During the 12 hours bus trip from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang we got a 5 hours forced stop due to a small landslide that closed the only road along this mountains.
This road is quite dangerous during monsoon season so is definitely better get a plane to Luang Prabang.
Few years after my trip, on the very same road, some tourists were shot and died during a robbery of the bus.
I have anyway to say that Laos is very peaceful country and I feel myself very safe there, much more then in some street in Turin my hometown but of course anything can happen. Anyway if you are traveling in August or during heavy raining season is much better get a plane.
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