I'm planning to be in Vientiane , having travelled from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng, in early to mid October.
The next 'stop' would be Phnom Penh, so that I can travel over to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat before returning to Bangkok.
What is the best way to get from Vientiane to PP? It seems there are or were various overnight buses (sleeper/VIP) that do the journey. But I'm not in any real rush, so would I better to break it up, say stopping for a day at Pakse before heading to Si Phan Don and going to PP from there?
How much of the journey can be done by boat, as I think this would be a much better way to travel, even for just a part of the journey, than by bus?
#1 bails87 has been a member since 1/3/2010. Posts: 23
How much of the journey can be done by boat
Not a lot unfortunately. No regular transport boats downriver from Vientiane. There are sleeper buses that do the trip to Pakse in about 10 hours. From Pakse you may be able to get a morning boat ride to Don Khong or Don Det and there are dolphin-spotting boat rides around Don Det/Khone. Waterfalls make going downriver here impossible though. Used to be possible to take a boat from the Cambodian border all the way to Phnom Penh but I believe this is no longer possible, now that the road is sealed and good pretty much all the way. You can take a boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, but you might want to get some opinions on how pleasant this is at five times the bus price.
Ok, thanks for that, so would bus, or flight be the best (only!) way then?
#3 bails87 has been a member since 1/3/2010. Posts: 23
Pretty much! If you do the overnight bus from Vientiene to Pakse you will find people waiting at the drop off to take you down to 4,000 islands if you want to break your journey there. Otherwise Pakse's not a bad place to hole up and relax for a day to break the journey, or you could head up to the Bolaven Plateau from there - it's a cool place to spend a few days but also feasible to hire a bike for a day and visit a couple of the waterfalls.