Tham Sang Triangle @ Vang Vieng

With a new day at hand and a bit less of a hangover then my average this week, I joined some other tourists to go see the Elephant Cave north of Vang Vieng. The ride by rickshaw took about 20 minutes and landed us at the ticket salesman for the cave. Our guide asked us whether we'd like to see the Tham Hoi Cave first.  Without knowing exactly what we were getting into, we agreed to check it out.

Riding in the rickshaw
Walking bridge 
Old bridge leftovers
After crossing a couple of rivers and walking about half a kilometer on a dirt path, we entered into the cave via a shaky wooden plank. We proceeded past a Buddha statue guarding the entrance and soon the cave walls around us morphed into a cramped tunnel. The pictures from this point on get a bit weird because in the darkness the only way I could get a good picture was by waving my light back and forth while the camera exposed.

The communication between the guide and our group was difficult, as we really could only understand every 3rd or 4th sentence he said. I made fun by responding to some of his questions as though I knew exactly what he was talking about. One of those questions was something about the distance we had gone, or wanted to go or something, to which I jokingly responded four or six kilometers. Having not read anything before hand I was expecting the cave to be maybe 300 meters deep, but as we kept on walking and crawling at times it became apparent this wasn't the case.

Eventually after 45 minutes or so of traversing the tunnel we ran into an underground lake. Nobody had mentioned the part about the lake to us, so not all of us were equipped with swim suits or flotation to cross it. This sparked a discussion with the tour guide and we were eventually able to get it out of him that this cave was like 12 kilometers deep with no exit on the other end, and we were currently at the 2 kilometer mark. With some of us unable to go any further, we decided to turn around and face the 2 kilometer walk/crawl we had to make to get out of this place.

Buddha in Tham Hoi cave

Pool area
After escaping we made our way over to the Tham Loup Cave, which was much more spacious and only a couple hundred kilometers deep.

Finally the tour guide took us back to his village to see the Elephants Cave, which consisted of what he called "a homemade bomb" and a rock shaped like an elephant. To complete the tour he begged for us to give him some money.

Elephant rock in elephant cave
Homemade bomb