The endless stream of drunken backpackers may have permanently changed the face of Vang Vieng, but the small town located between Vientiane and Luang Prabang is still a real natural wonder, nestled as it is beside the slow-moving Song River and surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. And there are further changes afoot, with the arrival of a new resort for upmarket travelers, Riverside Boutique Resort, Vang Vieng ( Sat next to the famous wooden bridge over the Song, it features 34 rooms and suites decked out with subtle nods to Lao tribal communities, along with a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and meeting room. Opening rates range from US$84-175 (B2,638-5,496). Book 14 days in advance and receive an additional 15% discount.