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Last updated : Nov 2009
Laos Getting Around - Internal Travel
Laos Internal Travel - Getting Around Laos - TravelPuppy.com

In the north, domestic air services operate from Vientiane to Houayxai, Luang Nmatha, Luang Prabang, Oudomxai, Sam Neua and Sayabouti and in the south from Vientiane to Pakse and Savanakhet. Private charter flights also operate through Westcoast Helicopters.


The Mekong and other rivers are an essential part of the country’s transportation system. The choice is between erratic (and very simple) slow ferries and fun but noisy and dangerous speedboats. Both services operate from Vientiane to Luang Prabang and from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai.

Ferries frequently depart early every morning and sometimes take several days, while speedboats operate more often and take about 8 hours for each leg of a journey. Times and fares change according to request. Private jet boats are available from Lao River Exploration Services. Contact Lao National Tourism Authority for more information (see Contact section).


Traffic travels on the right. Most of the roads are paved, including the main highway from the Thai border at Savannakhet to the Vietnamese border; however, only some main roads are safe for all-weather driving.

There is a road in the north that links Vientiane to Luang Prabang, Nam Dong and Tran Ninh.

Bus: Services connect all main towns and cities. Buses range from the more traditional type to the converted pick-up truck.

To rent cars in Laos is not advisable since driving standards are low. However, it is possible to rent a car and a driver through tourist agencies or hotels. In Vientiane, Asia Vehicle Rental Co Ltd can assist customers with all the rental needs. For more details, contact them on (21) 217-493 or 223-867; fax: (21) 217-493; e-mail: avr@loxinfo.co.th.

Documentation: International Driving Licence is recommended; however, it is not required by law.


There are some old and a few metered taxis in Vientiane that might be available at the Morning market, the Friendship Bridge and Wattay Airport and they can also be hired for about US$20 per day.

Tuk-tuks or jumbos (the converted motorcycles) are plentiful in all main towns and cities and are excellent for shorter journeys around the area. Bargaining is acceptable and expected. In Vientiane and Luang Prabang, there are bicycles and motorcycles to be hired by the day.


Travel to areas outside Vientiane should be prearranged with a tour agency.
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