Who were the first people to climb at Vang Vieng?
The first rock climbing was in 2002 by a half-French half-Lao guy called David. The first place he bolted was at Pha Daeng, 2km west of Vang Vieng by the Nam Song.
And you? When and where did you learn how to climb?
I would say that i am the first Lao rock climber ever! I started rock climbing in 1997 in the south of Thailand. After six years in Krabi as a rock climbing instructor and another three and a half years of climbing in Germany and France, I came to Vang Vieng and started my rock climbing business in 2005.
How would you describe the climbing at Vang Vieng compared to other places in the world?
I think Vang Vieng is the number one rock climbing place in Asia. There is so much different limestone from Vang Vieng all the way up to China, and most of it forms high cliffs, over 200 metres.
Is Vang Vieng only for expert climbers, or is it a good place for beginners to learn how to climb too?
This is the perfect place to learn how to rock climb for beginners. Mostly we put beginners on 4a, 5a, and 6a only, not any harder than that. The bungalows and guesthouses in Vang Vieng are very affordable with great views, and the local cuisine is very good.
What is the future of rock climbing in Vang Vieng?
In Vang Vieng now we have about 200 routes from 4a to 8b with still more routes from 6b+ to 7a+ being developed. We’d love to have a pro climber who can drill new routes - they just have to bring their own drill, bolts and hangers. In the future I think Vang Vieng will also have caving, canyoning and maybe even base jumping, bungee jumping, ballooning and sky diving!