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Road Muang Khua to Vietnam

Posted by tpurple on 1/2/2011 at 03:33

Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone has recently taken the Bus from Muang Khua to Dein Bein Phu, Vietnam, and if so what are the conditions of the road like and how long did this take? I was planning to take this route in March however read that this road is currently under construction.

Also, I would be coming to Muang Khua from Nong Khiaw, I was wondering what the chances are of getting from Nong Khiaw to DBP in 2 days (any time of the week), i.e. would it be okay to book a flight from DBP to Hanoi in advance, and leave Nong Khiaw 2 days before?

Thanks in advance for any advice

#1 tpurple has been a member since 4/12/2010. Posts: 5

Posted by wanderingcat on 1/2/2011 at 08:22

not taken it. but by all recent accounts, Muang Khua to DBP bus journey still takes 1 day during the dry season. one daily bus, departs from opposite bank of Nam Ou from Muang Khua town at ~6am.

one of the more recent accounts of the MK-DBP road, from a cyclist:

how are you traveling from NK to MK, by road or by boat? no regular departures for boats - depends on demand/whether you're willing to charter. no direct bus, have to change songthaew/bus in Oudomxay (& maybe one more time in Pak Mong if there's no direct NK-Oudomxay transport that day).

in theory 2 days possible, but in reality it will be 2 very tiring days squashed up in boat/buses (the MK-DBP bus is always very crowded) with not much room for unforeseen delays (e.g. if you go by road but cannot reach Oudomxay in time to catch the last bus to Muang Khua, or if the MK-DBP bus gets held up at the border due to some Vietnamese or Lao trader's cargo - has happened before).

#2 wanderingcat has been a member since 21/10/2006. Posts: 730
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Posted by maura on 3/2/2011 at 06:31

We came through Muang Khua in the opposite direction from DBP in mid Jan. The road is indeed ‘under construction’ it is un-surfaced all the way, very mountainous and a wee bit scary. The 11 hour journey involved several stops to wait for diggers to ‘put the road back’ and took almost 2 hours to get the dozen or so passengers through the border. We loved every bit of it.

I regret not spending some time trekking in the Muang Khua area.

Nong Khiaw to DBP in 2 days? We went by boat downstream (5 hours.) Going upstream 7-8 hours? then next day 11hours on a local bus,yikes that’s tough journey. Take your time and stop in Muang Ngoi great spot and fantastic scenery

#3 maura has been a member since 8/12/2010. Posts: 3
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Posted by tpurple on 5/2/2011 at 08:03

Thanks for the advice.

I was looking forward to the adventure of the bus ride and saving a few dollars on getting to Hanoi . However, i only have 10-12 days in Laos total so i think after visiting the Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoi area I'll fly Luang Prabang to Hanoi so i can make the most of the time i have without so much travelling.

Maura would you recommend Muang Ngoi over Nong Khiaw?

#4 tpurple has been a member since 4/12/2010. Posts: 5

Posted by ausethanol on 26/8/2013 at 00:18

We travelled from Muang Khua to Dien Bien Phu (DBP)in late April 2013. There is a brand new high quality road that goes from MuangKhua to the border. The road on the Lao side is now much better than on theVietnamese side of the border. However the border posts are now 5km away fromeach other. We got a private car from Muang Khua to the Vietnamese border postand were picked up by a car arranged through prebooked Hotel in DBP. It workedperfectly.

The total trip from Muang Khua to DBP was less than 4 hours even with a stop ata mountain village on the Lao side. We spent two full days in DBP andthere was plenty to see. Not only the battlefield sites but also the Riceterraces - some of which can be seen from the border to DBP and others on the wayto the General Giap headquarters which is part of most tours of DBP.

We stayed at Muong Thanh Hotel in DBP and Senali Hotel in Muang Khua. Wewere satisfied with both - both are air conditioned though the Muong Thanh in DBP is much more up market that the hotelin Muang Khua as you might expect.

We had come up river by a private boat (for just the two of us) from Luang Prabang to Muang Khua and went on to DBP before flying to Hanoi. This was a wonderful trip - we would recommend it to others.

#5 ausethanol has been a member since 25/8/2013. Posts: 1

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