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Southeast Asia forum

Itinerary Thailand - Laos - North Vietnam - Help needed with Dien Bien Phu

Posted by Lawoat on 23/8/2010 at 23:12

Hi All,

In 7 weeks time I will go to SEA again. Below you can find the details of my itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok and take the train straight to Ayutthaya

Day 2: Ayutthaya sightseeing + take the overnight sleeper to Nong Khai

Day 3 - Day 9: Vientiane - VV -LP

Day 10: LP - Muang Khoua

Day 11: Muang Khoua - Dien Bien Phu

Day 12: Dien Bien Phu - Sapa

Afterwards we are heading to Hanoi, Halong Bay and back to
Bangkok to go home.

I am just wondering if anyone has recently used the Dien Bien Phu crossing to enter Vietnam and how easy it is to get to Dien Bien Phu from LP and to travel from DBP to Sapa. Any up to date info is welcome!

Cheers

Lawoat

#1 Lawoat has been a member since 29/6/2009. Posts: 59

Posted by wanderingcat on 23/8/2010 at 23:44

latest on Muang Khua-DBP road - see reply #7 here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1879039

& this: http://johnnyvagabond.com/crazy-stories/welcome-to-laos/

LPB-Oudomxay = 5h bus
Oudomxay-Muang Khua = 3+h bus
if you want to make it within a day, get the first (morning) bus out of LPB.

Muang Khua-DBP = one bus per day, details somewhere here
if you want space on the bus, get up early before dawn (the bus will be parked on the opposite bank of the Nam Ou river from Muang Khua).

#2 wanderingcat has been a member since 21/10/2006. Posts: 730
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Posted by Lawoat on 24/8/2010 at 00:05

Thanks for the info really appreciated...You think its feasible taking this road in the middle of October...end of rain season if I am not mistaken?

Thanks again

If anyone has info on the second part going from Dien Bien Phu to Sapa...feel free to post it here ;-)

#3 Lawoat has been a member since 29/6/2009. Posts: 59

Posted by wanderingcat on 24/8/2010 at 09:22

hmm...does anyone know for sure how much rain there will be along that road between now & October, or when exactly the rainy season will end this year? :P

what is know for sure:
1. even during the dry season, the bus has to negotiate a few stream crossings (no bridges) between Muang Khua & Tay Trang.

2. construction work along the Muang Khua-Tay Trang road will continue for a few years at least. such projects in Laos progress in a 'two steps forward during the dry season, one step back during the rainy season' cycle. the Huay Xai-Luang Namtha road took more than 10 years to pave.

also see:
https://www.travelfish.org/board/post/laos/10982_land-border-crossing-from-northern-laos-to-northern-vietnam
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1920137
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1910212

#4 wanderingcat has been a member since 21/10/2006. Posts: 730
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Posted by wanderingcat on 24/8/2010 at 12:08

one more recent report:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1952150

#5 wanderingcat has been a member since 21/10/2006. Posts: 730
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Posted by johnnyvagabond on 24/8/2010 at 13:11

Here's my account of the ride from Sapa to DBP a couple of weeks ago. The ride wasn't comfortable, but was considerably better than the DBP run into Laos.

http://johnnyvagabond.com/crazy-stories/hell-muddy-road/

#6 johnnyvagabond has been a member since 4/4/2010. Location: Earth. Posts: 4
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Posted by Lawoat on 25/8/2010 at 17:57

Thanks Johny, loved your website...is been added in my favourites...Safe travels

#7 Lawoat has been a member since 29/6/2009. Posts: 59

Posted by eastwest on 25/8/2010 at 18:29

I don't know if this will ad to the topic but about a year ago I have been to DBP with a friend of mine on two motorbikes from Hanoi. Before I had been in Sapa and we didn't need to see it for a second time.

Now my personal opinion is that DBP and surrounding areas are as nice as Sapa. We spent 3 full days around DBP wihtout a tourist in sight and loads of minority people in the area. Sapa although beautiful and colorful can get a bit crowded with tourists depending on season of course.
So you could consider to spend some more time around DBP and skip Sapa. Just a thought.

I must admit that my friend is fluent in Vietnamese and that added hugely to the great experience. Both for directions (I never had any clue about where we were) and direct communication with the locals.

#8 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778
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