We have been asked many times whether Vang Vieng is dangerous. To be honest, we have to admit that it can be dangerous. However, it always depends on your behavior. If you behave correctly, Vang Vieng actually isn’t a dangerous place. For example, the crime rates are really low. Violent crimes against tourists are extremely unlikely. Possibly far less likely than where you come from. However, there are of course some dangers. So let’s take a closer look at them.
Danger because of nature
Never underestimate nature. Vang Vieng is wild and Laos isn’t a nanny country. If you think you’re the big adventurer and get too cocky, you can even die. Since one of us got too cocky, he knows exactly what he’s talking about. For example, you can drown in the river, fall into the depths while climbing, or break your neck in a cave. Sure you can avoid those things if you’re cautious. That’s why we say: Don’t get too cocky. Exploring the nature in Vang Vieng is really a lot of fun. So much fun you may even forget how dangerous it actually can be. Don’t let that put you off. Let the adventurer inside you out. Just be careful and for gods sake don’t be drunk while exploring the nature. That also applies for many activities like tubing or climbing.
Danger because of crime
As we already mentioned crime isn’t really a danger in Vang Vieng. Women don’t really need to worry either. The risk of violent crime is extremely low. Petty crime, however, is far more likely in Vang Vieng than in many other places in Laos. Especially the risk of theft shouldn’t be underestimated. Well, the victims are mostly drunk or stoned tourists. If you’re sober you don’t have to worry anyway. If you aren’t, be extra cautious. Dark places and the river are particularly dangerous at night. Often, the perpetrators are not even the locals. It happens quite often that tourists steal from other tourists. So be skeptical if someone is too friendly. We don’t say that for fun. We were able to experience for ourselves how a woman let a man stay in her hotel and a big argument broke out over where her valuables were. That guy was also a tourist and you can imagine what happened to her valuables. As far as we know, she never saw them again and left Vang Vieng shortly afterwards.
Danger because of animals
We don’t know much about any dangerous animals in Vang Vieng. However, you should be careful with snakes. While it is very unlikely that anything will happen, you should definitely call Vientiane Rescue if you get bitten by a snake. In general, you should be careful about bites. Even if they come from a monkey or dog. Among other things, rabies is a serious danger. The disease has still not been eradicated in Southeast Asia. In the event of a bite, you should definitely go to the hospital. Rabies is always fatal without prophylaxis. As far as we know, there are no tigers, bears or other large predators. There are such animals in Laos. However, we have never heard of them being seen in the Vang Vieng area. The damn mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals anyway. Stay away from them and definitely use mosquito spray.
Danger because of traffic and bad road condition
Since not so many cars drive in Vang Vieng, the traffic risk is significantly lower than, for example, in Vientiane. Nevertheless, you should be careful. Especially if you drive by yourself. The condition of the roads isn’t that great and that can be a risk. We ourselves had accidents with motorbikes because we simply underestimated the roads. Well, we got away with a few abrasions and cuts but we were also lucky. Maybe you won’t be that lucky. So just better be careful.
Danger because of daredevil stunts
Yes, it’s really fun to let off steam at the lagoons. Jumping from rope swings or sliding down provisoric slides is a fun thing to do. It definitely is, we won’t deny that. However, many accidents in Vang Vieng are due to these things. Including deadly ones. So better be a bit careful. Just do those things when you’re sober and watch out for the people around you. We’re sure you don’t want someone to land on you after you jumped in the water, right? Also you shouldn’t do any daredevil stunts. You wouldn’t be the first to fail and break his bones.
Danger because of diseases
As far as we know there are some parasites in the water that could be potentially dangerous. This is also one of the reasons why we don’t recommend drinking the water or swimming with open wounds. But don’t let this spoil the fun. We wouldn’t do without swimming in Vang Vieng. We are happy to take this risk. And we think you should too. Most people haven’t had any bad experiences due to that anyway. Of course there are other diseases. Especially mosquitoes are not to be trifled with. Malaria and similar tropical diseases can be a risk. Be aware of that.