Vang Vieng, Laos has a bad boy reputation as being a drug-fuelled party destination, riddled by accidental river/tubing deaths. And drugs are still readily available around town, however, if you are like me and came for the adventures, not the ‘trips’ then you will spend most of your time across the river. The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular attractions in Vang Vieng, however, there are actually multiple lagoons and I ventured across the river by moped and explored two of the best.
This is an adventure for those who want to get some jumps, rope swings and zip-lines done on the cheap. I’m talking $1 cheap. However, the lagoons are a great spot to chill in tubes, have a beer and enjoy the sun.
HOW TO GET TO THE BLUE LAGOON
The first thing to know is that crossing the river will cost you a toll of 4000-8000 kip. However, I tested a different route that is very easy and skips the toll. Simply cross the small wooden bridge on your moped and then once on the cliff-side of the river drive towards the toll bridge along the bank. After a few hundred meters you can join the correct road. I will illustrate it on a map to make it foolproof not that any of you reading are fools.
Once you are on the right road, you will have a tough time getting lost. Multiple signs and other buses full of tourists will lead the way. The entrance fee to the Blue Lagoon is 15,000 Kip or $2 with your moped or 10,000 Kip if you walk in. It is possible to walk to the Blue Lagoon but I wouldn’t advise it unless you fancy a two hour walk. Bicycle would be okay.
THE BLUE LAGOON VANG VIENG
Far from a secluded pool, the lagoon is usually full of action and tourists. As well as the lagoon there is a cave to explore and a series of zip-lines. I didn’t spend time at either, opting instead to hang out at the lagoon, basking for hours in the sun and practicing backflips. A giant tree, which has remarkably grown at a 45 degree angle is fitted out with stairs. From the lower branch you can enjoy a 2 meter jump or from the top branch a 5 meter jump. Despite being very narrow, the lagoon is very deep. Not once all day did I scrape or touch the bottom.
Once you are ready to move on it is time to retrace your steps a little before taking a slightly different turn and making a journey on a bumpy, rocky road towards Blue Lagoon 3 also known as the Nature Park Patong Cave & Bubbling Springs. Many people with more money to splash than myself opted to hire dune buggies, which actually looked super fun. They were tearing around on the dirt roads. The drive throughout the entire day is incredibly scenic. Rice field laden landscapes are complimented by dramatic limestone cliffs.
I have included a map with directions of how to get from Blue Lagoon to Blue Lagoon 3. However, if you plan to skip Blue Lagoon you can use both maps to get from Vang Vieng Town to Blue Lagoon 3. Also, the map says 45 minutes but I assure you it is less than 30 on a moped.
BLUE LAGOON 3
Sometimes a location makes you want to throw down your bag and explore every facet, every corner, every jump, every watering hole. Blue Lagoon 3 is one hundred percent that place. Before I could take off my moped helmet I was already planning what feature of the lagoon to tackle first.
A zip-line crosses the lagoon, requiring you to drop off in the middle of the lagoon. The other installation and my personal favorite was a high-tech rope swing that flew you out across the lagoon before looping you up allowing you to flip into the deep water.
A wall of green trees and plants created a jungle backdrop to the idyllic lagoon. Chill-out huts, a bar and restaurant were down the far end of the lagoon but I never made it past the rope swings. A group of Koreans tried to copy my flips off the rope swing, which ended in a number of red backs and a whole lot of laughs.
YOU DOWN FOR SUNSET SOCCER?
If you are a football/soccer lover like myself, as you drive home keep an eye out on the right hand side of the road for a full-size soccer field. I drove by at 4:30 and noticed a few guys kitting up in soccer boots and jerseys so I asked to join. As always they were more than happy to have a guy double the size of everyone play.
We played through sunset for more than a couple of hours, which meant I had to drive back in the dark trying not to hit any potholes or big rocks. If you aren’t confident on a bike, definitely head back before it gets dark.
MORE LAOS TRAVEL BLOGS
LUANG PRABANG GUIDE: 9 BEST THINGS TO DO IN LUANG PRABANG
HIKING IN VANG VIENG: HIKING TO BEAUTIFUL VIEWPOINT IN VANG VIENG
KUANG SI FALLS: KUANG SI WATERFALL
THE WHISKY VILLAGE: THE WHISKY VILLAGE – LUANG PRABANG