How to travel to Laos - How to get to Laos
Laos Travel information, Travel info for Laos
How to get to Laos - Travel information for Laos from the local specialist:
Most travelers who travel to Laos arrive from Bangkok Airport and make their way up north into Laos through Vientiane, the border town near the golden triangle Houay Xai or in the South through the area of Pakse and Ubon Ratchathani.
All border crossings allow travelers to enter with a Lao visa on arrival. The Lao visa fees depend on nationality and cost between 30-45 USD which you need to bring in cash when traveling to Laos. As you enter Laos through a land border you can get a 30 day Lao visa on arrival, which you can extend locally in immigration offices up to 3 months.
And here is some great news too, you can stay in Laos up to 3 months without leaving the country. Lao visa extentions are possible in most immigration offices in Laos, namely in Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse.
There are night buses, airplanes and train connections between major cities of South East Asia connecting with Laos and we want to help you to make your visit to Laos easier with the below information, updated on a monthly base. You may also visit our travel blog with weekly stories and news on traveling in Laos, the best blog about Laos. Come Explore Laos with us!
A new train connection is made possible to go directly from Bangkok via Nong Khai (Thailand) to a train station in Laos, near Vientiane. We have some travel tips prepared for you for this journey on the night train to Laos.
Travel to Laos via Chiang Mai:
From Chiang Mai you can take a bus to the Thai and Laos border towns of Chiang Khong and Houay Xai on the Lao border. This border crossing over the Mekong gives you access to great tours on the Mekong to Luang Prabang, or overland to Luang Namtha in north Laos. On your stop in Chiang Mai, have a look on what we offer in Thailand.
Travel to Laos via Chiang Rai:
Chiang Khong in northern Thailand will also be your border corssing on this version. You will enter Laos over the Mekong, near the golden triangle, which is worth a daytrip to some of the border towns. The border town in Laos, at the north Thai gateway is called Houay Xai and is the same entry point on the Mekong as if you come from Chiang Mai.
Travel to Laos via Udon Thani:
You can also take a train or bus to Udon Thani. From here you can easily make your way to Nong Khai, the Thai border town to Laos, and over the Friendship Bridge into Vientiane, the capital of Laos. If you come through Vientiane, this could be your best adventure...
Traveling to Laos, into South Laos:
If you want to travel into South Laos, you access Laos via Ubon Ratchanthani which will bring you to the South Lao town of Pakse. You can find easy connections via Trains, Buses and even Airplanes to Ubon Ratchathani in East Thailand. From here it is just about one hour to the Thai Lao border in South Laos. Our best seller in South Laos is the Southern Delights tour and some of our amazing South Laos Mekong River Cruises.
Flying into Laos:
Of course, flying to Laos is the easiest way. Bangkok is the best place to connect to Laos if you come though international connections. Bangkok and Laos connects well, into the airports on Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Pakse.
LAOS INSIDER Travel Tip:
If you want to use a quick and easy way to fly to Laos, well not directly into Laos, you can choose a cheap air carrier to Ubon Ratchathani or Udon Thani!! From these places you can easily take overland travel into Laos. Cheaper flights can be booked if you fly with low cost arilines into places near the border, you can check Nok Air, Air Asia and other local airlines.
There are also direct flights to Laos from Singapore, Hoh Chi Minh City, Hanoi and many cities in China as well as Bangkok. If you wish to travel to Laos via Bangkok, you can take a night train or even a low cost airline to get into Laos right away. The night trains from Bangkok to Vientiane are a very convenient and a fun experience, if you bring the time. Our Explore Laos Travel blog has updated stories and Lao travel tips about how you can enter Laos via Train in an easy and convenient way.
Entering Laos from Cambodia
is possible at one entry point in the south
Dong Crorlor in Cambodia. There are Buses connecting Phnom Penh and the border. Might be hard in rainy season. Also there are Mekong boats going upstream in the direction of Stung Treng (from here go on with Bus or Pick Up).
Entering Laos from Vietnam
is easy to arrange from major cities in Vietnam. Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon and other cities provide good bus connections into Laos, and of course air services... You can buy bus tickets in all major agencies and also get your visas there. Visa on arrival for Laos is possible on most ports/border points, please check before you come with the official websites and the immigration.
Flying to Luang Prabang - Air Travel to Laos, Air travel to Luang Prabang:
Luang Prabang is linked with major cities from neighboring countries in South East Asia.
Namely Lao Airlines maintaines daily connections between several cities within the neighboring countries and other flights from to Luang Prabang as well.
Luang Prabang - Chiang Mai (Thailand)
Luang Prabang - Bangkok (Thailand) and all further connections
Luang Prabang - Vientiane (up to 4 times a day)
Luang Prabang - Hanoi (daily)
Luang Prabang - Siem Reap / Phnom Penh (few times per week)
Laos Air Travel Information - Airlines serving Lao airports:
For cheap onward air travel from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Vientiane as well a a new connection to Kuala Lumpur from Vientiane see also www.airasia.com
Over land travel to Luang Prabang - from the south of Laos
You find daily buses from Vientiane to Luang Prabang and even night buses which run overnight with aircon...saving a night in a guest house. The ride is scenic and takes about 8-9 hrs. or much more... Traveling from Pakse you can take super cozy nigh buses with sleeping areas for just about 20+ USD up to Vientiane. The night bus Pakse to Vientiane takes also about 8-9 hours.
Also from Vang Vieng you find daily mini buses going up north to Luang Prabang and Vientiane for a few Dollars. Buses need about 6 hrs.
On the Mekong to Luang Prabang - from the north of Laos and Thailand
coming from northern Thailand you may catch buses from Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and other cities to get to the border town of Chiang Khong (Thai side). From here cross the Mekong river to Houay Xai. Here you find slow boats down stream to Pagbeng and further to Luang Prabang which takes 2 days (2 x 8 hrs.) Visas are available on the border!
If you have not enough time and can stand some adventure and risk you can get fast boats - speed boats - which will make it in one day! They are supposed to be dangerous but actually it is good fun riding them. Please note that speed boats accidents occur every year!
From all northern Laos Cities there are daily buses to Luang Prabang as well. For example from Luang Namtha, from Udom Xai and so on.
To Vientiane - Air Travel
International Airlines link up with Vientiane such as Vietnam Airlines, Bangkok Air, Thai Airways, Air Asia and others. Please check international connections with your Tour Operator or Agent at home to get the best flight connection to Laos or Vientiane. Some flights you may be able to book online, but please check recent travel information forums for further details as well.
By Train to Laos
you can arrive with night trains from Bangkok to the small border town of Nhong Kai. Take a Tuk-Tuk to the border of Thailand and enter Laos. From the border of Laos you find many taxis and Tuk-Tuks who can transfer you into town for a few dollars.