We had the option of minivan or VIP bus to LPrabang. At the Bus strtion was a minivan about to leave. It looked cramped; so I felt that the bus would be a better option. We had to wait 20 mins; but the bus arrived on time; wasn't too crowded and passed the minivan later anyway. The drive was spectacular passing by one mountain vista after another . The good road passed over some impressive high mountains with thatched villages on some of the ridges. The six hour bus ride was a very enjoyable one. The only main stop was at a cool village where was time for a snack and a toilet stop if one could find one!
It was a further 3 spectacular hours on the bus to Luang Prabang. It's a sizable place at the junction of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers. We soon found a tuk tuk to take us the Tom Tom Chang Guest house run by a Hungarian Friend of Janos . She was in Vientiane so couldn't see her. The Place was nice; but with no internet or internet café nearby; a place nearer to the old city would be better.
The old French colonial part of the city Is well kept ans attractive with 3 main roads with pedestrian lanes crossing them. Many touts were around offering accommodation. The Sakkarene Guest house looked OK For $12 with Aircon and a decent size room was a good choice. The rooms opened out onto a bright courtyard. There was no bar or restaurant ; but plenty nearby.
A walk down to the Mekong river brought a nice sunset and the interest of locals playing petanque. The town is a very pleasant place indeed with a lot of tour operators running trekking, kayaking and caving tours. You could even have a course learning how to be a Mahout and look after elephants. There was no shortage of food either with western and Asian in well kept restaurants. The Luang Prabang Bakery was a good choice with decent pizzas and pastas.