We spent a total of 10 nights in the little town of Vang Vieng Laos. We got off to a rough start in the town of backpackers and all night parties, especially after spending a nice peaceful week in Luang Prabang. After a day or two, we really looked beneath the surface of the transient backpackers coming and going and really fell in love with the people and the town. A day out exploring on the scooters helped with this, especially to the Blue Lagoon Vang Vieng!
Flashback to 2014:
I had posted on facebook that we just weren’t feeling the vibe in this town and one of our friends, Mary from Bohemian Travelers advised us to get out and explore. That did the trick! We had planned to rent scooters, but we did it the very next day.
As there were 5 of us and only 2 people allowed per scooter, we needed to rent 3 scooters. Gma Bev had never driven a scooter before and wasn’t too comfortable with taking on this challenge. If the roads weren’t gravel and full of potholes, we would have coaxed her on, but instead we felt it would be best that she didn’t drive as well. We hatched a plan to make 2 trips and that way we could all go.
The Blue Lagoon Vang Vieng Laos
The morning of the scooters, Gma Bev decided she just wanted to hang around town. Alan, the kids and I scooted on our way about 9am. First stop was the Blue Lagoon and caves! It was about 7 km west of town along a dirt and gravel road. I am certain these scooters weren’t meant for off road driving like this, but it is the local way. We stopped several times to admire the views and take a few photos.
Along the roads, we passed a few modest homes and small Hmong villages. After about 20-30 minutes we made it to the Tham Phu Kham cave and the Blue Lagoon. There was a 10,000 KIP ($1.50) entrance fee per person, so we paid and entered. Because it was early, there were only a few people there.
The water was a stunning shade of blue from the limestone around and it was also crispy cool. They had rope swings, bench swings and jumping platforms. We stayed for nearly 2 hours, playing, swimming and goofing around with the GoPro.
About midday, the crowds started to show up by the tuk tuk load. We decided it was time to make our move. We loved our time at the Blue Lagoon Vang Vieng!
We checked out one of the nearby caves, but about 1/2 way up the path decided to turn back. We wanted to get back to have some lunch, check in with Gma Bev and have a little rest, to get ready for our next scooter journey later that day.
Off we went back to town. We ate a little lunch and took a little siesta (some of us did). About 3:30, we decided to go ahead and find the waterfalls, which were listed on our map. They were about 7km in the opposite direction. We were certain, we had plenty of time to get there and return before dark. (NOPE!).
Again the road was about the same in the beginning with the bumps and potholes, but add in a few steep hills and a few more homes. This road was lovely and heading right into the mountains. It seemed to take a bit longer than the long flat drive to the Blue Lagoon, but it was just as picturesque.
Kaeng Nyui Waterfall, Vang Vieng
We arrived at the waterfall parking lot and noticed a group of kids playing on the side. They had several bamboo sticks laying on the ground. Kids were lined up on either side of the bamboo sticks bouncing them up and down to a rhythm, while a few other kids were jumping and dancing over the moving sticks. It was kind of like a game of jump rope, without the rope. They were adorable and happy kids.
One little girl about 5 years old, walked right up to Anya. She placed her hands together in front of her face, bowed and said “Sabaidee” (hello) and wanted Anya to come and play. With the sun going down, we had to decline and find our way to the falls. We intended to play with them on our return.
We entered the park, but still had to hike up another 1/2 – 3/4 km. Up we went in the shaded jungle area. It was just about dusk and the bugs were out, not to mention the humidity. We found the base of the falls and stopped to take a few photos, but quickly headed up and endless set of steps to reach the top level of the falls.
At this level, you could see the fresh cool river water cascading over the mountain top and down into a small clear pool. It was small enough for us to get in and have a chilling shower and play around a bit with the GoPro. It wasn’t quite so exciting after visiting the gorgeous Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang.
We didn’t have much time, as the sun was setting behind the mountains. We rushed back down the hill to our scooters, much faster than we climbed up! All of the kids that were jumping over sticks were gone! Oh no! We didn’t even get any photos. So we started our return.
We passed by some kids walking along the road and they all yelled and screamed “Sabaidee!” to us. We yelled back and they all reached out to give Lars a high five as he and Alan were driving by.
We didn’t expect to see the most beautiful sunsets ever, but we did.
We stopped several times to take photos, but the more we stopped the darker it became. When it is dark on a dirt road, it is very difficult to spot those potholes and grooves in the road. So the return drive was a bit more challenging. Not to mention all of the bugs, smacking us in the face. It was too dark to wear our sunglasses, so a few bugs made it into the eyes as well.
I would totally recommend doing this, for the sunset alone. It was worth a face full of bugs!
We made it back to town and returned our scooters. Mary was right, that made all of the difference. We loved our day out and all of the villages and people we passed.
Read more about our
Adventure333 (3 Generations, 3 Months, 3 Countries)
Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia
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