Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

Bus from Luang Prabang to Vientiane

Posted by Meilian1818 on 17/4/2007 at 04:36

I'm planning a trip through Laos for early this June and am running into some time constraints now that they no longer offer the speedboats from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang. Is the bus the fastest way between Luang Prabang and Vientiane (except flying). How long does the VIP bus/mini van take and what time does it leave LP? Is there a night bus between these two cities?

Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

#1 Meilian1818 has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1

Posted by somtam2000 on 17/4/2007 at 08:50 admin

Hi Melian1818,

If you take a look at this suggested itinerary, you'll see you're looking at around nine hours for the trip. I'm not sure if there is a night bus or not. In northern Laos most long distance buses leave in the morning.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,501
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Posted by ernieh on 24/4/2007 at 15:16

Hi Meilian1818,

The fastest way to get to Vientiane is take a mini bus from Luang Prabang. Do not take a night bus if they offer it as the road from LP to Vang Vieng zig zags through the hills. The mini bus costs a little more than the VIP bus but they usually pick you up from your guesthouse so the cost works out to be the same as you will save on taking a tuk tuk to the bus station. You can book a seat on the mini van at most of the travel agents in Luang Prabang.

Ernie

#3 ernieh has been a member since 21/3/2007. Posts: 49

Posted by ernieh on 24/4/2007 at 15:16

Hi Meilian1818,

The fastest way to get to Vientiane is take a mini bus from Luang Prabang. Do not take a night bus if they offer it as the road from LP to Vang Vieng zig zags through the hills. The mini bus costs a little more than the VIP bus but they usually pick you up from your guesthouse so the cost works out to be the same as you will save on taking a tuk tuk to the bus station. You can book a seat on the mini van at most of the travel agents in Luang Prabang.

Ernie

#4 ernieh has been a member since 21/3/2007. Posts: 49

Posted by ernieh on 24/4/2007 at 15:17

Hi Meilian1818,

The fastest way to get to Vientiane is take a mini bus from Luang Prabang. Do not take a night bus if they offer it as the road from LP to Vang Vieng zig zags through the hills. The mini bus costs a little more than the VIP bus but they usually pick you up from your guesthouse so the cost works out to be the same as you will save on taking a tuk tuk to the bus station. You can book a seat on the mini van at most of the travel agents in Luang Prabang.

Ernie

#5 ernieh has been a member since 21/3/2007. Posts: 49

Posted by somsai on 25/4/2007 at 20:51

Regarding night busses.

There are a few of the long distance busses that pass through Luang Prabang in the early evening on their way south. Particularly those from Pongsali, Bokeo, and Luang Namtha. The people at the ticket booth in the Southern Bus station in Luang Prabang speak English and can be pretty helpful.

I like the busses, particularly the regular ones. Filled with Lao people which is one of the reasons I travel there, to meat Lao people. I believe the longer wheel base on the busses smoothes out the ride. I’ve also been encouraged by the skilfulness of the drivers lately, maybe I’ve just had good luck.

The downside of night busses is that they are usually ahead of schedule and arrive in Vientiane very early, sometimes at two or three in the morning. The upside is that there is zero chance of any security problems. Nights are full of ghosts and most people stay inside.

For booking a bus, I simply go to the bus station and get on the next one headed south.

Enjoy your travels

#6 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568

Posted by somsai on 25/4/2007 at 21:01

In looking at the original post there is a mention of speed boats being cancelled. I’d heard a rumour to that affect covering the whole of the Mekong, but when I checked at Vientiane and Xiengkok in February I saw many speed boats on the river. I called a guest house in Houay Xia and was told the same thing, though I never went there and saw one myself. A quick glance at You Tube shows many recent videos of speed boats on this section of river.

Don't wear a hat, if you have long hair tie it back and keep the grin off your face.

#7 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568

Posted by mayla on 26/4/2007 at 18:23

Posted from within Vietnam.

hi. While i can't tell you of scheduling, i HAVE (please excuse erratic typing; POOR KEYBOARD) RIDDEN THE BUS FROM LUANG PRABANG TO VIENTIANE AND, IF YOU HAVE ANY TENDANCY TOWARD MOTION SICKNESS, BE SURE YOU HAVE TABLETS (or maybe take a plane). About 6 hours or so is windy mountain roads (UP & DOWN & back & forth)> Many people were vomitting and the bus attendants had plastic bags for same as part of their supplies. At breaks people would troop out carrying their little, filled transparent blue plastic bags. i've taken long distance buses, including even non-VIP ones, in INDIA AND THAILAND and never before seen so much stomach upset ... even once you reach level ground, the round is twisty until maybe an hour or two before vientiane. Otherwise< given a cast iron stomach< the mountains are beautiful and there are some spectacular views> have a good time> mayla

#8 mayla has been a member since 30/3/2007. Posts: 1


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