Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

4,000 Islands - worth it?

Posted by jennigun on 15/2/2013 at 22:17

My boyfriend and I are spending 2 months in SEA, focused in Thailand. We are planning to spend a week in Northern Laos and Cambodia as well, and we are trying to work out the logistics of getting from Vientiane to Phnom Penh. After doing some research, we are leaning towards flying - we were considering bussing down to see 4000 Islands, but the information about 4000 Islands on this website made it seem less then appealing. We are not fans of crowded or overdeveloped places. Is 4000 Islands ...

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Viewed 8,931 times, with 5 replies. Last reply by ragbird on 3/3/2013 at 22:23

Burn season-Is it happening everywhere?

Posted by Gypsyeyedjester on 2/3/2013 at 02:18

Hello! I am traveling in Thailand right now and everywhere I have been in the north is extremely smokey and I am finding it unbearable. I had planned on going to Laos and Cambodia but if it is smokey there too I think I must leave SE Asia. Does anyone know what the air quality is like in these countries? Thanks! ...

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Viewed 1,393 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by Rufus on 3/3/2013 at 22:03

Northern Laos, the rivers and the Chinese effect.

Posted by Bowner on 8/2/2013 at 21:11

So what's the story with the Chinese and the dams up North? I was in Phongsali the last couple of days. Went for a wander out to some villages and when we popped over the top of one of the hills we found a scene of apocalypse! Diggers pulling apart the hillside, sticking it into trucks and dumping it down the bank presumably to improve the road. I've heard talk about the plan to build around 7 dams on the Mekong/Nam Ou but seeing it close up seems pretty scary. One minute we were seeing villag ...

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Viewed 2,647 times, with 45 replies. Last reply by somtam2000 on 2/3/2013 at 17:47

Decent hostels in Vientiane

Posted by jamesdueeast on 25/2/2013 at 22:10

Hey, I'm looking for some decent and highly-recommended hostels in Vientiane ? I've heard horrible reviews of Vientiane Backpackers Hostel and Funky Monkey and they seem to be the only ones bookable online. If I can get names and addresses of others recommended, I don't mind finding them once I get there. I'd like to stay for a couple of days where I can get help and info on booking onward trips to places like Tham Kong Lo caves, Dong Phou Vieng and then onward to Pakse. I'm also looking fo ...

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Viewed 1,946 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by JaiYen88 on 27/2/2013 at 18:05

Laos/China border crossing

Posted by tj88 on 2/2/2011 at 14:15

Hi, I just have a quick question. I am currently in China and am about to head to Laos. I am going from Kunming to Laos on a bus. I was wondering how you pay the border crossing. Will they accept Chinese money? If not, will I be able to use some kind of ATM at the border crossing? I don't want to get there and then realize I can't pay the entry visa fee. Thanks. ...

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Viewed 5,083 times, with 5 replies. Last reply by tj88 on 21/2/2013 at 22:29

Sending packages to Laos

Posted by allskillbill on 15/12/2009 at 03:13

I'd like to send some items to a family member in Laos and was wondering if this is going to be to costly. We were planning to ship some items home from Laos but decided to check in with luggage after learning it was going to cost $150 for 6.2kg. If anyone has experience with shipping items to Laos, can you please share any advice for dependability and so I don't brake the bank. Thanks! ...

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Viewed 4,092 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by jamesdueeast on 20/2/2013 at 23:34

Getting from Vietiane to Kong Lo cave?

Posted by Badgerboyjon on 5/2/2013 at 04:44

Hi guys Massive apologies if this has been asked before, I have looked and can't find the exact answer I need so here goes... We are currently in Vientiane and have to stay here to sort an extended Thai Visa for later in the trip. We really don't want to stay here any longer than we have to so wanted to try and get to Kong Lo or Ban Khoun Kam after we have picked up our visa (which we can only do between 1-3 in the afternoon.) We have asked around and there is only one direct bus to Kong L ...

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Viewed 3,603 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by altmtl on 16/2/2013 at 21:56

How bad is weather in Vietnam in late May?

Posted by nicolad93 on 8/2/2013 at 06:01

I will be travelling Thailand and Vietnam between March and April but I can't decide whether to spend an extra month in May seeing Laos, especially if the weather is starting monsoon season! Has anyone done this and could tell me what the weather is usually like? Thanks! ...

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Viewed 1,587 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by TravelingDave on 15/2/2013 at 11:53

Pak Beng to Nan Update

Posted by LaoNow on 10/1/2011 at 12:53

On the slow boat trip from Pak Beng to Huay Xai last week I met a couple travelers who had the boat stop and drop them off at the Mekong ferry crossing about 40 minutes upstream from Pak Beng. They were headed to Nan and hoping to get a hitchhike lift from the ferry crossing to Muang Ngeun near the border. Seems like a great way to do the trip since there is no public transport out of Pak Beng. If enough of us start doing this maybe the songtaew drivers in Muang Ngeun will start waiting for th ...

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Viewed 3,771 times, with 4 replies. Last reply by Captain_Bob on 15/2/2013 at 08:53

Currency - Travelling Vietnam to Laos

Posted by laydeesian on 3/2/2013 at 07:59

I'm currently in Vietnam and will be travelling into Laos by land next week from Sapa - Dien Bien Phu - Maung Khua - Luang Prabang. From what I have read I don't think I will find any ATMs in Laos before Luang Prabang. Is that correct? What currency should I take into Laos and where can I exchange it after crossing the border? I've been told that you can't get US dollars in Vietnam, is that correct? ...

