Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

travel from north Laos to the southern Border

Posted by lozza1978 on 27/6/2009 at 02:27


Thank you for stopping by.

I would like some advice and a little guidance on my travel plan :-)

for those of you who are willing to help me thanks in advance.

Ill be arriving in Bangkok and working by way north to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chiang Kong, crossing the border to Huray Xai and then taking the slow boat to Luang Prabang(I have this route sorted thanks to this site(Many Thanks))

ill be heading north again to Vang Vieng for some tubing and chill out time.

from Vang Vieng I plan to travel to Savannakhet(1st question how long is the bus journey between these two places? and is it easy enough to find a bus? how much will the bus cost etc..)

from there I intend to travel to Si Phan Don, but again I cannot find much info on this and am a little hesitant..again!! is the bus easy to find, the cost of the journey etc..(Any links would be much appreciated )

from Si Phan Don, I want to enter Cambodia and go Phnom Penh ...(journey times, costs, visa costs etc) any useful info would be appreciated.

I havent got any plans from Phnom Penh yet - its hard to sort out,

I just wanted some advice on my trip south from Vang Vieng, the cost and the time frame involved in traveling by bus.

and also how to get back to Bangkok for a flight home when im ready to return.

I have worked out ill have £3500 cash spending + credit cards from Bangkok and want to make my cash stretch as much as possible as see as much of Asia as possible.

Im in no rush, and dont mind taking it slow, I have told my Work that im leaving, and I have been offered a job when I return, when ever that will be.(I explained that I dont know how long Ill be I just need to get away)

Ive recently broken/split from a long term relationship(3 yrs) and this is my time to sort my head out.

any advice would be highly appreciated.

thanks for checking in.


#1 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32

Posted by somtam2000 on 27/6/2009 at 06:58 admin

Hi Lozza78,

Most of the info you're after is on the site - here's some links to get you started:

For Vang Vieng to Savannakhet you need to transit through Vientiane - most likely overnight.
Vang Vieng transport
Vientiane transport

Onwards to Si Phan Don, you need to go via Pakse -- again see the transport sections in the relevant sections.

Overland to Phnom Penh from Si Phan Don is covered here.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by BruceMoon on 27/6/2009 at 07:57


Is there something you particularly want to see/do in Chiang Rai. Now that there is a fast direct bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong (VIP - 5 hrs), many tourists use that instead.

As for flight details, I get the feeling that even you are unsure where you'll be when you want to fly. Try looking at:

It shows the discount airlines for your selected routes.

Another is to look at (and don't discount flying to KL as a means to save money).


#3 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by mikethediver on 28/6/2009 at 10:33

Hi There,
The trip is easy. I am sitting in Kratie , Cambodia having done the same.
From Vang Vieng there are buses everywhere. We went 'directly'to Paske. Which is a bus to Vientiane about an hours wait and then a sleeper bus (never seen one before, but it has beds - no seats!). It cost 220,000 Kip. Once at Paske, another bus leaves after about an hour to the 4,000 islands - 55,000 Kip and drops you at the pier.
The boat trip is a rip off at 15,000 Kip to Don Det or a staggering 30,000 Kip to Don Khon. (Don't go to Don Khon! Better food and cheaper accommodation is on Don Det and there is a bridge between them which cost 9,000 kip to cross). Both islands can be walked around in a day.

The border crossing is easy. Cambodia visa is 1,000 Baht, 250,000 kip. or reluctanly $25 US. From Don Det buses run to Kratie, where I am, Phon Penn or Siam Reap. Beware!!! The journey to Siam Reap will, (after long delays at the border and at Kratie caused by the drivers), have you arriving there at midnight, much too late to look for accommodation - I think it is a scam acutally. Also, most people were sold tickets with an overnight stop in a mini bus. Once over the border for an extra $5 they will transfer you to VIP bus to make the journey in one go. Some people claimed to have paid for a VIP bus already, but still paid the extra and could not have arrived in SR before midnight and left Kratie still in the mini bus. They tried to talk us out of going to Kratie!!

If you like 'real'Cambodis then Kratie isnt bad and the hotels and fine & cheap and the food is much better than Don Det as well! Then a 7.30 bus runs to Saim Reap for $10 including, supposedly, the tuk tuk fare to a guest house of your choice! And you arrive in the afternoon not midnight.

Laos is all in Kip for everything except the visa. ATM s despense maximum of 700,000 kip at a time costing 20,000 fee, but you can draw twice a day. Best rate for money exchange is the banks.
It's a great trip! Enjoy,

#4 mikethediver has been a member since 23/3/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 206
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