Transportation, how to get around Luang Prabang
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There is no public transport in Luang Prabang at all. You will have to move on foot, on tuk-tuks, a rented bicycle or a motorcycle (moped). For trips to attractions in the vicinity of the city, you can also buy excursions. Here's everything about transport in Luang Prabang and how to get around the city and surrounding areas:
Luang Prabang is a big city, but its center is very compact. If you choose a hotel near the center (within walking distance from The Hill of Phu Si), then Transport for moving around the center and sightseeing is not needed, everything can be bypassed on foot.
Tuk-tuks and taxis
If you are not a fan of hiking, then you can move around the city on tuk-tuks used as taxis. Tuk-tuks come in small two-seater Bangkok-style, so roomier converted trucks for trips of up to 8 passengers. But the usual car taxi and motorcycle taxi in Luang Prabang is practically absent.
Tuk-tuk trips for tourists are very expensive: they usually ask for 20,000 Kip (Lao currency and Exchange Rate) for one short trip, but you can bargain. It is even more profitable to hire a tuk-tuk for the whole day, but you need to negotiate and Bargain about the price, and depending on your route it will be from 100,000 Kip ( USD) and higher for the whole day. Tuk-tuks can be hired not only for trips around the city, but also to attractions in the surrounding area, but then the price will be from 200,000 Kip.USD, see
A trip from the airport by tuk-tuk taxi will cost 50,000 Kip, from the north or South Bus Station – 20,000 per person. From the city to the airport or at the station you can leave cheaper if you book a transfer in advance at the hotel or on the street. In addition, when buying bus tickets in travel agencies and hotels, the price usually already includes a free transfer from the hotel to the place where the bus departs.
Since there is no ordinary car taxi in Luang Prabang, for a comfortable trip from the airport to the city and back, you can use the order of a tourist transfer. This is an analogue of a taxi with the difference that the transport is more comfortable and is ordered in advance, and then the driver with a sign will meet you at the airport after landing the plane. The transfer can be arranged and paid in advance through the search form from the QIWI-taxi service, Russian-language support is present:
Rent a motorbike or bicycle
Another great option for moving around the city and commuting around the neighborhood is to rent motorbikes or bicycles. Find a rental is not difficult, now it is almost in every guesthouse, or you can find it right on the street in the center. You can also rent a Motobike at the northern bus station, but the prices there are slightly higher than in the center.
A bicycle can be rented for 20,000. This is a good option for moving around the city, but it is better not to go outside, because the sights are far away, besides, there are protracted ascents and descents along the way. Nevertheless, we have repeatedly met tourists who visited the Quang Si waterfall, for example, by bicycle.
For motorcycles, the price is initially offered from 100,000 (USD) for a semi-automatic machine and 120,000 ( USD) for an automatic box per day, but you need and can bargain, especially if you take it for a few days. As of 2019, it was possible to reduce the price of the machine to 80,000 per day. In hotels and hostels, prices are usually higher and do not bargain. At the northern bus station, motorbikes are offered for 100,000 semi-automatic / 120,000 automatic. What is good, prices in general are gradually decreasing, a few years ago they were higher.
As a pledge, they are asked to leave a passport and usually a written contract is concluded. With a Motobike, a helmet and a lock on wheels or a cable are issued. In the city, you can park a motorcycle during the day without problems anywhere, and at night it is better to leave it under supervision in the parking lot of hotels, which is usually free. Near some attractions outside the city parking is paid, they ask for 2-5 thousand Kip.
To manage transport in Laos, you need an international driving license (IDP), since the country is a signatory to the Geneva Convention on road traffic (see all about renting motorcycles in Laos and what rights are needed here...). IDUs are issued by the traffic police on the basis of your national rights, and are a book in several languages. Repeated exams are not required.
In practice, the police in Laos on the roads is practically not found, and judging by the reviews, many tourists do not bother to get an IDP and do either without rights at all, or use ordinary Russian ones. When renting the right usually no one asks.
Another way to get around in Luang Prabang is by boat. They can get to the other side of the river, just take a walk along the river, or make a day tour to the Buddha Caves of Pak Ou and related attractions.
As such, there is no single equipped pier here, and different boats depart from different places, but they are all located along the shore in the area of the Royal Palace and a little further from it. Just walk along the waterfront along the river, and see signs and offers with tours and boat trips.
Just a boat ride on the river can be from 150,000 Kip (USD) for one hour for two, and a little more if there are more passengers. You can hire a charter boat to Pak Ou caves for 350,000 Kip ( USD) for two, and 450 000 Kip for four. It is much cheaper to go on a group tour to Pak Ou, for only 65 000 ( USD) per person, but they only depart in the morning at 08: 30.
If you need to get to the other side of the river in the village of Ban Xieng Maen and Chomphet district (where tourists usually go for a walk to the temples in the village), you can use the ferry. A large car ferry and small passenger boats ply between the shores throughout the day as they fill up at intervals of approximately 15-20 minutes. Travel for tourists costs 5000 Kip (for locals 3000). If you do not want to wait, you can hire a boat right away, but you will have to pay for it from 20,000 Kip depending on the number of passengers. These ferries depart from the Luang Prabang side from different places not far from each other, and arrive on the other side at the same pier: car ferry pier on the map, passenger ferry pier on the map.