An 8-hour local busride over a “really bad road” (although none of the roads seem very good, and everyone we ask keeps smiling, so how bad can it be), or going back on ourselves, making the same trip maybe a bit less bumpy, but also definitely with 2 stops and over 24 hours in the tourist bus that would be a lot more expensive. We’re about to find out how bad a “really bad road” actually is in Laos.
After staying in Luang Prabang for a week, I made a plan to take a route that is not so tourist-y. A bit off the beaten track, so to speak. And what an adventure that decision made… From Luang Prabang first a 10-hour bus to Phonsavanh.
After Pai we set out on an adventure to arrange the trip to Laos ourselves. There’s lots of companies that advertise taking you all the way there, but it´s LOTS cheaper, I repeat LOTS cheaper to do it yourselves. Just get tickets as you go along. I took a minivan from Pai to Chiang Mai, then a public bus to Chiang Rai (because the bus to Chiang Khong was full). The next day a public bus to Chiang Khong and the short trip over the river. Presto. Made it to Laos!
I crossed the border with Laos and instead of going to south, like most, I went north.