Jinghong/Mengla to Luang Namtha
Venture from Jinghong, centre of the historic Sipsongpanna Kingdom, to its previous principality of Luang Namtha.
Jinghong offers two daily busses to Luang Namtha, which stop at Mengla, home of a popular forest canopy walkway. You can catch these busses at both the North and South Bus Stations. The first bus departs the North Station at about 08:00 and the South Station around 08:30. A seat costs less than ¥80 (about $12), and the bus tends to fill up fast, so you should consider purchasing your ticket the day before your trip. The 240-km ride to Luang Namtha Town takes 6-8 hours, and includes crossing the Mohan-Boten border checkpoint. The second bus leaves the North Station at 10:40.
Those departing from Mengla can catch the direct Luang Namtha bus that leaves around 08:00-09:00 for about ¥50 ($7.50). The 100-km trip takes about 4-5 hours, including immigration clearance, which gets you to Luang Namtha Town in mid-afternoon.
Editor’s suggestion: Purchase your bus ticket a day in advance and ensure departure time.
Jinghong to Phongsaly
Though the Lantouy International Checkpoint in northern Phongsaly is open, no public transportation is available to this frontier border from China. The crossing is mostly used for commercial purposes. You might be able to hire a car and driver in Jinghong for an overland trip to the remote province.
Note: Prices and schedules are subject to change.