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Hanoi to Luang Prabang

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Luang Prabang at a glance

High season

Dec - Feb
Place you can't miss
Phousi Hill
Local currency
LAK
Good to know
Luang Prabang is in the very center of the landlocked country of Laos, whose shape on the map resembles a flower. Luang Prabang is truly a flower of a city in South Asia, with hundreds of ancient sites to explore. Within the center of the city, explore the Buddhist temples and observe monks on their daily prayers or excursions. Be surprised at the delicious uniqueness of Lao cuisine, which is a combination of local gastronomy and colonialist influence. Take in the grand Luang Prabang nature with the Elephant sanctuary, the Kuang Si waterfall, or the Pak Ou caves. Luang Prabang is out there, and is waiting to amaze you.
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Your questions, our answers

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What is the fastest transportation service from Hanoi to Luang Prabang?
Who are the service providers on this route?

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About the ride from Hanoi to Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is a laid-back place, made for unwinding in coffee shops, meandering down the river and wandering to gilded stupas. The UNESCO World Heritage site has a wealth of well-preserved traditional and colonial buildings, and is surrounded by wildlife-rich rainforests. All this makes it a highlight of any trip to Southeast Asia.

Luang Prabang is right in the middle of Laos, making it a convenient place for onward travel. You can continue south to Vang Vieng and the capital of Laos, Vientiane, or head north to Nong Khiaw, Muang Ngoi and the mountains, or east to Phonsavan and the Plain of Jars. Luang Prabang also has an international airport, from where you can connect to destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap and Singapore. 

If you're traveling overland through Southeast Asia, Hanoi to Luang Prabang is a popular route. The 720 km (447 mile)  journey overland by long distance bus is epic, and takes around a day and a half to complete. Traveling on a mixture of tarmacked highways and smaller, windier roads, through two countries, you’ll get to see the less touristy parts of Vietnam and Laos, and probably have a few adventures along the way. 

 

 

What you’ll see when traveling from Hanoi to Luang Prabang

There are several routes between Hanoi and Luang Prabang, but most buses take a route south of Hanoi towards the coast, through Pu Mat National Park and on to the Nam Can border crossing. There's lots to see along the way, including some mountainous scenery as you pass through the national park. You’ll cross into a remote part of Laos and drive through the mountains,  villages and small towns of rural Laos to reach Luang Prabang. 

 

 

What is the fastest way to get from Hanoi to Luang Prabang?

The fastest way to get from Hanoi to Luang Prabang is on the long distance bus by Khanh Sinh Tour, which takes around 24 hours. This bus is a ‘sleeping bus’, with seats that recline to almost-flat, making it a little easier to get to sleep.  

 

 

What is the cheapest way to get from Hanoi to Luang Prabang?

The cheapest way to get from Hanoi to Luang Prabang is on the  Sleeping Bus (with seats that fully recline) by Naluang, with prices starting at $53.50 per person one-way.  The bus departs from the Nuoc Ngam Bus Station in the Hoang Liet area of the city and takes around 24 - 26 hours to reach Luang Prabang.

 

 

What is the most popular way to get from Hanoi to Luang Prabang?

Bookaway customers prefer to book a seat on the long distance Sleeping Bus by Khanh Sinh Tour. This bus has seats that recline fully to become more like beds, so that you have the best chance of sleeping. The journey from Hanoi to Luang Prabang takes around 24-26 hours. 

 

 

How to get from Hanoi to Luang Prabang

Taking a bus from Hanoi to Luang Prabang

Taking the long distance bus from Hanoi to Luang Prabang is cheaper than flying, but the journey takes an epic 24 to 26 hours. The bus that travels on this route is an air-conditioned ‘sleeping bus’, which has seats that recline to almost-flat, maximising your chances of getting to sleep. 

You’ll be given a blanket, some water and there will be a charging port for your phone or laptop. The driver will make some stops along the way so you can stretch your legs, use the bathroom and get something to eat and drink. 

This is a very long journey, and there are some tips for making it more comfortable. Air conditioning can make the bus cold, so wear layers, and take earplugs and an eye mask to help you sleep. Stock up on snacks and water, to keep you going between rest stops. Wi-Fi might be patchy, so download any films, music or books in advance. Take some toilet roll and hand sanitizer for bathroom breaks. As the bus crosses the border, make sure you have your passport with you, along with some dollars if you need to pay for a visa on arrival. 

When you arrive in Luang Prabang, you'll be dropped at the Southern Bus Terminal so you’ll need to get a taxi or tuk-tuk to your hotel or guest house, which shouldn't cost more than a few dollars. 

Providing the bus is on time, you’ll be arriving in the afternoon but just in case, it's a good idea to let your hotel or guest house know you’re arriving on the ‘sleeping bus’ in case of delays along the way.  

 

 

Bus stations for the journey from Hanoi to Luang Prabang

Hanoi:

  • Khanh Sinh Tour: Ticket office at 26 Lo Su
  • Laos Group Tour & Naluang: Buses depart from Nuoc Ngam Bus Station in the Hoang Liet area of the city (hotel pick up also available)

 

 

Luang Prabang:

  • Khanh Sinh Tour & Naluang: buses arrive at the Southern Bus Terminal
  • Laos Group Tour: Ticket office, Banxiengmuoan, 62/4 Sisavangvong Road

 

 

Which operators can I book with for a ride from Hanoi to Luang Prabang?

Hanoi to Luang Prabang bus operators:

  • Khanh Sinh Tour
  • Laos Group Tour
  • Naluang

 

 

How many departures from Hanoi to Luang Prabang are there each day?

3 buses depart Hanoi for Luang Prabang each day in the afternoon.