Vientine to Luang Prabang and Vice-Versa: Bus or Van?

It can be said, on the Luang Prabang-Vientiane route or vice-versa, I would go for the VIP bus over the mini-van.

1. It’s more roomy.
Here’s our VIP bus. We booked our tickets from one of the travel agencies. It’s roomy and comfortable.


The van is small and cramped.

2. The van isn’t necessarily  faster.
Travel agents recommend the van because it’s supposedly  faster . With twisting mountain roads, it makes sense. However, on the Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang leg which is where the twisting roads  begin, the van was going at about 40-60 mph; the same with the bus.

3. The price is the same.
Enough said. The extra 10,000 kip on the bus ticket is actually for the tuk tuk so it actually evens-out.

The bus includes lunch
It may just be a roadside no-frills restaurant serving hot noodle soup but it’s still good.


Getting a Ticket

You may buy your bus or van tickets at the bus station themselves or at your hotel/guesthouse or at any tour agency.

If you buy your ticket from a source other than the bus or van counter at the station, you will get a voucher which you need to present at the station to get your real ticket. You can reserve seats in the bus. For the van, it’s first come first served.

Some tour companies such as Soutchie Travel have their own vans. However, these go only as far as Vang Vieng. They, however, will arrange your VV-LP connection. You will be dropped off at their office in VV where the connecting van picks you up. There isxan hour’s wait for the connection, enough time to get some lunch and stretch your aching legs.

Here’s the LP bus station.

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