There are two types of public transport from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. You can either fly with Lao Airlines or Lao Skyway, or you can take a long distance bus service. By road the 327 km journey from Luang Prabang to Vientiane takes 11 to 12 hours depending upon whether you travel during the daytime or at night. Travelling by bus is a lot slower than flying but it also about a quarter of the price.
Travel Times to Vientiane
There are two bus services a day from Vientiane to Luang Prabang which are available to book online.
|08:00||20:00||$38.17 USD||Naga Travel|
|20:00||07:00||$41.37 USD||Naga Travel|
- The 08:00 departure is on a standard A/C bus.
- The 18:00 departure is a sleeper bus with fully reclining seats.
Buy Tickets to Vientiane
Use the Search Box below to purchase your bus tickets from Luang Prabang to Vientiane.
Luang Prabang Bus Station
Bus Services to Vientiane depart from Luang Prabang’s Southern Bus Terminal.
Vientiane Bus Station
Bus services from Luang Prabang terminate at Vientiane’s Northern Bus Terminal.
Vientiane has been the capital city of Laos since 1563 and Vientiane is also by far the country’s largest city with a population over 750,000; Laos’s next biggest city is Pakse with a population of 88,000. Vientiane, unsurprisingly, is the most prosperous and vibrant place in Laos with recent investment in business and infrastructure from both Japan and China vying for influence in Laos. Vientiane is about as close you will get to modernity in Laos, which may or may not be a good thing depending upon your perspective.
Vientiane is an attraction small city thanks to the combined efforts of the French colonial government and the Lao people. Temples and palaces sit alongside French style city planning and architecture. You need two days to appreciate what Vientiane has on offer to visitors. As well as being a great place to simply walk around enjoying the atmosphere and eating some very good food, the specific places you should visit are:
- Victory Gate: Known locally as Patuxai, this monument was built to celebrate independence from France between 1957 and 1968 resembles the Ard de Triomphe in Paris but adorned with Lao style reliefs embedded in the structure. Patuxai sits majestically at the end of a grand boulevard.
- Pha That Luang: A Buddhist temple is believed to have occupied the site of Wat Pha That Luang since the 3rd Century although the current layout of the temple was established much later in the 16th Century when Vientiane became the capital city of Laos. The main temple building is a 44 metre high stupa covered in gold. The stupa is enclosed by a long wall creating a inner courtyard at the centre of which is the stupa.
- Wat Si Saket: Wat Si Saket is the long standing temple in Vientiane dating back to the 1818; all the other older temple buildings in Vientiane have had to be rebuilt largely due to damage during war. Wat Si Saket is best known for the hundreds of niches containing Buddha statues which sit within the walls of several temple buildings.
- Lao National Museum: Medium sized museum featuring artefacts and exhibitions dedicated to re-telling the history of Laos from early settlers to the achievements of the current Communist party. The main draw to this museum, however, is that it displaying one of the giant jars carved out of stone which cover (for mysterious reasons) the Plain of Jars.
- Buddha Park: Located 24 km outside the city, Buddha Park features a wide range of religious statues and mythological figures. From Vientiane you can travel to Buddha Park very cheaply on Public Bus #14.