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Laos forum

Landing in Vientien and want to do the Tha-Khaek-loop -Feasable?

Posted by tomworld9 on 6/3/2019 at 04:06

Hi, This will be my first visit to Laos, but unfortunately I will only be there 5 days. I will arrive the evening of March 13 and must be back for noon flight on the 18th. Is it feasible to get to and do the Tha Khaek loop and be back in time for my flight? If so where should I hire a motorbike? I've read the trip guide, but wondered if there were some favorite places not to be missed? accommodations especially inviting? restaurants not to be missed?

If you think this is an unrealistic itinerary where would you suggest I go on this brief visit? I know I will be back and live in Vietnam. I really like motorbike touring. Thank you for your feedback!

#1 tomworld9 has been a member since 18/10/2016. Posts: 2

Posted by somtam2000 on 8/3/2019 at 01:00 admin


Yes it is possible—people ride the loop in as little as two days, so you could do it. Something like:

March 13 Arrive in Vientiane stay overnight
March 14 Morning bus to Tha Khaek, arriving mid afternoon then hire a scooter
March 15 Loop
March 16 Loop
March 17 Finish loop and late afternoon bus back to Vientiane
March 18: Fly back to Vietnam

So, is possible, though not ideal. With more time, would be a more comfortable spread.


#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,097

Posted by khunwilco on 10/3/2019 at 01:40

Whatever you do, don't miss the Klong Lor Cave - the river going through a mountain......... awesome experience

#3 khunwilco has been a member since 30/4/2014. Posts: 14

Posted by SoManyMiles on 13/3/2019 at 03:17 TF writer

Hi, am a bit late to chime in but this could be handy info for others:
If pressed for time, you can skip staying overnight in Vientiane and take an overnight bus from Vientiane to Pakse. You can request to stop in Tha Khaek, arriving in the dead of night, but as long as you book accommodation ahead of time and let them know of your late arrival, it should be ok. They are used to it because the Pakse-Vientiane overnight bus also stops here (on the highway just outside of town) in the middle of the night. Tuk tuks are usually waiting.

New Zealand aid recently helped put more tourism infrastructure on the loop. Haven't seen the results yet but there should be more signage and possibly brochures for things, cool springs got an upgrade.

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

Posted by Megaworldasia365 on 13/4/2019 at 11:46

A bus to Thakhek basically takes a full day so if you overnight in Vientiane on the the 13th, the 14th is a travel day. Realistically you won't start the loop until the morning of the 15th. You're then going to do 450 km in 3 days/2 nights which also includes a side trip to KONG LOR CAVE. The bottom line is you'll be doing it in a rush and spending most of your time on the seat of a motorbike, rather than taking time to enjoy the attractions on the way. The reality is that Kong Lor Cave is the highlight of the trip so if you're squeezed for time you'd be better off going directly to Kong Lor Village, instead of Thakhek. Another option is to stay at the Sanhak Guesthouse at Na Hin Village (42 km from Kong Lor) on highway # 8. You can hire a scooter there and ride down to Kong Lor for the day. From Na Hin Village the COOL POOL and DRAGON CAVE are only 36 km away (on the ride from Na Hin to Lak Sao). Just something to consider if you're on a tight schedule.

Safe travels,


#5 Megaworldasia365 has been a member since 26/8/2017. Posts: 25

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