Independent travellers can hire vehicles in Pakse, negotiate tuk tuks and song taews (Pickup trucks with benches) for visiting sites or travelling between districts. Busses are also available for inner-province transport. The number of hotels and guesthouses is relatively small and mostly located in Salavan Town and the Tad Lo tourist area.
As Salavan has no airport, most visitors arrive via Pakse, about 115 km away. Lao Airlines offers daily flights to Pakse International Airport from Vientiane and Luang Prabang. The carrier also flies from Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Siem Reap.
Three busses depart in the late afternoon and early evening from Vientiane’s Southern Bus Terminal. A VIP sleeper bus leaves Vientiane for Pakse at 20:30. For those coming from Savannakhet, a bus departs at 13:30 for the half-day ride.
From Pakse, public buses depart for the 2.5 hour drive to Salavan three times a day, and minivan transportation is available to Tad Lo. Motorbikes and cars can be rented in Pakse, as Salavan has no motor vehicle rental services.
Heading to Salavan’s districts and attractions without transportation rented in Pakse can be challenging. The bus schedule to the outlying districts is limited. Busses leave Salavan Town for Laongarm at 11:00 and 12:00 for LAK20,000 and to Vapi at 10:30 and 13:30 for LAK30,000. One bus leaves for Samouay at 13:00 for LAK40,000, two to Ta-Oy at 09:00 and 12:30 for LAK30,000, and three for Khongxedon at 10:30, 13:30, and 14:00 for LAK30,000.
It is possible to hire tuk tuks and song taews for a one-way trip or for the day. Head to the district bus stations to negotiate with local drivers, or ask your hotel or guesthouse if they can arrange transportation.