Getting Around Laos
Traveling between provinces and exploring them requires knowing how to get around. And it’s quite easy to get to your destination. Domestic flights, VIP coaches, and cruise boats provide comfort. You can rent a car with a driver or take the bus.
Phongsaly: Access keeps getting easier to Laos’ northernmost frontier. Lao Skyway offers four flights a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) at 13:00 from Vientiane to Phongsaly Province (Boun Neua District Airport). The trip takes 1-hour, 40-minutes. Phongsaly can be reached by bus from the Northern...Read more.
Luang Namtha: Travel to Nature’s Playground by plane, bus, and even riverboat. Lao Airlines offers daily flights from Vientiane to Luang Namtha at 14:30 for the 1-hour flight, and Lao Skyway offers daily flights at 14:50. A bus departs daily from Vientiane Capital’s Northern Bus Terminal for Luang Namtha in the morning...Read more.
Luang Prabang: You can easily reach Luang Prabang by air, road, or boat from several domestic and regional cities. A growing number of airlines have direct flights to Luang Prabang from Southeast Asian hubs including Bangkok, Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. North Asia also launches direct flights from Seoul...Read more.
Houaphanh: You’re just an hour-long flight away from the Birthplace of Lao PDR.Lao Skyway offers six flights a week (Monday-Saturday) to Xam Neua, departing between 09:00 and 09:30, and arrives about an hour later. Check their latest timetable. Three local busses leave from Vientiane Capital’s Northern Bus Terminal at 07:00...Read more.
Oudomxay: Jump right in to the Heart of Northern Laos by air, short bus rides, or Mekong riverboat. Lao Skyway offers flights from Vientiane every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 14:50 for the hour-long flight to Muang Xay. Lao Airlines has daily flights departing Vientiane at 11:40 for a 50-minute flight...Read more.
Xieng Khouang: Fly or drive to the Plain of Jars. Three daily busses depart to Phonsavanh from Vientiane Capital’s Northern Bus Terminal from 07:00-10:30. Three late busses leave between 04:30- 20:00. The 400-km, air-conditioned coach ride takes about 10 hours and costs LAK110,000. You can also book a minivan...Read more.
Xaysomboun: If getting there is half the fun, you’ll have a blast. There are no flights or public transportation directly to Xaysomboun. However, roads enter the province from Vientiane Capital, Vang Vieng, Xieng Khouang, and Bolikhamxay, and a series of rides in sawng taews (Pickup trucks with benches) can get you there...Read more.
Bokeo: It keeps getting easier to access Bokeo’s capital, Houay Xay. Lao Skyway operates six weekly flights from Vientiane. The new 60-seat turboprops depart Vientiane at 08:30 every day for the 1-hour scenic flight. Lao Airlines occasionally operates the route, depending on demand. Be sure to book early and be...Read more.
Sayabouly: You can catch overland transportation to the province from several Lao destinations as well as Thailand. Mekong riverboats also cruise to a few Sayabouly landings. Local busses depart Vientiane for Sayabouly Town via Paklay at 08:00 and 09:00 (LAK90,000-110,000), and VIP sleeper busses leave the capital...Read more.
Vientiane Province: Busses and vans are your best bet for getting to Vang Vieng and the Nam Ngum area. Public and VIP busses to towns in the province depart from the capital’s Central Bus Station behind the Morning Market. Busses leave on the hour for Vang Vieng (LAK40,000) and Thalat/Nam Ngum (LAK15,000). A daily bus departs for Kasi at 08:30 for LAK50,000...Read more.
Vientiane Capital: Vientiane is the main gateway to the country, with most travellers entering and exiting the country through the capital. The number of flights and airlines landing at Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport continues to increase, and they are arriving from more destinations including Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore...Read more.
Bolikhamxay: Taking a bus or sawng taew (Pickup trucks with benches) is the only way to get to Bolikhamxay, whether from neighbouring Vientiane or other provincial centres. Local, VIP, and express busses, as well as sawng taews depart from Vientiane Capital’s Southern Bus Terminal, for Pakxan...Read more.
