Luang Prabang International Airport

Airport in Luang Prabang

    Luang Prabang International Airport receives domestic and international flights year-round, including Bangkok Airways, Lao Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines. Located 4.5 km northeast of the UNESCO-listed town, this rather small airport has adequate facilities for travellers in Luang Prabang. 

    1

    Arriving at Luang Prabang International Airport

    When you land at Luang Prabang International Airport, you will be directed towards the customs clearance area. If you’re applying for a visa-on-arrival, you can submit your form, passport, 2 passport photos and application fee to the visa application counter. 

    Depending on the queue, your application should take a few minutes. Pass through passport control after receiving your visa to collect your luggage. Make sure to keep your baggage stub as an attendant will check if you’ve taken the correct bags before exiting the airport. 

    The arrival hall has a currency exchange counter – only major currencies and Thai baht are accepted here. You will also find a host of taxis and touts offering you a ride into town.

    photo by Michael Coghlan (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    2

    Departure

    The departure procedure for Luang Prabang International Airport may differ from most airports – you need to pass a security clearance before the check-in counters. After checking in your luggage, head for the waiting area until the gates open. You’ll then go through the immigration and passport control desk before entering another waiting area. 

    photo by Allie_Caulfield (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    Getting to/from Luang Prabang International Airport

    The airport’s ground transportation area is often lined with prepaid taxis and hotel shuttles. If you want to take a taxi to the town centre, you need to purchase a ticket from the Prepaid Taxi booth in the arrivals hall. 

    A cheaper alternative (if you have a light suitcase) is to travel by tuk-tuk – a 3-wheeler bike that often passes along the main road near the airport. Many Luang Prabang hotels offer free shuttle services to and from the airport. It’s best to check with your hotel of choice for availability and details. 

    photo by Binderdonedat (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    4

    Dining at Luang Prabang International Airport

    It’s a good idea to have a meal before heading for the airport as dining is limited to a restaurant outside the arrival hall. You can also find 2 cafes in the departure lounge, though the menu only consists of light snacks, coffee, tea, beer and soft drinks. 

    photo by Michael Coghlan (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveller

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