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Viewed 1,679 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by mooball on 6/2/2013 at 06:15

Motorcycle in Phonsavan

Posted by thinkstopthink on 6/2/2013 at 00:16

Hi, Anyone have an idea roughly what a motorcycle rents for in Phonsavan? Can you get a better deal if you rent for 3-5 days? Searched, but couldn't find what I was looking for. Also, since I'm going to be leaving several days before dawn (before the rental shops are open) has anyone had luck renting the bike for multiple days and returning it at the end (as opposed to every night?) Thanks! Jon ...

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Viewed 1,492 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by thinkstopthink on 6/2/2013 at 02:17

Would it be crazy to go to Nong Kiau for just one night?

Posted by glomer on 15/9/2010 at 01:18

We have a night's gap in our bookings for LP and I was wondering if heading up to Nong Kiau for a night would be worth considering. I know the boat trip is 8ish hours and the return road trip about half that, but I understand the river scenery is beautiful. Unfortunately, we'd have very little time in the village itself...any thoughts? ...

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Viewed 2,903 times, with 17 replies. Last reply by busylizzy on 5/2/2013 at 20:56

Escaping the hoards?

Posted by Bowner on 28/1/2013 at 04:02

Ok so I arrived in Vientiane a couple of weeks ago and after a brief stop in Van Vieng, which I found to be way too touristy (although I did enjoy 2 days out on a scooter in the countryside) I'm now in Luang Prebang and enjoying it. But, I feel like for the rest of the trip I want to get off the track a bit and head away from the hoards a bit. I've been to the Buddha caves and to the waterfalls and both were pretty packed with tourists and I've felt a bit disappointed in some respects. The alm ...

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Viewed 2,098 times, with 26 replies. Last reply by MADMAC on 5/2/2013 at 11:46

Maps of the Plain of Jars

Posted by thinkstopthink on 5/2/2013 at 03:53

I was curious what maps are available in Phonsavan. I like the maps here: But if I understand correctly, the POJ maps are not for sale. I'm going to email them to be sure. Thanks! Jon ...

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Viewed 1,243 times, with no replies.

Mac Friendly Unitel Store in Vientiane?

Posted by thinkstopthink on 5/2/2013 at 01:51

Hi, I'd like to get a 3g USB Modem for my Mac laptop and a SIM card for my iPhone. Can anyone recommend a Unitel store in Vientiane that won't give me a blank stare when I pull out my laptop and phone? Thanks! Jon ...

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Viewed 1,063 times, with no replies.

Laos Travel/Itinerary Advice

Posted by jennigun on 2/2/2013 at 21:26

Hello, My boyfriend and I are twenty-something backpackers who are planning our first trip to South East Asia. We plan to spend the majority of our time in Thailand, but would also like to explore Northern Laos and Cambodia. We will be in the area for 2 months (May and June) and are planning to roughly follow one of the itineraries on travelfish ( The map at the bottom is really helpful for understanding our plan. We will not be vi ...

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Viewed 1,218 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by exacto on 2/2/2013 at 21:51

Laos travel advice

Posted by Sekelly89 on 30/1/2013 at 08:09

Hello! I was hoping to get some specifics on some alternative transport options from luang probang along the nam ou river? Boats, buses, something else? And what would the rice ranges be? Any info would be appreciated! Thanks! ...

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Viewed 1,394 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by mooball on 2/2/2013 at 21:43

Nan Province to Pak Beng to Luang Prabang

Posted by 2ndPathToRight on 22/1/2013 at 10:24

Hello. First time poster. I am currently living and teaching in Nan province, Thailand. My contract is up February 28th, 2013 and I want to travel to Luang Prabang by slow boat, but want to use the closer border crossing of Nam Ngen (I've seen it spelled different ways) to Pak Beng and then do the one day slow boat to Luang Prabang. From there, the dreaded 24 hour bus ride to Hanoi, Vietnam. First off, does anyone have any information on getting to Pak Beng from Nan? And information about th ...

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Viewed 7,047 times, with 5 replies. Last reply by mooball on 2/2/2013 at 21:43

Travelling SaPa to Chiang Mai through Laos - Best Route?

Posted by laydeesian on 28/1/2013 at 11:22

I am travelling from SaPa to Chiang Mai via Luang Prabang next month. I have about 9 days to make the journey (including spending 3-4 days in Luang Prabang) and am considering 2 different options and would like your thoughts on which of these would be best? Or if there is another route you would recommend? Option 1 - Train from SaPa to Hanoi - fly to Luang Prabang - slow boat to Huay Xai - side trip to Nam Ha NP - bus to Chiang Mai Option 2 - Bus from SaPa to Dien Bien Phu - bus to Muan ...

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Viewed 2,192 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by mooball on 2/2/2013 at 21:37

Flights Luang Prabang to Siem Reap - April 2013

Posted by rashers on 26/1/2013 at 19:29

I'm working on an itinerary for my family (2 adults, 3 boys - 11,13,16) and I've got as far as LP (coming from Hanoi) and was hoping to fly to SR on 2/4, but having desperate difficulty finding flights. Happy to go via Vientiane (or even Phnom Penh, Chiang Mai if needs be), but nothing appears available, if I use Other sites like make it look like there are flights available (can they be trusted?)?! Because of the kids, wanted to keep an itinerary that was as fl ...

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Viewed 1,840 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by rashers on 1/2/2013 at 14:36

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