By bus from Luang Prabang to Vientiane
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Oct 9, 2012 8:15 AM Last Post By: wanderingstraycat
Oct 7, 2012 10:15 PM
Oct 7, 2012 10:28 PM
1It's about 6-8 hours from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng (very hilly and windy), then about 4 hours from Vang Vieng to Vientiane. That stretch of road is relatively straight and flat but is till pretty rough. Either leg could easily take longer, depending on the road conditions. It also depends which type of bus you take.
The local buses are very bumpy and can be very crowded - 3 to a seat, little plastic 'kiddy' seats in the aisle. If you get travel sickness, take your medication so it kicks in before you leave.
Oct 8, 2012 2:15 AM
21. All day and part of the night.
Timings as per #2.
The scenery's impressive but it's a testing day if you do it in a one-er. (I broke the journey at VV heading north and flew back coming south). Once you've booked and paid you haven't much control over the age/size of the bus you get, or when it leaves etc. It's metalled road all the way but it's in bad condition in places and tough on bus suspension. I'd try and get a seat as far forward as you can.
Oct 8, 2012 2:38 AM
3The first few hours out of Luang Prabang are the most scenic, rugged mountains, jungle, windy road. They hand out empty plastic shopping bags as you get on the bus, and it's that first section where the locals are filling their shopping bags. If time isnt a problem, have a stop over in Vang Vieng, its an OK littles town on the river and set up with backpacker style restuarants, etc. Even worth a day sight seeing the caves etc around the town if you're not into the booze and river activities.
Oct 8, 2012 3:01 AM
4It takes about 10 hours, it is pretty smooth but a bit hilly in parts. I did not like the VIP buses found the Express buses to be much more comfortable and a bit cheaper. Busy road so can take longer, there was an accident and we were near to it and could get past in a minivan but buses were stuck for an hour or 2. Best scenery I would say is north of VV for about 2 hours until junction with Phonsavan road.
Oct 8, 2012 3:20 AM
5take local bus as widows higher than minivans and also open for that photo opportunity as said 6hrs Luam Phrabang to Vang Vienne stoppover, here as it is very beautiful and if taking the overnight buses you miss the fantastic views through Pou Khoum down to Kasi so take early am bus from Vang V the are buses leave 530am from the main road at the old bus station you can stop them other side of the runway no need to go to northern bus station by tuk tuk gets into Vientianne around 9:30 to 10:30am
Oct 8, 2012 3:51 AM
Oct 8, 2012 5:14 PM
Oct 8, 2012 6:30 PM
8I took a bus that was scheduled to leave Vientiane at 8pm. Left at 10pm and after everybody was aboard, they then loaded the bus full of cargo. I ended up with a huge sack of plastic kitchenware on my lap and a 10-sheet bundle of gypsum board leaning against my seat.
The fog was impenetrable and we pitched blindly through the hills all night. Every time we stopped, we'd offload some cargo and the level of cargo in the bus lowered like the waterline of a draining tub. My kitchenware was delivered to some household in the middle of nowhere; I had kind of gotten used to it. We got to Luang Prabang about dawn.
Oct 8, 2012 9:27 PM
9And the day time buses are just as much fun malvolio Ha! Ha! I arrived Vang Vieng the day everyone was struggling to escape because of the shootings in 2003, before then they wouldn't even stop at Poh Khoum and all the bus drivers had guns. A few days later they shot the driver of the bus in front of us on our way to Ponsivon. I've slept on oil cans in the aisle on night bus from Nong Khiaw, the girl I was travelling with slept across the bus dashboard behind the steering wheel. Not quite EU health and safety issues here lol
Oct 9, 2012 1:17 AM
10Minivans are faster, but if you're prone to motion sickness stay away. I generally prefer the buses. The minivans can get pretty cramped, and if you are unlucky you'll get a horrible back seat where the not-really-working air-condition wont reach you, and neither will the wind from the open windows further in front.
Also, nothing beats riding a late double-decked bus into Vientiane in the dark with a front seat on top, a guy leaning out of the door with a flashlight because the front lights don't work, and people in the other lane making risky passings because they think it's a tiny motorbike that's coming in their opposite direction.
Oct 9, 2012 1:35 AM
Oct 9, 2012 1:40 AM
12The advantage of some minivans is they go into Vientianne centre rather than northern bus station which is about 9 kms out of town. If you want more interesting bus rides go north of LP to Sam Neua and around there that was an experience.
Oct 9, 2012 2:47 AM
Oct 9, 2012 4:16 AM
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