TRAVELING WITHIN LAOS
International Airport-Laos has 4 international airports.
- Wattay International Airport in Vientiane Capital has flights to/from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vinh, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Seoul, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Guangzhou.
Located 5 km outside of the city center. The transfer from the city center to the airport takes around 15 minutes.
The airport is currently expanding in order to reach international standard.
- Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang has flights to/from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ha Noi, Siem Reap, Singapore, Kunming, Guangzhou.
Located 3 km from the city center. The transfer from the city center to the airport takes around 10 minutes
The airport has been recently renovated and upgraded to reach international standards.
- Savanakhet International airport in Savanakhet has flights from Bangkok.
Located 2 km from the city center. The transfer from the city center to the airport takes around 10 minutes
The airport is quite small and basically equipped
- Pakse International Airport in Champassak has flights from Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap.
Located around 4 km from city center. The transfer from the city center to the airport takes around 15 minutes transfer
The airport is small and simply equipped.
Domestic airport: there are some popular airports for domestic routes such as Houai Xay, Oudomxay, Luang Namtha, Xieng Khouang, Xayabury where regular flights from Vientiane Capital are operating.
- Airport service: There are few services at the airport terminal with small restaurants/cafes for food and beverage but with a limited selection.
- Air Company:
- Lao Airlines is the flag carrier of Laos. It has domestic as well as international flights to countries such as Cambodia, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Korea.Laos Central Airline is a private company which operates one domestic route Vientiane – Luang Prabang and one international route Vientiane – Bangkok.
- Vietnam Airlines, Thai Airway, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, China Eastern Airlines, and Jin Airlines have some international routes from/to Vientiane and Luang Prabang to/from big cities in Asia, e.g. Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Nanning, Changsha, Changzhou, Guangzhou, Seoul Busan, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap.
There is no direct route from Europe to Laos.
Baggage allowance on domestic flights with Lao Airlines is limited to 20 kg. Each passenger can carry onboard a free baggage allowance (one piece for Economy class passengers). Each piece has a maximum weight of 7kg and the sum of three dimensions shall not exceed 115 cm (30 cm x 60 cm x 18 cm) or (12 x 24 x 7 inches). Airlines companies may refuse to carry unchecked baggage and may require the passenger to check their baggage if it exceeds the quantity, weight and dimensions as specified above.
The domestic airport tax and the international airport tax are included in the air ticket and don’t need to be paid at the airport when checking in.
TRANSPORT & TRANSFER IN LAOS
Because of its mountainous topography and the lack of development, the infrastructure in Laos is generally less developed than in neighboring countries but it has some reliable transportation routes which link Northern Laos with Central and Southern Laos.
The Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers are the popular natural channels suitable for large-draft boat transportation. Laotians in lowland villages located on the banks of smaller rivers have traditionally traveled in pirogues for fishing, trading, and visiting up and down the river.
As a result of ongoing improvements in the road system which started during the early 1990s, more and more roads are being constructed or renovated to reach the country’s development request and the need of local people.
Some local methods of transportation are the tuktuk, Songthew or Samlor (3 wheel motorbike) but there are also many places to rent a bicycle or motorbike. Taxi services are not popular and quite expensive in Laos.
Other modes of travel, such as minivan, bus, air and cruise trips, are available for long journeys.
Since Laos has been attracting more and more tourists in recent years, new and better transfer methods have increased significantly. Besides travelling by air, Easia Travel can arrange further kinds of transfers as detailed below:
- Bus 45s: The Hyundai Aero Space is a very reliable bus with all modern comforts and high standards. The 45-seater is the biggest version which is used for up to 36 passengers to ensure maximum comfort. The bus has a high tech air conditioner and the seats are suitable for Western clients.
- Bus 35s: This type of bus offers great comfort. It can accommodate up to 20 travelers. Most of the buses have electronic devices such as CD Player and microphone.
- Bus 25s: The two brands for 25-seater buses in Laos are Hyundai and Toyota. The 25-seater bus is a good choice for short and long transfers with a group of maximum 12 people. The bus offers enough space for luggage.
- Minivans of 09s are mostly produced in South Korea, the Hyundai Starex is the most popular car used for individual guests in Laos. This 9-seater van is suitable for 01 to 04 people with a guide and driver.
- Minivan of 15s: this is a 15-seater Toyota Hiace mini-van which is very common in Laos. It is suitable for 05 to 07 travelers with luggage (maximum 9 pax. without luggage). It can be used for either short unpaved tours or long distance tours with good road.
A cruise trip on the Mekong River from Houai Xay to Luang Prabang via Pakbeng (02D/01N) (03D/02N upon request) is a popular route for travelers. There are different choices for your budget, from local cruise to luxury one.
Other short trips by local boat are: boat on Nam Ou river (from Muang Khua to Muang Ngoi or Nongkhiaw), boat on Nam Song river (in Vang Vieng), boat from Don Khong to Don Khone (in 4000 island area)… These are also very popular and highly appreciated.
There are 2 suppliers who provide overnight cruises on the Mekong River
- Mekong cruise is a professional and high-end supplier who offers 2 luxury cruises:
- Mekong sun: operates cruise trips in the northern part of the Mekong River from the Golden Triangle to Luang Prabang town
- Mekong Pearl: operates cruise trips from Vientiane to the Golden Triangle, passing through Luang Prabang town.
- Vat Phou cruise operates a 03D/02N trip in the southern part from Pakse to the 4000 island area.
You can contact your tour operator to get further information on departure times and tour details.
Tuktuk: TukTuk is one of the most popular means of transportation in Laos. This is also a tourist’s favorite way to discover the city or for a short transfer.