Luang Prabang Transportation

  • Down at the boat landing.
    Down at the boat landing.
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  • LONG DISTANCE BUS SERVICE TO VANG VIENG
    LONG DISTANCE BUS SERVICE TO VANG VIENG
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  • BUS STOPOVER FOR MEAL BREAK TO VANG VIENG
    BUS STOPOVER FOR MEAL BREAK TO VANG...
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Most Recent Transportation in Luang Prabang

  • tremendopunto's Profile Photo

    From Huay Xai to Luang Prabang by boat

    by tremendopunto Written Jul 10, 2008

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    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.

    Huay Xai n its border office seen from ChiangKhong pile dwellings along the river another slow boat making a stop at a village noisy, bumpy, rough fast boat ride Pak Beng village - overnight stop
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    ferry across the Mekong

    by tremendopunto Written Jul 10, 2008

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    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.

    river ferry across the mekong
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    VIP bus to Vang Vieng

    by li-anne Written May 23, 2008

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    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.

    Tariffs at the bus staion busses at the station buying a ticket is simple Luang Prabang southern bus station the bus we took
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    Fly if you can

    by ytanay Written May 22, 2008

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    After experiencing 10 hours on the road from Vientiane to Luang Prabang, I decided to spend more money and less time travelling back to Vientiane. The ride was just too long for me. If you plan ahead, you can book your air ticket online and it's slightly cheaper than getting them from the travel agents in Laos.

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    VIP bus to LP

    by ytanay Written May 22, 2008

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    If you buy the ticket from agents in town then the prices don't vary too much. To save the hassle, I'd recommend buying from your guesthouse as I did after surveying the prices outside. They picked me up directly from my guesthouse.

    All the operators will tell you that it takes only 5-6 hours by VIP bus. The fact is that it took 10 hours! The ticket is USD16 plus lunch. Bus left Vientiane at 8am and arrived at Luang Prabang approximately 10 hours later. Once you reach the bus depot in LP, there are plenty of tuk tuk touts to get you into town. Best to share with other travellers so start making friends on the bus!
    Oh, the bus has AC, TV (luckily not too loud) and toilet.

    At the bus station Insde the bus. The chairs don't recline much.

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    Car Rental Service

    by WaRPer Written May 20, 2008

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    Car rental + driver. The rate (as of May 2008) is 80 USD/Day + gas. The driver picked me up from Nong Khai Train Station on Thailand's side and drove us all the way to Luang Prabang. It was a relatively new 10-seater Hyundai van. The rental company's owner is Mr Surat JAMPANA, and our driver was Mr Vinai. Overall, the service was convenient and impressive.

    Hyundai Van
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    Motor and manuel bikes.

    by bluebug Written Mar 5, 2008

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    Let me state first that I had a broken leg. It was simply hard to get around. I'm on a year long trip so I can't go blowing all my money on taxis if I want to go 10 blocks. However I CAN afford to rent a motorbike or a bicycle in this country because it's so cheap. The problem with that is, Luang Prabang stopped letting travelers rent these modes of transport 2 months ago, because as one local said "some people fell down." This to me was ridiculous. Luckily I was there on a Sunday and brined a man to let me rent a bicycle for a day because that's the day police officers have off. Please take note however, that if your caught with a bicycle you must have an excuse that you bought it off another traveler, or else you can get a hefty fine or spend some time in jail, along with the person you rented you the bike.

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    Moving around town: Walk or Tuk Tuk

    by xuessium Written Dec 22, 2007

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    Luang Prabang is a compact enough town so if you are not intending to stray further beyond the Peninsula and surrounds (the old part of the town), you can cover almost everywhere on foot.

    It's a mere 30-40 minutes walk from the Post Office to Wat Pak Heng at the end of the peninsula and it can be a most joyful stroll as long as the temperature is not too high and the humidity not too muggy.

    If you think walking is detestable, you can always hail and jump into a Tut Tut. Most journey around the old part of town is about 5000 Kips but if you're going further out (like beyond the old part of town), it can go up to 10000 Kips.

    Tuk Tuk can also be hired to bring you to the Pak Ou Caves, Tad Se and Tad Kwang Si but make sure you bargain out a price first before you hop into 1 and be on your merry way!

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    Luang Prabang International Airport [LPQ]

    by xuessium Written Nov 18, 2007

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    The airport isn't very big and looked rather old....none of the luxuries of the big International Airports.

    You embark and disembark right on the tarmac and walk right into custom clearance. Folks needing visa-on-arrival will have to purchase 1 there and then. There is only 1 luggage belt in Arrival. Wait patiently for your luggage before you exit the Arrival Gate. An officer will tear away your luggage identification tags before you could exit (I suppose it's some security thing) and they are quite particular about it. Thereafter, you'll exit the Arrival Gate and walk right into a carpark with a money exchanger on your right.

    The Departure Hall is just next to the Arrival Hall but it's bigger with 1 small cafe and 1 very small shop. Remember to pay your Airport Tax and grab a receipt to show for it before entering customs.

    The airport is generally served by 2 airlines: Lao Airlines and Bangkok Airways.

    It is about half an hour from the Town centre via Tuk Tuk (US$5).

    LuangPrabangAirport
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  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Getting to Luang Prabang from Singapore

    by xuessium Written Nov 17, 2007

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    There are no direct flights.

    From Singapore, make your way to Bangkok. There are 2 airlines flying into Luang Prabang directly from Bangkok: The more expensive Bangkok Airways and the more economical Lao Airlines.

    Journey is 2 hours each way. Airplane used is the ATR-72, with propellers and with 2 stewardesses on board.

    Meals are simple, and served efficiently. Don't expect any form of entertainment except for the inflight magazine....and there is no duty-free shopping.

