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Laos in 2 weeks

  • Shane10

    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2010
    Posts: 2

    I'll be doing a backpacking trip for about 36 days, spending 2 weeks in vietnam and 2 weeks in Laos. Will be heading to Sapa and going back to Hanoi for my last stop in vietnam. Few questions considering Laos.

    1) Is there a direct bus from Hanoi to Luarang Prabang? Know there is one to Vientiane but then I need to move up from Vientiane to Lurang Prabang and back to Vientiane to catch my flight out to KL(alrdy book the tix)

    2) What do you think I can do in 2 weeks in Laos? Anything substantial?

    3) How much money in USD you think I would need to change for Laos for 2 weeks?

    Thanks!

    #1 Posted: 18/5/2010 - 09:50

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  • svendj

    Joined Travelfish
    30th April, 2010
    Location Belgium
    Posts: 196
    Places visited:
    At least 32

    1) I'm not sure about that bus to luang prabang, cause the border crossing is closer to Vientianne then LP. (to vientianne : 13h, vientianne to LP : 10h) so it's a lot of time you spend on the bus, why not fly from Hanoi to Vientianne and go bus up and down to LP and in the middle make a stopover at Vang Vieng .

    2)what to do, Vientianne, Vang Vieng and LP should do it for 2 weeks and maybe some jungle hiking.

    3) Everybody is always thinking about how much money they need to bring to change, I never take any money with me, just my creditcard and get some money from the ATM. I always took off about 700000 Lao-kip ($90) and I managed about 4 days with that kind of money (partying everyday included)

    #2 Posted: 27/5/2010 - 01:18

  • caseyprich

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd March, 2010
    Location China
    Posts: 1234
    Total reviews: 53
    Places visited:
    At least 48

    You can cross at Sam Neua (Na Maew / Nam Xoi)

    http://www.travelfish.org/laos-border-crossings.php

    That way you can cross into the rustic Northeast of the country and take a few days getting to Luang Prabang via Nong Kiaow (a nice little bridge village) and the surrounding area. Rather than a direct bus it's nice to break up the long journey from Hanoi - Sam Neua, Sam Neua to Nong Kiaow, Nong Kiaow to Luang Prabang. I think you could do that and still have a few days for Vang Vieng and/or Vientiane if you like - just short stops to rest in Sam Neua and Nong Kiaow.

    So, for two weeks you'd be able to see a few little villages/towns in the north and ride through some pretty jungle roads.

    #3 Posted: 27/5/2010 - 12:25

  • idreamofdur-
    ian

    TF writer
    Click here to learn more about idreamofdurian
    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2008
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 576
    Total reviews: 4

    The travel agencies in Luang Prabang will advertise a "Luang Prabang -- Hanoi " bus, but it actually stops in Vientiane .

    The Vientiane -- Hanoi bus is known as the "bus from hell" and takes ~25 hours. I'd strongly suggest you break up the trip with a day or 2 in Vientiane or check flight prices.

    #4 Posted: 28/5/2010 - 00:04

  • travelsalone

    Joined Travelfish
    19th March, 2006
    Location Cambodia
    Posts: 41

    2) Nong Kiau is a beautiful place and there are different kayaking and hiking options there through Green Discovery that are really good. The boat from Luang Prabang to Nong Kiau was a beautiful ride - but be prepared for wooden seat and only 1 toilet stop! I did a three day river kayak trip to go back and that was great. About 40 min. from Vientiene there is a place on the river (River Time) that is great for hanging out, swimming, doing nothing if that is what you seek at any time.

    #5 Posted: 28/5/2010 - 23:03

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    I would avoid using Green Discovery. I have had a number of poor experiences with them and I know of a number of others who have as well.

    #6 Posted: 29/5/2010 - 09:50

  • travelsalone

    Joined Travelfish
    19th March, 2006
    Location Cambodia
    Posts: 41

    I had a wonderful trip and no problems. As with every company, for every negative experience someone has there is always a positive experience to contradict it. I was not thrilled with the staff in one of the Luang Prabang offices, but was very pleased with the staff in Nong Kiau. I think when planning a trip it is about talking with the people and seeing how you feel about it - you know, what kind of "vibe" you get. Just my opinion.

    #7 Posted: 29/5/2010 - 14:05

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 953

    Each to her own. However when they totally misrepresent a hike, and this has nothing to do with the language, as my wife speaks Lao, they lose me. Also after a brief flurry of activity from the new manager, we heard nothing, no apology, nothing. Others have had the same experience.

    #8 Posted: 29/5/2010 - 15:28

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