5 Worth Visiting Caves in Vang Vieng, Laos

It might be unfair for other places in Laos that Vang Vieng has been given a wide range of naturally beautiful sites from God’s gift. Perhaps, coming to “the Land of a Million Elephants” without having an excursion in this tourist paradise will result in a sense of regretting for you. More interestingly, numerous stunning limestone mountains that tower over Vang Vieng are riddled with caves of all kinds, which make this peaceful small town become more unique than ever.
The following are 5 attractive caves in Vang Vieng that you need to spend your time taking a trip to experience.

1. Tham Chang (Tham Jang)

Being considered as the most well-known cave in Vang Vieng, Tham Chang links everyone’s mind to “unable to move”  because of the cold water making your legs feel like freezing. Nothing can change the fact that internal part of this cave contains so much fresh air, which makes it a perfect site to escape the extremely high temperature up to 40oC of Lao summer. After getting insight into Tham Jang, you will not only have a chance to contemplate numerous charming stalactites, rare stalagmites but also broaden your horizons about a significant historical period. In the early 19th century, this cave played an essential role as a bunker during the Chinese Haw invasion and as a house for inhabitants of a local village in Lao civil war. Furthermore, a large number of people whole heartedly believe that touching golden crab stalactites here will soon make more fortune as well as gain much good feeling of happiness.

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2. Tham Nam (Water Cave)

Cave, floating on an inner tube, a river, and great scenery - the Water Cave seems to reunite key aspects from all of Vang Vieng’s attractions into one special adventure. Coming there, how awesome it would be when you can unwind in a feeling of jumping in the cool water, grabbing the rope, and pulling yourself hand-over-hand up the underground river stretching for approximately 500 meters. 

In particular, you are able to wade into the cave and maybe a small water fight will be great in the dry season when the water level is low. On the other hand, for the purpose of enjoying exciting things of the Water Cave, arranging your travel schedule in the rainy season is a totally superb idea. At that time, with the high water level and strong flow, you will do tubing inside and drag along a guide rope to get in and get out of the cave. Although going inside is really challenging when the darkness covers everything in this underground cave, it is worth an exploration with a headlamp once in a lifetime.

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3. Tham Phu Kham (Blue Lagoon)

The climb to the cave entrance is steep set of rock stairs. After passing through the narrow entrance, you will be immediately struck by how large it is. Then, let’s spend time witnessing the main cave chamber which contains a Thai bronze ¬reclining Buddha, and from here deeper galleries branch off into the mountain. The most remarkable feature is the lagoon at the track’s bottom leading to the cave because of the bright green-blue water, which is extremely perfect for a dip after the stiff climb. Interestingly, this place is full of tiny fish but they never bother you at all.

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Besides, coming there means that you will have a special chance to use a rope swing or jump right into the water from an old tree. Fortunately, for those who are not confident swimmers, renting one in a large number of lifejackets will support them a lot. There is also a water slide you can use (a time payment for unlimited use).

Furthermore, several facilities like small shops and restaurants run by locals are available to serve for visitors who are in the lagoon area. If you get hungry, they offer delicious meals with multiple options fitting your taste.

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4. Tham Sang (Elephant Cave)

Being named after an elephant-form stalactite, the Elephant Cave is known as a network of corridors hidden behind the walk-in entrance and an area of wild elephants with their big bones discovered here. This cave has an elephant head like structure at one site which turned the life of villagers around into better miraculously. However, it is not a cave in the real sense, but rather a ledge that serves as a Buddhist sacrificial site. Noticeably, one of the most spectacular aspects of the cave is a Buddhist’s footprint along with a golden reclining Buddha. Additionally, a golden bell made of an American bomb will quickly draw your attention. It is really a tragic consequence of Vietnam War lasting from 1964 to 1973, with the aim of cutting the Viet Cong’s supply through the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the American military dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos.

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5. Tham Hoi (Snail Cave)

If you inherently take an interest in exploring primary caves, the dark untouched Snail Cave surely fit your style. Similar to Tham Sang, the name’s derivation of Tham Hoi (also called Snail Cave) comes from a snail-shaped stalactite inside. After entering the entrance guarded by a huge Buddha figure, you need to patiently go on about 3km to get into the limestone and an underground lake. During American bombing rails, this cavern was taken into consideration to be used as a strong shelter for local people. From the early time, the inhabitants here trusted that the large sculpture of Buddha near the entrance will be power enough to protect them from bombs, injuries and unlucky things which may happen.

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“Tham” means “cave” and that is the reason why most of the name listed above containing the word “Tham” at the beginning.


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Brian Vu

Working for a travel company is a big chance for me to feel love with travel. Specially, leisure is not my style, riding motorbike to discover everywhere is really great for my trips. On each miles I reach, I get opportunity to learn more about the local culture, to see ... [View Details...]