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Scam alert: sleeper bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

The Hague
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4 posts
47 reviews
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Scam alert: sleeper bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

This is just to inform other travellers: many agencies offer sleeper buses from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang for 130.000 KIP p.p. The bus should leave between 20.00-21.00 (depends on the agency). This turned out to be a scam.

We had been on sleeper buses before, very comfortable! Instead, agencies in Vang Vieng pick travellers up from their hotel, bring them by tuk-tuk to the main road. Then they hush you into minivans, saying it's a 5 minute ride to the bus station. Before you know it, you're on the highway to Luang Prabang. Our driver repeatedly said the sleeper bus from Vientiane forgot to stop and that in 30 min., we'll be at the sleeper bus (complete nonsense of course). I later heard from other travellers that sleeper buses from Vientiane don't stop in Vang Vieng, and are usually full.

In a sleeper bus, you can sleep and you have a toilet. Our minivan was small and we could not use toilets on the way, since places along the road were closed at night. Our driver also stopped for an hour nap on the way.

For a minivan during the day, you're supposed to pay 100.000 Kip. We paid 30.000 kip too much for nothing + a bunch of lies. When we arrived we demanded 30,000 kip p.p. back. The driver became quite aggressive, but did give us the money back.

This is our third scam with bus agencies in Laos so far (in 2 weeks time), so be warned! Better buy directly at the bus station - we are doing this now, and no problems so far!

Muscat Governorate...
Destination Expert
for Muscat, Oman
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1,064 posts
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1. Re: Scam alert: sleeper bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

Thanks Tamar for your time to write about this scam. It will be really helpful to travelers who are planning to visit Laos. I was there 2005 and it was perfect during that time. Seems few things changed. Anyway Thanks again :)

Southampton, United...
2 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Scam alert: sleeper bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

i got lied to about the VT - LPB 'sleeper' bus in 2013….i spent 14 hours on a plastic stool in a non zircon buss and cos it was songkran all the windows were shut (the locals fish picnics were the cherry on top!)

the main issue is tourism has suffered loads since the tubing crackdown meaning less money coming in, intern meaning more scammers trying to make up for diminished earnings

still an awesome time though, and the chilled out tubing is still great if you have a day to relax. Bring flip-flops mind…not to wear but to paddle you down the river if its hardly moving and 30'c! we were burnt beyond belief

Stafford, England...
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36 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Scam alert: sleeper bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

This is a mountain road with many many sharp bends, l can't imagine getting any sleep on even the best VIP buses. The road is not wide and often the driver has to brake hard to avoid oncoming traffic. I would also worry about the driver falling asleep, if you look over the edge of the roads at the drop you will understand why! Also you would miss out on some of the most stunning mountain views in Asia!

4. Re: Scam alert: sleeper bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

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Removed on: 26 August 2015, 06:17