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Vientiane is a fun, laid back city to visit, but after a few days of exploring, you’ll see everything you should see. Don’t worry, though, your Asian adventure doesn’t have to end here. One bus ride away lies Vietnam, and its capital, Hanoi.
One of the most ancient capitals in the world will greet you with open arms, offering unique museums, ancient pagodas, tasty cuisine, and a vibrant nightlife.
When traveling from Vientiane to Hanoi, one of the best options is the sleeper bus. The ride lasts from 22 to 25 hours, with frequent stops for food and toilet breaks. Even though the bus stops often, you won’t be able to board the bus once it leaves Vientiane. Depending on the operator you choose for your journey, make sure to be ready on time for their pick up, or alternatively, be at the departure point half an hour before the scheduled departure time.
The bus will pass the border crossing, Keoneua – Nampao (Lak Sao) international border. In order to pass the border, your passport must be valid for the next 6 months, and you must have the Vietnam/Laos Visa in advance.
In Hanoi, you’ll arrive at the Nuoc Ngam (International) Bus Station. This station is 7km outside of the city center. The fastest and cheapest way to reach the center from the bus station is by taxi. However, always agree a fixed price agreement with the taxi driver beforehand, and never accept the rides where the price is calculated on the meter. The taxi should cost between $5 and $7.
Taking a sleeping bus from Vientiane to Hanoi will take you on a 22-hour, 750 km (460 mile) drive across Laos and Vietnam. According to the schedule, the bus will make stops for food and to use the facilities every few hours, but it won’t be possible to hop off and explore beautiful spots along the way.
You’ll depart from Vientiane in the afternoon. As you leave the city, you’ll drive across rural Laos and, if you’re lucky enough, the sun won’t go down before you reach the beautiful conservation areas. Once the sun sets, you can use this time to rest, read, or even get some work done. It might be the perfect time to craft a blog post about your adventures in Thailand or Laos. For long overnight trips, it’s always useful to have some earbuds or noise-canceling headphones.
You’ll arrive at the Keoneua - Nampao (Lak Sao) border during the night. Make sure you have your passport and Vietnam visa ready. After the border crossing, you’ll be traveling across rural parts of Vietnam as you reach your final destination, Hanoi.
When you arrive into Hanoi, you can get a taxi to the city center if you’re in the mood for some sightseeing, or alternatively, you can go straight to your accommodation.
During your stay, you’ll learn that Hanoi is a very diverse and vibrant city; one that you can spend many days exploring. Start off with the Hanoi Old Quarter, where you can enjoy long walks in the narrow streets packed with traders, shops, and street food joints. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit some of Hanoi’s most significant temples and landmarks such as the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, The Perfume Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature.
Hanoi is also packed with museums and cultural sights. Other attractions to check out include the Hanoi Opera House, Water Puppet Theatre, and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Once you get tired of Hanoi’s hustle and bustle, there are many national parks that are just a few hours away from the city where you can unwind and get in touch with nature.
The fastest way to get to Hanoi from Vientiane is by Soutchai Travel’s Sleeping Bus which usually takes around 22 hours.
The cheapest way to get to Hanoi from Vientiane is the same as the fastest way - by Soutchai Travel’s Sleeping Bus. Tickets start from $33 per person.
The most popular way to get to Hanoi from Vientiane is by Sleeping Bus. Bookaway's customers prefer the Sleeping bus By Soutchai Travel over other options.
Taking a sleeping bus is the most popular and convenient way to travel from Vientiane to Hanoi. The journey lasts somewhere between 22 and 25 hours. All buses are equipped for a comfortable and safe trip, with necessary amenities such as reclining seats, air conditioning, and toilets onboard. Depending on the operator you choose, you might be provided with additional snacks, a blanket, and drinking water. However, it’s always a good idea to bring some food and drinks with you, especially for longer trips like this one.
If you’re taking a sleeping bus with the Naga Travel operator, the bus departs from Haysoke Guesthouse, 83/1-2 Heangboun Rd.
In case you booked a ticket with Soutchai Travel, they will pick you up in your hotel, or you can board at the Soutchai Travel Vientiane Office, Nokeokoummane Rd Ban Mixay.
Both operators arrive at the same arrival point, the Nuoc Ngam Bus Station, also known as the International Bus Station.
There are only two departures leaving from Vientiane to Hanoi each day, one per operator. Naga Travel departs every day at 17.00, but you must board half an hour prior to the departure. Soutchai Travel departs every day at 16.30. Soutchai Travel also provides free hotel pick up in Vientiane. You must wait in your hotel lobby at least 1 hour before the scheduled departure time.
Both buses make several stops along the way to use the facilities, and a chance to stretch your legs, but you can’t board the bus after it departs from Vientiane.