatures (the rain cools things down a lot and breaks the humidity).
Low season travel is AWESOME!
I have to admit – I was a bit skeptical of going to Vang Vieng, as the tubing scene wasn’t really something I was after for this trip.
(I have a stressful day-job and just wanted to get away from the hectic city and just relax for a bit.)
I wanted time away with my self to be quiet and be impressed by the world.
I wanted to reconnect with my purpose and feel peace.
Then why the heck did I go to Vang Vieng??
I chose Vang Vieng because it was fairly easily reached from Bangkok (I found a good value flight roundtrip flight), and the photos from my friends’ tubing trips included beautiful natural backgrounds.
I crossed my fingers that low season would be less attractive to the tubing travelers.
I was right.
Being low season, Vang Vieng was practically deserted. I felt like I had a private little town all to myself, where I could enjoy quiet meals in an empty restaurant by the river (watching sunsets like this one below), and kayak in solitude.
Hotels Stayed at:
Inthira Vang Vieng, best prices found on Agoda – a really nice hotel with all the necessary amenities and then some (even a TV), with breakfast included, for 20USD per night. Located on the main street, but the rooms are set back from the road and past a little garden, so it is super quiet at night
Do pack an umbrella/poncho and a waterproof cover/bag for your packpac, especially during rainy season
Bring a waterproof sack for your camera/phone if planning on waterproof activities, unless provided by your tour operator (DOUBLE CHECK that it is waterproof. Lost a beloved iPhone and many photos this way)
Don’t be afraid to travel during low season and take advantage of its awesome deals
Planes, Trains, Automobiles:
I found a flight for 120USD on Skyscanner Bangkok to Vientiane roundtrip, and took a taxi from the airport to the bus station, and then a minivan to Vang Vieng. On thr roundtrip, I took a much cheaper minivan all the way to the airport.
Half Day Kayak Trip down the river, including a cave tour
Only 10USD (private trip as I was the only one who booked!)
(Traveled June 2014)
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Vang Vieng: Low Season Laos