Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

Against the flow- Si Phan Don to Houayxai

Posted by David_Flick on 28/10/2011 at 04:29

Hi Everyone
Me and my GF are travelling the length of Laos upstream, starting in Si Phan Don and ending at Houayxai.
I just want to check that my research is accurate so far- We're sorted beyond VN, VV and LP and then the slow boat via Pakbeng, it's just the start that I need to check!
Can anyone confirm the best way of getting from SPD to Vientianne without flying? Do you have to stay overnight at Pakse and Savannakhet when you take the bus, or can you go the whole way in one fell swoop?
Thanks for the advice.

#1 David_Flick has been a member since 28/10/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by altmtl on 28/10/2011 at 05:59

I'm doing this exact some route in Feb. I start in Pakse, down to Si Phan Don, then back up with stops along the way... i.e Savannakhet, Tham Kong Lo and a few other places I haven't figured out yet... but I plan on taking the bus.

#2 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by Tilapia on 28/10/2011 at 06:46

I think that the VIP bus from Pakse to Vientiane takes around 12 hours. So, yes, you can do it in one trip if you don't mind missing all the places in between.

Minivan from Si Phan Don to Pakse. The VIP bus station, for the VIP overnight buses, is near the south end of town. Where are you entering Laos from? If you're crossing from Chong Mek in Thailand, you should think about getting your bus ticket ahead of time at the VIP station before heading to SPD. If you are going to take the International Bus from Ubon Ratchathani, it will drop you off at the VIP station.

#3 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,499
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Posted by altmtl on 28/10/2011 at 07:38

I plan on entering at Chong Mek, but may stay in SPD about a week... and go back to Pakse, can't I just get my ticket then? Why in advance? Or is that just for the VIP bus to Vientiane?

#4 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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Posted by phishsticks on 28/10/2011 at 11:39

Ya I'm planing on doing the same trip with my girlfriend in Feb. We're also going to hit up the Konglor Cave, and Pakse/Wat Phu/Bolaven Plateau on the way. You might want to research about these places, they seem like they'd be amazing.

#5 phishsticks has been a member since 10/10/2011. Posts: 32

Posted by David_Flick on 28/10/2011 at 20:23

Tilapia- We're coming from Cambodia via Stung Treng but thanks for the advice re Thailand anyway!

Altmtl and phishsticks- I'd like to stop off on the way (trust me, I'd rather not take a 12 hour bus journey!) but have a bit of a whistlestop tour of the area so wanted to get to the North as soon as possible. I figure more time in the 3 northern cities should make up for the long bus journey.

So in theory we could take a mini van from Si Phan Don to Pakse during the day and then a long overnight bus from Pakse to Vientiane (missing out on all the good stuff inbetween).

#6 David_Flick has been a member since 28/10/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by Tilapia on 28/10/2011 at 22:33

With regards to buying tickets in advance, I was just referring to the overnight VIP bus to Vientiane.

#7 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,499
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Posted by altmtl on 29/10/2011 at 00:21

Ok thanks tilapia :)

phishsticks Looks like we may run in to each other along the way - lol

#8 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 992
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