Asia,  Destinations,  Laos,  Trains, Planes & Rideshares,  Travel Diary,  Vietnam

From Vientiane to Hanoi by airplane

I flew from Vientiane to Hanoi with Lao Airlines for $170 USD. It was a little bit more than I wanted to spend, but the alternative was taking a 24 hour bus across the border and I just didn’t want to do that.

Journal date: October 31, 2023

While it did seem like an adventure, I heard so many bad things about it from other backpackers that I figured I’d be kind to myself and just fork over the extra cash for the direct flight. The bus would’ve been much cheaper (closer to $50 USD I think), but for peace of mind I suppose the extra $100 spent was worth it.

The airport is slightly outside the main part of Vientiane, about 20-30 minutes with a car. Grabs to the airport are weirdly expensive, but the city has decent public transit including a few buses that go to the airport itself.

There’s even a shuttle which runs around downtown Vientiane every hour or so, stopping at major hotels and tourist neighborhoods. A ticket is only 40,000 kip / $1.96 USD and from my hostel it took about 25 minutes to the airport. I was the only one of the bus, and was super comfortable.

Vientiane Airport is fairly small, but there’s enough cafes and snack options to keep you busy before your flight. If you forgot to get any souvenirs during your Laos trip, you can get most things at the airport here.

I enjoyed a leisurely lunch at one of the small restaurants before getting to the gate 10 minutes before boarding. The flight itself was very easy– and we even got a snack!

Once I arrived in Hanoi, I got a SIM card at the airport (169 GB/30 days for $14 USD) and booked a Grab to my hostel. I stayed at Musketeers Guest House, located outside of the Old Quarter in an expat-heavy neighborhood. I picked it because I figured it’d be quieter than a place directly in Old Quarter— and I was right, but that also meant I had to spend $8-12 USD on Grabs per day getting back and forth from my hotel to the tourist sights. Whoops!

More adventures in Asia:

Anastasia is a former librarian turned digital nomad. She's been traveling the world full time for two years and has visited 18 countries so far! Just Gone Wandering is a travel resource for solo female travelers on a backpacker's budget-- or slightly more-- and highlights amazing places to visit as well as providing tips and tricks for traveling smart and frugal. Read more...

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