How to get to Luang Prabang

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There is no direct way to get from Russia to Luang Prabang, you will have to make a transfer in one of the neighboring countries with Laos: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China. From these countries you can get by plane, bus and train. But there are also ready-made options for air travel with 2 transfers, although such tickets are very expensive, and in time they last more than a day. Therefore, we would advise you to get to Luang Prabang with a rest stop in one of the mentioned countries, and then continue your journey by land or air.

Laos International Bus

By plane

Luang Prabang is home to Luang Prabang International Airport, which has international status (Airport website http://www.luangprabangairport.com/). The airport is five kilometers from the city center (airport on the map).

The airport is very simple, with minimal infrastructure, but currency exchange, hotel reservation desk, car rental is available. The exchange rate of US dollars and Thai baht is acceptable for exchanging the minimum amount, but worse than in the exchangers in the city. The exchange rate for other world currencies is very unprofitable. If you do not want to change money at the airport at an unfavorable rate, then it is quite possible to do without it, and pay for a taxi to the city in dollars or baht, or even ask you to take it to the exchange office in the center.

You can get from the airport to the city by taxi (minivan) for 50,000 Kip (3.77 USD, see Lao currency and exchange rate). The taxi counter is located inside the airport building in the arrivals hall. If you leave the airport and go to the right, you can catch a tuk-tuk and bargain for 30,000 kip, or even walk to the nearest hotels on foot.

The airport accepts flights from:

Bangkok (Thailand) Bangkok Airways, Lao Airlines
Chiang Mai (Thailand) Lao Airlines
Hanoi (Vietnam) Vietnam Airlines, Lao Airlines
Siem Reap (Cambodia) Vietnam Airlines, Lao Airlines
Udon thani (Thailand) Lao Airlines
Pakse (Laos) Lao Airlines
Vientiane (Laos) Lao Airlines

Prices for flights are high. For example, a one-way flight from Hanoi will cost from$150. Tickets from these cities directly to Luang Prabang are best purchased on airline websites or through the search form:

Prices for flights from Moscow to Luang Prabang:

ЦЕНАПЕРЕСАДКИАВИАКОМПАНИЯДАТА ВЫЛЕТАДАТА ВОЗВРАЩЕНИЯ
НАЙТИ ОТ 57957 ₽ 2 пересадки Лого авиакомпании 04.07.2022 11.07.2022

Minimum prices for flights from Russia to Luang Prabang:

By bus

You can get to Luang Prabang or leave here by bus to almost all major cities in Laos and neighboring countries, but far to the south or to Cambodia you will have to change in Vientiane or Pakse or Savannakhet.

Domestic flights are available from Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Nong Khiaw, Udomsai, Mueang Hua, Phonsavan (scheduled as Xiangkhuang or Xiangkhoang province), Luangnamtha, Phongasli, Bokeu (Bokeo), Sam Neua (Xam Neua), Pakse.

There are direct international buses to Luang Prabang at least from Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai); Vietnam (Hanoi, Hue, Vinh, Sapa, Dien Bienfu); China (Kunming). To get from Bangkok or Pattaya, you need to change trains in Vientiane.

In all directions, buses depart daily in the morning or evening (night flights), and in the most popular (Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Udomsay, Nong Khiaw) several times a day. There are also large buses and minibuses. International buses are all large sleepers.

All buses arrive/depart at one of the two bus stations:

  • North or North Bus Terminal (2 kilometers north of downtown on Highway 13, on the map);
  • South or South bus Terminal (2 kilometers south of downtown on Highway 13, on the map)

In theory, buses from the South Station arrive/depart to the south, from the north to the north, but in practice this is not always the case, and flights from the swever from Nong Khiaw, Sapa and Dien Bien Phu (Vietnam) arrive at the South Terminal. In addition to these stations, many private buses use their naluang Bus Station International, which is located across the street from the North Bus Station.

You can get to any of the stations from the city by hiring a tuk-tuk for 20 thousand kip (currency of Laos, exchange rate). From bus stations to the city, tuk-tukers are already asking for 20 00 Kip from tourists, and they do not agree to bargain, although the official price of 10 000 is indicated on the bus station signs. If you buy a ticket at the Luang Prabang travel agency, the price will include a tuk-tuk transfer to the bus station.

Tickets can be purchased at the stations themselves at the box office, but it is more convenient to do this in hotels or travel agencies on the street. The price will be slightly higher than at the bus station, but the price includes a transfer from the door of the hotel to the place of departure. All travel agencies sell tickets for the same flights, but prices differ from place to place by 10-20, 000 Kip, so it makes sense to walk the streets and find a more profitable option. You can also buy tickets online at 12go.asia, but not all flights are available there yet.

It is impossible to find a complete bus schedule to/from Luang Prabang on the internet, but in general, most buses of short-distance destinations leave in the morning (from 9 to 12 hours), and long-distance, including international, in the evening at 18-19 hours. Unfortunately, for the cheapest local flights, the schedule is not always observed, and the flight may well be canceled if the driver does not like the weather or does not have the necessary number of passengers. And it also happens that you buy a ticket for a passing bus, and it will be full, and then you will not go anywhere either (the money will be returned to you, of course).

