Some friends and I are heading to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in May and are planning our trip right now. I was wondering if anyone knew if it was possible to get from Sa Pa to Muang Sing or Luang Nam Tha? And if so how? Also, if anyone knew of a way to get from Don Det to Siem Reap? Any tips or suggestions would be very helpful! This is what we have figured out so far:
1) Fly into Ho Chi Minh
2) Down to Phu Quoc
3) Back up to Mui Ne
4) Up to Nha Trang
5) Up to Hue
6) Ha Long Bay
8) Sa Pa
**Off to Laos**
1) To Muang Sing
2) Luang Nam Tha
3) Luang Prabang
5) Don Det/Don Khong
**Off to Cambodia**
1) Siem Reap/Angkor
2) Tonle Sap Lake
#1 mitchrich10 has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 2
Sapa to Dien Bien Phu
then to Muang Khua, Muang Ngoi, Nong Khiaw by boat
then bus to Pak Mong, Oudomxai, Luang Namtha (then Muang Sing by songthaew)
Obviously this will take at least a couple days. Welcome to Laos slowww travel.
4000 Islands to Siem Reap
Buy a ticket from any of the island guesthouses, but do compare and shop around. I'd actually recommend not trying to reach Siem Reap in one day. It's pretty far and you're better off aiming for the likes of Kratie which makes a nice stopover. Then get a local bus to Siem Reap. At the Laos/Cambodia border have 20USD crisp and clean note, and beware they may charge $1-2-3 for some "health check" or other silly fee which can be disputed but will cause delays.
Thank you for your help! When you say that travel is very very slow in Laos, is it very difficult to get around? Or does it just take a long time? Would it even be possible to go from Luang Prabang to Vientiane and down to Don Det/Don Khong or is there no way to do that? We've been trying to find a bus or something but we haven't had any luck finding anything.
#3 mitchrich10 has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 2
Yes you can go from A to B to C most places, and from Luang Prabang to Vientiane to the far south is via route 13 the most significant "highway" in Laos. There are many buses doing this route, but keep in mind some of the roads in the far north are very twisty and hilly. Delays are common at borders, and long bus journeys are part of daily life. Road conditions vary, potholes and rainy season landslides are part of the territory. Don't be surprised when the bus stops at some village and bunches of market sellers shove food for sale in your face, or when hilltribe folks chow down then start puking in the bus, etc. all part of the fun ;-) South of Vientiane things tend to smooth out as the highway more or less follows the Mekong.