Getting there & away
Most buses now leave from the new bus station, which is about 4km west of town. The relocation from the old bus station has been slow, but there’s a good chance that everything will have moved by the time you read this.
Most long-distance buses depart between 7.30am and 8am.
Daily buses run between Phonsavan and Sam Neua (US$7, eight to 10 hours, two daily) along Rte 7 and Rte 6.
Buses head daily to Vientiane (ordinary, US$9, 11 hours, 9.30am and 4pm; VIP, US$10, 11 hours, 7.30am), Vang Vieng (ordinary, US$7.50, six hours, 7.15am; VIP US$10, six hours, 7.30am) and Luang Prabang (ordinary, US$8.50, 10 hours, 8.30am; VIP, US$9.50, 10 hours, 8.30am).
Phonsavan is linked with Paksan in Bolikhamsai Province by a road in deplorable condition –especially south of Tha Thom (102km from Phonsavan). There is, however, a daily bus to Paksan (US$8, 8am).
There are public buses and sǎwngthǎew to Muang Kham (US$2, two hours, four daily), Muang Sui (US$2, one hour, three daily) and Nong Haet (US$2, four hours, four daily).
Other destinations include Lat Khai (Plain of Jars site 3; US$1, 30 minutes, one daily) and Muang Khoun (US$2, 30 minutes, six daily).
Lao Airlines (212027), located next to the Lao Development Bank, flies to/from Vientiane (one way/return US$53/101, daily except Tuesday and Thursday) and to/from Luang Prabang (one way/return US$40/77, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday).