Bus from Vientiane to Luang Prabang

Jan 7th, 2009, 06:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 90
Bus from Vientiane to Luang Prabang

Dear all,

How does one make sure to find the fast bus from Vientiane to LP? I seem to hear you might accidentally take a local bus that stops a million times and is very slow.

I don't mind stopping in Vang Vien overnight, heard about a french hotel somewhere close to one of the three caves? Any idea its name?

weiwei22 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I was talking to the driver we hired for the day in LP and he had just returned from a trip to Vientiane. He said it took him over 10 hours driving non stop as fast as the road would permit - bad roads! You sure you don't want to fly instead?
Hanuman is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 08:11 AM
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The roads may be bad, but the scenery is great! Sorry, weiwei, can't help with your question, I was with a group. Breaking the journey in Vang Vieng is a good idea, even though it is super-touristy.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 03:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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The best bus is the vip one - see here for some information http://www.travelfish.org/transport/.../vientiane/all

Also see the forums on travelfish and thorntree which have more information about bus travel.

If you go to the morning market or to one of the travel agencies you'll be able to get tickets and information.
MaryW is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 03:53 PM
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Just go to the bus station. I've never been pointed towards the local bus. The VIP bus will have a sign on it. Just remember that on Laotian roads 'slow is good'.

While I do not want to alarm you, there is a possibility that there will be an armed guard on the bus for part of the trip north of Vang Vieng.

The scenery is spectacular you will experience a lot more of the country than flying. Vang Vieng is worth a stop.
silverwool is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 09:02 PM
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Thank you everyone for your input. I checked the travelfish site, incredible details! which makes me wonder if I am able to catch the VIP bus at all, since my plane lands in Vientiane at 14:00pm and there's only one VIP bus per day departing at 8am.

Does anyone know if the VIP and Express Bus destination LP would make a stop at Vang Vien and let us take just part of the journey?
weiwei22 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 09:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Why not just take a bus from Vientiane to Vang Vieng and then another to Luang Prabang. I think I paid about $7.50US equivalent for a mini bus going the other way from Vang Vieng to Vientiane (and there were several on the day). Its a very cheap way to travel.

I did the other leg via Phonsovan and the Plain of Jars so can't help with the latter section to LP.

Just a word of warning, Laotians suffer from motion sickness and there tends to be a fair bit of vomiting on the bus. Its not a big issue as the bus boys hand out plastic bags to the locals at the start of the trip. I felt more sorry for them than anything else!
silverwool is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,126

Yes the scenery is fantastic. It would be a great shame to miss it.

I took the VIP bus both ways. Leaves at 0800 in both directions, and arrives c. 1700. It stops at Vang Vien and at a roadside eatery (with loos) for a good half an hour at lunchtime.

There are loads of travel agents in Vientiane and LP who display lists of fares and destinations outside on a billboard. They will be able to sell you a ticket (much more convenient than going to the bus station just to get one). A day in advance worked for me.

Don't forget to take a jacket or something warm on board as they run the a/c on max and it's COLD!


afterall is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 01:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 441
Something else I thought of. The bus will probably depart at the time the bus driver thinks it is. Not the time you think it is. That time is irrelevant. I've been on buses in Laos that have left an hour late and half an hour early.

Its all good fun though. I loved Laos and would like to go back but so many places to visit!

silverwool is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 04:58 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 90
You are so thoughtful with your suggestions... thank you!!!

I have decided to take it slow, stay the night at Vientiane and take the next morning 8am bus.

Regarding the way back, how does the trip work with the plain of jars? I assume you stay the night there? Are there hotels? Isn't it a very long trip from Plain of Jars to Vientiane?

weiwei22 is offline  
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