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Kapono Cheruene

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I'm Laotian living in Vientiane but to go LP a lot

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Asia > Laos > Luang Prabang > Useful Info
Updated on Jul 17, 2019 Useful Info

Best way to get to Luang Prabang from Bangkok

  • The best way to get to Luang Prabang from Bangkok is by direct flight. It's quick, cheap and used by almost all visitors
  • Flights are quite often. There are currently 5 daily direct flights from Bangkok to Luang Prabang, flown by Lao Airlines, Air Asia, Thai Airways, and Bangkok Airways
  • Lao Airlines: dep. 10:25am -> arr. 12:25pm
  • Air Asia: dep. 2:30pm -> arr. 4:00pm
  • Thai Airways: dep. 8:45am -> arr. 10:20am
  • Bangkok Airways: dep. 9:55am -> arr. 12:05pm & dep. 2:40pm -> arr. 4:50pm
  • Lao Airlines is usually the cheapest. Its one-way fare starts at around $65USD. Other airlines' fares will be $90-$120USD
  • Flight takes 1h30min, but Lao Airlines and Bangkok Airways use propeller planes which will take 2 hours
  • Flights depart from both BKK and DMK in Bangkok. In Luang Prabang there is only one airport to arrive into
  • The best way to get into Luang Prabang city center from the airport is taxi or tuk tuk. There is no public transportation (more details)


  • Alternative to flying:
  • If you don't want to fly for whatever reason, the only other way to get to Luang Prabang from Bangkok is to take a train from Bangkok to Nong Khai, then cross the border into Laos, then take a local bus to Vientiane, and then finally take a bus to Luang Prabang
  • Overall, I do not recommend this option because it takes way too long, has a lot of transfer points, and you don't end up saving a lot of money. But here's how:
  • Step 1 - Train from Bangkok to Nong Khai:
  • There are 4 daily trains from Bangkok to Nong Khai
  1. Train 75: Dep. 8:20AM -> Arr. 5:30PM (9h10min)
  2. Train 77: Dep. 6:35PM -> Arr. 3:45AM next day (9h10min)
  3. Train 25: Dep. 8:00PM -> Arr. 6:25AM next day (10h25min)
  4. Train 133: Dep. 8:45PM -> Arr. 7:55AM next day (11h10min)
  • Of these 4 options, only Train 25 have sleeper class. Everything else is seating only
  • Fares:
  • 2nd class sleeper (has AC): 898 baht ($26USD) for top bed and 998 baht ($29USD) for bottom bed
  • 1st class sleeper (has AC): 1357 baht ($44USD) for top bed and 1557 baht ($51) for bottom bed
  • 3rd class seat (no AC): 213-253 baht ($7-$8USD)
  • 2nd class seat (has AC): 498 baht ($16USD)
  • Trains all depart from Hua Lamphong Railway Station in Bangkok, close to Chinatown. Trains arrive at Nong Khai Railway Station
  • Check the current schedule and fare on State Railway of Thailand's website: http://www.railway.co.th. Website is available in English and you can also make your booking on this website too
  • Step 2 - Border Crossing into Laos:
  • Once you arrive at the Nong Khai Railway Station, you need to make your way to the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge (located here), which is open between 6am and 10pm everyday and located 3km from the train station
  • To get there, you can either walk for 15 minutes from the train station, or take one of the many tuk tuks waiting outside the train station for 100 baht ($3.25USD) cash. Just tell the driver you're going to the "Friendship Bridge to Laos" and they will know how to get there
  • At the border crossing on the bridge, you will need to get a Visa on Arrival (VOA) to Laos. Unless you're citizen of an ASEAN country, you most likely need a tourist visa to visit Laos. This border crossing issues VOA, so getting your visa here is quick and easy. Just make sure you have 2 passport-sized photos and USD cash for fee payment. Fees vary by citizenship, and always bring a few more dollars to pay for additional unlisted "fees". Here's the complete details on getting Lao visa
  • Alternatively, you can book a transfer for about $11USD and someone will drive you all the from Nong Khai to Vientiane in a minivan. I suggest using 12Go to book (just search for Nong Khai to Vientiane)
  • Step 3 - Taxi, tuk tuk or public bus from the border to Vientiane:
  • After you've crossed the border in to Laos over the Friendship Bridge, there's another 18km to Vientiane
  • Your options is to either take a shared taxi (Songthaew), hire a tuk tuk, or take a public bus:
  • Shared taxi (songthaew): 30,000 LAK ($3.5USD) per person, and you will have to until it's full. Takes 30 minutes to get to Vientiane
  • Tuk tuk: 120,000 LAK ($13.8USD) to hire your own tuk tuk to Vientiane, also takes 30 minutes
  • Public bus: take bus #14 for 8000 LAK ($0.95USD) to get to Vientiane Khua Din Bus Station. Check the official website of the bus operator for current time and fare (http://www.vientianebus.org.la). Bus runs between 7am and 7pm, one every 15-20 minutes
  • Step 4 - Bus from Vientiane to Luang Prabang:
  • There is no train from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. The only way to get there without flying is to take a bus
  • Fortunately, there are numerous transportation companies that operate coach buses and minivans
  • Cost ranges from $22-$30USD per person
  • Travel time ranges from 8-13 hours. Minivans will be faster than coach buses
  • See more details on getting from Vientiane to Luang Prabang, including list of bus companies for this route and where to book your tickets