To be honest, we’re a little torn about writing this article. On one hand, we would love for this place to remain a secret blue hideaway. But on the other hand, if anything we write on this blog is able to make even one person’s vacation better, we’re happy. And so we’ll tell you exactly how to get to a place that Jen loved even more than tubing – Blue Lagoon Three.
As soon as you walk into Vang Vieng, you will undoubtedly be hounded by tuk tuk drivers and tour agency billboards screaming at you to head to Blue Lagoon – which in reality means Blue Lagoon One. But, unless you want to share an over-glamourized pond with neon hiking gear-clad Korean tour groups, throngs of backpackers splashing away their hangovers and everyone else under the sun, skip it.
Yup, forget about the one everyone goes to and instead, brave the Laos heat for a ride out to the hidden oasis known as Blue Lagoon 3. Your reward for looking beyond the flock is a clear natural pool of water so blue and so clean, you could probably drink from it. That’s because it is entirely sourced from an underground spring that feeds it from below. On top of that, it’s isolated and sits at base of a magnificent limestone mountain that bursts out of the ground and flies straight up into the sky. And by isolated, we mean it’s far enough from civilization that it’s almost entirely EMPTY. During our two hours there, two different cars with locals arrived at separate intervals, only to stay for 20 minutes and leave, so the lagoon was our own little paradise to enjoy practically all to ourselves. Try to get out before 11:45AM though, unless you’re okay with sharing it with a gaggle of giggly kiddies who are back from their day at school. Or stay for the water fights, whatever floats your boat….er, tube.
In addition to tractor tubes for you to get your lazy float on, there’s two massive bamboo rafts to float around and enjoy some dives, drinks (yes, they sell beer & beverages!) or sunbathing. On one side, there’s a diving platform and a zipline that throws you right into the middle of the pool. And if you’re really looking for some adventure, sign up for their zipline course that starts from the pool and flings you through the trees between the pool and the resident karst.
You can hire a tuk tuk to take you out there, but keep in the mind that the price will be jacked up, considering it’s an extra 14km past the disgustingly popular Blue Lagoon One. We rented a simple semi-automatic scooter, but in hindset, we wish we had rented either a dirtbike or one of those badass-looking ATV buggies for hire. Though its completely doable by scooter, the road past Blue Lagoon One is bone-jarringly rough and unpaid. You might have doubts, you might want to turn back, but there are plenty of signs along the way urging you to “KEEP GOING,” and believe us when we say it’s absolutely WORTH IT.
- After crossing the bridge (10,000 LAK admission return trip per person if on a motorcycle), you’ll come to a three-way intersection. Take a gander at this tourist map on your right and spot Blue Lagoon 3 in the lower left hand corner of the map. Follow the paved road.
2. At the three-way intersection with the Blue Lagoon sign, DO NOT TURN RIGHT. Keep going straight. The road becomes unpaved just a few hundred meters later. Don’t panic and keep going. Follow the signs that guide you to “NANG OUA KHIAM CAVE”. NOTE, that is not your final destination.
3. At this three-way intersection, turn right and keep going.
4. Turn left at this sign.
5. Turn left at this sign.
6. The final direction: Turn left. DO NOT go straight, since that is not to the lagoon, though the gatekeeper may mislead you into paying for it anyways.
*Make sure you have at least half a tank before you leave! There’s one legit gas station half-way there selling quality gas at the market price. If you miss it and are running dangerously low, many of the locals sell homebrewed gasoline out of their shacks (it won’t be obvious, just stop and ask). Though, it’s lower quality and is sold at double the rate of the gas stations.