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Instead of Vang Vieng...

  • JavaJunkie

    Joined Travelfish
    19th January, 2010
    Posts: 9
    Total reviews: 2

    My husband and I are spending a week in Laos, arriving in Vientiane by overnight train from Ayutthaya, Thailand. Originally I had planned an overnight in Vientiane, bus trip and overnight in Vang Vieng, bus trip and three days in Luang Prabang, and slow boat to Huay Xai.

    The more I read about the length of the bus trips on curvy roads and the touristy-ness of Vang Vieng, the more sense it made to fly from Vientaine to Luang Prabang, which leaves us with an extra two days to spend somewhere along the way in Northern Laos (more time in Luang Prabang? somewhere near Pak Bang? Xai of Huay ...?). The only caveat is that we're more flashpacker than backpacker -- I think the Gibbon Experience might be a little too rustic.

    Any suggestions much appreciated!

    #1 Posted: 4/2/2010 - 03:43

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  • somtam2000

    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7371
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    You could head further north from Luang Prabang to Nong Kiaow -- has a range of places to stay and gets lots of good reports.

    #2 Posted: 4/2/2010 - 08:43

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 973

    I would spend the 2 days in Vientiane.

    #3 Posted: 4/2/2010 - 08:59

  • christay2009

    Joined Travelfish
    8th February, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 414
    Total reviews: 4

    Nong Kiaow has my vote!

    #4 Posted: 5/2/2010 - 00:01


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

    Not enough info here. What are the ingress and egress timelines and locations? Is Vientiane both your entry and exit point?

    #5 Posted: 5/2/2010 - 01:05

  • JavaJunkie

    Joined Travelfish
    19th January, 2010
    Posts: 9
    Total reviews: 2

    Sorry about the lack of info... Our trip will actually end in Chiang Mai, Thailand. My husband's latest gig (and my trip home to the US) start from there. We will have done Bangkok, Ayutthaya, and Sukhothai before then.

    #6 Posted: 5/2/2010 - 22:24

  • borisborough

    Joined Travelfish
    30th November, 2009
    Posts: 21
    Total reviews: 2

    From Luang Prabang, you could get the slowboat up the Mekong, stopping overnight at Pak Beng and then getting to the Thai border the next day. Over the Mekong to Chiang Khong in Thailand, Chiang Mai is a five hour minivan ride away.

    #7 Posted: 6/2/2010 - 12:21


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

    In the short amount of time you have, and given you need to get back to Chaing Mai, I think Luang Prabang and Vientiane should be enough. That minimizes road time. I am with Rufus here.

    #8 Posted: 8/2/2010 - 10:29

  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1787

    Get to Huay Xai then do a side trip up to Luang Namtha. Stay at The Boat Landing, maybe do a motorbike ride to Muang Sing and back, then get a boat down to Pak Tha (if there's enough water in the river) and Huay Xai. More accommodation options on http://www.travelfish.org/accommodation/laos/northern_laos/luang_nam_tha/luang_nam_tha/all

    Otherwise get to Chiang Mai early and spend more time in the surrounding area - Pai, Mae Hong Son, Soppong, Thaton, Doi Angkhang, etc. You could spend weeks and weeks exploring the area. Also check out Chiang Dao Nest at http://nest.chiangdao.com

    #9 Posted: 19/2/2010 - 18:06

  • Roux

    Joined Travelfish
    1st September, 2011
    Posts: 4

    +1 Rufus

    #10 Posted: 24/9/2011 - 00:43

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  • chaos23

    Joined Travelfish
    4th September, 2008
    Posts: 17
    Total reviews: 7

    + 1 Rufus.

    Spend two days in VT, you get to see many things too. Bus drive is 10 hrs appr. to LPB. And kick the Slow Boat and fly out if you need one extra day in or around LPB.

    #11 Posted: 24/9/2011 - 06:04

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2578
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    i agree with you guys that spending the extra time in Vientiane is a good way to go. i'd also recommend an overnight in Nong Khai before crossing over to Laos as well, as Nong Khai is a pleasant little riverside town. alternatively, if at all possible, fly from Vientiane directly to Phon Savanh and the Plain of Jars for a night or two then bus it from there to Luang Prabang.

    however, the original post was about 18 months ago, so these folks have likely finished up their trip by now...

    #12 Posted: 24/9/2011 - 06:14

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