Getting To Luang Prabang

You can easily reach Luang Prabang by air, road, or boat from several domestic and regional cities.


By Air (International)

A growing number of airlines have direct flights to Luang Prabang from Southeast Asian hubs including Bangkok, Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. North Asia also launches direct flights from Seoul and Chinese cities including Chengdu and Jinghong. Airlines offering direct flights include Lao Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Silk Air, AirAsia, Thai Smile, and Jin Air. Many global cities are just one stop away. Visas on arrival are available. For an up-to-date timetable, visit Getting to Laos By Air.  

By Air (Domestic)

Lao Airlines offers three flights a day from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. Departures are at 09:10, 11:30, and 17:00 for trips that takes less than an hour. Lao Airlines also offers three flights a week (Mon, Wed, Fri) to Luang Prabang from Pakse, with planes departing at 16:40 and arriving at 18:20. Lao Skyway offers daily service from Vientiane with noon departures and three flights a week (Mon, Wed, Fri) from Xieng Khouang at 13:15 for the 30-minute journey 

By Bus

Busses from other provinces at one of Luang Prabang’s three bus stations: the Northern Bus Terminal, Southern Bus Terminal, and Minivan Station. Below are the departure times and prices from Lao provinces, and the terminal at which the busses or vans arrive.

Northern Bus Terminal

The Northern Bus Terminal is located near the airport, and operates to/from main destinations in northern Lao provinces.

Depart from Departure Times Price Trip Time
Houay Xay (Local) 17:30 LAK120,000 13-15 hours
Houay Xay (VIP) 19:00 LAK145,000 12-15 hours
Luang Namtha 09:00, 17:30 LAK90,000 9-10 hours
Nong Khiaw 09:00, 11:00, 13:00 LAK40,000 3 hours
Phongsaly 09:00, 12:00, 16:00, 17:30 LAK130,000 14-16 hours
Xam Neua, Houaphanh 17:30 LAK140,000 14-16 hours
Oudomxay 09:00, 12:00, 16:00, 17:30 LAK55,000 5-6 hours
Vieng Kham 09:00 LAK50,000 5-6 hours
Phonsavanh, Xieng Khouang 08:30 LAK95,000 (Express)LAK105,000 (VIP) 10-12 hours
Sayabouly 09:00-14:00 LAK60,000 3-4 hours

Southern Bus Terminal

The Southern Bus Terminal is located just south of the National Stadium on Route 13, and operates to/from Vang Vieng and Vientiane Capital’s Northern Bus Terminal.

Depart from Departure Times Price Trip Time
Vang Vieng (Express) 09:30 LAK105,000 6-7 hours
Vang Vieng (VIP) 12:30 LAK130,000 6-7 hours
Vientiane/Vang Vieng (Express) 06:30, 07:30, 08:30, 11:00, 14:00, 16:30, 18:30 LAK110,000 8-10 hours
Vientiane/Vang Vieng (VIP) 08:00, 09:00, 19:30 LAK130,000 8 hours

International Busses

Depart from Departure Times Price Trip Time
Vinh, Vietnam (VIP) 18:30 LAK200,000 24-plus hours
Kunming, China (VIP) 07:00 LAK420,000 18-20 hours
Loei, Thailand (VIP) 07:30 LAK180,000 10 hours

Minivan Station

The Minivan Station (Naluang Minibus Station) is located near the Southern Bus Terminal. Stated prices do not include a transfer from your hotel or guesthouse. For a transfer, make your booking with an agent or through your accommodation.

Depart from Departure Times Price Trip Time
Luang Namtha 08:30 LAK110,000 8 hours
Nong Khiaw 09:00 LAK55,000 3 hours
Phonsavanh 09:00 LAK105,000 8 hours
Vang Vieng 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 14:00, 15:00 LAK100,000 6-7 hours
Vientiane 08:00 LAK155,000 9 hours
Chiang Mai, Thailand 18:00 LAK265,000 18 hours
Hanoi, Vietnam 18:00 LAK350,000 24 hours
Kunming, China 07:00 LAK420,000 24 hours

Note: Schedules and prices are subject to change. Be sure to book in advance.


Tourists travelling to Luang Prabang from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, Thailand, often take the cruise departing from Houay Xay, and stops for the night in Pakbeng. Others call on Luang Prabang as part of a multiday cruise or take a “bullet boat” from Houay Xay. There are five options:

  • The 2-day, 36-42-seat public riverboat, with self-booked accommodation in Pakbeng, costs LAK 280,000 (about $35). They start to depart at 08:00 from the Houay Xay Town Port and the Thai-Lao Bridge.
  • Private operators offer cruises with spacious, comfortable seating, dining, village and attraction visits, and Pakbeng accommodation for about $130. (Twin occupancy) They generally depart between 09:00-09:30 from Houay Xay Town Port.
  • Upper-end Luang Prabang-based cruise lines generally offer refurbished traditional vessels with a range of amenities, facilities, and dining options. The 2-day cruise from Houay Xay costs from $400-$800, depending on Pakbeng accommodation and vessel offerings.
  • Five-star international cruise lines with stateroom accommodation offer multiday cruises, which call on Luang Prabang during Vientiane-Houay Xay-Golden Triangle-Kunming routes.
  • Owner/captains offer 1-2-person “bullet boats” with safety equipment to make the hair-raising journey in 1 day.

A public riverboat departs Nong Khiaw for Luang Prabang (120 km) at 08:00 for LAK100.000.

Note: Schedules and prices are subject to change. Please check when planning your departure.