Getting Vang Vieng and Getting away
Posted Date: 11/15/20138:07 AM
Getting There & Away
Buses, pick-ups and sawngthaew continue to depart from a simple bus terminal (Tel: 511341; Rtt 13) on the eastern side of the airstrip, a few minutes’ walk from town. This is mildly surprising given a new bus station has been built 2km north of town, opposite the New Market No-one we met seemed to know if or when transport would move to the new station, but wherever you end up jumbo driven will be there trying to talk you into taking a ride into town.
Minibuses and air-con buses catering especially to falang often leave from one of the guesthouses in town, but don’t expect any extra leg room. Tickets are available almost everywhere, though buses do fill fast in peak season. Anyone who suffers motion sickness should take necessary precautions before the trip to Luang Prabang.
Heading south from Vang Vieng, regular buses leave for Vientiane (US$2.50, 3 to 4 hours, 156km) at 5.30am, 7am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm. Alternatively, pick-ups (US$2.50, 3 to 4 hours) leave about every 20 minutes from 5am until 4pm and as they’re often not full can be quite enjoyable.
A minibus (US$7, three hours) leaves at 9am and air-con buses (US$5.50, three hours) at 10am and 1pm. You might also be able to jump on buses coming through from Luang Prabang at about 1pm.
Buses for Luang Prabang (US$7, 7 to 11 hours, 168km) stop for about five minutes en route from Vientiane about every hour between I lam and 8pm. Minibuses (US$9.50, six to eight hours) and air-con buses (US$9.50) leave between 9am and lOam, the number varying depending on demand. All these services stop at Kasi and Muang Phu Khoun (for Phonsavan). though you might need to pay the full Luang Prabang fare on some.
There’s one bus to Phonsavan (US$7.50, six to seven hours, 219km) which leaves between about 9am and 9.30am.
Vang Vieng is easily negotiated on foot. Renting a bicycle (about US$1 a day) is also popular; they’re available almost everyv\where.
For caves sites out of town you can chater sawngthaew near the old market site-expect to pay around US$10 per trip up to 20 km north or south of town.