From Vang Vieng to Phonsavan by Bus


After staying for three nights in Vang Vieng, we travelled by bus to Phonsavan to see the Plain of Jars.

I will share about the bus journey from Vang Vieng to Phonsavan.

Getting from Vang Vieng to Phonsavan

One of the most famous tourist destinations in Laos is the Plain of Jars and to the city of Phonsavan is the access point.

Phonsavan is the capital of Xiengkhuang Province. The population is reported to be 57,000.

Phonsavan is located to the north-east when viewed from Vang Vieng (Vang Vieng), a distance of approximately 230 km when travelling by land.

Buses from Vang Vieng to Phonsavan

Northern Bus Terminal in Vang Vieng

There is one minibus service per day from Vang Vieng to Phonsavan. It leaves from the North Bus Terminal in Vang Vieng and departs every morning at 8.30 am.

Vang Vieng North Bus Terminal is about 4 km away from the city centre. We went to the bus terminal the day before and bought tickets for the following day. The fare was 200,000 kip per person; we were told it would take about 6-7 hours.

We were told that we could arrange a pick-up to our accommodation in the city for 50,000 kip for two people, but we declined.

Bus from Vang Vieng to Phonsavan

Our bus for Phonsavan

The distance from the guesthouse that we stayed to the bus terminal is about 4km, so we walked to the bus terminal.

There is a market on the other side of the bus terminal. We bought bananas there. There was a bakery by the bus terminal, so we also stopped there and bought some bread and sandwiches.

We arrived at the bus terminal just before 8pm. The bus to Phonsavan was already there and the seats towards the front had been taken by other passengers. If you want to get a good seat, it is recommended to go to the bus station one hour before departure in Laos.

The distance from Vang Vieng to Phonsavan is 230 km, but the journey takes more than six hours due to the mountain roads.

Inside of the bus

The buses are minivans and there is not a lot of legroom. In fact, there was not enough space to put my backpack at the foot of the bus, so I decided to have my luggage placed on the roof. This was the first time on this trip!

Bus journey from Vang Vieng to Phonsavan

Scenery from the bus window

The bus was scheduled to depart at 8.30 am, but we left at 9.10 am.

The road was full of potholes on the winding mountain roads. There are many parts where we had to slow down and progress was definitely not fast!

Mandarin orange break

After leaving the bus terminal in Vang Vieng, we stop to buy oranges, have a lunch break, and slowly approach Phonsavan.

Restaurant stopped for lunch break.

The bus heads north on the road to Luang Prabang, then turns east on the road to Phonsavan. The lunch break was at the roundabout at this junction.

After turning east at the intersection, the road is in better condition and vehicles drive faster.

Arrival at Phonsavan and transfer to the city

Bus station next to the Phonsavan market

Arrival at Phonsavan was at around 3:45pm. The journey took just over six and a half hours.

We stopped next to Ponsavan Market. It was handy because it was in the centre of town and surrounded by many guesthouses and restaurants.