Vientiane to Vang Vieng

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Overview Compare Bus Minivan Train To Stay

How to get from Vientiane to Vang Vieng

Vientiane is the laidback capital of Laos. It is located northeast of the Mekong River just near the border with Thailand. Life moves slowly here and the city does not quite have the bustle of Hanoi or Bangkok, but it is fitting for travellers who search for a relaxing getaway.

Vientiane is also full of fascinating surprises: from French colonial buildings to Buddhist temples and charming cafes.

Vang Vieng, on the other hand, is a small Laotian town set in the midst of tranquil cliffs and rich green rice fields – exactly like a scene from an Asian painting. It had a reputation for being a party destination until local authorities decided to implement new laws and regulations.

This picturesque town is now quieter but it still offers a few great activities for adrenaline-hungry adventurers. You can enjoy many activities in Vang Vieng from rock-climbing and caving to hiking and river tubing.

3 ways to get from Vientiane to Vang Vieng

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus2 hours$17Check Bus Tickets
Minivan1.5 hours$10Check Minivan Tickets
Train2 hours$34Check Train Tickets

There are 3 ways to travel the 150 km from Vientiane to Vang Vieng: a 2-hour bus, a 1.5-hour minivan, and a 2-hour train (including transfers). Rates range from $10 to $34.

The bus provides a good mix of comfort and budget when travelling from Vientiane to Vang Vieng. Travel time is around 2 hours when you take the newly-built Vientiane-Boten Expressway. A ticket costs $17.

There are also vans operating from Vientiane to Vang Vieng. In theory, vans are faster at only 1.5 hours. But sometimes, vans take too much time collecting passengers that the journey takes up to 3 hours. A van ticket from Vientiane to Vang Vieng costs $10.

With the newly-launched Laos-China Railway, you can now take a train from Vientiane to Vang Vieng. Note that train stations in both cities are located outside the town centres so you’ll need additional transfers. Combined fares start from $34 for the 2-hour journey.

Itinerary from Vientiane to Vang Vieng

Vientiane to Vang Vieng by Bus

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $17
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $17

With the opening of the new Vientiane-Boten Expressway, travel time from Vientiane to Vang Vieng has been significantly reduced from 4 hours to 2 hours.

Not all bus companies take the expressway, though. If you want a quick bus ride from Vientiane to Vang Vieng, we recommend travelling with Chitpasong Bus. A ticket costs $17 – more expensive than other companies because of toll fees.

If you prefer budget over speed, you can travel with Thavisouk or Soutchai. They still take the toll-free route. Fares start from $9 for the 4-hour bus ride. Note that these buses pass through some rough roads so the trip can be a bit bumpy.

Departure and arrival station

Chitpasong and Thavisouk buses depart from Vientiane Northern Bus Terminal, located some 9 km northwest of Vientiane city centre. You can get there via tuk-tuk for around $3.

They arrive at Vang Vieng Bus Terminal, some 2 km north of Vang Vieng town centre. A tuk-tuk ride should cost about $1 per person.

As for Soutchai Travel, it departs from its office in Vientiane and parks at its own terminal in Vang Vieng.

Bus schedules from Vientiane to Vang Vieng

Bus OperatorScheduleCosts
Chitpasong Bus10:00-12:00
14:00-16:00
$17
Check Bus Tickets
Thavisouk
+ free pick-up
10:00-14:00
14:00-18:00
$9
Check Bus Tickets
Soutchai Travel09:00-13:30
13:30-16:30
$13
Check Bus Tickets

You can buy your bus tickets at the bus station. But for guaranteed seats, we recommend booking them online beforehand through the booking links provided above.

Vientiane to Vang Vieng by Minivan

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: $10
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: $10

Vans also operate on the Vientiane to Vang Vieng route. The advertised travel time with a van is a bit faster at around 1.5 hours.

However, vans often don’t leave town until they are full. There have been complaints of travel time taking up to 3 hours because of van drivers making several stops to pick up passengers before going on their way to Vang Vieng.

Also, vans aren’t as spacious as buses. So it can be a bit problematic when you’re carrying a lot of luggage.

Departure and arrival station

Vans depart from Vientiane Northern Bus Stop, located some 9 km north of Vientiane city centre.

They arrive at Vang Vieng Bus Terminal, which you can find some 2 km north of Vang Vieng town centre.

