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Are there direct flights from Chiang Mai and or Chiang Rai to Laos?

Are there direct flights from Chiang Mai and or Chiang Rai to Laos?

Oct 31st, 2009, 01:01 PM
  #1  
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Are there direct flights from Chiang Mai and or Chiang Rai to Laos?

Does anyone know if there are any direct flights from Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang or Siem Reap?
We're starting in Bangkok; but, would rather avoid flying back to Bangkok between visits to Northern Thailand, Laos and Siem Reap.
Alternatively, would it be advisable to get a car and driver to transport us (two women) to Luang Prabang from the Golden Triangle area?
Pawleys is offline  
Oct 31st, 2009, 01:51 PM
  #2  
 
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Yes, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang on Lao Airlines, usually daily during the high season. Early afternoon, if memory serves.
None from Chiang RAI. And not aware of any direct flights between Mai and Reap.
And there are flights between Luang Prabang and Siem Reap too on Lao Airlies with Vietnam Airlines also code-sharing the Siem Reap TO Luang Prabang route.
A van transfer arranged in advance would run about U$150 from Huay Xai to Prabang.
Hope this helps.
seagypsy is offline  
Oct 31st, 2009, 02:48 PM
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But if you're going to be in the Chiang Rai area and want to head to Luang Prabang, you're only 2.5 hours away from the border-town of Chiang Khong where you can cross over the Mekong to Huay Xai with visa upon arrival. From Huay Xai, you're 4.5 hours away from Luang Namtha, one of the main trekking areas of Laos. And from Namtha, you're about 9 hours away from Luang Prabang by road. The road between Oudomxai and Pak Mong goes up along a ridgeline with quite a number of Hmong villages en route so it's quite scenic.
So, if you have some extra days, it's not a bad way to go via overland since from Chiang Rai, you're still 3 hours away by VIP bus from Chiang Mai to catch a flight to Prabang.

Anyways, I'll be leaving in a couple days for Laos and could double check on prices for you when I arrive in Luang Prabang.
seagypsy is offline  
Oct 31st, 2009, 08:58 PM
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Odd, I posted a response to you some time ago and now it has disappeared.

My suggestion was to take a boat down the Mekong to Luang Prabang. As seagypsy noted, from Chaing Rai, you can hire a car to Chiang Kong and catch a boat theredown the Mekong. Do a search here (or google) for Luangsay. This boat overnights at an eco-lodge on the way to Luang Prabang. it would be a much more relaxing trip than driving the whole way!
Kathie is offline  
Oct 31st, 2009, 10:14 PM
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Do the boat. I've done it upstream. Perfectly fine. Here's the site.

www.asian-oasis.com/Luang.html

seagypsy is correct, there are apparently direct flights on Lao - but a randon search on Skyscanner doesn't show any at all. They may be seasonal. Going via BKK will take minimum 5 hours air time ++.
dogster is offline  
Nov 1st, 2009, 02:06 AM
  #6  
 
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I've flown from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang and found the view from the air as we descended to Luang Prabang beautiful. I've also done the road trip via Luang Namtha and that is also recommended. (I took the local bus to Chiang Kong and VIP bus in Laos. Cost is negligible. From memory about 95,000 kip from Luang Namtha to Luang Prabang.) There were a reasonable number of westerners on the buses.
silverwool is offline  
Nov 1st, 2009, 09:44 AM
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Laos Airlines flies daily from Chiang Mai to LP in the afternoon. Cost is around $161. Their web site is http://www.laoairlines.com/

If you go by boat from the boarder of Chiang Khong/Huay Xai to LP you have 4 options.

First there is the luxury 2day/1night cruise that is very pricy at around $413 per person in high season. While enjoyable, comfortable and the lodgings good but not outstanding, it is way overpriced in my opinion. http://www.asian-oasis.com/Luang.html

Then there is the Nagi of Mekong boat which used to operate as a day boat but that has been suspended due to low water levels. It now offers a 2 or 3 day cruise. The 2 day cruise leaves on Sunday and Wednesday and cost is 4200 baht (around $125). The boat has upholstered reclining seats, lots of leg room, a spotless bathroom and excellent staff. They provide snacks, a meal and drinks. Just as good as the luxury boat with the exception of hotel accommodation which is 2 star. www.nagiofmekong.com

There is the cheap slow boat that also takes 2 days and cost around 1200 baht ($35) plus your accommodation. But it is not that comfortable on the hard seats so it is essential to bring some cushions in case none are provided. Also bring snacks as only beer and soft drinks can be purchased. This option is very popular with the young crowd.

The fast speedboat will get you there in a day (around 6+hrs) but it is considered quite dangerous. You certainly will need earplugs and you will not see much as it travels too fast. Not recommended.

If you have the time then as mentioned by seagypsy the land way is a great way to see the scenic north of Laos.
Scotters is offline  
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