If you like caves, you will love Vang Vieng. There are even so many caves here that most locals don’t even know all of them. That’s why if you are adventurous and like to explore new places, you’ll certainly find caves that are almost unknown. It happened to us once. We found a cave in the middle of the jungle and nearly no one could tell us about it. Well, without a doubt there are a lot of caves in Vang Vieng. Honestly we never been in a place with more caves than here. No wonder that the city is so popular among speleologists. However, we’re not going to tell you about all caves in Vang Vieng, since we just visited a few of them. But those we visited, we really liked. So, let’s take a closer look at the famous caves of Vang Vieng.
Tham Chang Cave
Tham Chang Cave, also known as Tham Jang Cave, is probably the most famous cave in Vang Vieng. And that means a lot. Not only the cave itself is worth seeing. The way to get there makes the experience even better. That’s because you have to go up a steep staircase to get to the cave and that staircase is really impressive. Just take a look at the picture we taken and you’ll understand why. There’s also one of the Blue Lagoons at the bottom of the cave. If you want to freshen up after visiting the cave, this is the right place for it. Whether this is necessary is another matter, eventually it is relatively cold inside the cave. Actually it’s a great spot to cool down from the heat outside. That’s why you’ll probably even see some apprentice monks there.
But what makes the Tham Chang Cave that unmissable? Well, first of all the cave is well-lit and paved. Of course that is not quite as adventurous. However, it makes it easier to explore the cave. Second there are a lot of pathways leading to different chambers and each chamber has its own flair. Especially the rock formations are pretty impressive. Some stalactites are even said to bring good luck. Another thing that defines the Tham Chang Cave is its viewpoint. It’s really a great viewpoint, since you get to enjoy a panoramic view of the town and landscape of Vang Vieng. It may not be the best lookout point in Vang Vieng but for us at least it’s one of the best.
How to get to Tham Chang Cave
To get to the Tham Chang Cave you’ll first have to go to the gate of the Vang Vieng Resort. Just look out for a sign for Jamee Guesthouse and turn right down. After you arrived there you’ll have to pay an entrance fee. But don’t worry. It’s really not that expensive. However, the price of the entrance fee depends on your mode of transportation. As pedestrian it’s the cheapest but we recommend to rent a bicycle because you’ll get faster to the cave. It’s still very cheap. After passing the gate just walk a little until you see an orange bridge. That bridge is really famous and a good place for taking a photo. After all it’s kind of a gateway to many beautiful places in Vang Vieng. After crossing the bridge you just have to turn left and walk a few hundred meters. Soon you’ll see the steep staircase we mentioned before. Walk up and you’ll be directly in front of the cave.
Tham Phu Kham Cave
The Tham Phu Kham Cave (or Tham Poukham Cave) is nearly as famous as the Tham Chang Cave and also one of the must-sees in Vang Vieng. It is located near the Blue Lagoon 3 but you’ll have to do a little trekking to get there. We really don’t recommend visiting the cave alone. For two reasons. First one: Just getting there can be quite dangerous. It goes quite steeply upwards and you’ll have to walk through the jungle. It’s a short but rough walk and if you ain’t careful you may fall down and hurt yourself badly. Second: Exploring the cave is pretty adventurous. There’s no light inside but slippery floors and many steep slopes. Not to mention you’ll have to climb a lot to get to the different sections. So you have to be really careful here as well. Watch your step, walk slowly and always use a headlamp. You can rent one below at the water spring.
Despite the risk, you shouldn’t miss the Tham Phu Kham Cave in any case. There are underground waterfall streams, impressive rock formations and even a bronze relining Buddha inside the main chamber. If you want to be save we recommend hiring a local guide. You don’t need to do that but exploring the cave by yourself can be really dangerous. We were a bit too cocky and it nearly ended bad. So, don’t do the same mistake. Of course, if you’re an experienced speleologist, it’s a whole different story. In that case just go ahead. Because of the danger we don’t recommend this cave for families. It’s simply too dangerous for small children. Anyway, that this is a great adventure is beyond question. Without any doubt one of the best activities in Vang Vieng.
How to get to Tham Phu Kham Cave
Head to Blue Lagoon 3. From there you really can’t miss the cave. Just keep walking until you see the jungle and some wooden signs. The way up is self-explanatory. Just go up until you see a cave on the right side. But don’t forget that you should be in good physical shape. Not only because of the way up, but also because of the cave itself.
Num Bor Keo Cave
Unlike the other two caves, the Num Bor Keo Cave is quite unknown. The entrance fee is 10.000 Kip. You most likely won’t see any tourists there. You can visit the cave either alone or with guides. However, if you should choose to go with guides, you’ll have to pay 50.000 Kip for each of them. That’s around $11 for both, If you go alone, don’t forget to rent a headlamp (it may be free) or bring your own torch. Before you get to the cave you’ll have to pass some rice paddies with cows. That’s also a nice experience.
The cave is really dark and you should beware of the slippery floor. Besides, it can happen that you get lost. Although the cave is really small, it is still possible. Well, we rent the guides and everything was fine. However, you should be careful that you don’t hit your head. Unfortunately it happened to one of us, since the ceiling isn’t that high. Inside the cave you’ll find a lot of stalagmites and stalactites. Some of them are even shining! The Num Bor Keo Cave is a hidden gem and highly recommendable. Just check out our video we took with the guides.
How to get to Num Bor Keo Cave
Although pretty unknown (it isn’t even mentioned in Google Maps), it’s not very hard to find the cave. Like many other places it’s just across the wooden orange bridge. Watch out for a sign with a description on the main road. The sign is located on the left and it says Blue Lagoon. If you go there and see a small wooden hut after a minute, you’re at the right place.