A guide to travelling to Laos
You can travel to Laos via many different routes such as plane, bus and boat. Travelling by plane is the easiest option but is also the most expensive. One of the most popular and cheapest ways to get to Laos is via bus. There are many bus routes going into Laos from neighbouring countries which helps to travel with ease whilst on a budget.
Getting to Laos from Thailand
If you’re travelling from Thailand (Chiang Mai) to Laos then here is what you need to know:
• Bus/mini vans will pick you up from your accommodation in Chiang Mai and take you to the Thai border. There’s a few stop offs on the way and you also can get lunch.
• Before you arrive at the Thai border (Chiang Khong) you will stop at an office which will convert any Baht you have left into Laos Kip. They will also exchange money into US dollars to pay for your visa. It’s very rushed and confusing but a great help.
• From the office you will then be taken to the Thai Border to be stamped out of Thailand.
• You will then get back on the bus to cross the friendship bridge into Huay Xai, Laos where the border office is.
Before you enter Laos
• Before you can enter Laos you will need to fill out your visa and some more information.
• The visa costs $35 USD and requires 2 passport photos. If you don’t have passport photos it will just cost you an extra $2 dollars.
• Once the visa is sorted you’ll go through passport control and get stamped into Laos.
• From here you’ll take a bus to your sleeper bus for 5km.
• Get on the sleeper bus first if you can as they tend to over book them. Be prepared, it’s cramped and a very bumpy ride.
• Drop off is at a bus station in Luang Prabang. There’ll be tuk tuks available to take you to your accommodation for 30,000 Kip (£2.70)
About the bus
The bus journey is relatively straight forward and very cheap. It costs around 1,300 THB (£30) and can be organised at most accommodations in Chiang Mai.
The bus takes 22 hours in total. There are stop offs on the way and is the quicker option than the slow or fast boat.
Note: There are NO toilets on the bus. Wear something that’ll cover your legs for comfort and take a hoody, it can get very cold in the nights. And be sure to take snacks.
Where to go
For more Laos guides click here
Where to stay
Find the best deals on accommodation in Luang Prabang here
If you have any questions please leave a comment or send me a DM. Always happy to help 🙂