Ekalath Metropole Hotel

Samsenthai Road, PO Box 3179, Vientiane, Laos
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Forum Posts

Vientiane to Luang Prabang

by Twooldies

Our 4 week journey will start in Bangkok and we plan to travel to Vientiane by overnight train just for the experience, in Feb 2011.

Once in Laos is it worth travelling by coach from V to LP? Some suggestions are that it is such a long journey that it should be done overnight. As we would be doing this to see the country instead of flying over it this rather defeats the object we think. However, as I suffer from vertigo might it be better to fly? Suggestions from your experiences please.

Re: Vientiane to Luang Prabang

by picek

It's at least 10 hrs drive between V and LPB. Best part of scenery starts behind Vang Vieng (VV - LPB is 6 hrs away), so it would be possible that you break the journey in two parts (6 h in one day, 4 h next time) .
It's pity if you miss the views by day time, but if you really can't stand sitting on buses for that long then it's better to fly. They do have comfortable buses and mini buses between these places, though.

Also keep in mind that accidents are common on this part of the road (between VV and LPB), so you might need some extra water or snacks while taking the buses.

Re: Vientiane to Luang Prabang

by mim95

I've taken the coach from Vientiene to Luang Prabang during the day. It's a long journey, but I had no prob with it as the seat wasn't too bad. There was a lunch stop somewhere along the way, which was included in the ticket price. Food was typical: you get a plate of rice with some veggie or meat, or a bowl of noodles. The bus would stop once or twice for bathroom breaks...where you hid under the bush if you had to go.

As mentioned before, the scenery was nice for part of the trip. And in some area, the road was next to the cliff and there was no barrier. I felt much better traveling during the day time. As there was no street light at night.

Re: Vientiane to Luang Prabang

by cachaseiro

I have done this journey both by plane, bus and bicycle and i prefer the bicycle ride, but i guess you are not up for that.
I think a night bus would be a bad idea as the scenery is really good on that road and if you just want to get there then you are better off getting a cheap flight with lao airlines who are excellent.
I would still say take the bus though and mabye break the journey for a night in Vang Vieng.

Re: Vientiane to Luang Prabang

by sydneystone

Last month I travelled down through Laos using the minibus services. Minibus trips include pickup from your accom. and it only cost a little extra. With the bus you have to arrange tuk tuks between your accom. and the bus station. As stated 10hrs in the VIP bus is a long day. Up to you. I was coming the other way and broke my trip by visiting Vang Vieng. The scenery, especially between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang is particularly intoxicating. With all my research prior to my trip I found the minibus drivers very safe (which wasn't what I had expected). I would not do an overnight trip. As stated, a flight with Lao Airlines might suit you. I have no actual knowledge but an advance booking may be prudent.

Travel Tips for Vientiane

ATMS do exist

by traceyspacey

There are a number of ATM's in Vientiane. But as for which ATM, depends on whether you have Visa or Maestro. We have found that the ATM attached to the Joint development bank on Th Lan Xang accepted visa but was having problems with maestro. The limit is 1 million kip per transaction, maximum of 3 transactions which means 3 million kip.

Banque pour le commerce Exterieur Lao (BCEL) have an ATM just to the right of Patuxai which accepts maestro but not visa (despite the visa sign). 700,000 kip transaction limit, but you can do more than one transaction per day. Not sure up to how many. They are putting in more ATM's, so keep an eye out.

facts, thoughts and impressions

by call_me_rhia

Vieng Chan is the name of the city as it was born in 1563: it means , the "City of the Moon".
The reason? I simply don't know.
In terms of landmarks, sightseeing or size there is not much in Vientiane, and thank goodness for it. Often it is referred as Asia's largest village, just because for a capital city it's extremely small and sleepy, like the location where it sits: on an equally sleepy shore of the Mekong River the broad tree-lined boulevards, colonial mansions and even a Lao version of the Arc de Triomphe. But also the temples, some simple huts, some lively markets, some rice fields.

Drink Beer Lao

by Rodan44

Like everywhere else in Southeast Asia, Vientiane is hot and humid. A long day of sightseeing can really drain you quickly. My recommendation is to take frequent breaks and cool off with a refreshing Beer Lao. This is the national beer of Laos and is produced by the Lao Brewery Co. Ltd. which also produces the most popular brand of drinking water. Beer Lao is available in small or large bottles or in cans. If you arrive by the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, you will see the brewery on the way to Vientiane, and it is surprisingly large and modern. Website: http://www.beerlao.laopdr.com/Product.htm

Baci ceremony

by sanukseeker

We were lucky enough to partake in a traditional baci ceremony. It is a ceremony held to celebrate any special event, our return to Singapore in this case. what a great idea to facilitate the outpouring of goodwill and love!

the best part of the ceremony was when the Laotians enthusiastically came up to us and tied cotton threads around our wrists, sincerely wishing us good luck, good health, good fortune, happiness and all the good things that matter in one's life. these came from people whom i had only known for a weekend and hence, it's heartwarming to encounter such warmth. They also informed us that the baci threads had to be wore for at least 3 days. I wore mine for 3 days and now that i paid my dues, I ought to anticipate good things in the future! haha.

this ceremony comes with a feast! we were offered hard boiled eggs, bananas, mandarin oranges, chicken and of course, the ubiquitous whiskey!

Don't do these things:

by SumTingWong

Don't do the following things while in Laos:

1) Touch a Buddha Immage.
2) Point the bottom your feet at someone.
3) Point the bottom of your feet at a Buddha immage.
4) Kiss in public.
5) Be dirty.
6) Touch someone's head.
7) Women can't touch monks. If they do the monk will have to go through spiritual cleansing.
8) Don't do drugs - this harms you, Lao society, and you again while in Laotian jail for a few years/decades?!!


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