It may be easier to set things up from Savannakhet than Pakse , as the road to Vietnam is more traveled there. But that's an 8 hour ride up to Savannakhet and then you come into the country north of Hue, still needing to get down to Da Nang.
As for booking an international bus from Pakse, the route still goes via Lao Bao-Hue to get to Da Nang. From Pakse yo'd have to book bus to Attapeu, then onward travel if you want to cross at Bo Y. That's a mildly complicated hopscotch of minivans but I've seen it posted here or on thorntree before.
Can't say if this is up to date:
We looked at the route via Attapeu but didn't have enough time left on our visa to go that way (too much time in a hammock on Don Det) so went the route via Lao Bao to Hue and on from there. We booked the through journey on Don Det and it was a bit of a messy journey with an extremely long wait in Pakse and a hellish minibus to Hue, but could still be your best bet.
First of all, the route from Pakse to Da Nang via Savannakhet & Lao Bao border & Hue is very old route today if OP don’t intend visiting Hue( or first) , and for crossing border to VN , you have to get Visa for Viet Nam beforehand but Pakse has a Viet Nam Consulate so you can get Visa for Viet Nam at Pakse but i don’t know how many days you need for it because i(=my nationality) need no Visa for entering into VN & Laos & China, Thaiiland though they are limited (15-30days).
---very good option tour "ONE DAY BOLAVEN TOUR" from Pakse--- while you are waiting for your Visa issuing by VN Consulate if you get your Visa at Pakse.
Second, now there is a direct bus service from Pakse to Gia Lai(-Pleiku) in Central Highlands of VN and if you want to go to Da Nang & Hoi An , you need not to go to final destination=Gia Lai of this direct bus and can abondon your bus (get off) at Ngoc Hoi(18 km from Bo Y border, on NR.14) then next morning,
1) take a bus from Ngoc Hoi to Da Nang
2) take a bus from Kon Tum to Da Nang(Kon Tum bus station locates at northern part of the city
3) catching a bus coming from direction south=Buon Ma Thuot, Gia Lai etc in the morning and you can reach to Da Nang around noon, and for going to Hoi An, you only take a taxi or local bus or airport shuttle bus or motorbike-taxi from Da Nang. It takes about 30 mins.
Direct bus service operated by Mai Linh Express(=the biggest and most reliable bus company in VN and bus crews are well trained and all very kind and polite to passengers) between Pakse to Gia Lai is as below.
----DIRECT BUS from PAKSE to GIA LAI(=Pleiku) in Central Highlands of VN----very scenic ruote both sides of Lao and VN and you can travel very safely and comfortably with no stress & confliction comparing with other routes.
*Operator---Mai Linh Express(=the biggest and most reliable bus company in Viet Nam)
*Departure days of the week---every day
*Departure time---around 07:00am
*Departure point(booking office) in Pakse---a Vietnamese small restaurant "Lien Huong" in city center(yellow colored Bia Lao sign board is standing in front of it)=opposite "Nazim" Indian restaurant and this Vietnamese restaurant is the starting point of Mai Linh 's direct bus n Pakse and it's one of several booking offices=pick up points in Pakse(all are Vietnamese restaurants) .
*Bus type--2 kinds of full green coloured bus(26 persons/45 persons)
*Bus fare---Pakse to Gia Lai-145,000Kip/ Pakse to Paksong-30,000Kip/Pakse to Tha Teng-40,000Kip/Pakse to Sekong-50,000Kip/Pakse to Attapeu -70,000Kip/Pakse to Ngoc Hoi(get off your bus here for going to Da Nang, Hoi An & Hue, etc)-120,000Kip/Pakse to Kon Tum-130,000Kip/(Kip or VND avalable for paying bus fare)
(1USD=8,000Lao Kip & 1USD=20,820VND at bank --Oct, 2011 at VTE & LPB)
---BUS SCHEDULE(approximate timetable) of direct bus---
Pakse/Dep.06:30-07:00am - Paksong/07:45am - Tha Teng/08:30am - Sekong/09:20am - Attapeu/11:30am - 12:15pm(lunch time) - PhouKeau/Bo Y border 14:45 - 15:20pm(passport control) - Ngoc Hoi/15:50pm - Kon Tum/16:50pm - Gia Lai(=Pleiku)/18:00pm
*This direct bus stops at Attapeu about 45 mins before going to PhouKeau/Bo Y border for taking lunch time at newly re-built Vietnamese restaurant(=former name was Duc Loc guesthouse+Ti Ti restaurant) and lunch is very deliciousl! taking it with all passengers & driver and other bus crews ogether) and bus fare includes this lunch fee , and this Vietnamese restaurant has a bank for exchanging money(VND-Lao Kip/USD-Lao Kip & VND, Thai Baths-Lao Kip & VND with no bad exchange rate same to banks at LPB & VTE).
