Even though Laos does not have access to the sea, there are plenty of opportunities for a refreshing swim. Thanks to countless waterfalls, clear rivers and blue natural pools, you can easily escape the tropical heat. Especially the blue lagoons of Vang Vieng are a highlight on our trip through the land of a thousand elephants.
But to make the trip to the lagoons something special and relaxing, you should consider a few things. Because it is partly no longer quiet and idyllic. Which is hardly surprising, because Vang Vieng is littered with tour operators who are just waiting for the next guests. Mostly they advertise a trip to the Blue Lagoon 1, which is the tourist destination par excellence. Restaurants, swings, diving towers and lots of people cavort here every day!
Not your thing? Then grab a scooter and explore the surroundings on your own. We promise you'll find what you're looking for at one of the three other lagoons. For example, at number 2, which is the perfect mix of tranquility and a little comfort. To get there, drive in the direction of Blue Lagoon 1 until you follow the road to the left after 5 kilometers. Straight ahead you would get to the former. It quickly turns into a gravel road, which is really a dusty undertaking. Especially when there are cars and trucks coming towards you. After a total of 10 kilometers, a sign points out the attraction. As everywhere in Vang Vieng, an entrance fee of 10,000 kip (≈ 50 cents) per person is charged. After a few meters, you already reach the parking lot and the adjacent snack stand. Several sunbathing areas and small natural pools are spread out at the foot of a mountain, and a diving tower at the main pool provides the adrenaline kick of the facility. The special thing about this place is that, compared to the other lagoons, you still have relatively long sunshine even in the afternoon.
To get to number 3, you would have to follow the gravel road for another 10 kilometers. This is similar to lagoon 2, but with less sun in the afternoon. For us, unfortunately, it is no longer an option, because it is already 5 pm and the way home is quite far. However, if you have a little more time, this is the perfect place. Due to its distance from Vang Vieng, only a few visitors get lost here. The same goes for the next spot, number 4!
17 kilometers to the north, this little jewel is hidden between rice fields and jungle. Just follow the main road 13 in the direction of Nadao. In the village, a small gravel road leads us to the left until we reach the river and a bridge, which, of course, costs an extra 10,000 kip (≈ 50 cents). After crossing the river, a small trail leads to the right to the Blue Lagoon 4. Even if it does not seem so, this is passable by scooter and so you save yourself a 1-kilometer walk. At the ticket booth, we pay another total of 20,000 kip (≈ 1 €) and can finally look for a place at the small pool. Only two other visits lie relaxed in the grass and watch another one elegantly glide over the water with a zip line. There is also a diving tower and a rope to swing into the water. Even in the afternoon, only a few other visitors stray here, accordingly, the Blue Lagoon 4 is for us the most beautiful in all of Vang Vieng. Nearby is also the elephant cave. We have visited it, but would advise you not to. It is only a small cavity with a temple. At its edge there is a rock about 1 meter high. From a certain perspective it looks like an elephant. Again, of course, there is an entrance fee.
No matter which Blue Lagoon you choose, you're sure to have a great time there! And if you're looking for a destination away from the tourist crowds, Kaeng Nyui Waterfall, about 6 kilometers east of the city, is definitely for you!