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Laos forum

Luang Prabang to Sapa: Particular route questions.

Posted by Sparkwanderlust on 19/4/2014 at 10:25

We are currently in Luang Prabang , planning to make our way north and into Vietnam (not the most direct route, but hopefully more beautiful). Through forum research, I have learned the following, but still have a few questions and would also love any clarifications or other recent tips:

- Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw
By bus about 4 hours & 80,000 K (boat no longer available due to dam construction)

- Nong Khiaw to Muang Ngoi
By boat about 1 hour & 25,000 K
* Does this boat only leave when full? Is the river high enough right now?

- Muang Ngoi to Muang Khua
By boat about 6 hours & 100,000 K
* This boat only leaves if full or we have to charter it ourselves? Is there a bus alternative from here north or only other option to backtrack to Nong Khiaw?

- Muang Khua to Dien Bien Phu
By bus about 6 hours & 50,000 K
* Is this route now shorter and smoother due to recently sealing the road? How is the border crossing - can you buy a ticket for the entire route in Muang Khua?

- DBP to Sapa
By bus about 12 hours? How much? This is the bus headed to Lao Cai, I think.
** Is this road just awful, dangerous & stomach churning? Is taking a minibus the safer, quicker, better option?

Thanks for the help.

#1 Sparkwanderlust has been a member since 19/4/2014. Posts: 2

Posted by captainbkk on 21/4/2014 at 06:27

1.general: its now end of dry season-so that means river/waterlevels are at their lows. Even in Lao boats are a dying species to transport people.
2.check has a kind of drawn map with basics on travel bybus in that area, North Lao. Its a bit simple minded to even assume a non very busy forum like this would list each and every bus.
3.IF the road is bad, this would mean that both cars, minibus=van and big bus suffer and all the people in it. Vans have a nasty habit of trying to speed more and crash more often too. But if a big bus crashes/tumbles down, many more people will suffer. In practice in VNam you usually have no alternative.

#2 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472

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