Flag of Laos

Laos forum

Hanoi --> Vientane --> Luang Prabang --> Chiang Rai --> Chiang Mai

  • sophierose87

    Joined Travelfish
    11th June, 2010
    Location Australia
    Posts: 12

    Hi all

    Just wanting some advice on Laos travel. I'm going to vietnam in December with friends to celebrate graduating from uni. So far the trip ends in Hanoi around the 4th of January, however I'd like to see some of Laos and Northern Thailand (would be doing this part solo, and have never travelled solo before) before heading home (Australia) to start working.

    I'm a 23 year old female, mainly interested in hikes/outdoor activities, and not very keen on partying. Also keen on visiting the bear sanctuary in Luang Prabang, and the elephant nature park in Chiang Mai. I was thinking of flying from Hanoi to Vientane, then getting a bus to LP. Could someone please tell me their opinion on the best route for luang prabang to Chiang Rai? Also I know everyone asks this, but would a solo female be ok for travel companions in laos?

    Thanks everyone!! Really appreciate any advice you can offer me

    #1 Posted: 11/6/2010 - 21:46

  • Advertisement

  • LaoNow

    Joined Travelfish
    14th May, 2010
    Posts: 38

    Flying into Vientiane is a great start to your plan, it beats all other options hands down. If you like outdoor activities just stay in Vte. a day or two and take a bus to Vang Vieng which is on the way to L. Prabang and has great natural scenery to explore by hiking, cycling, tubing, kayaking, swimming, etc. It's a party mecca also but you can choose to ignore that. Another fun diversion on the way to LP is a side trip to the Plain of Jars and Phonsavanh. These jars are ancient megaliths and soon to become a world heritage site. You can cycle out to them alone and being among these jars without a guide in perfect eerie solitude is a treat that may be lost after the tourist hordes start arriving.

    #2 Posted: 12/6/2010 - 02:27

  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1571

    Yep, fly to Vientiane to avoid a nightmarish 24-hour busride. Go have a seat at the Scandinavian Bakery next to the fountain, the nearby Kob Jai Deu restaurant in the evenings or the bbq restaurants along the riverfront at sunset. You'll find other backpackers/travelers there easy.

    Get a bus up to Vang Vieng and you'll find about 500 young backpackers there mainly for the tubing scene which has gone completely nuts over the years. Feel free to side-step the drunken party aspect which is mainly found at the tubing bars and around the tube rental corner in town and footbridges leading to bars on the small adjacent islands. Hardly anywhere in SE Asia easier to find friends if you're in the spirit of things.

    Plenty of buses up and over the beautiful mountain pass to Luang Prabang . Take the cheapest local bus so the scenery goes by more slowly (with an open window) but then it can take up to 7-8 hours (minivan can usually do it in 4hrs).

    Buses from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai (border town) take about 12 hours. Popular option is slow boat which takes two days and sleeps one night in Pakbeng halfway. Other choice is a speedboat which does the same trip in about 6 hours but is fast and noisy (and quite exhilarating).

    The border with Thailand closes at 6pm and there are always tuk tuks waiting to take people onward to the Chiang Khong bus station. Regular bus service to Chiang Mai then takes about 6-7 hours or break the trip at Chiang Rai just 2.5 hours away.

    #3 Posted: 18/6/2010 - 01:06

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
Flights from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang & Luang Prabang to Hanoi(V'nam)? ... By aussieboonmar on 8 Mar 2006 7 9417 19 Aug 2011
Chiang Mai>Chiang Rai>Luang Prabang>Vientiene ... By mukapecah8 on 2 Sep 2009 9 9260 4 Sep 2009
Luang Prabang or Vientane? ... By idreamofdurian on 3 Feb 2010 0 1268 3 Feb 2010
more time in luang prabang or add vientane? ... By liustephen on 21 Oct 2009 1 1627 21 Oct 2009
Getting from Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai ... By Echo10 on 22 Jan 2010 0 2949 22 Jan 2010
Luang Prabang to Chiang Rai ... By hmuscente1 on 28 May 2010 11 6209 20 May 2014
Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang? ... By JamieG on 19 Sep 2010 6 3882 22 Sep 2010
From Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang by bus ... By Banana17 on 24 Nov 2011 11 2802 6 Jan 2012
Chiang Mai ---> Luang Prabang ... By walkingtrees on 8 Jul 2010 4 2219 13 Jul 2010
luang prabang from chiang mai ... By rhess106 on 16 Nov 2008 3 2932 17 Nov 2008