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Kapono Cheruene

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I am Laotian and I live in Vientiane

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Asia > Laos > Vang Vieng > Useful Info
Submitted on Jun 13, 2019 Useful Info

Best way to get to Vang Vieng from Luang Prabang

  • Vang Vieng is only 100km southeast of Luang Prabang, but the winding mountainous road means that it takes at least 5 hours to travel by car. In Laos we also don't have that many trains, so there is no train option between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang
  • You have two options to travel between Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng: minivan or private car/taxi. That said, the primary travel option between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang right now is by minivan
  • Minivan (I recommend this because of its low cost):
  • The main minivan operator right now on this route is Naluang
  • Their website is http://naluangstation.com
  • Current fare is 105000 LAK each way, equivalent to about $12 USD
  • Trip takes 5 hours
  • 5 daily departures right now at 8:30AM, 9:30AM, 10:00AM, 14:00PM, 15:00PM
  • The buses depart from the Southern Bus Terminal, but they offer pickup service from accommodations in Luang Prabang
  • The bus arrives at Vang Vieng Bus Terminal, located 1.5km north of downtown area. You can ask your hotel to pick you up from there or take a tuk tuk for a few USD to your hotel
  • You can book directly through their website by sending them a message and coordinate your schedule and payment by email. Or, you can use a couple of 3rd party booking sites include 12Go, Bookaway, and Baolau. If you book through third party sites the prices are usually higher at $16USD, but you get the convenience of direct credit card booking
  • They are not reviewed very well (2.5/5). Usual complaints is that drivers drive very fast and aggressively, which combined with the poor road condition (lots of potholes) means scary bumpy rides. Delays happen from time to time, and not very good customer service. But the upside is that the vans conditions seem to be pretty good. To be honest there really isn't much of a choice aside from them. You can read their reviews here https://12go.asia/en/operator/naluang
  • This is what their vans look like outside and inside (photos courtesy of 12Go):User submitted photo of Vang ViengUser submitted photo of Vang Vieng
  • Aside from Naluang, two other minivan operators exist on Bookaway (https://www.bookaway.com):
  1. Thavisouk: I have never heard of this company before and can't find any information about them online. So it's hard to say how good or bad they are. They don't have a website, and there isn't any reviews out there about them
  2. Laos Group Tour (website, Tripadvisor): they are actually a tour provider that also does transportation on the side for between Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng. They are very well reviewed on Tripadvisor on their tours (4.5/5), but I can't find any reviews about their transportation. Either way I think they're better than Naluang. They currently have 3 departures everyday at 6:15AM, 9:15AM, and 15:15PM. On Bookaway their ticket price is $16USD, but if you contact them through their website you can probably get it down to $12USD
  • Private car/taxi:
  • This is the luxury travel option
  • The cost is going to range anywhere between $100USD to $150USD, depending on your negotiating skills
  • You can't book them online as far as I know, and you certainly can't just hail a taxi off the street and expect them to take you to Vang Vieng
  • What you need to do is to ask your hotel book a taxi for you to Vang Vieng
  • Ask them at least 1 day ahead of time
  • The trip will take 5-6 hours