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Are you a spirited backpacker exploring the wonders of Southeast Asia? If so, you’ve likely heard whispers of the enchanting journey from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. In this guide tailored just for you, we’ll navigate the diverse travel options, ensuring you make the most of your adventure without missing a beat.


Embark on an unforgettable backpacking journey from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang with our comprehensive travel guide. Discover scenic bus rides through Laos‘ lush landscapes, and delve into thrilling van adventures fostering camaraderie.

The Scenic Route by Bus:

Embark on a picturesque journey by bus, offering both comfort and awe-inspiring landscapes. Departing from Vang Vieng, buses traverse the scenic terrain, presenting a mesmerizing tapestry of lush greenery. The ride takes approximately 6-7 hours, allowing you to soak in the natural beauty that Laos has to offer.

Pro Tip: Opt for a daytime journey to relish the breathtaking views along the way.

The town of Luang Prabang from above
Luang Prabang from above, photo courtesy of Canva

Book Your Bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang 

Ready to book your bus ticket? We recommend visiting us at our Mad Monkey Travel + Tours desk so we can help you to book your transportation. But if you’re looking for a little more instant gratification, we can totally relate.. Try booking your ticket on 12GoAsia, a user-friendly platform that allows you to book tickets across many Southeast Asia destinations! A convenient, secure and trusted platform!

Van Adventures for the Thrill-Seekers:

For those with an adventurous spirit, hopping on a van might be your best bet. Vans are a more intimate option, fostering camaraderie among fellow travelers. The journey takes around 6 hours, and while it may be a tad bumpy, the experience is well worth it. Pack your sense of adventure and get ready for a ride filled with laughter and shared stories.

Pro Tip: Bring some snacks and tunes for an impromptu road trip party.

Roads with karst mountain views in Vang Vieng, Laos,
Roads with karst mountain views in Vang Vieng, Laos, photo courtesy of Canva

Navigate Like a Local:

If you’re one to savor the local experience, consider combining bus and minivan rides. Local travel agencies often offer flexible packages that include a bus ride to a midway point, where you seamlessly transfer to a minivan. This hybrid journey offers an authentic taste of Laos’ transportation culture.

Pro Tip: Engage with locals at pit stops; they often have the best insider tips on hidden gems.

Birdseye view of the town of Luang Prabang, Laos
Birdseye view of the town of Luang Prabang, Laos, photo courtesy of Canva

Train Tales:

Yearning for a unique travel experience? The train from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang might be your answer. Although not the fastest option, the train journey introduces you to the heart of Laos. Marvel at the changing landscapes from the comfort of your seat, embracing the slower pace as part of the adventure. Did we mention its a pretty cool looking train too?

Pro Tip: Bring a good book or your favorite travel playlist to make the most of the leisurely ride.

Book Your Train Ticket from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang 

Ready to lock in your train adventure from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang? To ensure a hassle-free booking experience, you have a couple of convenient options. For a more personalized touch, swing by our Mad Monkey Travel + Tours desk, where our expert team can assist you in securing your train tickets and offer tailored guidance. If you’re more inclined towards a self-service approach, consider checking out 12GoAsia. This user-friendly platform provides a seamless online booking experience, allowing you to effortlessly reserve your train tickets for various Southeast Asia destinations. It’s a trusted and secure platform, ensuring a smooth journey from booking to boarding!

The bridge over the Nam Song River, Laos
The bridge over the Nam Song River, Laos, photo courtesy of Canva

Practical Travel Tips

  • Booking in Advance: Especially during peak travel seasons, securing your transport tickets in advance ensures a smooth journey.
  • Flexible Schedule: Embrace the spontaneity of travel. Delays can happen, so keep your schedule flexible to accommodate unexpected adventures.
  • Packing Essentials: Pack light, but don’t forget essentials like water, snacks, and a travel pillow for added comfort.
  • Local Insights: Interact with fellow travelers and locals for insights into hidden gems and local customs.

Your Key to an Enriching Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang Backpacking Experience

Your journey from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang is not just a physical transition; it’s an odyssey filled with laughter, awe, and camaraderie. Whether you choose the bus, van, or train, each mode of transport unfolds a unique chapter in your backpacking adventure. So, gear up, fellow explorers, and embrace the magic that is Laos! Safe travels!

Quaint streets of Luang Prabang, Laos
Quaint streets of Luang Prabang, Laos, photo courtesy of Canva

Discover Luang Prabang’s Secrets:

Luang Prabang, a gem nestled in Laos, offers a delightful array of experiences for every traveler. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region by exploring its stunning waterfalls, as highlighted in our guide, Waterfalls in Luang Prabang: The Ultimate Guide. Whether it’s the cascading Kuang Si Falls or the serene Tad Sae, these wonders are a visual feast. 

If you’re exploring on a budget, fear not! Our comprehensive article on Things to Do in Luang Prabang on a Budget shares our top cost-effective activities, from strolling through vibrant markets to participating in alms giving. 

For a more indulgent experience, dive into the world of relaxation with our guide on Spas and Massages in Luang Prabang. Discover the best places to unwind and pamper yourself amidst the tranquil ambiance of this UNESCO World Heritage city. Luang Prabang invites you to explore, unwind, and create unforgettable memories.

Alms giving ceremony in Vang Vieng, Laos
Alms giving ceremony in Vang Vieng, Laos, photo courtesy of Canva

Read More

Three Ways to Easily Travel from Vientianne to Vang Vieng — by Travellers + Dreamers

The Ultimate Guide to Laos — by Adventure in You

The Cost of Travel in Laos: A Budget Breakdown — by Never Ending Footsteps

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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.