Travel from Vientiane to Luang Prabang

There are two ways to travel from Vientiane to Luang Prabang: by road or by internal flight. By public bus the 338 km journey takes 13 hours. Direct flights are operated by Lao Airlines and Lao Skyway. The flight time from Vientiane to Luang Prabang is 45 minutes and tickets tend to cost over $100 USD one way, more than twice the cost of travelling by bus.

Travel Times to Luang Prabang

There are two bus services a day from Vientiane to Luang Prabang which are available to book online.

VientianeLuang PrabangCostCompany
07:0020:00$38.18 USDNaga Travel
18:0007:00$41.39 USDNaga Travel

  • The 07:00 departure is on a standard AC bus.
  • The 18:00 departure is a sleeper service with fully reclining seats.

Buy Tickets to Luang Prabang

Use the Search Box below to buy your bus tickets from Vientiane to Luang Prabang.

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Vientiane Bus Station

Bus services to Luang Prabang depart from in front of the Vientiane Haysoke Guest House at 83/1-2 Heangboun Road in Vientiane.

Luang Prabang Bus Station

Bus services from Vientiane terminate at Luang Prabang’s Southern Bus Terminal.

About Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is a very special place, and the old part of the town has been designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site and as such there are strict controls in place in relation to town planning and the operation of bars and other tourist focused businesses with the aim of maintaining the town historic buildings and relaxed atmosphere. Luang Prabang used to be a difficult place to reach, only accessible by either a very slow boat or a fast and dangerous one, with the only foreign visitors to Luang Prabang being those intrepid or patient enough to endure the journey to get there. Thing have changed. You can now get to Luang Prabang via a sealed road or take a relatively expensive short flight there from Vientiane or Bangkok. A new type of tourism has begun in Luang Prabang as a consequence and glossy magazines list the town, and its luxurious new hotels, on top ten lists of places to visit.

Luang Prabang is located on the banks of the Mekong River
Luang Prabang is located on the banks of the Mekong River

What attracts this new generation of holiday makers to Luang Prabang is as much the atmosphere of the town as any specific temples or royal palaces, of which there are many. Luang Prabang had been a royal city from the early 1700s until the creation of the communist state of the Prathet Lao in 1975, and religious sites flourished during that period alongside the royal building in the town. Buddhist monks make up a large percentage of the population in Luang Prabang and the town is famous for alms giving procession which moves around the city early every morning. This daily alms giving ceremony sets the tone of the day in Luang Prabang as people go quietly about their daily business in this sleepy town on the banks of the Mekong River. Outside the town centre there is an abundance of natural wonders to visit such as the Kuang Si Falls and Pak Ou Caves, although bear in mind that whilst transport connections to Luang Prabang are very good you need to travel by boat or truck to go anyway outside of the town. Away from the tourist centres in Laos the infrastructure is very basic.

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