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Are buses in Laos safe?

Travel Forums Asia Are buses in Laos safe?

1. Posted by bushell (Budding Member 4 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi i am spending 2-3 weeks travelling in Laos and am a bit worried about the buses there as i have read that buses (especially along route 13) have been ambushed before and the chances of it happening again are quite real. Do i need to worry about this? I will be there next week for up to one month. Thanks

2. Posted by jackboy (Inactive 350 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Its like everything else in life,if we believed everything we read or seen or heard about places we would'nt leave our own houses.
I will be traveling Laos come Jan/Feb,06 but keeping to well traveled routes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Website for upto date news is which is The Foreign and Commonwealth Office which states dont travel Haiti or Colombia and I found them the friendist places on my recent trip in CA and the Caribbean.
Have a great trip
al de bes

3. Posted by travelfish (Full Member 75 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

There has not been a fatal attack on a western tourist on that bus in some time now -- it is largely considered to be safe, though if you are still not comfortable doing it, you can fly from Luang Prabang to Vientiane, and just check out Vang Vieng from 35,000ft.

4. Posted by xs.if (Full Member 67 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

hi, i left laos yesterday (12th of august) at 7am in the morning from don det in the south, one of the 4,000 islands.
went into laos in the north huoay xai?! and took a boat to luang prabang, then a bus to phonsavanh, and then a bus to vang vieng, then to vientiane and then pakse, champasak and the 4,000 islands. its probably over 500 kilometres, i was on and off route 13 road and it was pretty safe (the roads are paved if at time windy in the northern parts), other that, i dont know what else to say, i've been on route 13 at least on 5 different occasions, no hassles no problems, straightforward. the only thing i couldnt undeerstand was why in some of the towns the bus stations were far out of the town itself and some even had 2 or more bus stations. laos a beautiful country and i'd enjoy it. the are more developed!? than you might think. they're buses leave and arrive at its destination on time, both locals and tourists use them... you might have to take the pick-up style transport in the south, but they're reliable, didnt once see a broken down vehicle - been in cambodia for just over a day and seen a few, but no surprises some of their roads are the worst in the world!

in short from my experience route 13 in laos was a nice road to be on, and i had problems with mechanical problems or people trying to hijack the buses - can even imagine it happening!

happy days

take care


5. Posted by WonderlandT (Budding Member 40 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

alo bushell,
in April this year, I traveled alone crossing Thai-Laos border at Nongkhai. OK, then I took a bus from Vientien to Luang Prabang, that is route 13.

Before I made this trip, I refer my best friend "Lonely Planet's SEA on a shoestring'. They say that there was a bom attack at the bus station 2 years back but my desire to travel eliminate all this news (except going to Iraq now :D).

Along the journey, I saw men in army uniform sitting at several post. (They just sit by the road at the open area with rifle). In addition, there was a man on the bus with rifle. He's not in uniform but I guess he's a police without uniform, just to guide the people on the bus. To make us feel more relief or the other way, the bus picked up some soldiers along the route 13.

OK. there's 1 thing that I consider dangerous by taking a bus along this route. The bus will pass a mountain area and the bus driver drove very fast downhill.

OK. Happy travelling.