You just arrived by train or bus in Vang Vieng and want to collect the first impressions? Then the Tham Chang Cave a little south of the city is the perfect destination. At the foot of the impressive cave is also a small blue lagoon, which is perfect for a short refreshment!
The cave is popular mainly because of its easy accessibility. You don't even need to rent a scooter, as the short distance of about 2 kilometers can easily be covered on foot. To get to the entrance, follow the main road through town and turn right at the end towards Tmark Resort. The dusty gravel road leads you past the huge complex to a barrier. There you have to pay 5,000 Kip (~ 30 cents), but in return you are allowed to use the bridge over the Nam Song. After crossing, small stalls with snacks and drinks line the way to the entrance of the cave, or rather to the ticket booth. After two tickets for 15,000 Kip (~ 80 cents) each, nothing more stands in the way of the visit.
Ok, that's not quite true, because first we have to climb over 200 steps. However, the view of Vang Vieng is already compensation enough and we peek cautiously into the cave before we dare to take the first step inside. A huge cavity with countless stalagmites and stalactites awaits us. We didn't expect this, because most of the caves we have seen so far were rather small in size. The enormous size played an important role in the past, because at the beginning of the 19th century Tham Chang Cave was used as a bunker to defend against the Chinese invaders. Today, only tourists stroll through the cavity, which extends deeper and deeper into the rock until you finally stand in front of a sign, "Do not enter". Behind it, we can still dimly make out the path before it disappears into the darkness. We turn around, follow the path back and take another turnoff. This leads us to a small viewpoint on the rock face. We peer down over the edge. But we only enjoy this view for a short time, because slowly we start to shiver. In the cave it has mild temperatures even on hot days and we make our way back.
You must not simply walk back to Vang Vieng without a short stop at the Blue Lagoon. Just cross the orange bridge behind the ticket booth. On the right, the small pool is hidden quite inconspicuously. A wide wooden ladder leads down into the water and you can even swim into a cave and let yourself drift out with the current. This is also called Secret Blue Lagoon 2, which is not quite as secret as the name suggests, but it is ideal for a short stopover and refreshment.
The way home is exactly the same as the way there, we stroll through the streets of the city and buy a sandwich at one of the small street stalls before we go high in the evening. We want to experience the sunset at the Pha Ngern Cliff Viewpoint. And so much up front, the view is breathtaking!