Vientiane to Luang Prabang Question

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by Rusty, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. Rusty

    Rusty Active Member

    Sorry for this, but I just need to ask quickly about the MC trip from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. How far is it? Is the route a straight shot? What is the average time? I am going there next week and would like to do this ride but don't have time to get a map through the mail and my flight is basically going from BKK to Vientaine with no time to shop in Thailand. I am a rather conservative (meaning safe and slow) rider. Davefl's recent posts about rentals and pics there have sold me!

    Any recommended hotels/stops along the way?

    Khoy wao Lao noi nung, Khap Jai Duh!
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  3. saxonator

    saxonator Ol'Timer

    Vientianne to Luang Prabang is quiet a trip, won't be able to make that in one day. Preferable stay overnight in Vang Vieng - many guest houses there, cheap and clean. We are talking about a road with lots of cornering (my favourit). It's hard to estimate any time, because it depends very much on your driving skills and how much stops you will make to capture this beautyful landscape with your own eyes - you should plan at least 2 days. A map you will easily get in Vientianne, they sell them there - even the david unkovic one.

    I don't know how may km's the road is - but it's a fair piece of work - I suppose 650 km's - 700 km, I could be also completely wrong, so don't give nothing on my estimation
  4. Craypot

    Craypot Ol'Timer

    Vientiane to Luang Prabang is quite feasable in one day. If on a rental 250 allow up to 9 hours that will include plenty of stops and lunch. If you hustle it can be done in 7 hours. Distance is more like 370km. Best place to overnight is Vang Vieng but that is only 170km from Vientiane or 3 hours maximum. There are plenty of hotels in Vang Vieng, if you have the money then recommend staying on the river, Ban Sabai or Elephant Crossing ($25-35) otherwise just pick on of the cheaper guest houses in town that take you fancy. ($4 - $6). The next town, Kasi, has one or two guesthouses and then Phoukoun has one as well. Stopping is Vang Vieng has the added advantage of the scenery in that area and the food options are much better.

    If time is an issue you might think about going up to Luang Prabang in one day and making the return journey a two day trip. Early morning fog can often delay a planned early departure from Luang Prabang and/or make the first part of the journey very slow due to poor visibility.

    Its a great ride but not recommended at night, daylight hours these days is from about 6am to 6pm.

  5. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    hmm, I'd say with a full whack of red bull and clear sailing with weather you can make it in 6 hours. It's really better to split it up with an overnight in Kasi or VV. The places in Phou Koun are a bit on the used side of life and the weather usually sucks this time of year up at the pass. If I am not mistaken, I passed a new guesthouse in Nam Ming under final construction, a small speck of a town well after PK, very small and at the bottom of the grade after you leave PK.

    Like Mike says, it's a great ride but I've done parts of it at night and there are too many things that go bump in the night. Enjoy Beer Lao at night instead of burning fuel.


    Ride Smart, Ride Safe.
  6. cysiong

    cysiong Member


    According to the map from GT-rider, the distance between Luang Prabang & Vientiane is about 395km. From Vientiane to Luang Prabang, Follow Road 13, you will reach Luang Prabang.

    Let me know if you manage to make it within a day, I would like to try as my schedule very tight also.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.
  7. pee

    pee Ol'Timer

    Hi Cysiong,

    I agree with Craypot & Jimoi it's not a problem to cover the distance Vientiane-LP in one day if you really want to.
    Start early morning from Vientiane you should reach LP before night. The portion Kasi - Poukhoune is real fun : excellent corners to play with. Still always beware of the road conditions : it can look perfect and in the next corner: holes, gravel, etc.
    In my view the best option is to leave Vientiane in the afternoon, drive up to Vang Vieng, spend a relaxing evening there. And leave for LP after a good breakfast along the river. The portion Vang Vieng -LP is beautiful you might want to stop often to enjoy it.
    Wish you good fun
  8. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    Is it possible to put your bike (+200kg) on a boat (or whatever) to go from Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang, then ride Vang Vieng, Vientiane and then through Laos to Stung Treng in Cambodia?
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Yep, bikes on boats on the 'Khong no problem. Take a look at
    1. The Mekong Boat & Lost Rider Trip
    Link removed
    2. Losing My Laos Cherry
    3. Laos Expedition 2004
    Link removed
    4. Mr KTM Version of the Laos trip

    (There's been a few on them eh?)
  10. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    Sorry David, i have read this but forgot, 7 day 13-14 hour shifts in Arnhem Land are getting to me, bring on December!

    Thanks for the heads up, looking forward to having a beer with you!

    PS, your GT Riders Guide arrived from Amazon, Natalie's finally happy with something I bought on the net! :eek:)
  11. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    PPS, are other boats available on a more regular basis, less luxurious is OK! :eek:)
  12. bill

    bill Ol'Timer

    Hi all
    I am planning a loop Cambodia /Thailand /Laos/Cambodia.
    Its been suggested to me that I cross into Laos at Chaing Khong/Huay Xai rather than Vientiane as this avoids doubling back from Luang Prabang.

    Couple of questions
    Can I get a Laos visa at the Huay Xai border crossing
    Is it OK to bring a Cambodia registered bike thru Huay Xai
    How are the roads from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang.
    Any other suggestions ?

    I should be at the border next week, riding a Suzuki DRZ400

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