One popular place to visit near Vang Vieng is the Tham Poukham cave and the Blue lagoon next to the cave. Both places are located around 11km east of Vang Vieng. The road passing the bridge acorss the river in town is not paved, so while you could hire a bicycle it might not be the most comfortable ride. You could go there with a motorbike, or just go there by songthaew. The journey should take between 20 and 30 minutes.
The short ride is already worth the journey alone, heading out ot the rural area, passing fields, little village, strreams, crossing some dodgy looking bridges, kids waving at you shouting Sabaidee, while in the distance you can see stunning limestone karst in the distance. Stopping on the way for pictures or to enjoy the scenery is highly recommend.
The entrance has a wide car park available to leave songthaews and motorbikes and bicycles while exploring the area.
The first thing you will see is the little blue lagoon when crossing the bridge. It is a little pool with a beautoful blue colur, surrounded by rees. It really is a peaceful setting – and the lagoon really invites for a little swim, using the little swing above the water or jumping into the water via a rope hanging down a tree. The warmish water is very refreshing after exploring the cave or the cycle from VV. One warning though, you might feel some fish taking a nibble from your toes – but they are only after your dead skin. Rsiky though if you are very tickly!!!
Next to the lagoon are a few tables and a place selling cold drinks (including beer) and some snacks. The food is ok, but the foodplaces outside the parking space might be a better pace for food.
Take the little path away from the house and soon you start the ascent to the hill, until you reach the entrance to the cave. Here you can rent some very strong torches. If you only plan to walk as far as the buddha statue inside the cave you do not need one. If you want to explore the vae a bit I would highly recommned paying the Kip for one. They are strong enough for the exploration.
Heading inside the entrance area is well lid from the daylight, following down the “path” deeper into the cave. Even the beginning offers a nice insight of the cave, with some little opporutnites of detours until you get to the Buddha statue in a large chambers. THe whole setting here is rather impressive – and I initially thought that that’s it. But it is not.
Keeping the statue to your left you can follow a little path into a darker second chamber, and if you keep walking to the right you can go deeper and deeper into the cave. Very soon it is pitch dark, so a torch is a must-have. As it is slippery I would also recommend wearing suitable footwear. While the temparature is much more comfortable, the humidity level increased. But otherwise the walk in the dark is is impressive – passing nice looking stalagmites andinteresting looking rock formation – some reminding me of heads and other item. Ar some point it reminded me of the first Alien movie – especially is you lid up the floor. As soon the light hit the floor you can see little bugs running to safety from the light. Strange looking bugs!!!
It will take between 20 and 30 minutes until you reach the last chamber of the cave, with some little pathes going into circles. One downside is that some visitors think it is a good idea to leave a message on the walls – I leave my personal judgement to myself.
Just head back the same path again to get out. If you want to see more, you could also walk a bit into the other direction, turning left from the main chamber.
After the walk in the cave taking a dip in the Blue Lagoon will sound like the best idea ever.
I would recommend going here, and to spend a minimum of 2 hours if you want to explore the cave – so overall it can be a nice half day trip.