Anybody know the domestic airfare for this route on Lao Airlines? We are thinking of a way to skip the 2 day boat trip to Luang Prabang as it is eating into our itinerary and not particularly keen on a boat trip for 2 days. Are there other modes of travel which may cut short the travelling time? ie By road, or a combination of river and road?
#1 anandgrafiti has been a member since 13/5/2009. Posts: 21
I just googled Laos airlines because I didn't even know there was an airport in Houay Xai. According to the domestic flight schedule on there they only do the Houay Xai - Vientiane route.
While there are no flights from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang (only via Vientiane ), where are you now (or to be)?
Reason, coz if you are at (say) Chiang Mai , I dare say you can fly Chiang Mai > Bangkok > Luang Prabang more cheaply than Huay Xai > Vientiane > Luang Prabang.
For the various options that may be available to you on low cost carriers, go try:
Or you can fly Chiang Mai direct to Luang Prabang. Costs about £90 one way, so not cheap.
I've looked at this route in case the Nagi of Mekong 2 day boat trip is a non-starter. (I am hopeful, but the company doesn't exacttly exude confidence).
But is there any other way to reach luang prabang by road in a day? I intend to be at chiang mai first and then go to Hueixai.
#5 anandgrafiti has been a member since 13/5/2009. Posts: 21
SHORT ANSWER - NO!!!.
Chaing Mai > Chiang Khong > Huay Xai: 5 - 6 hours on VIP bus.
Huay Xai > Pak Beng > Luang Prabang: 2 days on boat.
Huay Xai > Luang Nam Tha > Luang Prabang: 2 days in buses (though you get some time in Luang Nam Tha as the bus arrives around 4pm, and departs around 9:30am).
So, definitely 2 days from Huay Xai. Did you consider the air option & explore pricing?
Hope this helps.
I have read at the nagi of Mekong thread from you that there are tons to do at Luang Namtha. Can you explain this route for me and give a rough itinerary? We intend to stay overnight at Chiang Khong first and then look for options to move to LP.
Can we stay overnight at Luang Namtha and start of to LP the next day morning/afternoon?
#8 anandgrafiti has been a member since 13/5/2009. Posts: 21
If you cross over into Huay Xai on the afternoon you arrive, then catch the fist morning bus from Huay Xai to Luang Nam Tha. I think it leaves at 9:30am (but be there bu 8:45 to secure a seat. It's also helpful to go to the bus station and buy a ticket the day before if you can [sometimes they sell, sometimes not, but they'll know you'll be there the next day), and takes about 5 - 7 hours (depending on stops. Despite comments elsewhere, the road has been built by Chinese and is good bitumen all the way to Boten (on the border).
The bus deposits ppl at the 'bus terminal' which is at old Nam Tha, and you must take a tuk-tuk to (new) Luang Nam Tha. The bus to Luang Prabang (via OudomXai) leaves from the same bus station. When you arrive, go book a ticket/s for when you want to leave. There is a VIP bus (small, hot and Mmmm) and the normal bus.
The road from LNM to OudomXai is steep, slow, but scenic. From OudomXai to Luang Prabang, it is better and faster, but still scenic.
Luang Nam Tha has many Guest Houses. We stayed at Zuela, and many travellers stay there. There's another popular one a couple of doors away at Manychan GH. At the back of Zuela are a couple of other GH. Near the market are even more.
Manychan has western style meals, so its popular with traveleers that don't like Lao food.
When I was there, opposite the Zuela and Manychan was a night market that served Lao food, Isan bbq chicken, beer, etc. It was scrumptious, and very popular with travellers interested in eating local cuisine.
We hired a motorbike from Zuela (but there are plenty of other outlets on the street) and wandered around the countryside.
Hope this helps.