Khammouane: From Vientiane to Southern Laos, you’ll find a bus to Khammouane. And Thakaek is just a bridge away from Thailand. From Vientiane Capital’s Southern Bus Terminal, VIP (LAK80,000) and Express (LAK 70,000) coaches depart for Thakaek at 04: 00, 05:00, 06:00, 12:00, 13:00, and...Read more.
Savannakhet: You can fly or bus from Vientiane, Pakse, and even Thailand. Transportation to Savannakhet is easy to find in Central and Southern Lao Provinces. Lao Airlines offers 5 weekly flights – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – to Savannakhet International Airport departing...Read more.
Salavan: As Salavan has no active airport, most visitors arrive via Pakse, about 115 km away. Lao Airlines offers 14 direct weekly flights to Pakse International Airport departing Vientiane at 07:10, 7:50, 8:10, and 10:30, depending on the day, for the 75-minute trip. The carrier also offers a daily direct flight from Luang Prabang departing at 10:40 and arriving at 12:20...Read more.
Sekong: Though rather remote and without an airport, Sekong can be reached by bus from Vientiane and Central Laos. You can find more options in Southern Laos. Pakse, about 140 km away, is the most popular gateway to Sekong, as its airport welcomes domestic and international flights. The regional hub can also be reached by bus from Thailand’s Ubon...Read more.
Champasak: You’ll find plenty of ways to reach this growing Southern Lao travel hub. Lao Airlines offers 14 direct weekly flights to Pakse International Airport departing Vientiane at 07:10, 7:50, 8:10, and 10:30, depending on the day, for the 75-minute trip. The carrier offers a daily direct flight from Luang Prabang departing at 10:40 and arriving at 12:20...Read more.
Attapeu: Getting to Attapeu becomes easier every year, and a new airport aims to welcome flights. Until the Attapeu Airport kicks in, you’ll have to fly to Pakse and head overland. Lao Airlines offers 14 direct weekly flights to Pakse International Airport departing Vientiane at 07:10, 7:50, 8:10, and 10:30, depending on the day, for the 75-minute trip. The carrier also...Read more.
Getting Around Lao Provinces
And it gets better when you reach your destination. Tour operators can show you around, but some like to strike out on their own. Independent travelers can rent cycles and motorbikes, hire tuk tuks, or join the locals on a sawng taew or minibus.
Phongsaly: Discover how to get around Laos’ remote northernmost frontier. Tuk tuks, sawng taews (Pickup trucks with benches), and boats are available in district centres, and offer an easy way to travel around the province. You can also rent bicycles for about $1-2 per day. Motorbikes are available for hire in Phongsaly...Read more.
Luang Namtha: Hop on a local vehicle or rent 2 wheels to explore Nature’s Playground. Tuk tuks are available in Luang Namtha and Sing Towns to explore the various attractions. You can also rent bicycles and motorbikes for sightseeing around these towns and to reach other districts. Several tour operators offer a choice of...Read more.
Luang Prabang: From the e-bus to cycles to boats to walking, you’ll find plenty of ways to get where you want to go in Luang Prabang. Several modes of transportation connect tourists between their accommodation and Luang Prabang’s attractions. An official counter at the airport offers rides (LAK50,000) in modern vehicles...Read more.
Houaphanh: Choose a sawng taew, bus, or motorbike to move around Houaphanh. Sawng taews (Pickup trucks with benches) are available in district centres, and offer an easy way to travel around the province. You can also rent bicycles for about $1-2 per day. Motorbikes are available in Xam Neua...Read more.
Oudomxay: You can find a few options to get you to Oudomxay’s attractions and destinations. A handful of public busses travel between Muang Xay Town and Muang Beng, Muang Houn, and Pak Beng, and they generally depart in the morning or early afternoon...Read more.
