If things get serious, Vang Vieng is not ideal. The healthcare situation isn’t the greatest here and definitely worse than in Vientiane. You have to consider that you are in a small town in the middle of the mountains. Despite the tourism, Vang Vieng is still a predominantly rural area. Minor or moderate health problems aren’t a problem. Also you don’t have to worry if you get like malaria or a snake bite. The doctors are well prepared for such cases. However, you must be aware that there is only one hospital here and its equipment could be better. The doctors and staff are quite good. We can say that because we have spoken personally to many people. Even some who have been living in Vang Vieng for quite a time. If there are no problems with the payment, you can usually expect good service.
Serious accidents and other emergencies in Vang Vieng
It always depends on the severity of the accident or the type of health issue. If it’s too serious, you’ll probably have to be transferred to Vientiane or even Thailand. But don’t worry. You can assume that the doctors in the hospital will tell you if it’s necessary. They have really no interest in someone dying in their town. It’s bad for the reputation of Vang Vieng and something that harms the tourism. Not to mention ethical reasons. We can’t tell you how the transfer works. Fortunately, we have never been in such a situation. What we do know is that there have already been some successful transfers. However, you should be aware that travel health insurance is essential. Otherwise you could get serious trouble. A financial guarantee is usually required for treatment. You may still be treated in life and death situations, but the costs aren’t to be trifled with anyway. Not to mention that in emergencies every second counts. If you need an ambulance we would recommend you to call Vientiane Rescue first (1623) anyway.
Vientiane Rescue is a nonprofit organization with mostly volunteers. The organization has well-trained paramedics, a diving rescue team, a hydraulic rescue team, a fire rescue team, tough ambulances and quality equipment. Since its creation, they have saved the lives of many locals and foreigners. They also take measures to raise awareness of certain dangers in Vang Vieng. It’s very gratifying that there is such an organization operating in the province of Vientiane. By the way, if you get bitten by a snake, it’s probably the best if you call the Vientiane Rescue, since they can send you an ambulance fast and give you a antidote (if needed). The same applies for traffic accidents or other emergencies. The number of Vientiane Rescue is 1623. As far as we know their rescue services are free. At least for Vientiane inhabitants. We don’t know how it is for foreigners. You may have to pay something. But unfortunately we really don’t know. However, we’re about to find out. As soon as we do, we’ll update this page.
Minor or moderate health issues
In many cases, you can also get treatment directly in Vang Vieng. You won’t have to go to the capital or even cross the border to Thailand. The hospital can help with the typical health problems. These include stomach cramps, broken bones, the flu and others. In most cases you won’t have to go to the hospital anyway. There are a lot of pharmacies in Vang Vieng and they have pretty much everything you could need. Since you usually won’t need a prescription for anything, it’s definitely not a bad thing to check out one of the pharmacies. However, not every employee in the pharmacies can speak English. But there are definitely some who can. Just ask a bit around and you’ll find someone who may help you.
Cost for medical care in Vang Vieng
The cost of medication is generally not that expensive in Southeast Asia. At least for most things. So if you go to the pharmacy and just get some medication for your ailments, you won’t have to pay much. And the cost of hospital treatment is not really high either. You pay really little compared to Western hospitals. Nevertheless, travel health insurance is a must. Because there are definitely things where it can get pretty expensive. Not to mention emergencies where you don’t want to have any difficulties because of financial matters. Apart from that, however, it can definitely be said that the healthcare in Vang Vieng is pretty cheap. Just don’t expect too much. A huge problem is the lack of equipment and trained specialists. Especially if the hospital has a lot of patients, it can be really exhausting.