I just got back from vacation in Laos and Vietnam. I have some information to share in case you want to try. It was a long route in 9 days: Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Luang Prabang - Phonsavan - Nhong Hat - Muang Xin - Vinh - Hai Phong - Halong - Hanoi.
We started from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train and from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang by plane, from Luang Prabang to Phonsavan by local bus (8 hrs) to see Plain of Jars. And from Phonsavan you can take a local bus or songtaew to Nhong Hat (3-4 hrs)to cross Vietnam border, from Vietname border the immigration police will offer you a taxi to Muang Xin which you'll have no choice and have to take it, it'll take around 25 mins (20 usd) and from Muang Xin you can take local bus to Vinh (6 hrs).
It's quite a difficult route but it's worth it ... while you're on the bus keep asking the local people on the bus to tell you where to get off to catch another bus to Hai Phong or Hanoi or even Danang. We got off in the middle of nowhere before get into center of Vinh and catched the bus to Hai Phong (7 hrs.). Hai Phong is one of the port for Vietnam and it's in the middle between Halong and Hanoi which is a great deal, we took 1.30 hrs to get to Halong Bay and the other day it took around 2 hrs. to Hanoi.
If you have more question, please bring it on!
#1 peachbanana has been a member since 27/8/2008. Posts: 6
Hi peach banana -- thanks for the report back -- much appreciated. That is a LOT to cover in nine days!
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,755
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Yes, it was a LOT to cover in nine days, but we did a good job and really enjoy. I think it'll be much better if we have a lot more time to spend in each place, anyway it was worth every penny and minutes!
#3 peachbanana has been a member since 27/8/2008. Posts: 6
Yours is the most recent postings on border crossing fr Laos-Vietnam. I am going in December and is still finding the best way to get across. Either Dien Bien Phu, Sam Neua or Phonsavan. Your posting certainly give me light to a somehow 'grey' feeling I have been having lately as the date of my travel gets nearer.
#4 sabwitch has been a member since 7/11/2008. Posts: 1
Glad my comment can help. If you have question about Phosavan to Vietnam, feel free to ask and have a great time!
#5 peachbanana has been a member since 27/8/2008. Posts: 6
Your post was exactly what i was looking for. We are looking to find the cheapest, easiest way from luang prabang to Hue. Would you reccomend the route via phosavan? how long did you actually spend on the road?
a day to phosavan then a day to vinh? we the boarder guards ok? i hear they can be rather grouchy!
#6 Keren21 has been a member since 10/12/2008. Posts: 3
Glad our crazy route can help. I am not sure about the route from Luang Prabang to Hue, but for Phonsavan to Vinh is actually take around 12 hours on the road. The boader guards were ok, but be careful when you pass Loas border via Nhong Hat ... you have to try looking for them to get your passport stamp, they weren't at the office when my bf and I passed the border and we didn't see the immigration office as well so you better be careful and look around for them, rather than that there is nothing to be worry about...I think we spent around almost 60 USD for 2 people through this route from Phonsavan to Vinh .
#7 peachbanana has been a member since 27/8/2008. Posts: 6
I can only see replies to your post but not your actual post :-)
Can you please direct me
#8 cassrose has been a member since 13/9/2009. Posts: 22