Visitors to “Land of a Million Elephants” should not come back home without having an excursion in Vang Vieng – a “tourist paradise”. This peaceful small town is about 150km from the north of Vientiane. There are many intertesting activities such as inner tubing, kayaking on the Nam Song River, going shopping at Vang Vieng Market, sightseeing the natural scenery, discovering limestone caves in Vang Vieng, etc. The following are 5 attractive “thams” (“tham” means “cave” in Lao) in Vang Vieng you must spend your time going to see.
This cavern is considered as the most famous one around Vang Vieng. Tham Chang refers to “unable to move” since the water is so cold that your legs feel like freezing. Thanks to having the fresh air inside, the cave is an ideal destination to cool off in the hot weather in Laos. Once going to Tham Jang, you not only see a various of beautiful stalactites, rare stalagmites but also know a period of history. It was used as a bunker during the Chinese Haw invasion in the early 19th century and a house for inhabitants in a village in the civil war. Moreover, it is believed that touching golden crab stalactites here will have much fortune.
Tham Nam includes some streams running through the mountainside. It is approximately 500m long. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the end before turning back. You can walk into the cave in the dry season when the water level is low. On the contrary, to enjoy special things of the Water Cave, you should arrange your trip in the rainy season. At that time, with the high water level and strong flow, you will get inside with a tube and a rope. It seems more difficult when the darkness covers everything because here is an underground cave. Although going inside is really challenging, it is worth visiting one time.
After passing through the narrow entrance, you will see a bronze reclining Buddha in the main cave of this vast one. The Buddha statue is lit by the light pierced through the natural skylights. The most notable feature is the lagoon at the bottom of the track to the cave because of the bright blue of the water. It is so clear that you can observe the school of fish. Besides, you have a chance to use a rope swing or jump right into the water from a tree. In addition, small shops and restaurants run by local people is available to serve several facilities and meals for visitors.
The Elephant Cave is named after an elephant-form stalactite. Moreover, the cavern is said to have been an area of wild elephants as their big bones were found here. Like Tham Phu Kham, Tham Sang also has a reclining Buddha figure. The most spectacular aspect of the cave is a Buddha’s footprint. Additionally, it includes a few Buddha images and a golden bell made of an American bomb. In the years of the Vietnam war (1964 - 1973), the United State dropped more than 2 million tons of bomb on Laos to cut the Viet Cong’s supply through Ho Chi Minh Trail.
5. Tham Hoi (Snail Cave)
If you want to explore a primary cave, let go to the Snail Cave because this is a dark and undeveloped one. Similar to Tham Sang, Tham Hoi is called the Snail Cave due to a snail-shaped stalactite. It is 3km long and has an underground lake. The cavern is used to be a shelter for local people during American bombing rails. They believed that a large Buddha near the entrance would protect them from bombs, injuries and unlucky things.
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Link to send: 5 Unmissable Caves to Explore in Vang Vieng, Laos