The single airport terminal has few facilities aside from basics such as toilets, telephones and transportation into the city. From the airport, it is a short jumbo (taxi) ride to the centre of Luang Prabang. Taxis meet each flight arrival. Many hotels are happy to arrange an airport pick up for guests.
It is possible to reach Luang Prabang by bus from other towns in Laos, including from the capital Vientiane. Buses are probably the least comfortable way of travelling, with many vehicles being old and susceptible to breaking down. However, many visitors prefer travelling by bus than flying due to safety concerns about domestic flights. It is however a rollercoaster ride from the capital, taking all day.
Another popular way to arrive in Luang Prabang is by slow boat from Huay Xai, a Laotian border town that sits on the opposite bank of the Mekong to Chiang Khong in Thailand. The slow boat trip along the Mekong takes two days and includes an overnight stop at Pakbeng. Speedboats are also available, but are more prone to accidents. Consider bringing a pair of earplugs and a rain coat along, if you choose to travel by speedboat.
Once you are in Luang Prabang, getting around is easy but transport can be slow and unreliable. Boats can be chartered to popular sights along the Mekong, such as the Pak Ou Caves. Boatmen tend to charge foreigners premium rates, so it’s worth checking the going price to your destination with your hotel before setting out.
Jumbos are the local form of taxi. These can be flagged down anywhere, but become tricky to find late at night when the streets become deserted. Agree on a price with the driver before hopping in and take a map with you if you are not sure where you are going. Cycle rickshaws are also available for short trips within the town, but are not suitable for reaching outlying destinations.
If you prefer to drive yourself, motorbikes are available for rent in Luang Prabang. If you are not used to driving on the right, Luang Prabang may not be the best place to learn, with traffic slow but unpredictable. A better bet for the uninitiated is to rent a bicycle, which are cheap and environmentally friendly. For the most part however, you will find getting around on foot the best way to see Luang Prabang.
Banks: 08:30 to 15:30, Monday to Friday
Post Offices: 08:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday; 08:00 to 16:00, Saturdays; 08:00 to 12:00
Government Offices: 08:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 16:00, Monday to Friday
Business Centers: 08:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 16:00, Monday to Friday
Shops: 08:00 to 17:00, Monday to Saturday; some open on Sundays
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