Getting there and away
If you want to go anywhere from Muang La, you have to be patient as there's no real bus stop. Sit by the side of the road, wait and have faith. The owners at Hotel Lhakham can provide advice or arrange for a private transfer.
A bus is scheduled to pass at around 09:30 on its way north to Phongsali (around 8 hours, 55,000 kip). The local bus from Udomxai to Muang Khua passes at around 09:30, 13:00 and 16:00 (2.5 hours, 20,000 kip) – that is, if the departure is not delayed or cancelled.
Songthaews travel between Muang La and Udomxai, departing when full (1 hour, 20,000 kip).
From Udomxai to Muang La
Ideally you take the bus to Muang Khua, departing the old bus station 08:30, 12:00, 15:00, takes 1 hour, 20,000 kip.
If the bus to Muang Khua is cancelled, it’s possible to squeeze onto the 08:30 bus to Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam or Phongsali. These buses also pass through Muang La and it should still cost 20,000 kip.
Ensure you don’t end up on the bus to similar sounding Meunglar, China!
The songthaew stand at the market, north of the river and south of Kaysone Monument, has regular departures between about 06:00 until 19:00. A departure for Muang La is scheduled for 08:00 cost 20,000 kip, but in general songthaews leave when full. You can hire a songthaew privately, one-way journey costs around 80,000 kip, or for a daytrip 160,000 - 200,000 kip round-trip. Organise directly with the drivers or at Litthavixay Guesthouse. The guesthouse can also arrange a private minivan. If travelling by private vehicle in dry season, it’s possible make a detour stop to see the “Buddha's footprint” in stone at Ban Longya. It’s an attraction along the way but not worth the trip alone just to see it.
One-day and multiday Muang La tours with an English speaking guide can be booked at the Tourist Information Office located in Udomxai across from the market.
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