(pic left : bicycle in Luang...
(pic left : bicycle in Luang Prabang)
I did an overland travel from Bangkok to Vientaine by bus. It was a great journey, basically slept throughout the way from Bangkok till the next morning in Nong Khai. From Nong Khai there are tuk tuk service for about 20-30bt to the Thai Immigration Complex. After getting your passort stamp you can easily hop into a mini bus that service both the Thai and Laos immigration complex across the Friendship Bridge.
On the Laos site there is suppossingly a bus that run from the the complex to Vientaine but I took a taxi for 60bt per person.
I would not say this is the best but I wanted to see the Friendship Bridge.
Around Vientiane, I would suggest you to rent a bicycle as the city isn't very big but its really dusty. But you will be able to cover the whole Vientiane in a day with a Bicycle.
In Luang Prabang, a bicycle will also do the job but if you are going to Pak Ou Cave (don't waste your time and money if you are travelling alone, too far and expensive to be on the boat) or Koung Si Waterfall you might be able to experience the boat on the Mekong River. I was on a shared boat and paid USD7 per person for 2 days to Pak Ou and Kong Si Waterfall.
Tuk Tuk is also available around Luang but why waste the money if you can walk around the town by foot.
Yoy can rent bikes for not more than 10.000 Kip (less than 1 US $) for a whole day. We hired them in Phounsab Guesthouse but the quelity could be better.
We're too tall for these Asian bikes with their small frames.
- Budget Travel
Flying to Luang Prabang
Flights within Laos are fairly cheap but you miss the beauty of the countryside. Luang Prabang was $55 US and Xieng Khouang was $35. Visa-on-Arrival (good for a 15 day entry permit stamp only) is available at the airport - price is USD30 (payable in USD).
The Airport is on Airport Road which is across the Nam Khan River 5 km from town. You can hire a moto or taxi to take you to town.
speed boat from Huay Xai
We rode on a speed boat down the Mekong River from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, the boat had 10 people on board and was very, very cramped and also loud. The trip took 6 hours and we were stiff and sore by the time we arrived, but i must admit i enjoyed it. Next time i'll catch the slow boat though (this take 2 days). We paid 1200 baht at Chiang Khong, Thailand (across the river from Huay Xai) and despite what some publications say, Loa visas are available on arrival at Huay Xai
So I have heard that they have not had a good track record but the flight was 45 minutes and the alternative was to drive on a windy road that can make most people sick to their stomach. The ticket was like $100 from the capital there.
Speed Boats again
Here we are getting ready for the first leg of the journey. We tried not to think of the people who were killed when their boats hit rocks in a shallow part of the river the previous dry season.
The last leg of our trip was by slow boat across the Mekong to the Thai border control checkpoint. We were happy and relieved that we had made it. Laos was a great adventure!
Boats are best
Overall, boats were the best mode of transportation. Make sure you have enough time on your trip to use them.
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