Bus schedules in Luang Prabang available for booking online:

Автобус Луанг Прабанг - Вьентьян ₽ 1,264 10 ч.
  •   Спальный с Конд. 20:00
  •   Стандарт с конд. 07:00
  •   Экспресс со спальным вагоном 41 18:00
  •   Микроавтобус + спальный автобус 18:00
Микроавтобус Луанг Прабанг - Вьентьян ₽ 1,296–1,332 8 ч. – 9 ч.
  •   Региональный 14 мест 07:30, 08:30, 16:00
Автобус Луанг Прабанг - Хюэ ₽ 3,456 1 д. 4 ч.
  •   Экспресс со спальным вагоном 41 17:30
  • Hanoi (Vietnam) to Luang Prabang by bus

    From Hanoi, there is a direct bus route to Luang Prabang by NALUANG COMPANY TRAVEL. The route passes through the cities of Phonsavan (Laos) and Vinh (Vietnam).

    Tickets for it should be sought at travel agencies in Hanoi, in Luang Prabang you can buy at the naluang Bus Station International. The Dispatch takes place from the hotel, from where passengers are collected on a minivan and taken to the place where the bus is sent.

    The bus leaves Hanoi daily (except Thursday) at 17: 00, from Luang Prabang at 18: 00. The journey is about 30 hours (not 24 hours, as the sellers say). You will be in Luang Prabang the next day at approximately 21: 00. The cost of 50 dollars (when buying in Luang Prabang 360 thousand Kip).

    These buses depart and arrive in Luang Prabang at Naluang Bus Station International (see above).

    Another option to get from Hanoi is through the city of Dien Bien Phu.

  • Sapa/Dien Bien Phu (Vietnam) to Luang Prabang by bus

    You can get to Luang Prabang on a transfer with transfers from Sapa (Vietnam) or Hanoi. The road will take you about a day. We can say that the route is for experienced and ready for the difficulties of travelers.

    The route in general will look like this:

    • From Sapa or Hanoi get to the city Dien Bien Phu. From Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu can be reached by bus or by plane (Vietnam Airlines), and from Sapa at 07:00 and 19:00 There are buses to Dien Bien Phu ($12), which arrive in the city at 17:00 and 05:00, respectively.
    • Overnight in Dien Bien Phu. If you have time and there are places, you can immediately take the bus Dien Bienfu - Luang Prabang at 07:00. It costs about 22 US dollars to travel, about 15 hours on the way with stops at the border crossing to Laos, for lunch and toilet.

    But it is much more convenient to buy a ready-made ticket for these two moves in Sapa. It will cost 435,000 kip, but you are guaranteed to get there without an extra night in Dien Bien Phu. Tickets are sold at travel agencies in Sapa, but it is worth going around a few to find a smaller price.

  • Vinh and hue to Luang Prabang by bus

    From Vinh Yi Hue Vietnam can be reached by naluang COMPANY TRAVEL direct bus. The route passes through the city of Phonsavan (Laos). Departs at 18: 30 (from Luang Prabang) daily. The journey takes 18-24 hours. Cost 450 000 Kip. Further from Hue you can get to Da Nang, Hoi An and other cities in southern Vietnam.

  • From Thanh Hoa (Vietnam) to Luang Prabang by bus

    Overnight in the town of Sam Neua in Laos.

By boat

Luang Prabang is located on the Mekong River. You can get here by boat from other cities in Laos, and the boat is also a popular means of transport to get here from the Thai provinces of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai with a transfer.

  • From the cities of Laos

    From Houay Xai. This town is located near the border crossing between Thailand (Chiang Khong city in Chiang Rai province on the Thai side) and Laos.

    From here, a slow boat departs daily at 10:30 according to the schedule to Luang Prabang. On the way she goes 2 days, making a stop for the night in Pakbeng (Pakbeng). Cost from 800 to 1200 baht (currency of Thailand, exchange rate) or from 220 thousand Kip. This is a very pleasant journey, passing through picturesque places, and if you have enough free time it is best to take advantage of it.

    A fast boat goes 6 hours and costs $ 35, but such boats are not intended for tourists, and it is somewhat cramped, inconvenient and dangerous to sail in them. The Lao government has banned the transportation of tourists on fast boats, so carriers are reluctant to take passengers on board.

  • Thailand to Luang Prabang

    Moving to Luang Prabang from Thai provinces is very popular Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. The route passes through the border crossing between the cities of Chang Kong (Chiang Khong) on the Thai side and Houay Xai (Houay Xai) on the Lao side.

    The city of Chiang Kong (Chiang Khong) from Chiang Rai is easiest to get by bus, which depart from the old bus station of Chiang Rai from 5:00 to 16:00 every half hour, about 2 hours on the way, the cost is 65 baht. From Chiang Mai You can get by direct bus for 150-270 baht or again through Chiang Rai with a transfer. You should try to arrive in Chang Kong before 10 o'clock if you want to catch a slow boat to LP.

    Chang Kong can also be reached by direct bus from Bangkok with north mochit bus station, departure at 7:00, Arrival at 20:00.

    The border between the States is the Mekong River, and after passing through passport control and all formalities on the Thai side, you will need to swim to the Lao border guards for 10,000 kip or 40 baht.

    From Houay Xai to Luang Prabang can be reached in two days by slow boat with an overnight stay in Pakbeng, in six hours by fast or by bus (see above for boats).

    The bus leaves at 9: 00, 14:00 and 17: 00, costs about $ 12 and takes 12-15 hours to travel.

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