|06:30 AM - 10:30 PM|
|Highlight of the city|
Boat On The River is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Boat On The River is special ?
VLT Natural Tours is a Vang Vieng based tour company offering a full range of group and customized tours.
They are a friendly and honest company who want to help you to experience the beautiful nature in Vang Vieng and the culture of the Lao people.
All of the guides speak English and have received guiding and rescue training. You will be in good hands.
What to explore at Boat On The River?
Experience the beauty of Vang Vieng while floating down the Nam Song River at a relaxing pace. This tour starts at Phatang Village (a short drive by truck) and continues 20 km returning to Vang Vieng. Sit on a chair on a unique Lao-style river raft and just enjoy the scenery. You have a nice opportunity to take beautiful photos without the worry of paddling, rain or sun!
Along the way you can see the amazing limestone mountains and local villagers fishing and gardening along the river. You will also have the opportunity to stop at the Elephant.
Cave, which has a natural elephant formation and Buddha footprint. Further along, you can stop to relax at any of the riverside bars, where you can also try rope-swinging. This trip can be varied to suit your needs.
Transfer with private A/C vehicles.
English tour guide
Tips and Gratuities
- Great experience
- Great way to explore Mekong River
- Best place for family day out
- Lots of fun
- Fun Fun Fun
Nam Song Kangmuong Vang Vieng 30060 Laos
Tips for you
Note: We’re putting this at the top of our review, so we can be sure people don’t miss it… While in Vang Vieng we learned that you need to be careful when choosing your tour company. There are well reviewed, well rated companies whose names are being “copied” by other businesses (similar to the problems experienced by the well known Sinh Café in Viet Nam) in order to pick up business. For example there is a VLP tours in Vang Vieng (very close in name to V.L.T. Natural Tour) and Green View tours (similar to the well known Green Discovery). Unfortunately some people visit intending to travel with the well known companies, however end up with these copies and don’t always have the same experience, and in some cases may even believe they had used the “original” company, coming away wondering why companies such as V.L.T etc. would be listed in guides such as Lonely Planet, or have good reviews on TripAdvisor. It’s worthwhile to make sure you have the right company. *** After much research via TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, and by scouring travel websites, we contacted a few tour companies based in Vang Vieng to sound out their tours, and tour prices. When contacting V.L.T. Natural Tours (sometimes known as Vang Vieng Tours, per their website) we very quickly received a reply from Vone (Lavone) responding to our enquiry. Vone was great, very prompt in responding to emails, answered any questions or concerns we had, and made sure we knew all we needed to know about the tours. We found the tour prices to be excellent (much cheaper than another well ranked company we also contacted) and, based on the prices, prior reviews, and quick, friendly email contact, we decided to book to join V.L.T. Natural Tour’s “Trekking - Caving - Hilltribe” tour. The tour visits four caves (Water Cave, Loup Cave, Hoi Cave, Elephant Cave), 2 villages (a Hmong village and Laos village), and includes lagoon tubing, BBQ lunch, and transport to and from Vang Vieng. We were given three options for return from our last sight to Vang Vieng - either via truck, kayak, or tube. As one of us has problem shoulders, and the other states she is “too old to kayak” we opted to return via truck. Our tour cost us just US$15 per person - absolute bargain for a full day tour! On the day of our tour we were promptly met at our hotel and transported to V.L.T’s Office to make payment for our tour (we stayed at Elephant Crossing which was perhaps 150m from V.L.T’s Office - it was actually quite funny to be driven there, but the tour included hotel pick-up and hotel pick-up they did!). Our guide, a young, friendly and fun man named Ham, took payment and then we were off, bouncing about in the back of a large, covered truck - what fun! Even better, our tour comprised just the two of us! Our tour was great fun! We took an easy trek over bridges, past beautiful rice fields, taking in the incredible, amazing, beautiful scenery that drew us to Vang Vieng in the first place! Our first stop, the Hmong village - Ham explained that the villagers wear their traditional clothing during festivals. He also educated us about their history, and their culture. Onwards we