Hotel Location & Getting Around Laos
Please note that the swimming-pool at The Apsara Rive Droite Hotel is for the exclusive use of the Apsara Rive Droite Hotel guests.
Getting To The Hotel
There are several ways of getting to the Apsara Hotel in Luang Prabang, Laos, depending on how much time you have and from where you are coming.
Below you will find information on the best ways to get to Laos and our hotel comfortably and safely; in luxury or on a budget.
From Vientiane to Luang Prabang
Lao Airlines has 3-4 flights per day from Vientiane to Luang Prabang, Laos. The flight time is only 35-40 minutes. Our hotel is only a short distance away.
Bangkok to Luang Prabang, direct
Bangkok Airways and Lao Airlines both fly nonstop to Luang Prabang, Laos. The time tables vary according to the season and at certain times of year they have two flights a day. During the high season they both get very busy so it's best to book early and also to shop between the airlines as prices can vary considerably. Both have websites and it's possible to book on-line:
From Bangkok via Vientiane
Both Thai Airways and Lao Airlines operate daily non-stop flights to Vientiane, Laos; from there it is possible to take a direct flight up to Luang Prabang. Though Vientiane is not exactly "The Paris of the East" that some guide books say it is, it is worth a visit and does have some beautiful temples and excellent shopping. If you wish to spend some time there before meeting us, we can help you find reliable hotel accomodation, good restaurants and tourist attractions within various price ranges.
From Bangkok to Vientiane via Udon Thani
A cheaper alternative is to fly with one of the new, no-frills airlines that have sprung up recently; Airasia and Nokair to Udon Thani, some 55 kilometers from the Laos border. Thai Airways also flies there. From Udon Thani you can either take the air-con coach or a private taxi to the border at Nong Khai and then through to our hotel.
From Bangkok by Rail
Perhaps one of the last exotic means of travel left in Asia is by rail. Why not make your journey to our hotel part of the experience?
The night train to Nong Khai is no exception. It leaves Bangkok station at 8.45 every night and arrives around 9.00 the next morning. Costing as little as 1200 Baht per person it's a real treat. For that you get an air conditioned room for two with crisp clean sheets, a wash basin and cold beer brought to your cabin on demand. Though food is provided on the train a picnic is better. The food hall on the top floor of the Emporium Shopping centre in Bangkok sells great take away sandwiches.
When you get to Nong Khai station, get a tuk-tuk to the bus station and then a minibus to the Laos border. It costs a bit extra, but it avoids the hassle of carting your luggage about, as it will wait for you at the Thai border and then take you over the Friendship Bridge to Laos and onto the Apsara Hotel.
From Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
At present Lao Airlines flies to Luang Prabang three times a week. Check with them as this changes virtually every month. The flying time is around one hour. Our hotel is only a short distance away.
From Udon Thani (North East Thailand) to Luang Prabang, direct
This is a recent route serviced twice a week by Lao Airlines. Our hotel is only a short distance away.
From Kuala Lumpur, via Vientiane
Air Asia flies from Kuala Lumpur to Vientiane a few times a week. From there you can fly up to Luang Prabang with Lao Airlines. Our hotel is only a short distance away.
From Hanoi to Luang Prabang, direct
Vietnam airlines and Lao Airlines fly from Hanoi which is only an hour away from our hotel. This makes life much easier for guests coming from Hong Kong, itself only a flight of just over an hour from Hanoi. Our hotel is only a short distance away.
By boat from Houeisay (North West Laos)
There are three types of boats available to Luang Prabang from Houeisay in Thailand . One is a noisy speedboat, it has no shade, you have to wear a crash helmet because it's so dangerous, and by the time you reach our hotel in Luang Prabang you'll feel like you've been beaten up by experts.
The public boat is a better option; it has shade, proper seats, and stops once over night, where you stay in a pleasant guest house or hotel.
And finally there is a boutique river boat hotel that takes two days to get up river. During that time, you sit in comfort, lunch on board, visit hill tribe villages and overnight in a comfortable lodge hotel. Their website addresses is www.asian-oasis.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Arriving by air from Bangkok
There is a certain skill to getting a 30 day visa on arrival at Luang Prabang, one that is not explained by the Authorities. On arrival in the airport go the Visa counter and hand over your A4 sized visa form, $35, [$36 on a Sunday, don't ask why] and a passport photo. Then queue up at the next desk to get your passport back. When you've done that, go to the immigration booth and hand over your passport and your other, rectangular, Immigration and Departure form. It is all too easy to join the wrong queue.
Crossing the border at Nong Khai
Though it is relatively easy to get a 30 day visa, there is absolutely no explanation of how you do this, leaving many people waiting for hours in the wrong queue.
On arriving at the border you will see, on the left, a white building with visas on a gold sign. It has two small dark windows with a wire basket in between. Take an A4 form from the basket and fill it in. Queue up at the left hand window with your form, a passport photo and $35. An official will take the form from you. While you are waiting, go up to the immigration booths and get an Immigration and Departure form, then go back to where you started from, and fill this in. Eventually the right hand, black window will open and you will be handed back your passport plus visa. Now, and only now, go to the immigration booth to queue up.
Once through there go to yet another booth and pay 10 baht tax, in return you get a pink slip. Keep this in your hand as you have to give it to the person at the exit from immigration. It's a bit like playing Grandma's footsteps, but eventually you get there.
Talk to Us
Questions about travelling to the hotel? Our staff are highly knowledgable about the local area and can advise the best means of access to the hotel. We will ensure that your visit to Luang Prabang is as relaxing and enjoyable as it should be; from your hotel accommodation to travel and tourism.
Choose the Apsara Hotel for a truly spectacular experience.