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Laos forum

luang prabang from chiang mai

Posted by rhess106 on 16/11/2008 at 00:20

I am going to be travelling in Thailand and Laos later this month. I arrive in Bangkok on November 29th and will make my way north through Ayutthaya, Sukhothai/Phitsanulok, and Chiang Mai. From there, I'd like to fly from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang, stay a few days, then fly to Vientiane or Bangkok on the way back.

I'd like to wait until a couple of days before flying to book the Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang and LP to Bangkok legs of the trip. I'm hoping to have some flexibility to get to and then leave Chiang Mai on my own schedule to some extent. But, I don't know if it will work. Right now, I'm not even sure what day I would arrive in Chiang Mai (guessing around December 3, leaving around December 5).

So, my question is, should I book the Chiang Mai-Luang Prabang flight now ($161 a person one-way), set myself up for 3-4 days there, then have the LP to Bangkok (or Vientiane) flight set up to leave. Or, can I just book a couple of days in advance of when I'd be going?

Is it easy to book these Lao Air (or whichever) on short notice and does it cost a whole lot more? I'd like the flexibility, but will book the flights now if it will cost me a whole lot more or simply not have the flight available at all. Thanks.

#1 rhess106 has been a member since 16/11/2008. Posts: 2

Posted by eljefe on 16/11/2008 at 21:47

I live in Chiang Mai . Cost will be the same no matter when you book, even if you just walk up to the ticket counter in the airport. However, Lao Aviation has cut the number of flights between Chiang Mai and LP despite high demand. Dec - Feb is high season. Seats go fast. It's common for all flights to be fully booked two weeks in advance. I strongly recommend that you book as far in advance as possible in order to be guaranteed a seat.
There are many more flights between LP/Vientiane/BKK and more airlines servicing those routes. I'm not as familiar with those flights but you might be able to get away with booking one just a few days ahead of time.

#2 eljefe has been a member since 16/11/2008. Posts: 25

Posted by rhess106 on 17/11/2008 at 00:59

Thanks for your quick reply. I think I will book something right away. I've read a lot about Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang and hope to spend 3-4 days in each place.

My flight home to the US from Bangkok is December 11th. I was planning on leaving Luang Prabang on the 10th and flying to Bangkok on that day and flying home the next day. I read somewhere that Lao Airlines cancels or delays flight somewhat regularly. Should I book one back to Bangkok on December 9th just to play it extra safe and make sure I have an extra day so I know I can catch my flight back home on December 11th? Or should I go ahead and fly LP to Bangkok on the 10th and not worry about it? I'd like to spend more time in LP and Chiang Mai , if possible and have that extra day up there.

#3 rhess106 has been a member since 16/11/2008. Posts: 2

Posted by eljefe on 17/11/2008 at 06:50

That rumor has been circulating for years and I'm sure Lao occasionaally does cancel or delay a flight, especially during the rainy season, but it doesn't happen anywhere near as often as rumor would have it. As long as you leave a minimum of 2 hours for your connection at BKK, I see no reason why you should get there a day early.
Enjoy yor trip!

#4 eljefe has been a member since 16/11/2008. Posts: 25

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