Visiting Vientiane and Luang Prabang

by Alan

I am landing in Vientiane on 11th Oct 2011 at 17.00 and leaving on 15th Oct at 17.00. I would also like to visit Luang Prabang (LP). The boat racing festival falls on 13th Oct. Could you please advise how best to split my days. I plan to fly to LP and need to decide on what flights to book.


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Sep 19, 2011
Spitting time suggestion

Hi Alan,

It's nice to receive your question.
I assume that you have already booked your round trip ticket to Vientiane, right?
If that's the case, I think it's best to have the first 2 days (12 and 13 Oct) in VTE and the rest in LPB.
Here are two options I'd like suggest:

Option 1: VTE first LBP last
In Vientiane
11 Oct. arrive. A night in VTE
12 Oct. Full day in VTE
13 Oct. Boat racing, enjoy the boat race in the morning. Then fly to LPB in the afternoon. If you catch the last flight at 16:30, you have plenty of time to enjoy the boat racing.

In Luang Prabang
13 Oct arrive in LPB around 17:10
14 Oct full day in LPB
15 Oct half day (morning) in LPB. Then fly back to VTE in the afternoon. The earliest flight is at 13:10, arrive in VTE at 13:50. This is the only flight that arrives before your depart time 17:00).
You have around 3 hours in VTE. You can go to the city & come back to the airport 1 hour before the departure time. It's not a very busy airport so 1 hour is fine.
Or if you don't want to get out of the airport, walk straight to the international terminal (3 min). There are places you can sit in the international terminal. The nicest place is a buffet restaurant on the 3rd floor. You don't have to eat there if you're not hungry. Just order a little of something to drink and you'll be welcome. Find yourself a nice & quiet corner, order a cup of coffee, a bottle of cold beer Lao or a fruit shake, read your book, check your email or just enjoy the airport view. I'm sure a couple of hours will fly away before you know it.

FYI:The next flight (from LPB to Vientiane) is at 17:40.

Option 2: VTE first, LPB last
In Vientiane
11 Oct. arrive in VTE, stay the night (no flight to LPB after 16:30)
12 Oct. Fly to LPB - the earliest flight is at 11:50, arrive in LPB around 12:30. An afternoon in LPB
13 Oct, morning in LPB. Fly back to VTE at 13:10 (this is the earliest flight available), arrive in VTE around 14:00. You have a few hours to enjoy the boat racing in VTE (you won't miss much if the flight?s not delayed). If you take a later flight, you might miss the boat racing.
14 Oct, full day in VTE
15 Oct, almost full day in VTE till you depart at 17:00.
This option, you'll have less time in LPB, which you might find it's not enough. And it might not be pleasant to spend the day after boat racing in VTE as there will be rubbish everywhere along the bank of the Mekong River after the festival.

I'd personally recommend the first option.

In addition, if you have not bought your round ticket to Laos (VTE), I'd recommend that you either arrive to VTE, spend however long here then leave to LPB, spend some time there, and depart from LPB (to Bangkok or Chiang Mai) so you don't have to come back to VTE. But I guess you will fly from KL, Malaysia to VTE, right? If this is the case it won't work out because you'll have to come back to VTE anyway as there's no direct flight from LPB to KL.

Hope this helps.


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