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Laos forum

Getting from Vientiane to Chiang Mai

Posted by prokenic on 24/3/2006 at 09:54

Hi, there.
how can we cross the border from Vientiane to Chiang Mai? what is the faster way?

We'll travelling Loas in mid of april, after Vientiane, our plan is go to Chiang Mai and rent a car from Chiang mai to bangkok and look around the north of thailand.

we will get the flight from bangkok to udon thani and cross the border to Loas, so don't want to repeat it again.


#1 prokenic has been a member since 24/3/2006. Posts: 3

Posted by somtam2000 on 24/3/2006 at 10:26 admin

Hi prokenic,

Welcome to Travelfish,

The only border crossing between Laos and Thailand north of Vientiane is the crossing at Huay Xai which takes you into Thailand at Chiang Khong. From there it is a straight-forward bus trip to Chiang Mai.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,938
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Posted by prokenic on 24/3/2006 at 10:54

thank you so much, one more question,

Do you know the travelling time for Vientiane to Huay Xai ?

#3 prokenic has been a member since 24/3/2006. Posts: 3

Posted by herberzh on 24/3/2006 at 12:22


I am interested in this too. My wife is from Laos. We plan to visit Laos in September (plus x2 kids).

Is it possible to get-in/out Laos from Malaysia? Or it has to be Thailand. If Thai, is there a fly link from Chiang-Mai to Vientian? Otherwise is it saft to travel from Chiang-Mai to Laos with children (6 & 7 yo). Thanks.

-- Herbert

#4 herberzh has been a member since 24/3/2006. Posts: 1

Posted by exacto on 25/3/2006 at 03:59

Nok Air in Thailand is advertising a Chiang Mai to Udorn flight. I've never taken this flight, so I can't comment beyond that. But perhaps it is worth a look, as a flight from Udorn to Chiang Mai would be a lot easier and faster than hauling your cookies all the way up to Huay Xai and then over to Chiang Mai (unless you were planning to stop in Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang anyway). If you went by road, it is about 9 hours from Vientiane to Luang Prabang, and then at least a day from there to Huay Xai.

You can also fly from Vientiane to Chiang Mai (via Luang Prabang) and reverse on Lao Airlines 3 times a week (Tues, Fri, Sun). Lots of folks who post here seem concerned about Lao Airlines, but from what I can tell from a little research and from my own experience, the Vientiane to Luang Prabang domestic flights and the flights to/from Chiang Mai are all on ATR-72's, and are operated at a pretty high standard (with a little help from Air France and China Yunnan Airlines). Comments on websites like "airlinequality" and "" all seem fairly positive too, for what that is worth, and even the US State Department doesn't discourage taking Lao Airlines on the international routes. Nothing is ever 100% safe, but we definitely plan to fly Lao Airlines from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang in June, so at least we are putting our money where our mouths are. Hope that helps. Regards

#5 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
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Posted by stueyp123 on 9/1/2011 at 21:47

Hi I know this is an old thread but figure it may help anyone who's looking through. Hauy Xai is the only border crossing and from Vientiene I wouldnt advise you try and reach it in a day. Take some time to explore Laos, from Vientiene its 6 hours north to Vang Vieng, a popular backpacker destination. A further 4 hours north depending on your driver takes you to luang prabang, Laos' cultural capital. From here its a boat trip down the mekong river to Hauy Xai. You can either take the fast boat which is an 8 hour trip and extremely cramped/a little dangerous or the slow river cruise which takes up to two days depending on time of year. Hope this helps!

#6 stueyp123 has been a member since 9/1/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by Captain_Bob on 9/1/2011 at 23:03

Do you know the travelling time for Vientiane to Huay Xai ?
At least 20 hours. It's far and going is usually slow in Laos. Lots of twisty mountain road in between. You're probably better off backtracking to Udon Thani then get an overnight VIP sleeper bus to CM in about 12 hours.

#7 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,950

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