The rocky karst mountains of Vang Vieng makes it perfect for rock climbing. I haven’t done rock climbing before, not even wall climbing. But it’s something I wanted to try for years! I just haven’t gotten around to doing it.
This small town in the middle of Laos has such a stunning landscape sculpted by nature. Before arriving in Vang Vieng, I didn’t even know you can do this here (after all, I came to ride Balloons Over Vang Vieng 😉 )
When my cousins and I arrived in Vang Vieng, we went around different tour agencies trying to find the best deal for a hot air balloon ride. In the midst of booking the sunrise hot air balloon package, we realized there’s still time for another activity before our scheduled van transfer from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang at 3PM.
My cousins, Mish and Jisha, inquired about trekking. The guide said the trekking sites are a bit farther out of town since the mountains nearby aren’t great for trekking (they’re too steep). Trekking tours go for a day or two, which we didn’t have at that time.
So we decided to go for a rock climbing course. Mish and I both don’t have any experience with it at all. Jisha had done wall climbing before. The guide assured us that the Half-Day Course is for all levels, and you don’t have to be fit to try it (which is great, since I’ve been mostly sedentary and haven’t kept a consistent exercise routine in the past few months) .
Where to book a rock climbing course in Vang Vieng?
If you look online, there aren’t much options. But when you get to Vang Vieng, just go around different shops offering tours and you’ll see quite a few providers.
I recommend you book all your activities in one place, since you can haggle and ask for a discount.
How much does it cost?
Rock climbing courses start at $30 per person.
Since there were 3 of us, plus the fact that we also booked our hot air balloon package from the same tour agency, we managed to get it down to 150,000 Kip ($18.75) per person.
Rock Climbing in Vang Vieng: Half day vs Full Day
The half day course was just perfect for our itinerary. It runs from 9:30am to 1pm, giving us enough time to have breakfast and wash up after the balloon ride, and enough time before we leave for Luang Prabang in the afternoon.
By 12noon, we were already tired. The Half Day course is more than enough for a beginner. For seasoned climbers, you might want to book a full day course.
Who can participate?
The climb is easy enough and have different courses for different levels. We even saw a family with kids climbing.
How many routes?
For the half-day session, there were 5 routes. The first four routes range from easy to moderately hard. The last one was really hard, I couldn’t even take the next step (haha)
My upper body strength has definitely improved after I stayed for 2 months at a fitness resort in Cambodia. But I couldn’t lift myself up in the fifth route. There’s a 60-degree incline on the big rock and gravity won over me. Oh well, C’est la vie!
Not bad for my first climbing experience 🙂
How about you?
Have you tried rock climbing before? Are you looking to try rock climbing when you visit Vang Vieng? If you have questions, comments or suggestions, drop a message in the comments box below.