Where and how in Vientiane or Luang Prabang do I pre-book the overnight train to Bangkok from Nong Khai for a group of 14?
You can take the train from Vientiane to Nong Khai and this can be booked at any of the travel agents in Laos. I am in Luang Prabang presently and they are advertising this train trip everywhere. For a large group though it is probably cheaper to hire a car and a driver to take you over the bridge and pick up the train in Nong Khai. The mini vans in Laos can travel into Thailand with a driver. It is very cheap with 14 sharing the costs and you can do this through Asia Travel. You can then pick up the train from Nong Khai. Also the train station in Laos is a long way out of Vientiane and the opposite side to the airport so travel to the train station itself can be expensive. We did this the opposite way by having a Lao driver pick us up in Nong Khai for 12 people recently and it was easy - particularly with luggage as we didn't have to swap the luggage over and the driver was very helpful with the Visas with such a large group. You don't need much time to book the train - so if you are in Vientiane or in Thailand you will be able to book at any travel agent a few days before as it is no longer able to be booked on line. Suggest 2nd class as 1st class gets very cold as the air conditioner is turned up really high. Hope this helps. Cheers about 6 years ago
Can I travel by boat from Luang Prabang to Vientiane, if so how, how long does it take and is it worth it, thanks.
Agree there is no organised boat from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. You can get boats that travel from town to town but only in the right season. In the dry the river can be too low and there are lots of rocks and in the wet the river can have too many rapids so boats won't go during either of these times. It is supposed to take around 5 days when you can go but expect this could string out to longer so you would need to have plenty of time. If you are a tourist and strapped for time you wouldn't do this. There are organized boat trips (on a slow boat) that take two days from Luang Prabang to the Thai border as well as a few speed boats that take 5 hours (very uncomfortable and can be dangerous) but there are also plenty of private slow boat trips you can take around Luang Prabang to villages on the Mekong and also on other more beautiful rivers around Luang Prabang such as the Nam Ou so if its boating you are after then slow boats around Luang Prabang and northern Laos are much more spectacular. You would hire your own private boat or join with some others and can enjoy 1 - 3 days on beautiful local rivers with high mountain escarpments. We have our own charity association in Luang Prabang (www.globalsupportassociation.com) and we often take boats to deliver clothes or school books and supplies or collect people needing medical treatment to and from needy villages which have no road access. We always enjoy the beauty of Laos on those boat trips. The road trip from Luang Prabang to Vientiane has spectacular mountain scenery. It is only 300 or so kilometres but can take 8 - 10 hours to travel. Plane takes only 40 minutes or so. The road trip is the best but we always hire our own vehicle instead of the bus as there is much to see on the way and we usually make 2 days out of the trip to make some stops at Nam Ngum and the Nam Song in Vang Vieng. The bus rarely stops so not very relaxing. Hope this helps. over 5 years ago
The Lao people are very hospitable and won't mind you drawing/painting them. To be polite just ask first and show them what you are doing and you will probably get a monk to sit for you. All areas are used to being photographed continuously - so drawing and painting won't be a problem. Just always be polite and friendly and you won't have any problems. over 5 years ago