Laos is a great country with friendly people, beautiful surroundings and an interesting culture. Vang Vieng is a small town surrounded with beautiful limestone cliffs with some nice rockclimbing areas.
Vang Vieng is about 160km north of the capital Vientiane on Rte 13. It's a 3 to 4 hour ride by pickup or VIP bus (2,5 US). From Luang Prabang it's a 6 hour ride by bus to the south (170km). There are 4 climbing areas.
- Sleeping Wall: take the road north of Vang Vieng and after 2 km turn to the left, following the sign Tham Non Cave (Sleeping Cave). As you get to the river (Nam Song) a boatsman can take you across . The wall is just behind the visible wall next to the river.
- Sleeping Cave: same as Sleeping wall, only after crossing the river turn right to the Tom Non Cave. As a private guide has concession to the cave there's an admission fee of 3000 kip (30 cents) to be paid at the right little hut at the river.
- Tham Nam Them: leave Vang Vieng north on the main road, after 7km turn left, just where a house with a blue roof is on the right hand side. Follow a dirtroad up to it's end onto rice paddies, traverse these to the left where a small path leads to the river. After crossing follow the mostly dry small river bed for 10 min, just before it's end at a little cave follow the trail right to Tham Nam Them cave. Go through the cave, the climbing area is just at it's opening on the other side.
- Pha Daeng mountain: in Vang Vieng cross the Nam Song river and hike in the direction to Pha Daeng Mountain or Lusy Cave. At the base of the mountain turnh left and continue the trail ubtil you get to a small cave. Keep left until a trail leads up to the cliff.
A permit is required, and to be paid at Wildside Eco Group (outdoor activities) in the town of Vang Vieng. They are the only people with a climbing permit at the moment. It's 5 US a day for the whole climbing group together.
- Sleeping Wall: 14 routes, 4 to 7b+
- Sleeping Cave: 9 routes, 5b to 8a
- Tham Nam Them, 15 routes, 5c to 8a+
- Pha Daeng Mountain: 8 routes
When To Climb
November to February is the best period to visit Laos (rains the least and it's not too hot). The hot season is from March to May. Rainy season is July to October.
Vang Vieng is a very nice and cheap place to stay + eat. There are many guesthouses and restaurants. You can already have a decent room with private bathroom from 2 - 3 US.
Wildside Page of Wildside, the agency with the climbing permit