Transport in Laos

Tourism is about to thrive in Laos, the economy is improving and the road system is getting better nowadays. Getting around the country is not as difficult as it used to be. Below you can find some useful information as to means of transportation in Laos.

By Air
Northern Airports: Houayxai, Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Oudomxai, Samneua, Sayabouli. Xieng Khouang, Phong Sa Ly.
Southern Airports: Pakse and Savannakhet

Lao Aviation offers multiple flights between Vientiane and other destinations: Luang Prabang (daily), Savannakhet (daily), Luang Namtha (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), Xieng Khouang (daily), Pakse (daily), Oudomxai (Tu, Th, Sat, Sun), Xayyabuli (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), Houayxay (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat), Thakhek (Fri), and Saravane (via Savannakhet, Sun. only).

By Land
Taxis are available in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Savannakhet, though it seems only those in Vientiane are seen when you need them. On arrival at Wattay International Airport or at the Friendship Bridge between Vientiane and Thailand, taxis are available to take you to the city center.  Some taxis are not equipped with meter which you should negotiate the price before getting in.

Buses: Traveling by bus is the most convenient way of travelling in Laos. There price is cheap, so are the safety and service quality. The backbone of the road system is the Road No. 13 connecting Pak Mong in the north with Khong in the South, passing through Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Savannakhet and Champasack. The road conditions are fairly good between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Road No. 9 travels to the Vietnamese border.

By water
Ferry boats travel from Vientiane to Luang Prabang and back as well as from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai and back. The journeys can take several days, depending on the time of year - and whether travelling up or down river. It's a fun and adventure experience to travel on the Mekong River, but conditions may be suitable for the adventure travellers only.

Ferries usually depart early in the morning.  The times of departures and prices are dependent on seasons and the number of people to share the trip. The ferries don't work if there're not enough passengers.

There are speed boats which travel between Vientiane - Luang Prabang and Luang Prabang - Huay Xai;  the journey takes about eight hours each. The cost is considerably more than the ferry. Speed boats can carry up to 6 people.