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Siem Reap to Luang Prabang via Vientiane

  • georgie150

    Joined Travelfish
    11th March, 2014
    Posts: 1

    Hi there,

    2 of us are planning on travelling from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang via Vientiane in the next day or so. We were planning on flying but the flights are about 230USD (left it very late to book).

    We can't really justify that cost so are now thinking of going overland via the following route:

    Taxi / bus from here (SR) to the border near Poipet, cross the border, get a tuk tuk to the bus station, get a bus to Korat (Nakhon Ratchasima) then either a bus or train to Nonk Khai. From there either stay there a night (depending on when we arrive) or cross the border and get a bus / taxi to Vientiane.

    Once in Vientiane we need to get our Myanmar visas before we head to LP. Thinking we may spend a night in V after all that travelling or if we're up for it, get a sleeper to LP that night.

    Has anyone done this route or any part of it and can offer advice or any bus companies we should use/avoid? All sounds a bit exhausting but hoping it will be an adventure.

    Thanks so much.

    #1 Posted: 2/6/2014 - 07:04

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    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6953
    Total reviews: 10

    I can't speak to the Laos piece, but on the Thai side, you are talking a long way. I would advise you spend a night in Korat before heading to Nong Khai . I personally would also spend a night in Nong Khai (because I like it there) but I don't know what your timelines are.

    As for "Bus companies", when you are taking the bus in the provinces just get the best VIP services there are. IF you can get a van (they are getting really common now) then do so.

    #2 Posted: 2/6/2014 - 11:12

  • SoManyMiles

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    7th February, 2014
    Posts: 51

    Hi georgie150,
    The sticker prices for flights to Laos are shocking but when you add up all the time and money trying to get there by road (especially to Luang Prabang ), avoiding the flight gets to be a case of false economy. If you are trying to get from Cambodia to Luang Prabang without wanting to stop and see things along the way, then flight is by far the best option.

    But since you need a Myanmar visa, what I suggest is
    1. you go from Siem Reap to Bangkok by bus, get your Myanmar visa in Bangkok (very efficient place to get it) and then you can take an overnight train to Vientiane , then proceed to Luang Prabang (either flight, bus or minivan).
    2. you fly direct from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang, and after enjoying you make your way down to Vientiane and get your Myanmar visa
    3. you can also get your Myanmar visa in Phnom Penh

    If I knew what your plans are after Laos, I could advise you better. Most people get to Yangon with a flight from Bangkok in which case you can skip Vientiane altogether and just get your Myanmar visa in Bangkok before you fly. Hope this helps.

    #3 Posted: 2/6/2014 - 23:37


    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6953
    Total reviews: 10

    I agree with this caveat: Let's say it takes them three days to get there, well, that's three days they would be in Luang Prabang eating, drinking, sleeping, etc. That all adds up too. So the real cost comparison, if time is not a factor, is in travel costs. The costs for buses, taxis, etc. against the cost for the aircraft. If time is a factor, well then flying makes a big difference.

    So Georgie what did you do?

    #4 Posted: 3/6/2014 - 03:54

  • Turkishpizza

    Joined Travelfish
    11th May, 2014
    Posts: 40

    Route is fine for a 3 week trip. For a 3 day trip you have missed a whole region.

    #5 Posted: 3/6/2014 - 06:32

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