The road trip from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang was a long ride by minivan but an incredible one. Taking road trips is my favorite way of traveling. Driving down the highways or sitting back and relaxing in a tour bus, listening to music or just sitting in silence, and seeing sceneries that amaze me are some of my favorite reasons for road trips. But experiencing different people, cultures, foods, and drinks is also a compelling reason.

Road Trip in Laos
The minivan we were taking to Luang Prabang

I booked a trip from one of the local travel agents in Vang Vieng to get to Luang Prabang, about 183 km north. I came to know we were taking route 13, a narrow highway with winding hairpin curves and in poor paved condition. But the good part is that this route is the most scenic. Since I have no issue with heights and motion sickness, so opted for a minivan.

On The Road to Luang Prabang

After more than an hour of driving, we started climbing mountains, seeing limestone karst formations, and often going through the clouds. The view was breathtaking. We passed Kasi and stopped at the viewpoint to stretch our legs and take photos. After Kasi, the scenery started getting better, and at one point, our surroundings got dark as we entered a thick cloud and heavy rain.

Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang
After an hour of driving we started climbing mountains

Driving Through Winding Highway 13

Our minivan kept passing through some incredible mountain scenery as the road twisted, winds and climbed through the limestone pinnacles of hills, and went through tiny mountain towns clinging to the edge of the road with nothing but air and some bamboo beneath them. Most of the way, the road is lined with typical wooden homes and village markets and all the activities that go with them. It was great enjoying just looking out the window at the landscape and environment as we moved towards our destination. I could put aside all the discomfort just because the northern Laos landscape was astonishingly lovely.

Luang Prabang, Laos
Winding highway from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang, average speed was 30 km/hr

I saw women climbing up stiff hills with a giant bamboo basket full of goods hanging on their backs and heading towards the nearest market to sell them, passed water buffalo, saw children playing and chasing the dogs, few people collecting bugs from the bushes (I guess this is one of the local delicacies).

Luang Prabang, Laos
Tribal Laotian people caught Dragonflies for dinner as thousands emerged from their hiding.

1500 Meters Elevation

Our minibus driver saved us from an eminent accident a couple of times; even being an expert driver, it took him 7+ hours to get to Luang Prabang. On our way, the driver made some stops for refreshments and emergency calls for toilets. A couple of lookouts on the way were so stunning.

Luang Prabang
Highway 13 from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang, Laos

My trip from Vang Vieng was one of the prettiest and most adventurous drives in all of Laos, and I’m glad I did it. The sights were sublime and breathtaking. I will never forget those moments.

Highway 13 to Luang Prabang
Highway to Luang Prabang, 1500 meters above the sea level
Luang Prabang, Laos
Winding mountainous highway, was so dangerous

Where to stay in Vang Vieng, Laos

Sansan Resort, Vang Vieng

Located in a quiet garden setting, Sansan Resort is a 5-minute walk across the old airfield to the main street of Vang Vieng and the night market. Free WiFi access is available in the restaurant. The resort is a 5-minute drive from Na Song River. It is a 30-minute drive from Phou Kham Cave. Wattay Airport is a 3-hr drive away. The resort is equipped shaded hammock, luggage storage, and laundry service for guests’ convenience. Other services offered include information on local tours, bus services, and mountain bike rentals.

Tmark Resort Vang Vieng

Located in Vang Vieng, an 18-minute walk from Post Office, Tmark Resort Vangvieng provides accommodations with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a fitness center, and a garden. In addition, the property has a business center, a concierge service, and a currency exchange for guests. In addition, a seating area is available to all guests, while selected rooms come with a DVD player. In addition, guest rooms include a closet. Tham Chang Elephant Cave is an 8-minute walk from the accommodation, while Tham Phu Kham Cave and Blue Lagoon are 4.6 miles away. The nearest airport is Wattay International Airport, 71 miles from Tmark Resort Vangvieng.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Vang Vieng, Laos? Any cool tips to share?

loved being in Vang Vieng, Laos, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Laos.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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