One of the things that keeps Laos from being over-run by tourists are the limited options for getting there. If you're coming from North America, Europe or Australasia, you can't get to Laos directly.
The quickest way to get to Laos is to fly, but there are no direct flights from North America, Europe or Australasia. The most common route is to fly to Bangkok, Thailand and then fly from there to Vientane or Luang Prabang. Flights are also available from Vietnam to Vientiane. The "low cost" option is to fly from Bangkok to the Thai border town of Udon Thani, and then cross the Mekong River to Vientiane. See our page on getting to Vientiane for more information.
- Thai Airways
- Thai Airways flies daily between Bangkok and Vientiane.
- Lao Aviation
- Laos' national carrier also flies daily between Bangkok and Vientiane or Luang Prabang.
- Bangkok Airways
- Bangkok Airways flies from Bangkok to Luang Prabang, and also offers flights from Sukhothai in northern Thailand to Luang Prabang.
There are no trains in Laos, but you can take the train in Thailand from Bangkok to Udorn Thani on the Thai border with Laos, and then cross the Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai into Laos and on to Vientiane.
You can drive to Laos from Thailand, using the Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai in Thailand. Numerous operators offer bus and van services from the Khao San area of Bangkok to Vientiane and on to Luang Prabang. Driving from Vietnam or Cambodia is not recommended, due to the high incidence of banditry along the borders.