September 20, 2014 Leave a Comment
The local mini bus from LP to Dien Bien Phu leaves daily between 6h30 and 7h00. It is a long journey but much cheaper than the Hanoi sleeper bus. The journey was a little rough and the driver stopped every 10 minutes or so picking up random passengers, packages and parcels which he delivered to make some extra money. Everyone stops about 2hrs in and gets breakfast/lunch – the driver persists on getting to his destination on time so bring food and water!
Near the end of the trip you will be forced to pay an exit tax which costs nothing really. The official border crossing is in the middle of nowhere. There are guards dressed up quite seriously but they have a sense of humor. They tried to do a little exchange of their VDN for our KIP. It is nothing serious at all, I felt a little alert as I was nakered from the journey but it’s just a matter of stamping and proof of identification. We arrived late evening and demanded to be dropped at the bus station where we could arrange another bus to Sapa for the following morning.
We stayed the night in Dien Bien Phu which cost 300,000 VDN. It was a little pricey but after the long haul it was well needed and was just a stones throw from the bus station. Surprisingly there were many guesthouses / hostels / hotels around the bus station, which I am sure will cater to every budget. Dien Bien Phu isn’t somewhere I’d advise people to go see, it’s boring and the people are quite aggressive.