Transportation from Vietnam to Laos:
There are only 2 ways to go from Vietnam to Laos: either by flight or bus.
Go by plane: You can choose Vietnam airline or Lao Airline, the price is roughly $350 for a return trip. The flight takes you about 1-2 hour.
Go by bus: Buy the ticket at Nuoc Ngam Bus Station. It costs about 20$ for a return ticket ( for the route Hanoi – Vientiane and vice versa)
Advice to Westerners: Only choose bus if you can’t afford flight cos it will be your nightmare. Why?
- Bus driver cannot speak English, so he absolutely cannot care about you.
- Food stop: Once or twice during the whole time.
- Toilet stop: Once or twice during the whole time.
Personally, I ate and drank very little during the bus hours to reduce toilet “demand”. Anyway, I think I’ll skip these bus rides next time visiting.
How to buy tickets in Hanoi?
- You can buy tickets at 3A Nguyen Gia Thieu, Hai Ba Trung district. You’re highly recommended to buy 3-4 weeks earlier for the comfortable bed so you can get beautiful scenery within the way.
- Besides, you can also buy at the Nuoc Ngam Bus Station (Bến xe Nước Ngầm) in Giai Phong street, Hoang Mai district. Remember to ask the company to include the number of your sit on the receipt.
- Note: Don’t buy return tickets because people often travel to Laos and go back from Luang Prabang, not Vientiane.
Several handy tips for those traveling to Laos:
- Pay a visit to the COPE Center
During the Vietnam War, more than 270 million cluster bombs were dropped into Laos, which has caused a lot of people to die due to approximately 800 million unexplored bombs remaining throughout the country after war. That is even more than the total bombs dropped in the World War 2.
The COPE Center is absolute a must to understand the secret war in Laos and how terrible war is. It works not only as an education center providing facts and useful information about the secret war in Laos but also a center assisting people losing their limb.
- Wake up early
You are highly recommended to wake up at the sunrise because you will get an amazing experience of savoring the stunning sunset in Luang Prabang. The air at that time is fresher than ever; the atmosphere is amazingly peaceful; and the scenery at the sunrise is more fabulous than ever. Just take a deep breath and enjoy a wonderful morning. It’s absolutely an ideal beginning for a new day.
Furthermore, in the early morning, the monks leave their temples and walk along the street to get food donations from local people wanting to have good karma. If you really want to participate in the alms ceremony, make sure that you follow its rules such as no speaking during the ceremony, not making eyes-contact with monks, not using camera flash, not getting too close to monks and not disturbing monks that are in a meditative state.
- Wear helmet when on motorbike
Be prepared for anything which can happen on the road when you travel by car, motorbike, bike or even on foot. Why? Everything can happen in the road here. Don’t expect people to drive on the right side of the road; don’t expect them to use lights or turn signals; don’t expect people to pay attention to your signal; don’t expect people to wait for you get out of their way. Therefore, always wear helmet if you travel by bike or choose to travel by public transport.
- Book hotel in advances
Why? because you can find the most satisfied hotel with a reasonable price. Accommodations cam make your trip but it can also destroy your trip, so book hotel in advances to make sure about perfect Laos Vacations.
5. Should-try cuisine
Unique food is definitely one of factors attracting visitors and Laos cuisine makes it. Let’s explore here.
Once you’re in Laos, just take it easy, take it slow, and savor!