Cheap way to get to Luang Prabang (from Jakarta)

Three days after our second wedding anniversary, we looked at our bank account and decided to just book a return ticket to Laos for no reason. It was a now or never decision, so… in the most impulsive way possible, we got ourselves a return ticket from Jakarta to Lao PDR’s capital, Vientiane.


Pha That Luang, Vientiane

It was until nearer the time we realised that we didn’t book a long enough days to see both Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Our initial plan was to take the overnight bus between the two cities but given the circumstances, we chose to take the plane instead.

Of course, one can always get straight to Luang Prabang, but surprisingly we saved almost half the cost by going through Vientiane. Return air tickets from CGK-LPQ costs about IDR8million per pax. Here’s the (more or less) detail cost we paid to get to Luang Prabang:

  • Return air ticket Jakarta-Vientiane-Jakarta                    : IDR2,400,000
  • Return air ticket Vientiane-Luang Prabang-Vientiane : IDR1,630,000

Total air ticket per pax: IDR 4,030,000


Monks on the move in Luang Prabang.

Although it felt unnecessary to travel back to Vientiane on the way back (and tiring af), but it would cost a lot more if we chose to fly through Vientiane and leave from Luang Prabang:

  • Air ticket Jakarta-Vientiane : IDR 1,200,000
  • Air ticket Vientiane-Luang Prabang : IDR 2,000,000
  • Air ticket Luang Prabang-Jakarta : IDR 4,800,000

Total air ticket per pax: IDR 8,000,000

You can also cut the cost by taking the overnight bus from Vientiane to Luang Prabang – or if you have more time – take a bus and make an overnight stop at Vang Vieng before continuing to Luang Prabang. The overnight bus should take about 10-12 hours and costs about USD35 per person one way.

How many days to spend?

I’d say spend about one or two days in Vientiane and at least 4-5 nights in Luang Prabang. I wished we could’ve had more time in Luang Prabang but oh well. I will write more posts on what we did and what (I wish) we would’ve done in Luang Prabang. So watch the space…



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