Luang Prabang Transportation Guide: Bus, Plane, Boat, and Train

THéo COurant

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Luang Prabang Transportation Guide: Bus, Plane, Boat, and Train

Explore the myriad ways to reach Luang Prabang in our detailed transportation guide. Whether by bus, plane, boat, or the new train line, discover the best routes for an effortless journey


Luang Prabang Transportation Guide

Explore the myriad ways to reach Luang Prabang in our detailed transportation guide. Whether by bus, plane, boat, or the new train line, discover the best routes for an effortless journey.

Buses, vans or mini-buses in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang bus stations

Luang Prabang boasts two bus stations conveniently serving different directions:

  • Northern Station: Located 3 km north of the town center and adjacent to the airport at Route 13 Ban Xang Khong. It connects to various destinations, including Oudomxay, Luang de Namtha, Nong Khiaw, Nam Bark, Phonsay, and Phongsaly.
  • Southern Station: Situated approximately 2 km south of the town center, this station connects travelers to key destinations such as Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Phonsavan, Vieng Kham, and Sayaboury.

Please note that the destinations indicated above may sometimes change. We recommend that you make inquiries beforehand for the most up-to-date information.

Purchasing and Booking Options

When it comes to securing a bus ticket in Luang Prabang, you have three options:

  • Through an Agency or Accommodation: Tickets can be obtained through travel agencies or your hotel/guesthouse, but be aware that prices may include a commission, varying based on the service provider.
  • Directly at Bus Stations: You can also purchase tickets by visiting the bus stations directly.
  • Online Booking: For added convenience, consider booking your ticket online.


Buses to Luang Prabang


Vang Vieng

International buses - Thailand

Chiang Rai

Luang Prabang - Chiang Rai by van: it’s here!



International buses - Vietnam



Luang Prabang by air


Luang Prabang Airport

Luang Prabang’s compact international airport is situated just 4 km from the town center. Despite its size, the airport is well-equipped, featuring facilities such as currency exchange, ATMs, restaurants, and a reliable taxi service.

The airport is serviced by three major airlines: Bangkok Airways, Lao Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines.

For transportation to and from the airport, there is currently no public bus service available. Travelers have the option of choosing between taxis or tuk-tuks

Main cities served from Luang Prabang Airport

Laos**VientianeSchedules and Reservations
PakseSchedules and Reservations
Thailand** BangkokSchedules and Reservations
Kuala LumpurSchedules and Reservations
Vietnam**HanoiSchedules and Booking
YunnanSchedules and Booking

Luang Prabang : speed boat et slow boat


Nestled along the Mekong River, Luang Prabang has thrived as a hub along this vital waterway. Serving as a major traffic artery, the river provides access to numerous small villages and towns.

One popular route for tourists is to arrive in or depart from Luang Prabang by boat, heading to the Laotian town of Huay Xai ou Houei Sai. From there, travelers can easily make their way to Thailand.

There are two travel options for the journey from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai or Houei Sai: the speed boat and the slow boat.

  1. Speed Boat Option:

    o Cost: Approximately 340,000 kip per person.
    o Duration: The journey takes around 7 hours, including a break at the renowned town of Pakbeng.
    o Schedule: Departure is typically around 08:30, with an expected arrival between 16:00 and 16:30.

  1. Private Boat Option:

    o Availability: It is possible to book a private boat for up to 4 passengers.
    o Cost: The price for the private boat is 2,300,000 kip or approximately 235 euros.
    These options provide flexibility for travelers seeking varying speeds and levels of comfort during their journey.

Pakbeng serves as a crucial stopover for those opting for the slow boat experience. Spending the night in this charming town, travelers resume their boat journey the next day, eventually reaching Huay Xai. The entire voyage is an exceptional experience, marked by tranquility and the opportunity to witness breathtaking scenery.

While the peaceful trip offers a chance to connect with fellow travelers, it’s worth noting that the route is well-traveled and popular among tourists heading to the same destination. This provides an opportunity to meet new people—although it’s not guaranteed!
For those opting for the slow boat journey with a stopover in Pakbeng, the boat trip itself costs 220,000 kip per person. Additionally, travelers need to factor in the expense of an overnight stay in a Pakbeng hotel, including dinner and breakfast. This combined experience provides not only a scenic river journey but also an opportunity to enjoy the hospitality and atmosphere of Pakbeng.

Our advice
In our view, while the speedboat experience may appeal to thrill-seekers, it’s essential to acknowledge its inherent dangers. Coupled with the discomfort of noise, limited legroom, and constant jolts, the overall experience is one we would advise avoiding. The high-speed nature of this mode of transport doesn’t align with the laid-back pace that characterizes Laos.

Our Advice:
To save time searching for a guesthouse or hotel upon your arrival in Pakbeng, it’s advisable to book in advance. This not only streamlines the process but also allows you more time to explore the village and its surrounding areas.

The Train and Luang Prabang Station:

Luang Prabang is now connected to Vientiane and Boten in the northern part of the country via a newly established train route. In just a few years, Laos has expanded its railway network from 3 km to over 400 km as of December 2021. This railway, funded through Chinese loans, is a crucial segment of the 5,500 km trans-Asian route connecting Kumming (China) to Singapore. Notably, it establishes a swift 3-hour link between Luang Prabang, the cultural capital, and Vientiane, the economic capital.
To facilitate this connectivity, a dedicated railway station has been established in Luang Prabang, situated 15 km away from the city center.