Advice sought on trip to louangphrabang

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by petedot, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. I would like advice on an 10 day return trip to LPB. My wife and I (2 up) would take train from BKK to either Chiang Mai or Nong Khai with Honda Shadow cruising bike on board. But which way from there? The Trip reports are great but I need the specifics. Can anyone help?
  2. Hi Petedot,

    Only ten days from BKK - LPB - return is going to cut everything pretty tight no matter how you go.

    Remember that you can not get across from Nong Khai. There are many postings on this site to get you up to speed on this.

    So assuming you still want to give it a shot: When you get to CNX buy David's GT-Rider map for Laos.

    CNX to Chiang Khong is 5 hours. From here you can cross over to Houei Xai in Laos the same day you arrive from CNX. Do not arrive on a weekend, for Thai Customs is not open, so no chance of clearing out of Thailand.

    The next day in HX, load the bike onto a boat for a 1 day trip down the river to Pak Beng. Stay the night here. The next day use David's map for getting to LPB. It takes 1 day from here...

    Once you reach LPB you will have eaten up at least 4-5 days from BKK - and now you must head back. Not so much fun...

    Given you've only 10 days BKK return, you might want to consider a ride around one of the very nice Northern Thai loops?? And save the Laos idea until you have a couple of weeks++.

    AND it is very cold and wet right now in Chiang Khong and even colder in Laos. Last night the temp was down to 10c and by mid day it's only up to 17c and gray, windy and be prepared should you still want to come this way.

    David and Mai
    Chiang Khong
  3. petedot-

    David's river trip is nice and very beautiful but if you are not savvy in arranging these things it may be a little more difficult. Also it is possible to take the boat from Huay Xai to Pakbeng, overnight, and then continue to LPB by boat the next day. Depends if you are after riding or just sightseeing. I have made this as a return trip from LPB with David and Mai and was a very relaxing trip but can be a little pricey.

    If you want to go through at Nong Khai and ride up to LPB, my last trip report to Laos is from New Years 2007, Link removed. What more "specifics" do you need? I posted border crossing, remember if you have a Thai bike you cannot cross at Nong Khai, hotels, GPS coordinates.......

    Simply go east from Nong Khai to Buang Kan, cross to Pakxan, Hwy 13 to Vientiane, and then Hwy 13 to Luang Prabang. Besides a map what else do you need ? Ahh yes, a visa. Get a Laos visa before leaving BKK, not available at Pakxan. Bring the "green book" for your motorcycle also. You can probably do it in 10 days (depending on the train), but not much time for relaxing.

    As David and Mai said it was getting cold when I was there and is possibly more so now, take rain gear and warm clothes.

    If you have a specific question that is not answered in the multitude of trip reports on this route please ask. Otherwise I think you are covered, have fun.
  4. Peter

    Make sure you buy a GT Rider Laos map. Get the 200 baht one & not the older 99 baht one.

    Available from

    Asia Vehicle Rental
    Scandinavian Bakery
    Green Discovery
    PVO Motorcycle rental
    Walkman Village
    Phimphone Mini Mart (2 locations)
    That Dam Books
    Monument Books
    Xayoh Magazine
    Oriental Books
    Bor Pen Nyang Pub
    Mini Post next to Lao Paris Hotel

    Ban Sabai
    Green Discovery
    Dok Khoun 1 Guesthouse

    Scandinavian Bakery
    Green Discovery
    Luangsay Cruise

    Green Discovery

    Pakse Hotel

    Entering Laos, first look at
    Then, the thread Laos closed No entry at Friendship Bridge
    Link removed
    In your case with only 10 days & coming from Bkk your realistic border entry ports are limited to
    1. Bung Kan (T) / Pakxan (L)
    2. Nakhon Phanom (T) / Tha Khek (L)
    3. Chiang Khong / Huay Sai with a boat trip that will chew up your time.
    The very important option here for you is Bun Kan & the report above has photos & info on how it works
    So Bun Kan should be your only choice as you don’t have much time.

    If you want to see what docs are issued at the border take a look at

    Vientiane you will probably 2 nights there either on the way in or out. Then
    Vientiane – Luang Prabang = 1 or 2 days, depending on how fast you want to go & / or how much you want to see.
    Hang out in Luang Prabang for a day or two or three or four
    Then return to Vientiane in 1-2-3 days with a side trip to Phonsavan & the Plain of Jars
    Then from Vientiane ride across the Friendship Bridge that you cannot use on the way in, but can on the way out & head home to Bangkok & your 10 days is up.

    Not sure exactly what else to add, but there's more than enough info on the board if you want to take the time to read them.
    Many of the reports list the hotels / restaurants / bars used, plus have road info & even GPS waypoints.
    For Travel Times, look at an older thread, named 5 weeks in Laos
    Link removed
    where there is a list of ride times between 22 towns in the north

    After you get back please don’t forget to post a nice little informative trip report with more specifics.
  5. Davidfl-

    This is a new one to me also. I thought the bridge is flat off limits. Why would you be able to enter it from Laos when it is the Laos officials that have said we cannot come in? Is that how you came out in December? That's why I went back and crossed at Pakxan again. I think we even discussed it before hand. I sure missed some info somewhere !!!!!!!!
  6. I just left Laos yesterday, accross the bridge. Took about 30 minutes in all to exit and re-enter Thailand
  7. Yep that's how I came out - rode across the bridge. Weird isn't it. Out is ok, but not in!
    But oops not sure how you missed that one as I thought you understood it would be ok to come out that way. After you left Vte for the North, I went down to the bridge on 2 consecutive days to speak to (1) Khampean & (2) the boss; just to re-confirm, in is no, but out is ok.
    So is that why you made that extra run down south to the limestone forest & exited at Pakxan?
  8. To all the Daves, Davids, Mai and Snail. Thanks a million, sorry for the word 'Specific', however I had absolutley no idea of where all the places were, I do not have a Laos map. The Internet is very basic, is the GT riders map available in BKK? However I have managed to piece together a rough map now, with all your help and I am now informed, my wife and I thank you all very much. Peter and Dorothy.
  9. Pete & Dorothy
    I am assuming that the bike is in your name as if it isn't you will have difficulties crossing the border. Just a thought in case you've overlooked it.
    What you are planning is ambitious considering the time constraint you've mentioned. If you can take longer then it would be a great trip.
    If time is still an issue you could consider a trip through the southern part of Laos and down into Cambodia easily in 10 days, with a day or two "off" in the Laotion islands and in PP and then doing the temples in Siem Reap.
    Just in case you missed it here's David's map of border crossings via the home page:
    Good luck I hope you have a memorable trip.
  10. Hi Rhodie,

    I somehow missed David's map with all the crossing points, so thanks for pointing this out.

    Regarding crossing with a bike not in your name - been seeing a number of rental bikes making it through here in Chiang Khong/Houei Xai with no problems. But they must have proper documentation from the owner saying they are allowed to use the bike, must take care of all damages caused by the bike...

    David U. and others - any chance of getting a copy of what one or two of the rental companies are providing and then posting that for one and all to see? I too used to think that it was difficult, but after seeing so many others doing it, I've come to understand otherwise. Maybe it's only easier up here in Houei Xai??

    David and Mai
    Chiang Khong
  11. YES! A lot of extra km's and at least one day. But at least the Limestone Forest was a nice ride.
  12. Dont know which rental companies you are talking about - are they from Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai? They could also be using a broker in Chiang Khong to smooth the way.
    Also if you have a look at
    you will see that image 2 is a sample dummy letter / approval to take out a rental bike.

Share This Page