Im thinking of catching a flight to Vientiane from Kuala Lumpur. I mainly want to see Luang Prabang and wanted to know how long I should spend going to Luang Prabang and then back to Vientiane. I'm hoping this can be done in about a week to ten days, is that enough time? I need to be back in Vientiane in order to catch a night train to Bangkok. Also, is it worth it to stop in Vang Vieng with such a limited trip such as this? Any suggestions are much appreciated.
#1 babiguling has been a member since 13/4/2010. Posts: 12
It takes between 7 - 8 hours to journey between the two locations by bus.
You can easily spend 4/5 days just soaking up LP and doing a day trip or two to waterfalls or local villages if that is what you are planning to do there.
The question is if you also want to spend some time in Vientiane . If you have been before or are not interested than I think Vang Vieng would be a nice way to break up the long bus ride. Keep it for the return so that you can cut it out if you decide to stay even longer in LP.
Honestly though - with 10 days -- arrive in Vientiane and spend the day/night there - the next morning to LP -- spend 5 days there -- take off to VV on day 7 (only takes 5 hours to get there so you could spend say 2 1/2 days there) -- it takes just three hours to get from VV to Vientiane.
thanks so much, glad to know that this plan works out well.
#3 babiguling has been a member since 13/4/2010. Posts: 12
second #2's suggestion that you head up to LPB first & then work your way back to VTE. quite a few fall for LPB & end up changing the return dates on their air tickets.
bus journey between LPB & VTE takes more like 10+h - it's taken me 13h, but i don't mind slower speeds on those kinda mountain roads with no crash barriers.
on your way up to LPB you can get a quick look at the karst scenery around Vang Vieng from the bus window - that may help you decide if you want to stop there on your way back to VTE. note that the bus bypasses the Khao San Road-ish tourist centre of Vang Vieng - so you won't get a preview of the Vang Vieng 'human wild-life'.
I'm hoping this can be done in about a week to ten days
That's plenty of time, and for most people 3-4 days is enough in LP. You could even go up to Nong Khiaw and take a boat back down to LP via the Nam Ou and Mekong rivers. But yea break the journey to/from Vientiane at Vang Vieng since it has tons of guesthouses and is set in a gorgeous area. Stay on the south edge of town if you want to avoid the drunken tubing scene.
Between Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng is very hilly (and scenic) so it takes a while for buses to creep up one side and roll down the other.