Minivan schedule from Vientiane to Vang Vieng

Van OperatorScheduleCosts
Naluang07:00-08:30
08:30-10:00
$10
Check Minivan Tickets

Vientiane to Vang Vieng by Train

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $34
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $34

In December 2021, Laos officially opened the Laos-China Railway, which is directly connected with China’s train system. The last time we checked (July 2022), the Laos-China border remains closed. But the new railway system has paved the way for easier travel in northern Laos.

The train is definitely the fastest way to get from Vientiane to Vang Vieng. There’s only one tiny issue, train stations in both cities are located well outside the town centre.

Step 1: Vientiane City Centre to Vientiane Railway Station

Duration: 40 minutes
Cost: $1
Duration: 40 minutes
Cost: $1

Vientiane Railway Station is located some 15 km northeast of Vientiane city centre. The most convenient way to get there is via the City Bus with fares from $1.

Take Bus #28 from Vientiane Morning Market. This departs every morning at 06:10. You will arrive at the train station after 40 minutes, with plenty of time to catch the trains going to Vang Vieng.

Alternatively, you can take a 30-minute taxi with fares from $17.

Step 2: Vientiane to Vang Vieng by Train

Duration: 55 minutes
Cost: $31
Duration: 55 minutes
Cost: $31

There are 2 trains operating from Vientiane to Vang Vieng daily. Both depart in the morning, so be ready to make an early start.

A train ride from Vientiane to Vang Vieng can take as fast as 55 minutes. A ticket costs $31.

Departure and arrival station

Trains depart from Vientiane Railway Station. You are to get off at Vang Vieng Train Station.

Train Schedule from Vientiane to Vang Vieng

TrainScheduleCosts
C8207:30-08:25$31
Check Train Tickets
K1208:00-09:20$30
Check Train Tickets

NOTE: This new train system is very popular with locals so tickets sell out really fast. To ensure a seat, try to book your ticket online via Baolau at least a few days in advance.

Also, even with a ticket on hand, it’s best to arrive at the train station at least 30 minutes prior to departure time.

Step 3: Vang Vieng Railway Station to Vang Vieng City Centre

Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: $2
Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: $2

Vang Vieng Railway Station is located about 4 km north of Vang Vieng town centre. From there, the most convenient way to reach your hotel is through a tuk-tuk.

These popular Southeast Asian open-air vehicles are usually parked outside the train station. A tuk-tuk ride to town costs about $2 per person. The trip takes around 10 minutes.

 

Our favourite places to stay in Vang Vieng

Sunset Nam Ngum Tented Resort

This resort offers the perfect mix of luxury and rustic. The tented accommodations are absolutely top of the line, offering private balconies off the tents overlooking the river and modern, comfortable furnishings. This is not like any camping you’ve done before! Within the resort, you’ll find a bar, garden, and restaurant for your convenience and enjoyment. Breakfast is included daily with your stay. 

  • Breakfast included
  • Private, modern tents with great views
  • Good location along the river
  • Bar and restaurant on-site

Private rooms start at $15 per night 

Read more

Jasmine Vang Vieng Hotel

Excellent location, just 300 meters from the Post office in central Vang Vieng and within walking distance of many sights, restaurants, shops, and amenities.  This hotel offers a restaurant, bar, free private parking, and a large outdoor swimming pool. Many rooms offer a private terrace with excellent city views. The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming. Breakfast included daily with your stay.

  • Swimming pool
  • Breakfast included
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Ideal location

Private rooms start at $31 per night 

Read more

Vang Vieng Victory Hotel

Situated in central Vang Vieng, this hotel is just 400 meters from the post office and a short walk to all amenities, shops, restaurants, and many sights. The hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, a garden area, and a sun terrace for guests’ enjoyment. You can rent bicycles or cars from the hotel and they offer a currency exchange on-site.  Breakfast is included with your stay. 

  • Breakfast included
  • Swimming pool
  • Bar, garden, and terrace
  • Excellent location

Private rooms start at $38  

Read more

 

More routes to Vang Vieng

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

Pakse to Vang Vieng

More routes from Vientiane

Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

Vang Vieng to Pakse

Pakse Airport

Luang Prabang Airport

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

Luang Prabang to Vientiane

Vientiane Airport

Vientiane to Luang Prabang

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