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Transport Luang Prabang to Luang Nam Tha (Namtha) - Bus VIP Minivan

  • travelmike

    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Anyone have some extra info re: Tourist Transport Luang Prabang to Luang NamTha?

    Current options
    -Green Discovery private minivan $170 Usd for two people
    -Fly LP to Vientiane then Vientiane to NamTha
    -VIP Bus Vientiane to Kunming $57 Usd (stop at Boten then two hours local transport)
    -Local bus

    Local bus is cheap but over crowded with no air con (after 9 months traveling around Africa on local bus looking for other more comfortable options at reasonable cost if they are available)

    other options are a little pricey to travel only 300kms

    #1 Posted: 16/7/2008 - 11:53

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  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 567

    I don't know about African busses but I suspect the ones in Laos are much easier. Despite many of the tales I find them not much problem, especially the route you describe. Paved road the whole way.

    That said, I jumped on a VIP from Udomxai to Luang Prabang so it must go the other way. I wouldn't sweat it. Just go to the bus station early and get on the first thing moving, bring some water and buy some to-go food at the station.

    Kunming is a bit out of the way.

    #2 Posted: 22/7/2008 - 10:54

  • gijsvanpelt

    Joined Travelfish
    10th June, 2008
    Posts: 13

    hello Mike,

    i just got back from laos and did the trip in the opposite direction. the trip by roas is quite a tough one, but for shure it was one of the most beautiful trips by road i have ever made in my life, really nice. i took the local bus, was about 1400000KIP in normal bus, sitting in between the locals is really nice, thoug the seats could be a bit more comfortable, the scenary beats all the discomfort.

    Minibusses actually have less space when they are full compared to local busses.

    enjoy ur trip!

    #3 Posted: 27/7/2008 - 04:31

  • KPTham1

    Joined Travelfish
    26th September, 2006
    Posts: 52

    Hi, Somsai and gijsvanpelt,
    This will be the 3rd visit to LP for me and I really want to hit the road between VTE and LPQ and would appreciate any advice on this sector ( VIP and Minibus etc ) and also on getting from LPQ to Luang Nam Tha . Unfortunately, I only have 5/7 days in Laos this time round .


    #4 Posted: 28/7/2008 - 00:37

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 567

    KP, It's been a year and a half but... There are many busses all day and evena at night between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. I preffer busses to minivans as I have better luck with the skill of the driver and the longer wheelbase seems less bumpy to me. I don't notice any difference between regular and VIP except the regular stops more and often carries some cargo. Travel times not so much different. I just go to the bus station and get on the next one. Also be aware many busses are available that connect destinations further away than Luang Prabang yet still take the same route. Something is always going.

    Luang Namtha I always seem to have to switch in Udomxai but there are direct busses.

    My recomendation... skip the big towns and just go to Udomxai or Luang Namtha, there are direct busses out of Vietiane.

    For schedules to all busses see

    #5 Posted: 29/7/2008 - 08:14

  • KPTham1

    Joined Travelfish
    26th September, 2006
    Posts: 52

    Many thanks for the infor and recommendations.Will certainly check out the leads but unfortunately need to stopover at Luang Prabang before moving on to Luang Namtha.


    #6 Posted: 29/7/2008 - 23:50

  • silverwool

    Joined Travelfish
    8th July, 2007
    Posts: 7

    I went the opposite way a few weeks ago. The bus cost 90,000 kip or thereabouts from Luang Nam Tha to Luang Prabang and no problems. It was a beautiful drive with stunning scenery but the road was fairly rough in places. (Bitumen but some pot holes) Not sure if I was on a VIP or local bus but no air con as the ceiling vent was open all the time. It was not very hot so no need. The trip took about 9 hours with a lunch stop in Udomxai (no change of bus).

    I suspect the return trip would be similar. Main tip is to be at the bus station in good time as buses sometimes leave early!

    #7 Posted: 9/8/2008 - 20:13

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