How to Travel from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang?

As an ancient capital of Laos, Luang Prabang is a small but visited town and one of the most favorite destinations to visit in Laos, offering a range of attractive activities and nice spots for tourists. Although the country itself is still overshadowed than the neighboring countries, Luang Prabang ranked as UNESCO World Heritage Site, is still on top choice of place to go in Laos because of its peaceful and serene atmosphere as well as of rich culture and history.

Royal Palace Museum

The Royal Palace Museum, situated just opposite to the famous Mount Phousi, is a window to the history of pre-communist Laos and the life of a royal family.

Meanwhile, Siem Reap is the gateway into the ancient Angkor temples of Cambodia Kingdom. This is popular city for any tourist when traveling to Indochina as well as Southeast Asia.  So, how to travel from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang? There is no train connection between these two places. The effective way for traveler’s choice, that is by air or by land.  This topic will provide more details about these travel options between Siem Reap and Luang Prabang and help you to find out one way that suit individual interest best. Here we go!

By Air

The fastest option of traveling from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang

Taking flight Siem Reap – Luang Prabang is the most effective and fastest way for your travel in about 1000km distance apart between these cities. The flight takes from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours at cost from US$ 180 – US$ 350 per ticket per way, depending on the airline supplier, flight time/date and seat class (if available).

At present, there are two suppliers providing direct flight from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang and vice versa, they are Lao Airlines (QV) and Vietnam Airlines (VN). The flights are not provided frequently for the whole week but 4-5 flights per each week. So, we suggest you to check schedule and book your flight as early as possible to get better deals with more choice on seat availability in this case.

Laos Airlines

Laos Airlines – the national airlines as the most trusted supplier of Laos

Siem Reap Airport is conveniently located on National Road 6, about 8km from downtown of Siem Reap. It is easy for tourist to get from city center to the airport by tuk tuk, taxi or private car (approx. 15-20 minutes of drive) at cost US$ 6-10 per route.

It is the same for Luang Prabang International Airport which is one of the two major international airports of Laos and within short distance to the center of the city (4 km). There are several transportation choices from Luang Prabang Airport to the city center, such as taxi, bus or tuk tuk. Taxi is the most comfortable and fastest option for the transfer at price about 50,000LAK per way (~ US$ 6). Bus is more budget at around 15,000LAK, payable at Bus Station in the airport or direct on bus while tuk tuk takes a bit walk to the parking area and price is negotiated.

It can be seen that the one-way fare might a bit expensive than other option by land. However, this is no doubt that taking flight is the most popular way for tourists to get between these cities as it is, indeed, much faster as a good reason to consider and choose.

By Land

The more economical way between Siem Reap and Luang Prabang

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Highway connecting Strungtreng to Pakse

Travel to Luang Prabang from Siem Reap by tourist bus / minivan is another option to choose, which is more economical than taking flight, but this way of transport takes a lot of time and not so comfortable with one or more stopover along the way while the road condition is not really good. For those who travel in budget style or love more adventure with closer touch to the local natural beauty and lifestyle as well as have more flexible time in traveling schedule, this option definitely works and worth a try.

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Fish market along the drive

Although the real distance is about 1000km with estimated driving time at 17,5 hours, the travel time by bus between Siem Reap and Luang Prabang can take up 33 hours with the cost varying from US$ 80-100 per ticket, depending on the bus company and travel routes including transit or waiting time between points.

Luang Prabang Old Town

The peaceful Luang Prabang Old Town.

The bus can take stopover via Preah Vihear, Stung Treng (Cambodia side), Pakse, Don Det or Savannakhet in Southern Laos.

From Siem Reap, buses traveling to Luang Prabang can leave at Giant Ibis Station or Siem Reap Office and arrive at Southern Bus Terminal or Luang Prabang Northern Bus Station in Luang Prabang City. The trusted bus company for this route is Asia Van Transfer (minivans).

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Part of the freeway from Cambodia to Laos border

As there is no direct train connection from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang, if you would like to travel by train, you have to travel via Thailand. Thanaleng Station is the only station on the Lao side starting from Bangkok to Nong Khai, from where you continue to take another train to Thanaleng which is closest station to Luang Prabang (via Vientiane).

Whatever decision you make for the final way of transport between Siem Reap and Luang Prabang, you will find your own interesting travel experience from these two favorite destinations of Cambodia and Laos. It definitely depends on your travel style and budget.

Once arriving in Luang Prabang, let’s enjoy your time in this city with lots of things to do and see. Our Luang Prabang Travel Guide will be helpful to give you more ideas for best of Luang Prabang City. Contact us and Laos Travel team will be more than happy to assist your stress-free journey in both Cambodia and Laos.

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