Text page


Laos forum

Bus travel in Laos

Posted by chrisfish on 6/8/2016 at 09:22


I am planning a trip to Laos and Cambodia for myself and two friends in November. We will have three weeks, and I have an itinerary largely planned, and am booking hotels - don't want to have to run around looking for a hotel on arrival when we only have a limited time.

My question - is it realistic to expect to be able to turn up in say, Vientiane , and be able to book a bus out to Vang Vieng two days later for three people? November is obviously quite peak time. If you think we would not be able to do this, does anyone have any good advice for booking bus trips on-line please?

Also, any good sources of up-to-date info on the security situation for travel Vientiane - Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang by road?

Thanks for your time!


#1 chrisfish has been a member since 20/7/2016. Posts: 3

Posted by blvdve on 6/8/2016 at 12:07

My only experience with Lao bus travel was a couple of years ago, when we traveled from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. That was in January -- even more peak than November, I think -- and we booked our bus tickets (with guest house pick up at a very early hour) through one of the travel agencies on the main street. Two days ahead, maybe? I can't imagine Vientiane>Vang Vieng being a problem; they are pretty close, as far as I remember.
I'm curious about the road situation at the moment, too. We'll be taking the same LP>VTE bus again in November of this year.

#2 blvdve has been a member since 27/12/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by serendipity on 10/8/2016 at 19:51

The buses in Laos don't accept reservations more than a day or two in advance so I wouldn't worry at all. They don't have computerized reservation systems and usually just add more buses in the busy season to meet whatever the demand may be so relax and just try to make a booking about two days in advance. As for safety things have been quiet lately and when there were problems they were related to big Chinese buses, usually sleeper buses with Chinese language signs on them so better to take daytime minivans or smaller local buses instead. For buses departing from Huay Xay avoid those leaving from Phetaloun Bus Station and take buses from Keo Champa station instead. The troubles were on roads between Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng only and not between Vang Vieng and Vientiane.

#3 serendipity has been a member since 5/11/2014. Posts: 4

Posted by SoManyMiles on 14/8/2016 at 08:24 TF writer

Booking a day VIP bus from Vientiane to Vang Vieng two days in advance should be fine, even in November. Otherwise there are tourist minivans and the local bus, which is doable for the 4 hour journey. The only bus that does regularly sell out in high season are the overnight buses, popular since travellers like to save time and money on accommodation.

As of August 2016, the travel warning by foreign governments remain on both the regular road (Route 13) and the "new road" between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang.

While it does seem whoever is doing this was targeting Chinese buses, what's worrisome is the lack of information being released by the government. There have been attacks that have not been made public/did not make any news.

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

Posted by chrisfish on 17/10/2016 at 16:17

Thank you blvdve, serendipity and SoManyMiles! that's very helpful.

Travelfish has been very helpful planning this trip, I will feed back into the site afterwards with anything that seems helpful.


#5 chrisfish has been a member since 20/7/2016. Posts: 3

Posted by chrisfish on 7/11/2016 at 20:02

Just as an update, I am in Vientiane and when I went to book a bus seat was asked to just let them know the night before ????.

#6 chrisfish has been a member since 20/7/2016. Posts: 3

Posted by Rufus on 15/11/2016 at 23:45

Yes no problems in doing this.

#7 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 978

Please login to add your reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a post to the forum. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.