Huey Khon to M. Nguen to Hong Sa to LP, to Vientiane


Jul 18, 2008
From today's Bangkok Post, Horizons Section. Text below but lots of photos at the url. FYI, they went the direct route out of Hong Sa, not via Sayabouri.

Mac ... -adventure

Travel » Travel News
Cross-country adventure
Thai motorists discover the joy of driving from Nan to Luang Prabang in Laos and back

Published: 26/11/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Horizons

For self-drive motorists craving adventure, there is plenty on tap on the road to Laos, Thailand's land-locked neighbour, that is still gem of a country, beautiful, still very much aloof, well preserved and begging to be explored.

While in the past you needed a ferry to cross over to Laos, better roads, simpler customs and immigration procedures both sides of the border now enable travellers to get off the beaten track and scour the Lao countryside at will, at their own pace.

The border checkpoint at Huay Kon in Thailand's Nan Province provides a perfect gateway through which to drive to Laos, and although road conditions from the Nam Ngern checkpoint on Lao side in Hongsa of Sayabouri Province are far from ideal, the ancient capital of Luang Prabang is just 160 kilometres from there, the shortest distance from the Thai border by car.

Such road conditions test the wits and driving skills of motorists during the ride from Nan to Luang Prabang, Laos.

Deeper inland is Highway 13, in excellent condition, which allows you to travel without fuss and drive up a plateau to the Plain of Jars in Xiangkhoang, or head south and relax in the easy ambience of Vang Viang, before crossing the bridge at Nong Khai back into Thailand safe and sound.

The Laotian countryside is full of smiling people while the roads with much less traffic compared to Thailand are extremely convenient, which has not escaped the attention of Thai motorists.

And even when the odd road turns dusty and bumpy it is still a relief considering Bangkok's notorious traffic jam, because you still get to enjoy the calm and rustic ambience of the Laotian countryside.

For adventure motorist, Laos is a well kept gems tempting their exploration desire. Better road condition, easier immigration and customs procedures of both Thailand and Laos today allow tourist from Thailand to explore Laos off the beaten tracks.

Huay Kon check point of Nan province is another permanent checkpoint which allows you to drive into Laos. Although the road condition from Hongsa of Laos is not quite good, Luang Prabang is only 160 kilometres away, the nearest way to get to Luang Prabang by car from Thailand.

Good road condition of Highway 13 allows you to travel to climb up the plateau to stand on the Plain of Jars in Xiangkhoang, go down south the relax in easy atmosphere in Vangviang, and cross the bridge back to Thailand at Nongkhai province safe and sound.

Countryside, smiley people, and easy road with mush less traffic than in Thailand , easily impress motorist motorist from Thailand.

Try out bumping the dusty road in Lao, you will love its calm road and hate Bangkok's traffic jam.


Nov 10, 2003
Just entered Thailand from Laos at Muang Nguern. I noticed that it is now possible to get VISA ON ARRIVAL on the Lao side. Available in the same building where they check the passports and the customs papers.