Getting There & Away
Posted Date: 7/9/20139:08 AM
You then need to wait for the bus heading to Phongsali from Udomxai, which arrives anywhere between 4pm and 6pm and costs US$5. You may also find a sawngthaew to do the trip for a similar fare.
Tel: 210794 – Boun Neua airport
Operates a Y-12 to/from Vientiane (one way/return US$92/175, 1.5 hours, Thursday and Sunday) to Boun Neua, about 36km west of Phongsali on Rte 1B (the main road). You then need to wait for the bus heading to Phongsali from Udomxai, which arrives anywhere between 4pm and 6pm and costs US$5. You may also find a sawngthaew to do the trip for a similar fare.
Hat Sa can be reached by boat along the Nam Ou from Muang Khua. In Muang Khua you can choose between slow boats (US$10, six hours) and speedboats (US$13, three hours, departures depend on passenger demand), Either type of boat may be chartered from Muang Khua to Hat Sa for US$80 to US$100, carrying up to 15 passengers in a slow boat or six passengers in a speedboat. Bear in mind, however, that river traffic is sporadic and you may need to wait a day or two for passage. When the river level is low, particularly from March to May, the boat service may be canceled altogether.
BUS & 4WD
There is one bus daily to/from Udomxai – US$6, 8 to 12 hours, 8am
The Phongsali bus terminal is about 3km west of town; if you don’t fancy walking you can catch a sawngthaew (US$0.30 to US$0.50 depending ‘ on the number of passengers and your bargaining skills) from a ministation about 50m west of Yu Houa Guest House. Trucks: to Hat Sa (US$7, one hour) also leave from this mini-station between 7am and 7.30am daily.
HatSa: From the boat landing at the small town of Hat Sa, passengers can share a 4WD vehicle (US$1.50 per person, US$15 charter) for the 20km journey along an unsealed road to Phongsali.
If the Yunnan-Phongsali border should open to foreign travelers in the future (it is currently open to Chinese and Lao nationals only), it will be easier to reach Phongsali from Mengia (in Yunnan), than from most points in Laos. From the Lao settlement of Ban Pakha (a village of Akha refugees who fled the communist takeover of China in the 1940s), near the Chinese border, to Phongsali you could take a bus to Bun Neua, where you would change to another bus for the final leg to Phongsali.