So are you going with the 24hour bus from Kunming to Luang Prabang in one go?
If you're going to Luang Prabang I'll look forward to your report. That's one of the places on my possibility list for December - we have about 3 weeks to get from HK to KL although with Samuel we won't be taking any 24 hour bus trips. Only planes thanks very much.
Probably too late now but the 2 day boat trip down the Mekong from near the Thai, Myanmar, Laos border to Luang Prabang looks like a great trip for the independent traveller. Again though we decided not a great choice travelling with a 10 year old though!
Looks like the Himalayan Orienteering Champs won't be happening (for us anyway). I never got a reply to my email from the organisers. Pity.
Vanessa - yes, I am. Considered stopping off en route but the logistics looked a bit challenging given my limited time. Any hints? (do I need to take food?).
I've heard good things about Luang Prabang. Not sure if anyone flies there from, say, Kunming - if they do than the rest of my route (or something like it) looks very doable. Most of the rest is on trains except for Luang Prabang-Vientiane (which I plan to do by bus, but apparently it's possible to hire a car and driver for the trip for US$100 or thereabouts).
24hr bus - I'd rather spend 24 hours on a rogaine!
It's described as a 'sleeper bus'. The ones I've been on in South America were effectively the equivalent of airline business class; I'm not expecting as much from this, but should be better than just a regular seat.
If it's like the sleeper buses in Vietnam then it's definitely not business class.
Good luck Blair ;) I’d recommend taking food although there will be roadside food stand options. My tip is to be prepared for lots of random stops at all times of day - our bus seemed to be doing a lot of deliveries and there were also increasingly frequent stops for mechanical issues, dealt with by the on board mechanic! Also the border crossing was confusing and we had to wait for ages while the bus disappeared to be checked.
I’d be interested to see what the border area looks like now - there were huge works going on to build the chinese high speed rail through Laos.
But Luang Prabang is lovely so there is something to look forward to at the end of the bus trip!