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Transportation in Luang Namtha
Luang Namtha is a major hub of northern Laos, and is accessible from a number of destinations within Laos, as well as China and Thailand.
Whizz around Luang Namtha travelling on the renowned tuk-tuk or take it at a slower pace travelling along the river by boat.
For information on getting to Luang Namtha, Laos, as well as how to get around once there, our Luang Namtha Transportation Guide below will come in handy. For more general transport information on travelling throughout Laos, check out our Laos Transportation Guide.
Luang Namtha Transportation Guide
Getting to Luang Namtha
Lao Aviation operates flights between Luang Namtha and Houay Xay, Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Depending on the season, there are several flights each week from Vientiane to Luang Namtha. The approximate cost is US$84. The airport is about 6 km from the town of Luang Namtha. Trave the distance in a songthaew or covered pickup for around US$4 after a little bit of bargaining.
The national road connecting Boten at the China-Laos border with Houay Xay at the Thai-Laos border was completely reoriented and as a result, Luang Namtha is now easily accessible from both Meungla and Jinghong in China, and Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai in Thailand.
Bus travel is inexpensive, lets you access almost every part of the country and is available with a few options. For a comfortable trip with air conditioning and more space, travel by first class or VIP. Minibuses, though more expensive than the conventional buses, travel faster and can be used by tour groups as a safe and reliable mode of Luang Namtha tourism transport. Although rather exhausting, travelling by bus in Northern Laos gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy the picture perfect views and mingle with the local people which is always a great Luang Namtha travel experience.
Luang Namtha to Muang Sing
From 8am to 3pm buses and trucks leave Luang Namtha every hour for Muang Sing. There is no set times and buses leave when there are enough people. The trip takes around two hours.
Luang Namtha to Boten
Luang Namtha is well connected by bus with the Chinese border city of Jinghong via Boten in Laos. There are two buses in the morning and two in the afternoon, and the trip from Luang Namtha to Boten takes around two hours. You will require a pre-arranged visa to enter Laos from China.
Luang Namtha to Luang Prabang
The trip to Luang Prabang takes around ten hours. The most comfortable bus is the through service to Vientiane leaving every morning at 8:30am. However, if you miss this bus you can take any going to Udomsai and transfer there to another bus continuing on to Luang Prabang.
Luang Namtha to Vientiane
There is one through service in each direction from Luang Namtha to Vientiane (around eighteen hours), which departs Luang Namtha at 8.30am, and Vientiane at 8am. This route also takes passengers going to Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng. The bus stops at the southern bus terminal in Luang Prabang and departs Luang Prabang at 4.30pm.
Luang Namtha to Huay Xai
Buses for Huay Xai, located on the Thai border, leave at 9am and 1pm and the trip takes around four hours, which allows you to be in Thailand on the same day.
The river route is a two-day journey from Ban Houi Xay up the Namtha River, or from Ban Houi Xay up the Mekong River to Xieng Kok in Muang Long. However, there are no scheduled boat services, only cargo ships sail the route occasionally. During the dry season, the river may not be navigable in the north.
Getting around Luang Namtha
Both the old and new parts of Luang Namtha can be covered on foot. Buy yourself a good map of the city from K.N.T Internet for 3,000 kip, or ask your Luang Namtha hotel as many Luang Namtha hotels have free copies for their guests.
Cycling is a great mode of Luang Namtha travel transport for exploring. You can hire a standard, single-speed bicycle at any tourist area or at some of the Luang Namtha hotels. Mountain bikes can be hired in the mountainous areas as well as within Luang Namtha town.
This noisy transport in Luang Namtha travelling on three wheels will whisk you to your destination at lightning speed! They are the main means of paid transport in the cities and towns of Laos.