I’m slowly reaching higher in the sky. First, I tried to spread my wings during a bungee jump in Pokhara, Nepal. This time, I decided to gain a bit more altitude. It was time to try hot air ballooning in Vang Vieng, Laos.
Mandalay, Inle Lake… Many destinations in Southeast Asia offer hot air balloon rides. While Mandalay in Myanmar offers spectacular views of the local temples, there’s one great reason to go hot air ballooning in Vang Vieng instead: the price.
A balloon ride in Myanmar may cost hundreds of dollars, but hot air ballooning in Vang Vieng is much cheaper. A 40 minute hot air balloon ride in Vang Vieng costs 90$. The price is just about the same, wherever you book – although I did meet a backpacker who got her ride on a discount for 70$ from her guesthouse.
The price is cheap in comparison, but does that make the experience any worse? Not really. There are less balloon in the sky simultaneously, and there are no temples to spot down below, but there are plenty of other things to see in Vang Vieng.
So, how would I describe hot air ballooning in Vang Vieng? Should you do it? If you don’t count the minor thrill of being very high up in the sky, the balloon ride is a very relaxing experience. Adrenaline junkies might therefore want to look for something else.
For others, the hot air balloon ride might just be worth it. The views are spectacular, and the changing colors of the sunrise highlight the beauty of the landscape. (And most importantly: You might get new Instagram followers when you post some of those photos on your profile!)
Now I wonder when I’ll end up doing that parachute jump…