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“Cool Blue Lagoon, Scary Dark Cave!”

Tham Phu Kham Cave and Blue Lagoon
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Full Day Pak Ou Caves by Boat from Luang Prabang
Reviewed January 8, 2014

We actually got to the blue lagoon and cave by ATV, as part of a tour by VLT Natural Tours. The ride out there was very scenic...it would have been very enjoyable even if there had not been a cool, relaxing pool and cave to explore at the end of the ride!

The blue lagoon itself is fantastic. The water is truly blue and there are many fish in there (probably not the place to swim in for a fish hater!). However, if it has rained the night before you might wish to reschedule your trip to the lagoon, as it would not be blue but brown! This was a tip from our hotel owner. There are swings and things around the lagoon, and it is fun to jump into the cooling blue water. The water at the centre of the lagoon is deep, so you will not hurt yourself when jumping into it.

I have heard that modesty is important in Laos, even when swimming, so took care to respect that by wearing a cover-up when swimming. It is important for me to respect the local culture. Most tourists didn't use cover-ups though, so use your own discretion.

Tham Phu Kham cave is a long, steep climb up carved-out stairs. I estimate that we spent about 20 minutes climbing up. There are bamboo handrails for most of the way up, so that helps, although the climb was still quite difficult! Going down is much easier.

The cave itself is very dark, once you get past the entrance and the area with the Buddha. If you have not brought your own head torch, you are able to rent one before you enter the cave. This is necessary! The cave itself is not particularly easy to navigate without a guide, being very dark and slippery. If we hadn't had a guide, I wouldn't have dared to explore deeper into the cave, as it looked to be quite dangerous if you take a wrong step or a wrong turn. It was rewarding, however, venturing deeper with our guide! He showed up rock formations that looked like the Petronas Twin Towers in K.L., and other fanciful things. He also showed us that some stalactites make a bell-like sound when rapped, and we got to try it for ourselves! Our spelunking experience was much enhanced by having a guide along with us.

All in all, the blue lagoon and Tham Phu Kham cave are both very enjoyable, though I would advise that you go with a guide if you really want to explore the cave!

Thank drwho_rose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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690 - 694 of 1,316 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2014

Blue lagoon is a fairly small ok lagoon. It was full of tourists when we were there. Just be ware that if driving yourself you don't accidentally go into (and get charged for) the 'other' blue lagoon - basically a scam by the locals. You will go through a big welcome sign vet your head when you're at the actual one, and you'll see lots of other tourists. We were annoyed we paid to get into a fake, which was essentially some guys garden.

Thank traveller1112013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2013

we walked up to the blue lagoon (an easy 7km walk) and climbed up to the cave-- the blue lagoon was fun for our kids and there are some rope swings and a tree to jump off of.

Thank spinny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2013

Went for a walk and then was sidetracked into perhaps going to the blue lagoon.Be sure to ignore the signs leading off to similar sounding swimming places and caves if you intend to go to the blue lagoon and attached cave do your homework and get a map.Simple enough with instructions from where you trust.I noticed on my walk that there are signs with arrows half visible suggesting 'blue lagoon this way' 'swimming lagoon this way' cave this way and that way.The thing here is they all want a piece of the action and who can blame them 10000 kip each time for what may well be a good site to visit but only without having been misled.Just a bit of friendly real advice to avoid this scam.In my experience today a piece of string was pulled across my path 10000 kip was displayed with the words 'blue lagoon' the fee was infact for a cave 2km away from the blue lagoon however you could continue to the blue lagoon but will have to pay a further 10000 .When there really would be no need to go this alternative route.No ticket was issued.The person demanding the fee is usually half asleep and know what they are doing 'scam' The lagoon is really nice.Crowded today go early the caves were nice but too slippery and not worth the risk unless you are confident.

Thank RayPar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2013

It's 7 km from the toll bridge crossing the Nam Song. Most people arrive by tuk-tuk, motorbike or bicycle. The road is flat, but very rocky, so if you come by bicycle, be prepared for a sore butt. We decided to walk. The road is well-marked with signs both in Lao and English, but beware of signs attempting to sidetrack you to other caves. These other caves might be perfectly charming, we didn't have time to investigate, but the signs you want to follow are clearly marked "Blue Lagoon." The road is very dusty, and walkers are low men on the totem pole, so we were pretty ragged by the time we arrived. An entrance fee of 10,000 kip is the price of admission.

The lagoon is indeed very blue. On one side there is a rope tied to a large tree. You can climb the tree or swing on the rope to plop into the lagoon. Nearly every doing this was a Westerner in his/her 20s. On the other side of the lagoon, there are mostly Asians wading in the water and looking with amusement at the fleshy farangs cavorting in their skimpy bathing suits.

Running across the center of the lagoon is a foot bridge leading to a restaurant and the path to the cave. The climb up the mountain is very steep and treacherous, but there are bamboo hand rails throughout. When you reach the cave entrance, you will have had about 20-30 minutes of strenuous aerobic activity. If you didn't bring your own torch, you can rent one for 10,000 kip before you enter the cave. After climbing over some very slippery rocks you reach the center of the large cave with a small reclining Buddha. This part of the cave is bathed with natural light. If you want to explore further you can continue to the other side of the cave. We didn't do that because it was too slippery for us.

For our return trip, we decided to hire a tuk-tuk. There were several parked in the shade near the lagoon. The price was 100,000 kip to return to town, or 80,000 if you get off before the toll bridge.

1  Thank Roger F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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