Learn how to get from Vientiane to Vang Vieng by bus with timetables and the best places to buy tickets for this amazing Southeast Asian route
Traveling in Southeast Asia? Discover Laos by bus in this guide on how to travel from Vientiane to Vang Vieng, featuring tips to optimize your travel and how to purchase bus tickets to Laos online.
Vientiane is the capital of Laos and home to countless temples, beautiful views of the Mekong River and an ever increasing tourism industry.
The capital city is also the main entry point to Laos for most tourists. Most people are either arriving from Thailand or at Wattay International Airport a few kilometers outside Vientiane.
Either way, Vientiane is the major kick off point for most visitors to Laos and the first place most people head to is the famous city of Vang Vieng. Traveling by bus is the most practical way to get around the country, as there are almost no railways (as of 2018). There are some airports in the country, but apart from flights to Vientiane and Luang Prabang, there are very few air links in Laos. The main passenger airline of Laos is Lao Airline.
If you are arriving to Vientiane by air check Jetradar for the best flight rates to Laos.
Vientiane Bus Station
There are three bus stations and many buses that head to Vang Vieng call at the Northern Bus Station and is located about ten kilometers from the city center.
When you walk through the central district of Vientiane you will see dozens of signs selling tickets to Vang Vieng. In most cases, tickets also include a ride to the bus station itself.
Laos transport infrastructure is not the best, so its advisable to double check before hard how to organize your trip from Vientiane to Vang Vieng.
Here is a search bar to check availability and book tickets on this route:
Buses in Laos
There are a variety of different types of buses that travel the roads of Laos and you can ride any of them depending on how much you want to spend.
There are sleeper buses, Express buses, VIP buses, minibuses and local buses to choose from. However, for the trip to Vang Vieng the best choice is a VIP bus. It is a standard coach with A/C and reclining seats, and will definitely add comfort to your ride. The minibus is another option, but they areis more expensive and often packed.
The sleeper buses are for long journeys where instead of a seat you get a bed and the local buses are often very uncomfortable and not that much cheaper than the VIP option.
Vientiane to Vang Vieng by Bus
The bus ride from Vientiane to Vang Vieng takes about 4 hours and it is a somewhat smooth ride. There is usually a stop in the middle at small roadside shop where you can use the bathroom or buy food.
A few things to understand about buses in Laos are that the roads have a tendency to be rough and winding in places and the bus drivers are paid by the trip. For this reason they often drive very fast to be able to make more money for themselves so be prepared for a rougher ride than in other countries.
Vang Vieng Bus Station
The bus station in Vang Vieng is about two kilometers north of town which is a long walk but you can share a tuk-tuk with some of the other passengers on the bus or take one alone.
Most of the minibuses will bypass the bus station all together and drop you right in the center of town. For an extra fee, they will drop you right at your hotel. However, if you take the VIP bus you can ask at the bus station in Vientiane and find out if your bus stops in the bus station or if it stops at the airstrip.
Buses continuing on north will often drop passengers at the abandoned US airstrip which is only a few hundred meters from all the hostels and hotels in town.
How to Buy Tickets Online from Vientiane to Vang Vieng
If you want to plan your trip in advance it is possible to buy tickets from Vientiane to Vang Vieng online. There are two options currently available, and they both manage your departure from Vientiane center to Vang Vieng:
Bookaway: you can book bus tickets on the route from Vientiane to Vang Vien and many other routes across Laos and Southeast Asia.
Klook.com: you can book a ticket on shared vans from Vientiane to Vang Vieng or also to Luang Prabang. You can also use Klook to book tours and activities in Laos.
Accommodation options in Vang Vieng
Nice view guesthouse – a cozy guesthouse featuring a nice terrace in a great location in Vang Vieng.
Vang vieng centralpark hotel – a great value for the money option to stay in Vang Vieng.