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Scenery around Luang Prabang

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Here is what I want to know: Could we see some of that great scenery south of LP if we hired a driver in LP and asked to be driven maybe 1.5 hours south? Or, is the best scenery even further south than that? I should add in that we are booked into Nong Kiau north of LPP for three nights (this is as many nights as I could find to book at a semi-decent place to stay in NK), so if that area has equivalent or even better scenery we 'd be fine and wouldn't go south in search of scenery.

We'd thought we'd do the typical Vientiane/Vang Vieng/Luang Prabang route by road mainly so we could see the scenery between VV and LP. We are running into problems with finding semi-decent lodging in VV since all of the semi-okay (to us) places are fully booked. We didn't realize how much Chinese New Year would impact bookings for people who want to book only 4 to 5 days ahead.
Plus, the busses between these destinations aren't sounding all that great. Although I haven't personally gotten any price quotes, I assume a private driver for the trip from Vientiane to LP would be quite pricey. So, I think we've decided to just skip the entire idea and fly from Vientiane to LP.

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