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VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

Hanoi
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VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

I'm told some bus companies overwork their drivers, who often fall asleep while driving. I'd like to avoid this!

I've also been told some overnight buses are very comfortable and safe -- but how to find them?

Does anyone have a bus company they have used that they can recommend? I need to go overland, not fly.

Thank you!

Vientiane, Laos
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1. Re: VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

There is a new VIP service that goes from CM all the way through to Luang Prabang. From LP there are lots of buses & minibuses on to Vientiane.

thaitravelblogs.com/2012/…

Hanoi
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2. Re: VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

Thank you "bluecramp"! That's good to know... but going to LP in order to go to Vientiane makes it a longer trip, right? I have been to LP on my way to Chiang Mai and now just want best, safest, quickest way to get to Vientiane by bus.

Thanks!

Vientiane, Laos
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3. Re: VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

You could travel through Thailand then - bus from CM down to Udon Thani, then change for the border (they run every 90 mins or so from Udon).

Hanoi
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4. Re: VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

Thanks again Bluecramp!

Dublin, Ireland
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5. Re: VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

Hi Guys,

Any chance you could advise of timescales for these?

Thanks

Hanoi
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6. Re: VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

Dear Dublin,

Sorry I won't have accurate info for you.... am out of country and do not remember name of VIP bus service I used, booked it at tour agency to the right of McDonald's at Tha Pae Gate in Chiang Mai early February 2012.

Took overnight bus Chiang Mai to Nang Khai to Vientiane. Cheap. VW van, not especially comfortable but doable.

HOWEVER driver fell asleep TWICE on return trip. First time, we offered to drive for him and he refused that. Second time we offered to drive or to wait for him to sleep by the side of the road. He insisted on driving so we had two guys take turns staying awake sitting next to him so they could talk to him and elbow him when he started to drift off.

Next time I went to Laos from Chiang Mai I FLEW from CM to Luang Prabang. I never went back to Vientiane.

If you must take a bus, find a day trip!

Good luck to you!

Perth Australia
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7. Re: VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

We returned from Laos last week. We hired a mini van and driver for our Laos trip and went past many VIP buses. They are horrible, slow and bellow smoke. It is a very bumpy route and you need lots of pit stops- if you take my meaning. Do yourself a favour and try to get a mini van. We used Viengchampa Tours and they were very good.

Hong Kong, China
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8. Re: VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

how long does the road trip take, by bus or mini bus?

Santa Cruz, Cal
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9. Re: VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

I drove Chang Mai to Udon Thani 10 hours with no real stops add 2 more hours to VTE, driving thru thailand is all on good roads

Worldwide
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10. Re: VIP bus Chiang Mai to Vientiane?

Before you take night buses in Thailand, check the posts (and the URL for as long as it may be public) about overnight bus safety.

udonmap.com/udonthaniforum/5-died-in-bus-acc…

In case the link falls behind a subscription firewall, these may be the most important particulars

"Five people died and 53 others were injured when a tour bus travelling from Udon Thani to Chiang Mai plunged down a roadside cliff into a ravine in Phitsanulok early Monday, police said. The bus...... belongs to Jakkrapong Tour company." The incident is believed to have occurred about 2 AM - e.g. on an overnight bus service.

Note that:

1. According to the comments on the linked-to page there are 2+ companies plying the Chiang Mai - Udon Thani route. One seems to get bad responses from the posters (and it is apparently the one involved in the fatal accident).

2. Night buses in Thailand have a reputation for crashes - especially during peak travel times when companies and staff may be overworked.

3. It's possible to travel between Chiang Mai and Nong Khai - Vientiane rather more safely, and more scenically as the route is beautiful, without taking night buses, such as

3A Chiang Mai - Phitsanulok by train or daytime bus. Daytime bus Phitsanulok - Udon Thani. Daytime bus or train Udon Thani - Nong Khai or direct to Vientiane.

3B. Chiang Mai - Udon Thani by Nok Air (a well respected low cost carrier). Udon to Vientiane as noted in 3A.

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