Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

Transport Luang Prabang to Luang Nam Tha (Namtha) - Bus VIP Minivan

Posted by travelmike on 16/7/2008 at 11:53

Anyone have some extra info re: Tourist Transport Luang Prabang to Luang NamTha?

Current options
-Green Discovery private minivan $170 Usd for two people
-Fly LP to Vientiane then Vientiane to NamTha
-VIP Bus Vientiane to Kunming $57 Usd (stop at Boten then two hours local transport)
-Local bus

Local bus is cheap but over crowded with no air con (after 9 months traveling around Africa on local bus looking for other more comfortable options at reasonable cost if they are available)

other options are a little pricey to travel only 300kms

#1 travelmike has been a member since 15/7/2008. Posts: 2

Posted by somsai on 22/7/2008 at 10:54

I don't know about African busses but I suspect the ones in Laos are much easier. Despite many of the tales I find them not much problem, especially the route you describe. Paved road the whole way.

That said, I jumped on a VIP from Udomxai to Luang Prabang so it must go the other way. I wouldn't sweat it. Just go to the bus station early and get on the first thing moving, bring some water and buy some to-go food at the station.

Kunming is a bit out of the way.

#2 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 566
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Posted by gijsvanpelt on 27/7/2008 at 04:31

hello Mike,

i just got back from laos and did the trip in the opposite direction. the trip by roas is quite a tough one, but for shure it was one of the most beautiful trips by road i have ever made in my life, really nice. i took the local bus, was about 1400000KIP in normal bus, sitting in between the locals is really nice, thoug the seats could be a bit more comfortable, the scenary beats all the discomfort.

Minibusses actually have less space when they are full compared to local busses.

enjoy ur trip!

#3 gijsvanpelt has been a member since 10/6/2008. Posts: 13

Posted by KPTham1 on 28/7/2008 at 00:37

Hi, Somsai and gijsvanpelt,
This will be the 3rd visit to LP for me and I really want to hit the road between VTE and LPQ and would appreciate any advice on this sector ( VIP and Minibus etc ) and also on getting from LPQ to Luang Nam Tha . Unfortunately, I only have 5/7 days in Laos this time round .


#4 KPTham1 has been a member since 26/9/2006. Posts: 52

Posted by somsai on 29/7/2008 at 08:14

KP, It's been a year and a half but... There are many busses all day and evena at night between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. I preffer busses to minivans as I have better luck with the skill of the driver and the longer wheelbase seems less bumpy to me. I don't notice any difference between regular and VIP except the regular stops more and often carries some cargo. Travel times not so much different. I just go to the bus station and get on the next one. Also be aware many busses are available that connect destinations further away than Luang Prabang yet still take the same route. Something is always going.

Luang Namtha I always seem to have to switch in Udomxai but there are direct busses.

My recomendation... skip the big towns and just go to Udomxai or Luang Namtha, there are direct busses out of Vietiane.

For schedules to all busses see

#5 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 566
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Posted by KPTham1 on 29/7/2008 at 23:50

Many thanks for the infor and recommendations.Will certainly check out the leads but unfortunately need to stopover at Luang Prabang before moving on to Luang Namtha.


#6 KPTham1 has been a member since 26/9/2006. Posts: 52

Posted by silverwool on 9/8/2008 at 20:13

I went the opposite way a few weeks ago. The bus cost 90,000 kip or thereabouts from Luang Nam Tha to Luang Prabang and no problems. It was a beautiful drive with stunning scenery but the road was fairly rough in places. (Bitumen but some pot holes) Not sure if I was on a VIP or local bus but no air con as the ceiling vent was open all the time. It was not very hot so no need. The trip took about 9 hours with a lunch stop in Udomxai (no change of bus).

I suspect the return trip would be similar. Main tip is to be at the bus station in good time as buses sometimes leave early!

#7 silverwool has been a member since 8/7/2007. Posts: 7

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