Vang Vieng has more strings to its bow than the booze-fuelled tubing it has gained such a reputation for. Many visitors decide that two or three days in a row of tubing is too much for the post-graduate liver to handle. We decided to take the advice of some friends and visit the Blue Lagoon for the day.
Fortunately the 25 minute tuk tuk journey was only 10,000Kip each (about £1.70) as we packed it out with people with the same idea. This price included the cost of crossing a questionably constructed wooden bridge along the way. Entry into the Blue Lagoon area is another 10,000, which is justified when you arrive. The price not only includes this stunning water feature complete with swings, high jumps and a range of comfortable lounging areas and a cafe/restaurant, but also a cave system primed for exploration.
We decided to tackle the cave system first (to work up a sweat). It is important to note that you should take advantage of the head-torch (10,000Kip) rental at the bottom of the steps leading up to the caves as you are bathed in complete darkness for the majority of the climb. Shoes with reasonable soles are also advisable as those with flip flops among us ended up stashing them along the way.
You can spend anything from 30 minutes to an hour and a half in the caves, depending on how far you go, or whether you get lost! We managed to find our way out easily enough, though I decided to throw in a few comical falls along the way for good measure…
After the caves, we were rewarded with a refreshing dunk or splash depending on your preferred method of entry into the Blue Lagoon. You can jump from the platforms built into the tall overhanging trees, swing from ropes (Tarzan voice optional) or slip into the Lagoon at your will. Though as it’s the coldest water we’ve encountered on our travels, I’d say use the plaster technique and do it quickly. My favourite moment was when someone swung on the rope, singing an uncanny rendition of ‘wrecking ball’.
If you can muster the energy after all of that, there’s a volleyball net set up. Or alternatively you can chill out in the covered lounging huts and watch others exert themselves. The food at the cafe/restaurant can be ordered and delivered to your hut (expect a wait) and it’s only about 20,000Kip for a decent bit of grub. If you’re looking for a bit of respite from the tubing shenanigans then look no further, Blue Lagoon ticks all the boxes.