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need laos,vietnam help please!!

Travel Forums Asia need laos,vietnam help please!!

1. Posted by dar egan (Budding Member 67 posts) 9y

best way to go to laos from thailand?we want to head from chiang mai into laos and then hanoi.which is the best way to travel and how?

2. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1160 posts) 9y

Hi Darren,

getting from Chiang Mai to Laos is easy by bus and the trip is offered by loads of hostels and travel agents in Chiang Mai.
You can even go for a package deal that includes your bus to the boarder, 1-night accomodation at the boarder and the day after you leave on a slow boat down the Mekong to Luang Prabang. Most people I know did this trip but I decided to just take the bus to the Thai/Lao border in Huang Xai. There you will have to pay US $ 32 for a one month visa (which is actually cheaper than already getting it in Thailand).
As mentioned before, from Huang Xai you can either travel east by boat to Luang Prabang or take a bus up north to more remote places like Luangnhamtha or Muong Sing. Great eco projects around there!
It really depends on how much time and money you have to spend whether you should do a short trip or the long tour around the country. If you let me know what your plans are I might be able to give you some more detailed recommendations. Concerning transport between Laos and Hanoi, there's a bus going from Vientienne and the journey costs around US $ 20, takes 24-hours and apparentely is pretty rough. Due to a tight timeframe I had to fly from Vientienne to Hanoi with Vietnam Airlines which cost me US $ 80 and took an hour.
Hope this helps as a start,


3. Posted by dar egan (Budding Member 67 posts) 9y

thanks steff,we're doing se asia for 3 months leaving monday for thailand,we want to see luang prabang,vang vieng and vientiane but it doesnt matter what order,want to spend about 10 days laos then onto hanoi but no 24 hour bus journeys,that would drive me crazy!its our first time backpacking so dont really know what to expect in thailand,laos,vietnam and cambodia buts its got to be alot cheaper than ireland

4. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3736 posts) 9y

i booked a package from pai, this included bus to to chiang khong (which went via chaing mai), a night in a hostel on the border, including dinner and breakfast, help with applying for visas (the lady in the hostel went down with our papers early in the morning to expedite it), 2 day slow boat and packed lunch on the first day. you will stop for a night in a tiny place in the jungle called pak beng and you must cover the cost of this over night stay yourself but there are a number of places to stay. a couple of times children got on to the boat selling crisps, beer etc. you will arrive in luang prabang sometime in the evening of the second day.
it's a great trip - enjoy. :)

5. Posted by dar egan (Budding Member 67 posts) 9y

hi bex,whats the slow boat like,can u get a sleep on it?is it comfy at all?thanks bex!!

6. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3736 posts) 9y

it's not exactly comfortable! ideally you should sit on a small blanket or at least a coat/jumper, because the seats are hard and wooden. i wasn't able to get any sleep myself - i don't think most people would be able to unless you can sleep easily anywhere.
try and get to the boat early- ours was very full and some people got stuck near the back where the engine was and it was horrendously noisy, not somewhere you want to be for 8 hours!

7. Posted by dar egan (Budding Member 67 posts) 9y

i thought u were on the slow boat for two days none stop to luang prabang?is it 8 hours one day 8 the next?

8. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3736 posts) 9y

Quoting dar egan

i thought u were on the slow boat for two days none stop to luang prabang?is it 8 hours one day 8 the next?

yes - about 8 hours on the first day and maybe slightly less on the second day.