Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

3 weeks in Laos for the solo traveller - suggested itinerary

Posted by saxomophone on 13/1/2009 at 12:40

Hi all,

I'm heading to South East Asia for a 4 month trip covering Singapore, Malaysia (peninsula), Vietnam (HCMC and Mekong Delta only), Cambodia, Laos, China and Mongolia.

My original plan was to cross over into Laos overland from Cambodia and work my way up through the country, beginning in the 4000 Islands and taking in Pakse, Tha Kaek and the Konglor Caves, Ventiane, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang (and probably more once I do more research!).

But I am starting to think (with a lot of help from the tips on the site and forum) that this is ambitious and probably a bit too much to cover.

Any tips on a more concentrated but still interesting itinerary, perhaps focusing on just the north or south?

Another option would be to just see a couple of things in the south (4000 Islands and Pakse) for just a few days and then fly from Pakse to Ventiane to spend 2-2.5 weeks in the north.

I will be travelling solo, so while I would desperately love to get off the beaten track as much as possible, there is only so much I can manage as a lot of great places sound like they are best tackled in couples/groups (save for meeting like-minded travellers along the way). I can always go back to really delve into the more remote and challenging places!

I plan to travel on to Yunnan, China next so I'd like to take a route that is cognisant of that next step.

Thanks :)

#1 saxomophone has been a member since 13/1/2009. Posts: 13

Posted by saxomophone on 13/1/2009 at 12:48

Just to calrify, I have three weeks set aside for Laos.

I would also consider flying from Siem Reap straight to Ventiane and skipping the south altogether (but saving it for another trip).

#2 saxomophone has been a member since 13/1/2009. Posts: 13


Posted by somtam2000 on 14/1/2009 at 07:08 admin

Hi saxomophone,

With three weeks in Laos, I'd say that sergment of your plan is pretty reasonable. You could break it up something like:
4000 islands 4 nights
Pakse 2 nights
Tha Khaek/Kong Lor 3 nights
Vientiane 3 nights
Vang Vieng 3 nights
Luang Prabang 4 nights

and then some more suggestions (as you're heading to China)
Nong Kiaow or Muang Ngoi 3 nights
Udomxai 1 night & transit to China

I'd say you have enough time not to need to fly...

Hope that helps!

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,566
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Posted by saxomophone on 14/1/2009 at 15:08

I have a tentative itinerary based around northern Laos that I'd likie some feedback on if people are willing!?

- Fly from Siem Reap to Vientiane (2-3 days)

- Vang Vieng for 2 days then loop back to Vientiane

- bus to Phonasavan (2-3 days)

- Bus to Sam Neua (2-3 days)

- Bus to Luang Prabang (2-3 days)

- bus to Nong Khiaow (sic) and then boat onto Muang Ngoi (3 days in that region)

- Bus onto Phongsali /Hat Sa region (2-3 days)

- bus to Udomxai as transit to Luang Nam Tha region (5 days? trekking exploring etc) before border crossing to CHina.

I've definitely onyl got about 21 days to play with so might need to cut something out (perhaps Phongsali or Sam Neua ). Any thoughts on the least sacrifice?

This is just a general point to point route and I would welcome any suggestions on unmissable places that I can reach doing this route (and am I missing anything in the north that I shouldn't?).

Nature, culture, bumpy bus/boat rides, wats (up to a point) are all interests for me on this trip so fire away!

#4 saxomophone has been a member since 13/1/2009. Posts: 13

Posted by Rufus on 14/1/2009 at 15:32

Are you going to the Konglor caves? They are worth seeing. Travelfish has info on them.

#5 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973


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