Backpacking from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng – Laos

  • Leaving Luang Prabang
  • Bus from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
  • Arriving in Vang Vieng
  • Waking up to Vang Vieng

Leaving Luang Prabang

I went and checked out of the Sokdee Guesthouse a little bit late. It was 4:30pm and checkout was around midday and as a result the kids working there tried to charge me for a whole extra nights stay but I said that I would only pay 30,000 kip instead of the full 60,000 kip which they instantly agreed to. I think the young kids running the guest house were just trying me on to get a bit of extra money out of me.

After checking out I went next door to the Mekong Fish Café and ordered a pizza. Soon after my order was placed my tuk-tuk transfer to the bus terminal arrived so I got the pizza to go. On the way the tuk-tuk also picked up a friendly French couple who were also traveling on the same bus but instead of traveling at Vang Vieng like I was they were continuing all the way through to Vientiane. Stephanie and Farid were their names and we got chatting quite a lot about all sorts of things but we mostly stuck to various traveling topics.

This was quite an achievement for me since up until now I hadn’t really tried getting friendly with other travelers as I really wanted some time to myself and find my own feet whilst traveling solo.

I would recommend to any backpacker or independent traveler to take some time to themselves to really be comfortable in who they are before they start making friends with random fellow backpackers. This is just my advice to any solo backpackers out there, however everyone is different.

Bus from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

On the bus to Vang Vieng I also became friendly with a couple of pommy guys and a Swedish couple. It was quite a long bus trip – about 8 hours 30 minutes, when we all got off at approximately 3:30am. There was a group of about 8 people arriving at this time with absolutely no idea of where to stay and what to expect from this little town.

Arriving in Vang Vieng

Someone suggested that we stay at the Vang Vieng Orchid Guesthouse. We walked for about 10 minutes and when we arrived there were a few eager soccer followers watching Spain vs Russia. We watched the last 20 minutes and I believe Spain won 3-0.

Finally got to bed around 5am just as the sun started to rise, I was able to get one last happy snap of the beautiful Mekong River rushing past our guesthouse with magnificent lime stone mountains shaded with morning fog in the distance. The Vang Vieng Orchard Guesthouse was very basic and simple however my room did back onto a wooden patio which was just meters away from the fast flow of the Mekong River (as you can see from the photo below). This was incredible to have the river so close to where I was sleeping, I could literally hear the soothing sounds of the currents rushing passed as I lay in bed drifting off to sleep.

Time for bed Zzzzzzzzz.

Waking up to Vang Vieng


I had a good and well deserved sleep to re-energize before waking at about 10:30am and I headed into the small town of Vang Vieng where I found a small local café for some breakfast. The town of Vang Vieng seems centralized around one main road which is partly gravel and partly asphalt sidelined with cafes, shops, travel agents, bars and various other souvenir type shops.

On my way back to the guesthouse I bumped into the 2 pommy guys, Nick and John, who were on the same bus as I was that we took into Vang Vieng last night. We had a good chat and they said that they were meeting some French backpackers who they were friends with at the tube hire shop at 1pm and they invited me along to come and hang out with them. I was finally coming out of my shell and getting more and more sociable with other backpackers, this was a good thing.

Tubing on the Mekong here I come!!

Josh Boorman


Backpacking Addictz

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Joshua Boorman

Joshua Boorman

Founder & Editor in Chief at Backpacking Addictz
Come with me on a journey with me to various destinations throughout the world. We discuss all things Backpacking, Lifestyle Design & Online Business to help you achieve new found freedom and create a life of meaningful fulfillment.
Joshua Boorman
About The Author

Joshua Boorman

Come with me on a journey with me to various destinations throughout the world. We discuss all things Backpacking, Lifestyle Design & Online Business to help you achieve new found freedom and create a life of meaningful fulfillment.

1 Comment

  • Michael Anthony

    April 20, 2010

    Some good advice there Josh ! Great pics ! The Mekong looks stunning , and sounds great ! Good luck on the the TUBE run !
    ……..keep hooking up with follow backpackers every once in awhile!
    as u can see , they can lead you to other cool adventures! however I agree with getting grounded with yourself first.

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