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Urgent help needed for northern Laos itenary

Posted by Thanuja on 18/12/2015 at 10:12

Hello
I need help to plan my northern Lao itenary for 7 days. I would like to cover vientainne- van vieng- phonsavan-Luang Prabang.

I want to book my bus tickets / mini van tickets ahead for this stretch. Can someone help me with a reliable travel agent in vientainne or LP.
Also which currency should I carry? Is Thai baht okay to carry? Does my itenary look good? Or should I drop phonsavan.

Also from LP how do I do a Mekong boat journey for 1 day? Kindly help.

#1 Thanuja has been a member since 5/9/2015. Posts: 3

Posted by exacto on 18/12/2015 at 14:42

Hi Thanuja,

Welcome to Travelfish!

I think Vientiane , Vang Vieng , Phonsavah, and Luang Prabang is an awful lot to try and do in one week. Things are laid back and move slowly in Laos. Plus, you are looking at a 10-hour bus trip from Vientiane to Phonsavan and another 10-hours from Phonsavan to Luang Prabang. That would take up two of your seven days just there.

If you are looking to drop something from the itinerary, you could drop Phonsavan, as you mentioned above; or you could fly from Vientiane to Phonsavan and drop Vang Vieng from the trip.

It used to be Thai Baht was widely accepted as cash, particularly in places closer to the Thai border. But in my last few trip to Laos, the Lao Kip was all the rage, and most transactions (accept for a few hotels where we paid with credit card and were charged in USD) were in Lao Kip. You can easily get Lao Kip from ATMs or exchange the Thai Baht for Lao Kip.

I hope that helps and at least gets the discussion started. Have a good trip. Cheers.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,840

Posted by Thanuja on 18/12/2015 at 21:55

Hello,
Thank you very much replying. This really helps, yes I think I can drop phonsavan from my itenary as it might become too hectic.

Am looking at some travel agent who can book bus tickets/ mini van tickets for me to travel between vientainne - van vieng- Luang Prabang. Also am interested to book day trips from LP to Pak ou caves, Kungsi falls etc. any reliable tour operator whose costs aren't very steep.

Thank you very much.

#3 Thanuja has been a member since 5/9/2015. Posts: 3

Posted by Thanuja on 18/12/2015 at 22:27

Hello,
Thank you very much replying. This really helps, yes I think I can drop phonsavan from my itenary as it might become too hectic.

Am looking at some travel agent who can book bus tickets/ mini van tickets for me to travel between vientainne - van vieng- Luang Prabang. Also am interested to book day trips from LP to Pak ou caves, Kungsi falls etc. any reliable tour operator whose costs aren't very steep.

Thank you very much.

#4 Thanuja has been a member since 5/9/2015. Posts: 3

Posted by SoManyMiles on 28/12/2015 at 23:25 TF writer

If you are travelling by minivan, then there is no need to book tickets in advance - they will always have space. Unless you are travelling by sleeper bus, you are almost always ok to book the ticket the day before. In Vientiane , any agent or guesthouse can book it for you - a small commission but it includes pick up from your guesthouse. The bus stations are far from the city centre.


7 days is still very packed to cover Vientiane - Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang by road, but it is in theory doable during dry season (when are you travelling?). If you do day buses, Vientiane to Vang Vieng takes half a day, Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang as much as a whole day. You won't have much time in each place. Your itinerary would look like 1 night in Vientiane, 1-2 nights in Vang Vieng, the rest for Luang Prabang.



You don't need a tour operator for Kuang Si waterfall, unless you want to make it more interesting (go by boat, cycling, multisport). You can hire a tuk-tuk or minivan privately, which means you can go/leave any time you want, or if you want to save money, a shared tuk-tuk or minivan. Any agent can sell you a ticket on the van (set departures), arrange tuk-tuk when you want to go, on the street corner in the morning.



Pak Ou caves: again, cheap way is the shared public boat but that includes tourist stops at whiskey village. A better experience, check out Banana Boat Laos.

#5 SoManyMiles has been a member since 7/2/2014. Posts: 147


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