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Luang Prabang can feel like a breath of fresh air, with its ancient Buddhist temples and the tranquility of the Mekong river. After some time to unwind, however, you may find yourself eager to dive back into the hustle and bustle of city life, and with neighboring Vietnam peeking over your shoulder, how can you resist? There are two ways to travel from Luang Prabang to Hanoi: by bus or by plane. Currently, it is not possible to make the journey by ferry or train. For more tips on how to travel from Luang Prabang to Hanoi comfortably, read on.


Luang Prabang to Hanoi Transportation Guide
Luang Prabang to Hanoi © Courtesy of Google Maps


Luang Prabang to Hanoi By Bus

Traveling on-land from Laos’ most loved cultural town to Vietnam’s bustling capital will take you through scenic landscapes, and winding, mountainous roads. A feast for the eyes to many travelers. But we’re not going to lie — the journey is incredibly long.

Going to Hanoi by bus takes approximately 24 hours, including all rest stops along the way. The journey’s length can be enough to put some travelers off, but don’t be so quick to dismiss this option. The sleeper buses on this route are surprisingly comfortable. Instead of the stiff, upright seats common to most buses, the overnight buses are equipped with seats that recline. This means passengers can lay back and get comfortable enough to catch some shut-eye. Wifi is also available for all passengers.

Naluang, HTX Van Tai and the Sinh Tourist are the well-known bus operators offering transportation between these destinations. Expect slightly higher prices from the Sinh Tourist, but with it, a better reputation. A one-way ticket for this journey will cost between $47-57. Get your tickets online at or Baolau.


Luang Prabang to Hanoi By Bus - Luang Prabang to Hanoi Transportation Guide
Sleeper bus in Southeast Asia © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Luang Prabang to Hanoi By Plane

If comfort and speed are your primary goals, then flying is by far the best option. Although it offers nothing new in the way of scenery, travel by plane is by far the most popular method of transport between Luang Prabang and Hanoi.

Both Vietnam Airlines and Lao Airlines offer direct flights between the two destinations. Direct flights are easy and quick, averaging at around 1 hour and 20 minutes. Prices will vary depending on how soon your trip is or the time of year, but travelers can generally expect to pay between $100-280 for one ticket. Fortunately for all, these flights happen daily and costs don’t spike too high if not booked in advance.

Once you arrive at Noi Ba International Airport, you’ll want to take either a taxi or bus to central Hanoi. The average duration of a taxi ride is 30 minutes, and this will cost you anywhere from 280,000 to 350,000 VND. To ensure you don’t get overcharged, ask your taxi driver how much the fare will be before you begin the journey.

If you’re not pressed for time, take the bus into Hanoi for 8,000 to 9,000 VND. This can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. You can catch the 07, 17, 86, and 90 buses from Noi Ba. The 07 bus is, both, the fastest and the most crowded, while the 17 and 90 are the slowest and least crowded.


Luang Prabang to Hanoi By Plane - Luang Prabang to Hanoi Transportation Guide
Luang Prabang Sunset Cruise © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Vietnam Visa Requirement

Whichever method of transport you choose, keep in mind you may need a visa upon entry to Vietnam. Some countries, however, do not require a visa for Vietnam.


Countries that DO NOT need a Vietnam Visa:

Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, Philippines, Myanmar, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Korea, Japan, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland

If your passport does not belong to the above countries, then make sure you obtain an entry visa prior to your arrival. This can be done at the Vietnam Consulate while you’re in Luang Prabang. All that is needed for your application is your passport, one photo, and payment for the visa fee. Your visa will be granted within 1–3 days. If you’re flying to Vietnam, you can apply for your visa online and arrange to pick it up at the airport upon your arrival. For fliers, this is by far the most stress-free option.


Vietnam Visa Requirement - Luang Prabang to Hanoi Transportation Guide
Hanoi, Vietnam © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Mad Monkey Insider Tips:

  • If you’re traveling by bus, make sure to book a seat on the bottom level of the bus and as close to the front as possible. The back of the bus can get cramped, as this is where last-minute travelers are often placed. To ensure you get these seats, arrive early on the departure date and buy your ticket as soon as you can.
  • Always keep important documents and valuables close, especially when taking the bus. These buses can get crowded and since you’ll likely be asleep for a portion of the journey, it’s wise to ensure valuables and documents are tucked away where they are safe.
  • Do not book bus tickets through a travel agency, as there can be significant markups added to the price of a ticket.
  • While it is possible to travel to Hanoi via rental car, it is not advised that travelers choose this method of transport for such a long distance. This is because the roads en route to Hanoi can be very dangerous and should not be driven without prior experience or training on similar terrain.



More Information About Travelling From Luang Prabang to Hanoi

Did you find this article about transport options from Luang Prabang to Hanoi useful? Are you interested in reading about other ways to travel from Laos to Vietnam (or vice versa)? Then read on for more articles to help you plan your Southeast Asia travels!


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About the Author

Mad Monkey is Southeast Asia’s leading hostel operator — born in Cambodia with more properties in Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Laos, and the Philippines. We pride ourselves in creating meaningful and sustainable travel experiences for our guests, whilst promoting socially responsible tourism.