Xieng Khouang: You’ll find plenty of travel options in Phonesavan, from motorbikes and cycles to sawng taews, tuk tuks, and minivans. Tuk tuks and sawng taews (Pickup trucks with benches) are available for sightseeing around Phonsavanh. You can book them at the bus station for the day to go on self-tours to close-by...Read more.
Xaysomboun: It ain’t easy, but it can be done. Most visitors come to Xaysomboun with their own rented transportation or with a tour operator. However, a few sawng taews (Pickup trucks with benches) travel between district centres for those who arrived after taking a series of local transportation from outside the province. You...Read more.
Bokeo: How to get around depends on where you want to go. Hotels, guesthouses, and travel agents in Houay Xay rent motorbikes and bicycles for local sightseeing or venturing to a nearby destination. Sawng taews and busses travel between Houay Xay Bus Station and other Bokeo district capitals. Check departure times...Read more.
Sayabouly: Sayabouly Town is the province’s travel hub, with Hongsa serving the north and Paklay launching trips in the south. Tuk tuks, sawng taews (Pickup trucks with benches), 4WD vehicles, and minivans are the main forms of transportation between the three hubs and outlying provinces. They leave two-to-three...Read more.
Vientiane Province: You’ll find loads of transport choices in Vang Vieng, while Nam Ngum offers interesting options. Vang Vieng holds a variety of options for going on self-guided adventures around town, to the caves, along the river, and into the mountains. By foot, you can stroll around town to see the temples, find a restaurant or bar, or cross a suspended bridge to a relaxing...Read more.
Vientiane Capital: Pick your pleasure, when searching for transport around the capital. From taxis and tuk tuks to bicycles and busses, Vientiane is ready to get you around. Most visitors to the capital stay in the downtown area, where they can take in the main attractions. Many rent a bicycle or motorbike, which makes it quicker to reach Patuxay...Read more.
Bolikhamxay: You’ll be going local on your exploration of Nature’s Backdoor. Sawng taews (Pickup trucks with benches) travel between Bolikhamxay’s district centres throughout the day. They depart when full, and early morning is the best time for catching a quick ride. Some sawng taew drivers can...Read more.
Khammouane: Tackle “The Loop” on a motorcycle or visit sites in a sawng taew. You find plenty of options for getting around “The River Cave Capital”. Tuk tuks are readily available for sightseeing around Thakaek. Some sawng taew (Pickup trucks with benches) drivers can be hired by the day...Read more.
Savannakhet: You’ll find plenty of transport options, whether you’re touring the town or heading off on the Savannakhet Historic Trail. Tuk tuks are available in Savannakhet Town and at bus stations throughout the province to explore the various attractions. Sawng taews (Pickup trucks with benches)...Read more.
Salavan: Independent travellers heading to Salavan’s districts and attractions may find it challenging, but well worth the effort. The best wat to get around Salavan is with transportation rented in Pakse, as only Tad Lo currently offers bicycle rentals. Tuk-tuks are available for travelling around Salavan Town’s sites, and the schedule for busses to the outlying districts is...Read more.
Sekong: Guesthouses, hotels, and the Visitor Information Centre in can help you arrange transportation. Bicycles can also be rented, and the visitor centre can arrange guided tours, as can travel agents in Sekong Town and Pakse. Without a motorcycle rented in Pakse, getting around the province’s more remote areas can be challenging. Local busses depart...Read more.
Champasak: When it comes to getting around Champasak, take your pick from plenty of options. Public busses take you to district centres from Pakse’s two bus stations 2-3-times a day. A 07:30 bus departs the Dao Heung Market for Champasak Town at 10:00, 11:00, and 12:00 for LAK20,000. Busses for Don Khong and Don Khone leave from the Southern Bus Station...Read more.
Attapeu: Getting around Attapeu Province can be challenging, though touring the town and its environs is quite easy. A song taew around town costs as little as 5,000 kip. You can rent bicycles for sightseeing and pedalling along the Xe Kong River, or hire a motorbike to venture further from Attapeu Town. The easiest way to get around the province is on a tour...Read more.