Muang Sing to Muang Long or Luang Nam Tha and Oudomxay: Hitchhiking in Laos again


It’s great to be able to travel without any concrete plans and to have time to do what you want. We had hoped to travel to Muang Long from Muang Sing, but there was no public transport heading that way the day we left. So we simply changed where we were heading!

Transport from Muang Sing to Muang Long

We had hoped to take public transport to Muang Long and then onto Xiengkok which is on the Myanmar border. We then wanted to see if we could get a cargo boat down river.

It seems like the area around Muang Sing only just reopened and transport was not running as we had hoped. We went to the public bus station and we were led to believe that it was very unlikely any transport would run. Basically no locals were travelling.

No problem – we decided to hitch hike.

Hitchhiking from Muang Sing to Luang Nam Tha

There was a very convenient junction in town with one road heading to Muang Long and the other to Luang Nam Tha. We had both options covered, but no transport was heading to Muang Long.

We decided to change plans and head back to Luang Nam Tha. The weather had been cold and wet which also helped our thinking.

After only about 30 minutes a pick up pulled over with three men in it. They were heading to Luang Nam Tha. The driver was Chinese so Mai could communicate with him, although she said his Mandarin was not so good.

It was a lovely ride back to Luang Nam Tha. A journey which we had made only three days before. Our driver went slowly which was good because the road was quite perilous with lots of hairpin bends, big Chinese lorries and potholes galore.

We made it to Luang Nam Tha in about 100 minutes, stopping to do a bit of shopping on the way.

Luang Nam Tha to Oudomxay

We believed there there was going to be a bus from at 2pm and it was already 1pm when we arrived in the centre of Luang Nam Tha.

After lots of negotiation we were unable to agree an honest price to take us the 8-9 Kms to the southern bus terminal.

The 22 seater coaster bus was very full, but we managed to get two fold out chairs for the 3 hour journey. This was another beautiful journey through the mountains and we were lucky to have a calm driver. There were three lorries who had miscalculated different hairpin bends and ended up half on and half off the road at a 45 degree angle.

I really like the Coaster buses because they have big windows which you can see out of. Minivans are often faster, but the seat height is not good for looking out of the window.

Arriving in Oudamxay

Buses normally départ and arrive at the bus terminal which is located a few kilometres south of the town.

Incredibly the bus passed close to the Guest House where we wanted to stay and so we just hopped off and walked the 5 minutes where a clean 80,000 kip room awaited us!