Tham Phu Kham cave, with the Thai bronze reclining Buddha in the distance, Vang Vieng

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Tham Phu Kham & Blue Lagoon

Vang Vieng

Located west of Vang Vieng, the vast Tham Phu Kham is considered sacred by Lao. The main cave chamber contains a Thai bronze ­reclining Buddha, and from here deeper galleries branch off into the mountain. It's hugely popular largely due to the lagoon in the cave, but overdevelopment, group tourists and noisy buggies have made it an unpleasant place to swim.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Vang Vieng attractions

2. Wat Si Vieng Song


Located at the northern end of town, Wat Si Vieng Song is an active Buddhist temple.

3. Wat Si Suman

3.51 MILES

One of a handful of Buddhist temples in Vang Vieng.

4. Tham Jang

5.14 MILES

The most famous of the caves around Vang Vieng, Tham Jang was used as a bunker to defend against marauding jęen hór (Yunnanese Chinese) in the early 19th…

5. Tham Nam

7.95 MILES

Tham Nam is the highlight of the cluster of caves north of Vang Vieng. The cave is about 500m long and a tributary of the Nam Song flows out of its low…

6. Tham Sang

8.09 MILES

Tham Sang, located a few kilometres north of Vang Vieng, is a small cavern containing Buddha images and a Buddha footprint, plus the (vaguely) elephant…

7. Tham Loup

8.17 MILES

Tham Loup, located a few kilometres north of Vang Vieng, is a large and delightfully untouched cavern with some impressive stalactites.

8. Tham Hoi

8.19 MILES

Located around 13km north of Vang Vieng, the entrance to Tham Hoi is guarded by a large Buddha figure; reportedly the cave continues about 3km into the…