Laos is an incredible country to visit, so it is a shame that it is not easy to reach – until now! Regular buses cost at least $30 one-way to the Laos border, and the quality varies. For less per person than a bus ticket, we had our own mini-van, with a private driver at our disposal for more than 5 full days, taking us from Cambodia to Laos and back. Dream come true!
We left Phnom Penh at 11PM at night on Friday night, as we had holidays until that Wednesday due to Water Festival. All 12 of us brought our sleeping gear, as we were going to spend the whole night in the van. We arrived at the Laos Border at 9AM, so it took us around 10 hours to get to the Cambodia-Laos Border.
Crossing the border from Cambodia to Laos
When we reached the border, we were able to get visas for 35$ each. Do expect scams when you cross the border from Cambodia to Laos: we had to pay 2$ more each after they threatened us with not allowing us through. Once we crossed the border, it took us around 1 hour to reach the 4000 islands. There, the driver dropped us off and we took a boat to Don Det island. Don Det island is the one of the biggest and also the most lively one.
The following morning, we took the mini-van again to go to the city of Pakse, the biggest in southern Lao. It took us around 2 hours and a half to reach Pakse, and there we rented our own motorbikes to explore the Bolaven Plateau.
The Plateau could easily be one of the most wonderful landscapes we had seen in our lives.
It was very fun to explore all the waterfalls with our motorbikes.
For the way back, we left on Wednesday at 6AM, and went directly from Pakse to the border, which took us around 3 hours. And then, from the Laos border, it took us around 10 hours to reach Phnom Penh. On the way, we made a stop in Kratie to see the dolphins.
Laos was an incredible trip, and doing it by private taxi made it so easy. Our driver was excellent: safe and polite, we stopped every time we wanted and he made sure he made the appropriate breaks for himself, as he had to drive at night. Having the mini-van at our disposal was so convenient. And the price was very good, considering we not only had transport from and to Laos, but also around Laos. We definitely recommend booking your private taxi and other transport in Cambodia with CamboTicket.
And Laos… we will be back soon.