Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

Louang Prabang to Phonsavan or Vang Vieng?

Posted by ChrisM48 on 2/1/2009 at 09:09

Would appreciate some advice. Am considering flying to Phonasavan (want to see Plain of Jars) from L/Prabang and then bussing over a few days down to Vientiane via Vang Vieng. Alternately, may fly from Phonsavan direct to Vientiane. Only have 5/6 days on this part of trip.
Any suggestions?

#1 ChrisM48 has been a member since 12/12/2006. Posts: 17

Posted by somtam2000 on 3/1/2009 at 07:30 admin

Well you only need one full day to take in Plain of Jars, so 5-6 days leaves room for one half by plane, other by bus. You may find this story about Plain of Jars of interest too.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by exacto on 3/1/2009 at 07:56

I did a similar trip back in 2004, going from LP to Phonsavan and the Plain of Jars then on to Vientiane . It was great, and I thought that PofJ was really something special.

Having said that, I had about 4 more days than you have available, and there is so much to see and do in Luang Prabang alone that you could easily spend the entire time in that area.

Don't sell Vientiane short either. There are heaps of great temples, museums, culture shows, and just everyday life to keep you busy for several days too.

Given the timeframe you have, I suspect you'll have to fly. Lao Airways doesn't list the LP to Xieng Khouang (the name for Phonsavan ) route on its route list, but it shows it on its route map and also shows a stopover in Xieng Khouang on one of the flights to/from LP and VTE.

Like Somtam says, you can easily knock out the tours of the PofJ and explore the town in a 24-hour period, although two nights and one full day might be more ideal.

I think Rufus is the in-house expert on Laos these days and has been very generous checking out details for others on their trips to Laos.

Either way, given the brief amount of time you have, I'd recommend flying both the LP to PofJ and PofJ to VTE legs of this journey if you can.

Alternatively, you can skip PofJ, which gives you the choice of a quick and scenic flight from LP to VTE or a long but amazing all-day bus ride along the same route. Have fun.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,764
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Posted by Rufus on 3/1/2009 at 10:06

I can't really add much to the above, except that the POJ is definitely worth seeing - well imo anyway. I have heard and read that some people find it boring; most find it fascination. POJ can be done in one day, but really you should spend a night and see Old Xieng Khouan as well. personally I find the whole area interesting as I have rarely seen such lush country.
Anyway, given your time frame as Exacto says, I would fly.

#4 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 978
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Posted by Intrepid82 on 23/4/2009 at 10:22

I've looked on the Lao Airline website and the domestic routes shown here do not include flights to / from Phonsavan.

Can you tell me which airline/s fly there?
I would ideally like to fly from Pakse....

#5 Intrepid82 has been a member since 21/4/2009. Posts: 33

Posted by Rufus on 23/4/2009 at 17:19

There are no flights to Phonsavan. Look for Xieng Khouan. I am not sure if you can fly there from Pakse. 25 minute flight from Vientiane though.

#6 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 978
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Posted by seagypsy on 1/5/2009 at 06:44

Lao Airlines offers flights to Xieng Khouang/ Phonsavan but they discontinued their regular flights between Phonsavan and Luang Prabang due to a lack of demand. During the peak season, however, they do fly once per week. Oh, and as Rufus posted, no direct flights betwix Phonsavan/XK and Pakse. YOu have to connect via Vieng Chang.

#7 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136

Posted by PeterM on 11/5/2009 at 16:36

Hi Guys,

We are in the process of organizing our Laos trip and plan to hire a private minivan tour from Luang Prabang to Phonsavan (leaving Fri Nov 13 for 6 hr trip),2nd day do Plain of Jars tour, 3rd day local tour before afternoon flight out to Vientiane (Sun Nov 15)- We could use someone else to help share cost of minivan - I guess you could go back to Luang Prabang withteh mini van - ANYBODY INTERESTED

#8 PeterM has been a member since 26/4/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 17
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