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Bus travel Luang Prabang to Xishuangbanna. Anyone?

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May 1st, 2016, 04:30 PM
  #1
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Bus travel Luang Prabang to Xishuangbanna. Anyone?

Thought of taking the bus from Laos to China, a 24 hr journey, but would like any comments on safety, comfort (sleeper beds?), bumpiness of road, etc. Not worried about cost. Will be departing from Chiang Mai, T'land, probably fly to LB thence onwards towards China.

Frankly, would prefer to travel across Myanmar to China, crossing at Takiliek, Myanmar and bus to Keng Tung and beyond but have heard stories of closed roads, military escorts, field guides only, etc. So that route is (probably) out.

Am keen to visit Yunnan, esp the nature preserve at Xishuangbanna. Sure could fly CM to Kunming, but how boring.
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May 3rd, 2016, 12:35 AM
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Have you considered a boat up the Mekong from N. Thailand to Jinghong? I've gone the other way, arriving in Chiang Saen (if I recall correctly). First time I was there to go south by boat to Luang Prabang and standing on the bank on the Thai side saw Chinese freight boats unloading. Next trip I found a passenger boat from Jinghong going south to Thailand after intending to find one of the freight boats. But water levels were low so would have had to go downstream a few miles. Anyway, you may very well be able to arrange a ride going north to Yunnan on one of the freight boats going back. It would'nt be something you could arrange in advance but on a person to person basis. I'm still sorry I didn't do it. But did others so can't feel too bad.
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May 3rd, 2016, 01:21 AM
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It occurs to me that you could also travel from LP all the way to Jinghong by boat (in theory) if you were up for the challange. It sounds like you are. First leg would be a"luxury" boat (Luang Say) from LP, 2 days with an overnight midway. Could also be done on freight boat, to northern Laos. Cross to Thailand and look for a Chinese freight boat going north from Chiang Saen to Jinghong or nearby. 2 days north to Chiang Saen then give yourself 2 or 3 north to Jinghong in case you have to wait for a boat that will take you from there. Having done 3 of those, it's a fun way to go if not always 1st class.
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May 3rd, 2016, 03:50 PM
  #4
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Thanks for those ideas, Mme Perdue. I can speak some Mandarin, can offer US dollars, can use chopsticks, have traveled by boat (across the Pacific), so worth looking into. My trip will start early July and by then maybe some rain will fall and raise the level of the Mekong.
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