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Most buses and mini-vans arrive in LP a few kms from the centre, where many tuk-tuk drivers or representatives of guest houses will pounce on you as soon as you step off your bus. Most will show fotos of accommodation and will try to persuade you to stay there. Pick a suitable one, then they usually try to stick you in a tuk-tuk for a couple dollars, but it is quite easy to persuade them to give you free transportation should you decide to stay in their GH.
Written Mar 2, 2012
LUANGPRABANG Whenever I can when travelling I always, if possible ,travel by train as I beleive it is the best and most comfortable way to travel...unfortunately there are no more trains in Laos so the next best cheapest thing is a bus..The busses are generally I found to be in good condition very modern,fast,and clean, for long distance services ..ie: Luangprabang-Vang Vieng-Vientienne..also they are very reasonably priced and usually full.so book a day or so prior to your journey..
Written Sep 27, 2010
The road to Vang Vieng takes around 5 hours through some beautiful if bumpy mountain scenery. Bring water and motion sickness tablets if you are poorly as it's not comfortable. I advise paying more with other tourists for a minivan than a public bus.
Written Jun 30, 2010
In order to get across to the small village of Ban Xieng Maen, on the other side of the Mekong from Luang Prabang, you have to take a boat across the river. I took some sort of vehicle ferry thing across which transported two motorbikes, 1 guy, 1 girl and me. On the way back I took one of the many narrow boats. The trip costs 5,000 kip each way.
Written Apr 22, 2010
Chances are you are coming to Luang Prabang via Vientiane.
Sure, this is not the only way to LP, but is the most common one.
Some, however, do come by boat from the South West side. For this there are 2 options: fast boat (where you wear helmets, it's a scary ride), & the slow boat (very chilled & slow, though totally relaxing).
Anyway, if you are coming from Vientiane, you must stop for a while (minimum 1/2 a day) at Vang Vieng. This breaks the otherwise 7 hour journey. From VV it's another 4 hours of a gruelling uphill & meandering route.
Vang Vieng is compact & beautiful. Caving, tubing along the shallow river with some fun mini-rapids, stops along he river for beer/soft drinks, are amongst the activities to be enjoyed.
Fares from VV to LP are 5 USD. from VTE to VV it's 4 USD.
Updated Feb 25, 2010
A great way to get about Luang Prabang and the surrounding countryside is to hire a scooter, the all-purpose vehicle of Southeast Asia. Having ridden bikes as a young man, I am quite comfortable with scooters although I would suggest if you have limited or no experience, this region is maybe not the place to learn. In town, the traffic is the usual chaos with people apparently going where they want and road signs ignored totally. Out of town, apart from Highway 13, the roads can be a little tricky, especially if you cross to the far bank of the Mekong. If you are confident though, you can save yourself some money on the tours to the likes of Pak Ou caves, and the two main waterfalls.
I rented a bike from Pinekham Services as it was near my guesthouse. It was the standard 100cc Wave with 71,000 km on the clock and Heaven knows how many more not. It had brakes as soggy as an Irish February and had obviously seen much better days. However, it sufficed for my needs.
It cost 100,000 kip per day and, as is usual, you had to deposit your passport with them. You are required to leave the machine back full and there is a convenient Caltex filling station just along at the other end of Visounarath Road.
It is located on the (only) roundabout on Kisarth Settathirat Road, at the junction with Visounarath Road.
Written Jan 5, 2010
Phone: +00 856 (0)71 212922
From Luang Prabang you can take the bus to Laos capital of Vientiane. The trip takes about 6h with an amazing ride through the beautifull hills covered by jungle with local villages along the road from time to time.
There is a break for some food and refreshment and you will pass Vang Vieng somewhere in the middle. It is a really nice ride.
Written Jul 10, 2008
Coming from northern Thailand, you have to cross the border from Chiang Khong early in the morning to Hiay Xai. Do it early cause it is a first come first serve system there, and it can get crowded. People told me that it can happen that you loose a day if you dont make it early enough to the other side. Dont forget to check out at the Thai border post. For Laos you get a visa on arrival after lining up and paying 30 USD (if I remember correctly...was 2007) - and bring passportpics, of course. On your walk up to Huay Xai you pass plenty of offices for cruise tickets. Buying an additional cushion/pillow, thinking you wil spend two full days on the woodbenches of the slowboat.
Tourists get packed on the backs of pickups and are brought to the slowboats finally.
And the slow boat cruise begins along the Mekong river and hills panorama!!! Passing small villages from time to time with stops for people who come and go. Speedboat announce their coming with their loud car engines packed on small boats long before you can see them. It seems like a noisy, rough bumpy ride - but this way cuts down the travel time to Luang Prabang to just six hours....though I dont know how you feel after that ;-)
In the early evening of your first day you will arrive at Pak Beng - a small village, whose reason of being is the lumber industry and - slowboat tourists, of course. There is not much to do, except a small market in the mornings. Though a small tiny tourism industry was already growing when the first shop just opened offering jungle treks....who knows what will happen here in a few years.
The next day continues until you pass the Buddha caves and arriving in Lunag Prabang the next afternoon, early morning - just in time to witness the sunset.
Written Jul 10, 2008
To get to the other side for visiting local villages, temple hills and getting a nice view over Luang Prabang you have to take a ferry - actually really small, more like a dug-out, one perosn at a time sitting behind each other.
Written Jul 10, 2008
If you go to the southern busstation, you can buy bustickets to Vang Vieng or Vientiane in advance. The bus station is somewhat out of town, but easily to reach by bike or tuktuk.
They sell 3 types of tickets; local transport without airco, local transport with airco, vip bus with airco.
The diffrence between the last two is that you get an extra bottle of water included in the price.
We got discount for the bustickets of the kids, the two youngest could travel together on one ticket.
A ticket from LP to VV costs 85.000 kip. The wohole trip took us 6,5 hours.
Written May 23, 2008
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