Bus is the cheapest way to travel between Vang Vieng and Luang
Prabang. Minibuses are just a little more expensive, but are
generally worth it beacuse they are quicker and more conformtable.
Mini-buses frop you into town, saving a tuk tuk ride from the bus
station (10,000 Kip per person).
Route 13 between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang is now sealed, but
still a little lumpy in places, and still very, very twisty. It’s
a memorable journey, with stunning scenary of rolling landscapes, hills
and roadside village life. You’ll see great scenary seated on
either side of the vehicle, but sitting on the right hand side of the
vehicle, traveling from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang, probably gives the
At Laos festival time check and book your transport and accommodation in advance, as things get booked up, and crammed.
Private VIP buses cost 100,000Kip and leave from the bus dirt yard
outside of town at 10am. The trip takes 7 hours. Tickets
are available from guesthouses and travel agents. Transfer by tuk
tuk to the bus yard should be included in the ticket price. Buses
arrive in Luang Prabang at the southern bus terminal. Tuk tuks
will be waiting to take you in to town for 10,000Kip per person. Most VIP buses are actually basic. Some
buses have aircon, but it’s a gamble how
well they work. Some buses store the luggage underneath, others
on the roof. The bus stops for a break near the middle of the
journey, where you can buy baguettes, Laos food and drinks. At
Laos New Year (mid April) buses will be packed, with extra seats being
added to the aisle.
Mini-buses cost 105,000Kip, typically leaving at 9am, and take
6 hours to get to Luang Prabang. Tickets are available from
guesthouses and travel agents. The journey can be more
comfortable than a big bus, as the smaller vehicle rides over the steep
terrain better than a larger vehicle. I have seen some without
working air conditioning, which would not be nice, but most seem to be
working OK. Mini-buses should pick you up from your guesthouse in
Vang Vieng, and drop you at one in Luang Prabang, saving the need for a
tuk tuk ride into town.