The biggest question for visitors while traveling in Vang Vieng, Laos is “Which one should I choose? Blue Lagoon 1 or Blue Lagoon 3?” Or perhaps, is it worth it if I were to visit both of them? Well, in this post, let me break down these two seemingly similar attractions in Vang Vieng, and help you make your choice.
For every traveler in Vang Vieng, it’s almost impossible to not come across the word “Blue Lagoon”. To be honest, it’s so famous there that both of them are receiving several tourist groups every single day. Of course, there are Blue Lagoon 2, 4, 5, not sure if there’s 6. But 1 & 3 are more famous than the rest.
So, let’s compare the difference between Blue Lagoon 1 and Blue Lagoon 3, and see which one suits you more!
Blue Lagoon 1
Blue Lagoon 1 is located around 25 minutes ride from the city center. And due to its nearer location, it receives the most tourist groups per day and is usually crowded any time of the day.
There is also Phu Kham Cave next to Blue Lagoon 1, which makes it even more popular.
The site is much more established and has more facilities compared to Blue Lagoon 3. There’s a huge tree with a horizontal branch, where people can climb up with the stairs and dive into the lagoon below. It’s quite scary to be honest, as it’s quite tall. See the photo below.
If you’re not confident with your swimming skills, there are safety jackets for rent at the site. They are charged at an hourly rate. It’s comparatively more expensive, and I don’t think you’ll need it if you’re visiting with friends who can swim.
There are several food stalls there where you can get your lunch. And the best part is that there are many wooden huts prepared for visitors, where you can take a nap, eat your lunch or just chatting with your friends in there.
Changing rooms are of course provided there so you need not to change beforehand.
The shape of the lagoon is somehow like a static river, and you’ll find a lot of people chillin’ by the side of the lagoon. Depending on when you visit, the water can get very cold.
The entrance fee of Blue Lagoon 1 is 10,000 Kip per person. Pay another 5,000 Kip to park your motorcycle inside the compound.
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Getting to Blue Lagoon 1
As I mentioned above, Blue Lagoon 1 is comparatively nearer to Vang Vieng city. So, you can easily get tuk-tuks to get you there. But the best way, in my opinion, is to rent a motorcycle in Vang Vieng and ride all the way there.
Once you get past the toll bridge, it’ll be a bumpy ride all the way until a few minutes before you reach Blue Lagoon 1. The road has been very well-paved before the entrance. And if you’re visiting near the sunset hours, it’ll be a pleasant ride back home while watching the sunset from your ride.
If you have the budget and are looking for a more special experience, simply rent a buggy car and charge all the way there!
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Blue Lagoon 3
If you ask me which one would I choose, I’d go for Blue Lagoon 3 at any time of the day. And there are good reasons for that.
Blue Lagoon 3 is located around an hour ride on a motorcycle from Vang Vieng city. It’s definitely not a thing for everyone, because of the bumpy ride. Your butt will start to hurt after 30 minutes, and the next half would be a horrible experience for some.
Along the way, the views are amazing and breathtaking. It’s still a little dusty, but the limestone karsts you see throughout the journey will definitely amaze you at some point.
The size of the lagoon there is similar to Blue Lagoon 1, but the shape is more like a round-shaped pool. Unlike Blue Lagoon 1, which has only the tree branch, there are a lot of things to do in Blue Lagoon 3.
First, you’ll find two bamboo rafts floating on the lagoon. You’ll also find the huge horizontal tree walk, like the photo below, where you can challenge your balancing skills. And lastly, the zip line. It’s the highlight of this attraction because it’s free!
The zip line swings you half way to the middle of the lagoon, where you can release your grip and splash into the water in whatever style you like. It’s so enjoyable that I did it more than 10 times.
Also, there are several huts provided here as well, which is a plus for this attraction.
However, the food stall is much smaller, and there’s only one of them. The food choices there are very limited, and most Korean tourists will have Korean instant noodles there. Other food choices are not so attractive to me as well, luckily I brought sandwiches from Vang Vieng.
“Pro” tips: Bring your own sandwiches from Vang Vieng if you’re visiting Blue Lagoon 3!
Safety jackets here are much cheaper, and it’s charged once and not at an hourly rate. You can also rent a kayak and play around the lagoon! And also rent some tubes for tubing!
The entrance fee to Blue Lagoon 3 is also 10,000 Kip per person, with another 5,000 Kip for motorbike parking.
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Getting to Blue Lagoon 3
Getting to Blue Lagoon 3 on a tuk-tuk is not a pleasant ride, because we all know the suspension of tuk-tuks is horrible. You’ll get swung sideways for an hour, which is not endurable for some.
The best way from my perspective is, of course, renting a motorcycle in Vang Vieng and ride there. You can choose when to stop for photos, which I did a lot throughout my trip. My butt hurts a lot so I basically stopped every 5 to 10 minutes.
Be sure to get your tank filled up as there are no gas stations outside of Vang Vieng town. It’ll take an hour or more on a motorcycle to get there.
I’ve also seen a lot of travelers driving a buggy car there as well. The ride is longer and much more enjoyable compared to driving to Blue Lagoon 1. Probably the most comfortable option if you’re not tight on budget.
Blue Lagoon 1 vs Blue Lagoon 3
So now let’s make a choice on which one you should visit.
Choose Blue Lagoon 1 if:
- You don’t like to spend too much time on transportation,
- You hate bumpy rides,
- Tourist groups are actually fine with you,
- You’re more into a leisure visit than an adventurous trip to Blue Lagoons,
- You did not bring any food for lunch.
Choose Blue Lagoon 3 if:
- You don’t mind riding your motorbike for a long time,
- You love taking photos on the limestone karsts, with blue sky and farmland as backgrounds,
- A quieter environment sounds better for you,
- You never tried zip lines,
- You’ve got your lunch sorted.
Wrapping It Up
What do you think about this comparison between Blue Lagoon 1 and Blue Lagoon 3? Did it help you to make your choice? Let me know in the comment section below, I’m looking forward to hearing from you! Have fun in Laos! If you’re heading Luang Prabang next, check out these amazing things to do there! Or if you’re going to 4000 Islands, then this article will surely help you!