I am currently in Luang Probang, Laos, and I want to go from Vang Vieng to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Throughout my travels, many travel agencies tell me lies stating that I can't get buses from a certain place to another and stuff like that. I'm guessing it's to make us book other things there. (On arriving in those places I realised they were lies.). I asked many places here in Luang Probang if I could get from Vang Vieng to Chiang Mai by bus. Some places tell me that the only way is to have to come back to Luang Probang to get to Chiang Mai, and other places tell me I have to go to Vientiane to catch a bus from there.

Question: Does anyone who has been to Vang Vieng know if there are buses to Chiang Mai from there?

2 Answers 2


There are no through buses between Vang Vieng and Chiang Mai, basically you have the two choices that you listed:

  1. going back to LP and catching the direct bus to Chiang Mai;
  2. going to Vientiane, catching the local bus to Udon Thani (Thailand) and then the direct UT to CM bus.
  • You have no link to provide any information about where you got your answer. You were right that there were no through buses, but wrong on the other hand. Every tour place in Vang Vieng sets up all the buses for you and can get you from Vang Vieng to Chiang Mai without having to get any local bus.
    – Jake
    May 19, 2014 at 2:25
  • My apologies if my use of "local bus" doesn't match your definition of "local bus". And my answer comes from first hand knowledge, not a website I googled, as I live in Chiang Mai and work in tourism.
    – user13044
    May 20, 2014 at 3:27
  • Well, actually I was just in Vang Vieng and the only bus to take to Chiang Mai from there was a "Super VIP" bus with built in massage seats, for 37 USD. So NO, you're definition of local bus really does not match at all.
    – Jake
    May 29, 2014 at 5:30
  • Jake, in the context of my answer "local" bus is one that travels within the same region, such as to a nearby city (ie Vang Vieng to Vientiane). Versus a "long distance" bus which travels to a far distant destination (ie Vang Vieng to Chiang Mai). It has nothing to do with the quality, as there is everything from VIP down to 2nd class buses that work locally. If you found a VIP bus that goes all the way from Vang Vieng to Chiang Mai, you should post details about it for future travelers to benefit from.
    – user13044
    May 30, 2014 at 2:22

I've just come back from Vang Vieng and you can indeed catch a bus which goes all the way to Chang Mai as well as many other places. You can buy a ticket in advance from the departing bus station which is located in the southern end of town near the old airport runway.

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