Whether you’re in Vang Vieng or in Luang Prabang, any guesthouse, travel agency, or tour company will sell you bus tickets for a small commission. But prices vary from door to door, so you’ll have to look out for the best deal.
The most common transportation options to Vang Vieng are:
– Express Bus
– VIP Bus: a bus with 3 double-decker rows of beds, AC, and some snacks for the trip. Having said that, you can be downgraded to a minivan without previous notice if there are not enough people to fill a bus.
Image by Calflier001
– Sleeping Bus: a bus with AC and wider reclining seats, or bus with 3 double-decker rows of beds.
In this post, we’re going to be sharing all the info on minivans and express buses.
LUANG PRABANG TO VANG VIENG
On a Minivan
As we mentioned before, tickets are fairly easy to find everywhere around Luang Prabang. We bought our tickets from one of the travel agencies located in Sisavangvong street.
Cost: €11.90 (110.000 kips) can go up to €15.00 (150.000 kips) based on the commission charged by the travel agent.
Duration: 5 hours (one more if it rains).
Depart hours from Luang Prabang: 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM
Pros: Minivans are the fastest way to get to Vang Vieng. Hotel pick-ups are included in the tickets.
Cons: Tight and crowded.
Image by Nick Hubbard
One thing that made the 5-hour minivan trip tolerable was the beautiful mountainous landscape of Laos.
We stopped once for a bathroom break, and twice by the military for what appeared to be a quick routine inspection. All drop-offs are on Vang Vieng main street or Peisan Road—where the backpacker hostels are.
On an Express Bus
Cost: €11.90 (110.000 kip) up to €16.00 (160.000 kip).
Duration: 6 to 7 hours, depending on the weather conditions.
Departure time from Luang Prabang Southern Bus Station: 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM. Sleeping buses depart at 10:00 PM.
Pros: A bit more leg space.
Cons: As express buses leave from Luang Prabang Southern Bus station, you’ll be forced to pay for a tuk-tuk ride to the bus station (an extra 10,000 kip / 20,000 kip).
Drop offs are on Vang Vieng main street (Peisan Road).
VANG VIENG TO LUANG PRABANG (or anywhere else)
To leave Vang Vieng buy the bus tickets at your hostel. In addition to having great deals there, your ticket will include transportation to the bus station.
We returned to Luang Prabang also on a minivan but this time around the tickets were a bit cheaper: €8.67 (80.000 kips).
Now that you know how much you should be paying for a bus trip, find the best deal and use the money saved to buy a Beerlao.
Have a good trip and be safe!
Cover image by Basil Strahm.