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How to Get from Vientiane to Luang Prabang? 4 Ways Available in 2024

Laos' slow development makes it an ideal place for nature lovers. Huge swaths of the country remain untouched and pristine. It also means getting around can be a challenge.

Getting between Vientiane and Luang Prabang doesn't have to be difficult, though. Flights, trains, buses, and cars can all cover the distance. The best way for you depends on what you're looking for.

How Far Is Vientiane to Luang Prabang? The Location Map of Vientiane and Luang Prabang

Looking at the map of Laos, both cities of Vientiane and Luang Prabang are in north Laos, 340 km apart.

Vientiane is near the border with Thailand and is a center for business, politics, and urban culture. The Mekong River brings advantages of trade and transport to the city. It is also a scenic backdrop for the vibrant riverfront area and a quiet place for picnics or enjoying sunset views over the water.

Luang Prabang lies to the north. It symbolizes Laos' history and culture. Its setting, at the meeting point of two major rivers and surrounded by mountains, is a beautiful spot to enjoy nature.


Get from Vientiane to Luang Prabang by Flight: the Easiest and Fastest Way

The fastest and easiest way to get from Vientiane to Luang Prabang is to fly. Direct flights take only 40-45 minutes and are available daily from Lao Airlines or Lao Skyway.

Vientiane Wattay Airport is 5.5km from the city center and easy to reach by taxi, tuk-tuk, or airport shuttle. It takes around 15 minutes and costs 6-8 USD by taxi or around 2 USD by bus or tuk-tuk.

Traveling from Luang Prabang Airport to the city center is easiest by taxi. A flat rate of 50,000 Lao kip is charged per group to every hotel or guesthouse in the city. The trip takes 10-15 minutes


Flight No.





Lao Airlines

QV 101

10:40 AM

11:25 AM

46 USD


Lao Skyway

LK 264

11:15 AM

11:55 AM

32 USD

Friday, Sunday

Get from Vientiane to Luang Prabang by Train: the Most Convenient and Recommended Way

On December 3rd, 2021, a rail link between Vientiane and Luang Prabang opened on the Boten–Vientiane section of the Laos-China Railway. The high-speed train quickly became popular and is the most convenient way to travel between the two cities.

Tickets are available three days in advance and can be booked online through the official LCR Ticket App or bought at the station. Vientiane railway station is 15km away from central Vientiane. A taxi to the station from the city center costs 12-15 USD and takes 20-30 minutes. Luang Prabang station takes around 30 minutes to reach from the city centers. Taking a tuk-tuk costs around 6 USD, and a taxi will cost 12-15 USD.

Direct high-speed trains from Vientiane to Luang Prabang run three times a day:

Train No.

Departs from Vientiane

Arrives at Luang Prabang

2nd Class Ticket

1st Class Ticket




28 USD

39 USD




28 USD

39 USD




28 USD

39 USD

Get from Vientiane to Luang Prabang by Bus or Minivan: the Cheapest Way

Traveling by bus will help you save money and see more of the country. Departures are available all day, and tickets cost between 16 and 28 USD.

Minivans are the cheapest option and are usually a little faster. Larger modern buses offer more comfort, and overnight buses with sleeper berths are also available. Buses leave from Vientiane's Northern Bus Terminal and departure points in the city.

It is possible to arrange pick up from your hotel, but you will need to inquire with the bus company. The shortest trip takes 7-8 hours, and others make the 340 km journey in 10-13 hours.

Taking a bus from Vientiane to Luang Prabang

Get from Vientiane to Luang Prabang by Drive: More Hassle-free Way

For a completely hassle-free transfer, you can drive or take a private car from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. Driving lets you set your own time and see the beautiful countryside on the best time to visit Laos. The drive takes around seven hours without stopping for extended sightseeing.

The cost for a private car and driver varies widely. Prices for a standard sedan range between 150 and 200 USD. Car rentals start from 35 USD per day for a compact car, and larger SUVs start from 73 USD. Check with the car rental company to ensure you can pick up and drop off the car at different locations. Gas and car insurance costs may be extra.

More Tips about Getting from Vientiane to Luang Prabang

Transportation in Laos may be different from what you are used to. Keep these tips in mind:

1. Bring medication for the trip if you're at risk of motion sickness. The roads in Laos are not always smooth.
2. Night buses can help save money on accommodation costs, but the roads are not always well-lit, so daytime travel is safer.
3. Pack essentials for the overland journey. You'll want to bring water, snacks, and some money in local currency of Laos for small purchases.
4. If you are driving yourself, download the map from Google Maps before starting. Mobile phone connections can be unreliable in some areas.
5. You can buy train tickets up to three days in advance. Don't wait, they can sell out quickly.
6. Buy travel insurance before your trip. Ensure you are covered for medical emergencies, travel delays and cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings.
7. Most of the transportation choices make the journey in both directions, so traveling from Luang Prabang to Vientiane is just as convenient. 


With all the options for getting from Vientiane to Luang Prabang, you'll be able to find something that fits your budget and schedule. Flights are the fastest option, but the speed and convenience of the train make our most recommended choice.

If you have the time, and want to see the countryside, the journey by car or bus can become part of the Laos tour. Do not hesitate to contact us for more queries about your next trip in Laos!

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