    Curiously enough, on both flights, me and my mate are the only Asians!

    You can buy Lao Airlines tickets in Singapore via their agent, Maple Aviation:
    MAPLE AVIATION PTE,LTD
    133 NEW BRIDGE ROAD
    #14-04/105 CHINA TOWN POINT, SINGAPORE 059413
    TEL: ( 65 ) 65386860
    FAX : (65 ) 65383138
    E-mail : maplessin@singnet.com.sg

    LaoAirlines
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  • andie1304's Profile Photo

    Luang Prabang to Kunming, China

    by andie1304 Updated Apr 29, 2007

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    There is a long distance bus service that plies between Vientiane and Kunming in Yunnan, China. This bus makes a stop in Luang Prabang. I boarded the bus in Luang Prabang and the trip to Kunming took 30 hours.

    It was one of those sleeper buses, which are very common in China. Everybody has his own bunk bed in the bus and it is a pretty comfortable way for long distance travel. The only drawback for passengers taking a bed on the upper deck is that there is often not much head room and one has to remain lying down for the entire journey. I'm not complaining. I prefer lying down to not being able to do so when I'm extremely tired on a long journey.

    The name of this company is called "Tongli" (in Chinese). Their so-called "office" is a restaurant in Luang Prabang. The place is on the same road as the long distance bus station for buses coming from Vientiane. If you make your way to the long distance bus station from the city, you will arrive at this restaurant before the bus station. It's on the right-hand side of the road and is marked by a sign with some Chinese words by the road.

    The hall of the restaurant is raised above the ground. It appears to be a lazy place in the day without much activity. You can probably find some Chinese people sitting around, chatting, watching TV or napping. The restaurant is where the northbound buses from Vientiane make a dinner stop late at night. There is a bus stopping here every night. The estimated arrival time in Luang Prabang is around 10 or 11 pm. This can be later, depending on the road conditions from Vientiane. So, be prepared to wait.

    This place doesn't seem to be known by most locals. I bought my ticket from the lady boss herself. She spoke Mandarin, and probably a little Lao.

    The bus company has another office in Vientiane. That is at the long distance bus station where buses depart for Luang Prabang. This one is easier to find and people working at the bus station can probably point you to it if you ask them.

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  • Tedsocoa's Profile Photo

    Local transport in Luang Prabang

    by Tedsocoa Updated Mar 31, 2007

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    The best way for visiting LUANG PRABANG and around the city is to rent a bike. You'll see much more than on a tuk tuk or song-tew, it's quiet and for one USD a day you have a lot to see.
    Every one does it and you can rent them at almost every hotel or guesthouse.

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  • thedouglas's Profile Photo

    Eureka!!! A ONE day boat to Luang Prabang!

    by thedouglas Updated Mar 28, 2007

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    After our last holiday, and taking a 2 day boat from Luang Prabang back to Huay Xai, and having more than a few mishaps, we were rapt to find this fairly new service.

    A package arrangement with River Hill Hotel in Chiang Saen includes Laos visa, overnight accommodation and breakfast prior to the trip, transfer the 40km or so to Chiang Khong to catch the boat, transfer across the border, and onto the boat at Huay Xai. A very large packed lunch was also available from the hotel for 150Baht. There was also a bar on the boat, selling Beerlao, soft drinks and other snacks.

    The one day trip was very easy - and smoothly run - until a passenger fell in the water! This caused some delay, whilst he was "retrieved" safely into the boat. The result of this was travelling in the pitch darkness for more than 1 hour at the end of the trip! We were very impressed with the navigational skills of the skipper.

    Complete with Beerlao! Accommodation Chiang Saen I'm the guy who fell in!
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  • thedouglas's Profile Photo

    First Class Bus

    by thedouglas Updated Mar 11, 2007

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    With the aim of keeping our itinerary flexible, we had no reservations for leaving Luang Prabang during our recent holiday. However, this resulted in a somewhat longer visit, due to limitations in transport. The increased number of tourists and the cessation of the fastboat service meant that the pressure was on airlines, slowboats and buses to get people to and from Luang Prabang.

    We took a first class bus to Vientiane - which took a day's wait to get a booking. This bus cost about $1.50 more than the ordinary air conditioned bus, and included lunch.

    The trip was very mountainous, slow and arduous and the airconditioning hardly rated, at least on the top - nor did lunch. So, message is, don't delay a day, and pay the big bucks! for the first class bus! Be aware if you are tall, that a front or aisle seat is highly desirable. The seating is allocated when you buy tickets.

    Another small mentionable, was on the first stop into the trip, we noticed a plain clothed man with an AK47 amonst the passengers. There were soldiers placed periodically along the road as well. Apparently, there had been some shootings aimed at tourist buses over the past few months. We had no problems, nor felt threatened during our trip.

    First class transport Legroom for a couple or short people
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    Fast boat? - I don't think so

    by thedouglas Updated Mar 10, 2007

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    AS OF FEBRUARY, THIS MODE OF TRANSPORT TO AND AWAY FROM LUANG PRABAND HAS BEEN CANCELLED. This has caused a large amount of congestion in other services, and planes were booked out for several days.

    We did not use this method of transport to or from Luang Prabang! We flew in from Bangkok - and decided to leave by slow boat - which I will address in another loooong post! The fast boats are absolutely deafening to those around, and can be hear coming from a long way off - and then as they depart. I can only imagine what it must be like for the passengers - none of whom looked enthralled.

    I also can't imagine that they actually see anything. Every time I saw riverkill in the water, I just imagined the whole spectacle and smellacle of hitting one in one of the fast boats! We subsequently saw debri from these boats in the water, and wrecked ones in villages we entered - enough to convince us that the stories of weekly crashes are true.

    Brace yourself! Launch Gone in 3 clicks of a camera!
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