*My travel from Pakse to Hue via “Da Nang” ---Oct.26-27, 2011
(Oct.26) by Mai Linh Express’s bus(big bus=45persons)
Pakse 07:45am-Pakson-Tha Teng-Sekong-Attapeu(lunch time 11:45-12:30)-Bo Y border- Ngoc Hoi15:45pm (one overnight at Ngoc Hoi)/bus fare:Pakse-Ngoc Hoi 120,000Kip (including lunch fee)
(Oct.27) by Quynh Ngoc bus company’s minivan(Ford) that runs between Gia Lai and Dong Ha via Da Nang & Hue —Tel(mobile):0989.354.354 (i caught it on NR.14 in front of my Gh)
Ngoc Hoi 08:45am-Giang(lunch) -Da Nang13:25pm-Hue16:00pm/bus fare from Ngoc Hoi to Hue: 260,000VND(including lunch fee but slightly expensive!)
---ACCOMMODATIN at Ngoc Hoi (=a town on NR.14 , 18 km from Bo Y border)--
*Ngoc Hoi has 3 guesthouses and 1 big hotel now, and 3 guesthouses(all are along NR.14 and in front of market and Ngoc Hoi bus station) as below.
(room fare is 8-10USD/for a double or twin room/per night)
*Dang Khoia Hotel(=former name was Viet Lao Hotel)--(Adress: 121, Hung Vuong st.)
http://www.travelfish.org/accommodation_profile/vietnam/central_highlands/kon_tum/north_of_kon_tum/all/3437 *Dong Duong Hotel--(Adress: 95 Hubg Vuong st.)
http://www.travelfish.org/accommodation_profile/vietnam/central_highlands/kon_tum/north_of_kon_tum/all/3435 *Hoa Binh Hotel --(Adress: 87 Hung Vuong st.)http://www.travelfish.org/accommodation_profile/vietnam/central_highlands/kon_tum/north_of_kon_tum/all/3436 (Hung Vuong street is main road in Ngoc Hoi town=NR.14)
---INTERNET SERVICE at Ngoc Hoi---a bit descend down Hung Vuong st., there is a Post & Telecom buillding and behind it, therte is a "Internet house" where many young boys and girls are playing games and Internet possible with English only. 1hour=2,400VND (not 24,000VND!!)--very cheap! It's name is "Post Office Internet".
*Ngoc Hoi to Da Nang --about 5 hours including lunch time if it's needed (depends on deperture time of your bus)
*Kon Tum to Da Nang -- Ngoc Hoi to Da Nang + 1.5 hour, bus from Kon Tum to Dang is many, especially morning & evening. (110,000VND from Da Nang to Kon Tum for minivan Ford Mar. 2010 & now ?)
*Kon Tum is one of 3 big cities in Central Highlands (Kon Tum/Pleiku/Buon Ma Thuot) and there are many hotels & guesthouses
---EASY TRAVEL OPTION at Kon Tum---
If you stay at not Ngoc Hoi but Kon Tum one overnight, i recommend you to stay at Dak Bla Hotel along Dak Bla river(big and slightlyt old but never expensive) and visit a very beautiful old wooden church=NHA THO GO --over 100 year olds--we can never see such kind of beautiful wooden church in other places in VN, also in other countries except Scandinavian countries--Norway, Sweeden etc--really very beautiful and this church acts many volunteer works for ethnic minority people in Central Highlands(job training for ladies etc) and you can see a part of them with your eyes if you can spend time to go after arriving or leaving Kon Tum(public bus=shuttle bus between Ngoc Hoi and Kon Tum is available--about one hour with very cheap bus fare)
---NHA THO GO in Kon Tum---
(about 30 mins walk from Dak Bla Hotel *Nha tho=Church, *Go=wooden)
#4 tf_geckozy has been a member since 2/9/2008. Posts: 82
i am VNese , i have just visit pakse via Bo Y- Phokuar border in 20th Feb 2012. i want post some infomations about route Pakse-Danang for you , but tf_geckozy is very exactly . i can't do more. But i want to say Kon tum (VN) is very beautiful small town . It 's better for you stay overninght in Kon Tum. Good luck.
#5 songdakbla has been a member since 4/7/2010. Posts: 2