Getting there and away
The Vang Vieng bus station is about two kilometres north of town on Route 13 near the high school. With backpacks, it’s a long way to walk. If you arrive at the bus station, tuk tuks are organised and they will charge about 10,000 kip per person for a ride to town. But if you're with a big group it makes sense to try and negotiate for the whole vehicle.
Guesthouses, travel agencies, tour companies – everyone and their dog sells bus tickets for both public buses, and VIP buses and minivans operated by private companies. There’s a small commission but it will include pick up from your guesthouse. They can also sell you sleeper bus tickets to destinations like Pakse, Hanoi, Hue or Bangkok, though it may or may not involve changing buses in Vientiane or Luang Prabang.
If you choose to take a regular bus and go at it on your own, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a tuk tuk who will take you to the bus station for under 20,000 kip when it should be no more than 10,000 kip.
Minivans are the fastest way to get to Vientiane or Luang Prabang, shaving an hour or two off of travel time, depending on how much M-150 energy drink the driver has consumed. It can be quite cramped inside. Transport to Vientiane runs frequently, with some sort of vehicle, be it songthaew or VIP bus, going every hour.
Mini bus: Departs 09:00, 14:00, takes 7 hours, costs 100,000 kip.
Express bus: Departs 10:00, takes 8 hours, costs 90,000 kip.
VIP bus: Departs 12:00, 20:00, 21:00 kip, takes 8 hours, costs 110,000 kip.
Sleeping bus: Departs 22:00.
Minibus: Departs 09:30, costs 100,000 kip.
Minibus: Departs 09:00, 13:30, takes 3 hours, costs 60,000 kip.
Local bus: Departs 05:30, 06:00, 06:30, 07:00, 12:30, 14:30, takes 5 hours, costs 40,000 kip.
Express air-con: Departs 10:30, 13:30, takes 4 hours, costs 60,000 kip.
VIP bus: Departs 10:00, 13:30, (20:00, 21:00, 22:00, 23:00, 24:00)*, takes 4 hours, costs 40,000 kip
*dependant on buses coming through from other destinations
At the bus station, songthaews for Kasi depart every few hours, depending on demand, and cost 10,000 kip. The first few are scheduled for 10:00 and 11:30. Alternatively, you can buy a ticket to Luang Prabang or Phonsavan and ask the driver to stop and let you off, or if you’re lucky, the bus station attendant will simply put you on whatever is heading north next and charge you the price to Kasi.
Everything within town is easy walking distance. At night time, beware of gaping holes and random poles in the footpaths. Guesthouses and agencies rent out bicycles for 10,000 kip but if you are planning to explore outside of town, a mountain bike (20,000 kip and up) is worth the extra money. It's also worthwhile to shop around for a decent one and test out the gears and brakes before committing to it.
Motorbike rentals are also readily available and cheap, starting at around only 50,000 kip, an automatic for 70,000 kip and up. The petrol station closest to town where everyone fills up are ripping tourists off with an old scam: ensure the attendant resets the pump before filling your tank or you end up not getting what you've paid for. A basic motorbike should cost no more than 25,000 kip to fill.
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