Blue Lagoon III, a little known haven in Vangvieng

Vangvieng is hands down one of my favourite places to go to in all of Laos. The ethereal karst landscape provides a stunning backdrop to the myriad activities on offer and its proximity to Vientiane means a weekend away is a feasible and enjoyable proposition on any given Friday afternoon after work.
Outdoor activities are the order of the day for most visitors to Vangvieng. As well as the popular tubing on the Nam Xong, guides and tour operators throughout the township offer treks, mountain bike riding and hot air ballooning.

Lounging on a bamboo raft is a great way to experience Blue Lagoon III.

Rock climbing, caving and exploring the countryside in an off-road dune buggy are also very popular activities.
Being just 150 kilometres north of Vientiane and a mere two and a half hours’ drive, I find myself going to Vangvieng frequently.  A day trip is always an option, of course, but staying a night or two in Vangvieng before going back to work on Monday is best.
Because Vangvieng has so much to do I never get bored there.  Sometimes I like to just chill in a hammock in the middle of town and watch Koreans float down the river.  Other times I’ll make more of an effort to go out and explore what the countryside has to offer. 
The places I like the best are the ones that are beautiful and not too populated by other tourists.  This is not easy in a place like Vangvieng which has a constant turnover of international guests passing through.  However, a couple of weeks ago I think I found the best spot yet.
On past occasions in Vangvieng I have travelled out of town on the road to Poukham Cave and have been sidetracked by the Blue Lagoon I and Blue Lagoon II which are impossible to miss.  They are both great, there is no doubt about it.  The water in the natural pools is clean and cool and the restaurants and amenities are fine.  Everything is good, except there are also a lot of people at both places and swimming means having to watch out that you won’t poke someone in the eye.
The Blue Lagoon III, right near Patong Cave and a few kilometres past Blue Lagoon II, however, is totally different. For 10,000 kip entry I found a larger, bluer lagoon than the other two, with just a few people lounging lazily around its edge. 
Right in the centre of the lagoon there is a large bamboo raft that has been tied to some rocks.  This raft became my base for several hours as I slipped in and out of the water, staying cool and fresh in the hot sun.  It was bliss.
The water flows from out of the mountain that overlooks the lagoon. This means the water is always clean and has a good supply of fish which I could easily see as I dried off on my raft.  
The restaurant there has a good selection of foreign and Lao meals, along with the usual drinks and ice cream, and is good value. 
The lagoon also has an intricate network of seven ziplines that let people soar across the treetops above the water. If in a group of seven people or more this costs 70,000 kip.  
I fell in love with this wonderful spot on my visit there. It is so relaxing and cool it will now be the first place I’ll think of when the weather turns hot.
One day, as word spreads, the Blue Lagoon III will become as popular and populated with tourists as the other two lagoons.  For the time being, however, it remains one of Vangvieng’s littlest known gems.
The lagoon is about 15km from Vangvieng. The road is unpaved but suitable for a car, motorbike or bicycle. 

By Patithin Phetmeuangphuan
(Latest Update June 6, 2019)

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