Hi everyone. Can anyone give any advice about how to get from the Na Maew / Nam Xoi border to Hanoi?
E.G. Times, Prices and availability.
Thanks for any help.
Rob & Sarah
#1 besty123 has been a member since 22/4/2006. Posts: 5
Below is a report we received from another Travelfish user. The report is over a year old, so conditions may have changed -- this isn't a crossing we use much!
The border is open, in fact all 4 borders are open to international travelers. However, although it looks geographically closest to Hanoi, the public bus system from Nameo to Hanoi doesn't open until 2006, in fact, no buses at all go there.
I had to go from Sam Neau to Vieng Xai in the morning, where I went to see the caves, however I later found out that only one bus goes from Sam Neau to Nameo at 6am, if "There are enough people."
So I ended up hitch hiking a ride from Vieng Xai to the border for 20,000 Kip ($2). I then walked across only to find that no buses came there, and I had to go to Quang Sy via a local who was willing to give me a lift on his moto for about $8. But not until the morning of course when it stopped raining. So a local family let me stay in their house (there are no guesthouses, and only one restaurant) which was nice cause I ate dinner with them, and they were super nice, but didn't speak english at all.
In the morning I jumped to Quang Sy, where I had to wait for the one bus which went to Thaan Hoa. When it arrived they told me $20 for the ticket, should have cost $3. I said no, they said $10, I said no, they said "Then walk." So I had a local girl who I met there argue with them for me. I ended up having to hide my money so that they would believe I only had $3 on me.
From Thaan Hoa to Hanoi is straight forward, costs about $3, and takes 3 hours. Moral of the story is that yes it is possible. But be sure to take lots of extra cash cause it can take 2-3 days to reach Sam Neua via the buses from Luang Prabang, it is a 15 hour ride either via Phonsavan, or Nam Kiawh. It is not faster then the southern crossings simply due to lack of buses, lack of good roads, and lack of English speakers. But I got to eat dinner with 2 vietnamese families, argue with the bus driver (we later bacame friends), and see many parts of Vietnam and Laos most people don't, including a 2 hour road through rice paddies on the back of a moped, something right out of The Motorcycle Diaries.