×

Laos local Transportation

Last updated: August 17, 2020 /27 Views

Laos is not easy to travel around, in part due to its mountainous terrain and lack of decent public transportation. Getting around in Laos takes time, and usually more than you may have planned.

Laos possesses a number of modern transportation systems, including several highways and a number of airports. As a landlocked country, Laos has no port or harbor on the sea. Laos depends primarily on road transport and, to less extent, on river and air transport.

1. Travel around Lao by air

Flying is by far the most convenient yet most expensive way to move between regions. Laos has a very small air travel industry, but things are rapidly growing as more flights service an increasing number of towns across this country. Domestic air services by Lao Airlines use ATR or MA60 aircraft between Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Pakse, Xiengkhuang, Oudomxai, Huay Xai, Luang Mantha and Savannakhet; between Luang Prabang, Huay Xai and Xiengkhuang; and between Pakse and Savannakhet. During the rainy season, additional flights are made to access-limited locations. Another state-owned airline – Lao Air flies 10-seat Cessna aircraft on a regular basis to three remote provinces: Houaphan, Phongsali and Xingabury. In addition, there is a privately owned charter helicopter service.

Laos Airlines Plane

Laos Airlines Plane

2. Travel around Laos by Land

Historically, the primary mode of transport around the country was via boat with most of the country’s major towns linked by a network of rivers. To this day, many smaller towns are serviced by passenger boats and in some parts of the Mekong large cargo boats do the heavy lifting that road transport simply can’t do.

Travel by road is the dominant mode of transportation in Laos. Many travelers choose use the bus system which is incredibly cheap and covers nearly every town in the country. The travelers will have a lot of choice on the road No.13 (between Oudomxay - Luang Prabang - Vientiane - Paksane - Thakek - Savannakhet - Pakse) with air-conditioned bus or local bus. For the rest of the country where the roads are not good, converted pick-up trucks without air conditioning (locally called “sawng thaews” or “two-row seat”) are used for public passengers. Buses in Laos are cheap but slow for a number of reasons (the buses are old, the roads are narrow, and they stop very frequently to pick up passengers...)

Travel in Laos by Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuk in Vientiane

To support a local bus system, a "sam law" (three-wheel) vehicle can be a quick and efficient way of getting around. The various three-wheeled taxis found in Vientiane and provincial capitals have different names. Larger ones are jumbo and can hold 4 to 6 passengers on two facing seats. In Vientiane, they are sometimes called tuk-tuks. These three-wheeled conveyances are also labeled simply taxi or, usually for motorcycle sidecar-style vehicles.

Rail transport does not play a significant part in Laos's transport sector, since the country largely lacks the required infrastructure.

27 Views

Related travel guides

Useful Information For A Trip to Laos
Useful Information For A Trip to Laos
April 02, 2021    /    6128 Views
Jubilant Water Festivals in Southeast Asia
Jubilant Water Festivals in Southeast Asia
March 22, 2021    /    5990 Views
Laos - A Land of Festivals and Celebrations
Laos - A Land of Festivals and Celebrations
April 06, 2021    /    5680 Views
2 Days In Luang Prabang Itinerary
2 Days In Luang Prabang Itinerary
April 09, 2021    /    4504 Views
Tak Bat Ceremony – a soundful kingdom in silence
Tak Bat Ceremony – a soundful kingdom in silence
April 09, 2021    /    4091 Views
Vietnam Laos: Complete Guide for First-time Travelers
Vietnam Laos: Complete Guide for First-time Travelers
May 26, 2021    /    5 Views
7 Most Ideal Trekking Routes to Explore in Laos
7 Most Ideal Trekking Routes to Explore in Laos
April 13, 2021    /    1635 Views
2 Days In Luang Prabang Itinerary
2 Days In Luang Prabang Itinerary
April 09, 2021    /    4504 Views
Must-do Activities to Celebrate Boun Pi Mai in Laos
Must-do Activities to Celebrate Boun Pi Mai in Laos
April 09, 2021    /    1638 Views
Tak Bat Ceremony – a soundful kingdom in silence
Tak Bat Ceremony – a soundful kingdom in silence
April 09, 2021    /    4091 Views
Back to Top