Hi, Im entering Laos at Vientiane and then wish to visit Luang Prabang before heading into Vietnam for Sapa, Hanoi and down to Hue and Hoi An - could as many people as possible please vote for which is best journey into Vietnam?
1) LP to Sapa through DBP border crossing
2) LP to Hanoi through Sam Neua border crossing
3) Vientiane to Vinh through Cau Treo border crossing (although this would cause lots of going back on myself)
Any issues with any of these journies, please let me know!! Speed would be great but a slower yet more interesting journey would be fine, as long as I get there!
#1 lcreller has been a member since 2/1/2009. Posts: 4
Route 1 would get my vote -- it's more timeconsuming, but from what I've heard, absolutely spectacular. Also makes sense given your route in Vn and minimises your backtracking.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,644
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I'd vote for Sam Nua never having done any of them. I like the hills and you would go through a lot more of them than by just heading up to Muang Khua to do the DBP crossing. I'd break up the journey.
On this one, I'd not be taking votes as to which journey.
I've been on the DBP - Sapa road and its wonderful. But, I used private transport, When you read the various reports, the bus from DBP to Sapa can be tedious. But, having said that, there IS a bus route from LP to Sapa (albeit slow, and limited in services).
On the other hand, there are reports on travelfish that buses aren't too frequent from the VN border when travelling through Sam Neua.
Perhaps the simplest (from the reports) is the southern route - but with little to see or do.
For me, I'd do the northern route. I'd investigate whether I could go upstream from LP to Muang Khua, then bus it from there (on the scheduled day) to DBP.
But, if you're going to Luang Nam Tha for scenery / trekking, then it'd have to be bus back to Muang Khua.
If you do go DBP - Sapa, try and spend an overnight at Lai Chao to enjoy local hospitality and break the journey.