Photo: Hat Sa boat landing.

How to get to and from Hat Sa

Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Hat Sa.


The bus to Hat Sa departs Phongsali’s small “Hat Sa bus station” in the morning at 08:00 (15,000 kip), arriving at Hat Sa around 09:30, in time for passengers to catch the 10:30 boat in the direction of Muang Khua. The bus route then goes to the small boat landing above Dam 6 before returning to Hat Sa to pick up passengers and returns to Phongsali.

The bus departs Hat Sa for Phongsali at 11:00, 15:30. Costs 15,000 kip and takes 1.5 hours. The afternoon bus usually waits for the boat arriving from Muang Khua.

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From Hat Sa to Muang Khua, it is no longer possible to travel the entire length by boat. Instead it’s about a 3-hour boat trip from Hat Sa down the Nam Ou to Dam 5. There, a songthaew waits to shuttle passengers to Ban Samphan village, arriving around 13:30. At 14:00, there’s a songthaew to Muang Khua.

Hat Sa to Dam 5: boat departs at 10:30. Costs 85,000 kip per person and takes 3 hrs. A surcharge will apply if there are not enough passengers—this is a real possibility during the low tourist season. Bicycles can be taken on the boat for extra.

Dam 5 to Ban Samphan: songthaew costs 10,000 kip per person.

Ban Samphan to Muang Khua: songthaew departs 14:00. Costs 50,000 kip per person and takes 2.5 hrs.

To avoid the noise from the motor at the back of the boat, sit closer to the front and/or bring ear plugs. Having something to use as a cushion for the hard wooden bench is also a good idea. In the winter months, layer up as it can be extremely cold with the wind rushing through.

Above Dam 6 (upriver from Hat Sa), boats service the small villages along the river but there is nowhere for travellers to stay up there. Amazing Lao Travel in Phongsali does guided treks in this area. See trekking in Phongsali for more details.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Hat Sa? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Laos.

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