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Visas and border crossings forum

hanoi to luang prabang

Posted by nickolt on 18/2/2011 at 22:53

Posted from within Vietnam.

Just wondering if anyone could give me a clear answer on this topic. My bf and I are wanting to get to Luang Prabang from Hanoi sometime around the 25th of Feb. We're having a hard time figuring out the safest overland route for this. Flying is a potential option if there doesnt seem a good way, however the cost is about 180 each, way over our budget so we would really prefer not to fly.

Is there a direct bus that does this route? I have heard stories from other travellers about bad border crossing experiences, and we bumped into a traveller the other day that mentioned they heard of a straight bus. Is this true ?

What is the fastest overland route there?

Thanks for any help.

#1 nickolt has been a member since 25/10/2010. Posts: 21

Posted by wanderingcat on 18/2/2011 at 23:34

"fastest overland route" is often an oxymoron in Laos...

AFAIK no direct bus between LPB & Hanoi, no matter what travel agents claim... But there is a twice weekly direct bus between LPB & Vinh.

more info on overland routes between LPB & Vietnam - see reply #1 here.

someone says here that they found a USD125 fare for LPB-Hanoi.

#2 wanderingcat has been a member since 21/10/2006. Posts: 730
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Posted by Captain_Bob on 20/2/2011 at 15:50

That $125 fare turned out to be 125 pounds (about $200)
Still you should be able to book a Lao Airlines flight a bit cheaper from a local travel agent (to Vientiane may be cheaper still).

"Straight bus" hehe there's no way to straighten an extremely curvy road. I would tend to dismiss any hearsay about "fastest overland" or "best bus" tales. Bite the bullet, pay the roughly $23 and plan to spend a good 24 hours inside a bus moving or otherwise sitting for ages at the border in the middle of nowhere with no explanation. Fun!
Or fork over the $180 and make it easy on yourselves.

#3 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,950

Posted by idreamofdurian on 20/2/2011 at 22:38 TF writer

Ditto what everyone else said. No easy/fast overland route. The road from Hanoi to Vientiane has earned the nickname "the bus from hell" on many of the SE Asia travel forums and takes 24 hours on a good day. Then from Vientiane to Luang Prabang it's a good 10 hours.

Either save up for the flight or break the bus trip up with a couple days in Vientane.

#4 idreamofdurian has been a member since 5/9/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 576
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