Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

VT-LP in Oct - boat, bus, or plane?

Posted by chopin on 24/9/2012 at 11:24

Dear all, i'll be in Laos during 4 - 10 Oct. a few questions:

1. Is this period high or low in terms of tourism?

2. I will go from VT to LP, should I take boat(would the water level be sufficient?) or bus? which offers a better experience? fyi, i'll travel from LP to Huay Xai/Chiang Khong and then on to Chiang Mai by boat, so will get a fair share of boating experience here.

3. How about going by plane? any gain/loss as compared with travelling by road or by river?

4. in whichever mode above, what's the cost, and, is advance booking needed?

5. Is it ok to give Vang Vieng a miss?

Thanks...

#1 chopin has been a member since 28/4/2007. Posts: 154

Posted by Captain_Bob on 25/9/2012 at 06:01

1. Is this period high or low in terms of tourism?
Low season

2. I will go from VT to LP, should I take boat(would the water level be sufficient?) or bus? which offers a better experience? fyi, i'll travel from LP to Huay Xai/Chiang Khong and then on to Chiang Mai by boat, so will get a fair share of boating experience here.
You can't go by boat from VT to LP and no boat to Chiang Mai. Only boats from LP to the Thai border. Yes there is enough water to do the boat trip almost any time of year, just buy the ticket same morning and go, no need to pre-book. VT to LP flights cost $82 and take less than an hour, bus is cheap but takes about 10 hours.

5. Is it ok to give Vang Vieng a miss?
It's a convenient stop-off point travelling by road from VT to LP, and it's in a beautiful area, so yes it's worth while.

#2 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,891


Posted by chopin on 25/9/2012 at 08:30

thanks Bob. if it is low season, then I can assume that i can walk in to any guesthouses or hotels in VT, VV, and LP and no need to pre-book?

if VV is worth the while, then i think bus would be ideal. how much would the bus cost? also, would like to know the boat ticket price for LP-HX?

Thanks again...

#3 chopin has been a member since 28/4/2007. Posts: 154

Posted by enday on 25/9/2012 at 08:44

I think the bus was about 120,000 kip, less than $20. That's a memory, its cheap though. I flew that part of my trip a few months ago. Next time I'll bus it though. I flew because I didn't want anything to do with the tubing scene, but then I heard later that's its actually easy be in VV and be separate to that part of town!
I think just checking out Guesthouses when you get there is the most fun and you wont miss out, there heaps of places to choose between. Just Suss prices on here or in a lonely planet so you have a bit of a price guide in mind.
Have fun

#4 enday has been a member since 12/9/2012. Posts: 30

Posted by enday on 25/9/2012 at 08:46

Oops, you meant pre nook travel not place to stay. I don't think you need to, unless you're hell bent on flying on a certain day, should be able to get a bus ticket the afternoon before

#5 enday has been a member since 12/9/2012. Posts: 30

Posted by Captain_Bob on 25/9/2012 at 09:48

if it is low season, then I can assume that i can walk in to any guesthouses or hotels in VT, VV, and LP and no need to pre-book?
Sure no problem. Maybe if you're picky you won't get your first choice but you will definitely find a room without pre-booking. I usually phone ahead the day before if I have a place in mind, but it's not really necessary.

if VV is worth the while, then i think bus would be ideal. how much would the bus cost?

See http://hobomaps.com/TravelVangVieng.html
Vientiane-Vang Vieng probably 40,000 or 60,000 kip. Peanuts.

the boat ticket price for LP-HX?
Downstream it costs 220,000 kip but I think it's slightly cheaper upstream. 200,000 kip when I last checked. The boat ramp and ticket office is right there in town with prices clearly marked. Agents will naturally charge more.

#6 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,891

Posted by chopin on 26/9/2012 at 02:10

Thanks both enday and Bob.

so i'll take bus for VT - VV, and VV - LP.
after that, will take boat for LP - HX. I know that we will have to put up one night half-way at Pakbeng. would like to know the average price and condition of accomodation there at Pakbeng. Do you have any particular nice places to recommend?

#7 chopin has been a member since 28/4/2007. Posts: 154


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