Over land from Sapa to Luang Prabang | Adventure Laos

Over land from Sapa to Luang Prabang

Bus to Muang Khua

From the mountainous area of Sapa in Northwest Vietnam to the Buddhist and French mix of Luang Prabang in North Laos, the journey is very scenic if covered over land. For those who are in for some kind of adventure and do not mind to sit between the locals in a small minivan, it is not as bad as it is expected although the bus journey from Sapa to Laos is not for everyone. Dragon Pearl cruise halong

Sapa, Vietnam to Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam

Sapa to Dien Bien Phu

Sapa to Dien Bien Phu- source: internet

You can choose to take between a mini-bus that travels during the daytime and a night sleeper bus which leaves at 9 PM. Both take from 10 to 11 hours. The mini-bus leaving every day at 7:30 AM from Sapa takes you to Lao Cai from where you will get on another bus that transfers you to Dien Bien Phu. The second bus will wait until the whole bus is full of people and everywhere, there will be people sitting. The views are fantastic although the sitting is a tight snug fit. Even though the journey is not difficult, due to the roads being constructed in some stretches and hence the entire area turning into a dustbowl, it can get a little difficult sometimes. Stopping for lunch en route, the mini-van reaches Dien Bien by sunset.

  • Mode of Transport: Bus
  • Journey time: 10 -11 hours
  • Cost of Travel: VND 240,000 ( ~US $11.5) (ticket purchased at Little Lotus Hotel, Sapa)
  • Planning to do: Stock some water and food with you. Take the pills if you have motion sickness. As they stop only a couple of times during the entire journey, pray that your bladder is large enough. To protect you from the dust, carry a nose cover or handkerchief. And don’t forget a rain cover for your backpack.
  • Difficulty of Journey: Medium (due to the dustbowl and long duration)

Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam to Muang Khua, Laos

Dien Bien Phu to Muang Khua

Dien Bien Phu to Muang Khua- source: internet

The journey and border crossing are not only easy but also very scenic. At 5:30 AM every morning, the Dien Bien Tourism bus leaves the Dien Bien Phu bus station. You can purchase tickets the previous day at the bus station for VND 115,000. Although on the ticket, seat numbers are mentioned, that is just for name sakes. Most of travelers on the bus are visitors entering Laos. boat ho chi minh to phnom penh

Along the way, they will make 2 stops for breakfast and very early lunch, which double up as pee breaks and rest stops. After breakfast, you may be asked to exchange your VND for Lao Kip with the rate: 10,000 kip for VND 30,000. If you can bargain, you can get a better rate. Afterwards, you will go to the Vietnam border where you need to have your Vietnam exit stamp. Here, things are a breeze and after 30 minutes when everyone has gone through the formality, the bus will leave. While waiting for the others, you can take a rest, soak in the beauty or enjoy whatever you want.

Bus to Muang Khua

Bus to Muang Khua- source: internet

In another 15 minutes, you will reach the Laos border where you will have your temperature checked, your visa checked and stamped. All have to fill out a form and visa is provided on arrival. For providing you the visa, there is an additional cost of 10,000 kip. Again, no sooner do you pay the swine flu test fee and visa stamping fee of 8,000 kip or ~1 USD will your visa be stamped.

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