continued to the water cave, where we waded into the lagoon, hopped into our tubes, and pulled ourselves by rope through the dark cave. There were quite a number of people enjoying the same part of their tour (another two tour groups) including Aussies, Brits, South Koreans, a girl from Viet Nam (who we had met on the minibus trip from Vientiane to Vang Vieng the previous day), Germans - a real mix. This was to be our lunch stop - after tubing through the cave with our guide, he settled us in the sheltered seating area while he joined other guides around the BBQ. While relaxing we could choose to purchase icy cold drinks (a little makeshift shop served soft drinks, water, beer, as well as some snacks such as potato chips) for quite reasonable prices (considering its location). Lunch included a warm baguette, tasty fried rice, and two chicken kebabs including tomato, cucumber, chilli, onion. Delicious and far too much food (well, we couldn’t get through all of ours though we desperately tried). Lunch down, time to start “trekking” again - onwards to Loup Cave (Tham Loup), up some rough steps, and down some (muddy and slightly slimy) wooden steps in to a deep, long cave with fantastic stalactites and stalagmites, sparkly rocks, a few puddles, and a few hairy sheer drops into big holes that Ham ensured we saw and didn’t fall down! Sabrina managed to bump her head while in the cave and was delighted when Ham said it must be because she was so tall (she’s under 5 foot 1 inch) - this was one of many moments of laughter with Ham, what a great fun guide (who also provided entertainment by singing along the tracks, and while inside the caves - great voice too!). Hoi Cave (Tham Hoi), with its Buddha statue in the entrance was looooong and dark. We went a short way inside (relative to the size of the cave complex), and learned that the cave continues kilometres into the hillsides. Ham told us of a river running within the cave, but cautioned that being wet season it would be rather difficult and potentially dangerous to try to continue further (we were relieved). Ham also relayed a tale of warning - a tourist who decided to explore without the use of a guide, and only two flashlights, who managed to get a long way in to the cave, but never made it out. After a brief rest stop we continued on to Elephant Cave, where nature has created a stone elephant - very clear to see what it is!!! Quite cool to think that this was created naturally, not carved. The cave included a reclining Buddha statue and some other small statues. From there we visited a grotto containing what is purported to be Buddha’s footprint, then continued on through the Laos village (which we had seen across rice fields earlier in our trek). We finished our tour at a rest stop by the river, enjoying a cold drink. Next we hopped on to a teeny tiny boat to cross the river - somewhat disturbing that the boat sinks so much that the water was about an inch below the edge, and water did start to slowly appear in the bottom of the boat - but it was just for the river crossing to return to our truck! We had an absolutely fantastic day, you couldn’t wipe the happy and exhausted smiles off our faces. Later that night we got a call from Vone checking how our tour went, to make sure we had had a good time, that our guide did his job well, and to get feedback to help better his company. We were nearby his office, so decided to pop in and actually got to meet Vone in person, and chatted to him about Vang Vieng and the changes facing the town. Vone and his wife run V.L.T. together, and Vone has been in the tourist industry for a long time, having seen many changes in Vang Vieng town (it is amazing to think that as little as 15 years ago Vang Vieng had no electricity, and very few hotels). Vone told us that in the weeks before we arrived the bars that used to line the river have closed down so Vang Vieng has seen a reduction in those tourists looking to spend all their time getting drunk while tubing down the river; however those who avoided the town because of that element have not yet started arriving. It was clear that people in the town are worried, at night town was very sparsely populated as far as tourist numbers. Speaking with Vone he hopes that the natural beauty of Vang Vieng and the ecotourism options available will continue to draw travellers to the town - it was lovely speaking with someone who is so proud of what his hometown has to show. Vang Vieng is a truly truly beautiful town, and people would be mad not to visit! When we return to Vang Vieng we will, without hesitation, use V.L.T. Natural Tour! Hopefully Ham will still be there, and we’ll get to enjoy his company, insights, cooking, and singing again!