Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

Laos in 2 weeks

Posted by Shane10 on 18/5/2010 at 09:50

I'll be doing a backpacking trip for about 36 days, spending 2 weeks in vietnam and 2 weeks in Laos. Will be heading to Sapa and going back to Hanoi for my last stop in vietnam. Few questions considering Laos.

1) Is there a direct bus from Hanoi to Luarang Prabang? Know there is one to Vientiane but then I need to move up from Vientiane to Lurang Prabang and back to Vientiane to catch my flight out to KL(alrdy book the tix)

2) What do you think I can do in 2 weeks in Laos? Anything substantial?

3) How much money in USD you think I would need to change for Laos for 2 weeks?


#1 Shane10 has been a member since 18/5/2010. Posts: 2

Posted by svendj on 27/5/2010 at 01:18

1) I'm not sure about that bus to luang prabang, cause the border crossing is closer to Vientianne then LP. (to vientianne : 13h, vientianne to LP : 10h) so it's a lot of time you spend on the bus, why not fly from Hanoi to Vientianne and go bus up and down to LP and in the middle make a stopover at Vang Vieng .

2)what to do, Vientianne, Vang Vieng and LP should do it for 2 weeks and maybe some jungle hiking.

3) Everybody is always thinking about how much money they need to bring to change, I never take any money with me, just my creditcard and get some money from the ATM. I always took off about 700000 Lao-kip ($90) and I managed about 4 days with that kind of money (partying everyday included)

#2 svendj has been a member since 30/4/2010. Location: Belgium. Posts: 196
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Posted by caseyprich on 27/5/2010 at 12:25

You can cross at Sam Neua (Na Maew / Nam Xoi)

That way you can cross into the rustic Northeast of the country and take a few days getting to Luang Prabang via Nong Kiaow (a nice little bridge village) and the surrounding area. Rather than a direct bus it's nice to break up the long journey from Hanoi - Sam Neua, Sam Neua to Nong Kiaow, Nong Kiaow to Luang Prabang. I think you could do that and still have a few days for Vang Vieng and/or Vientiane if you like - just short stops to rest in Sam Neua and Nong Kiaow.

So, for two weeks you'd be able to see a few little villages/towns in the north and ride through some pretty jungle roads.

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Posted by idreamofdurian on 28/5/2010 at 00:04 TF writer

The travel agencies in Luang Prabang will advertise a "Luang Prabang -- Hanoi " bus, but it actually stops in Vientiane .

The Vientiane -- Hanoi bus is known as the "bus from hell" and takes ~25 hours. I'd strongly suggest you break up the trip with a day or 2 in Vientiane or check flight prices.

#4 idreamofdurian has been a member since 5/9/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 576
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Posted by travelsalone on 28/5/2010 at 23:03

2) Nong Kiau is a beautiful place and there are different kayaking and hiking options there through Green Discovery that are really good. The boat from Luang Prabang to Nong Kiau was a beautiful ride - but be prepared for wooden seat and only 1 toilet stop! I did a three day river kayak trip to go back and that was great. About 40 min. from Vientiene there is a place on the river (River Time) that is great for hanging out, swimming, doing nothing if that is what you seek at any time.

#5 travelsalone has been a member since 19/3/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 41

Posted by Rufus on 29/5/2010 at 09:50

I would avoid using Green Discovery. I have had a number of poor experiences with them and I know of a number of others who have as well.

#6 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 978
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Posted by travelsalone on 29/5/2010 at 14:05

I had a wonderful trip and no problems. As with every company, for every negative experience someone has there is always a positive experience to contradict it. I was not thrilled with the staff in one of the Luang Prabang offices, but was very pleased with the staff in Nong Kiau. I think when planning a trip it is about talking with the people and seeing how you feel about it - you know, what kind of "vibe" you get. Just my opinion.

#7 travelsalone has been a member since 19/3/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 41

Posted by Rufus on 29/5/2010 at 15:28

Each to her own. However when they totally misrepresent a hike, and this has nothing to do with the language, as my wife speaks Lao, they lose me. Also after a brief flurry of activity from the new manager, we heard nothing, no apology, nothing. Others have had the same experience.

#8 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 978
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