The North is a mountainous region of Laos. It shares borders with Thailand, Burma, China and Vietnam.
From north to south:
|| Phongsali |
One of the remotest areas of Laos. Home to many ethnic minorities. The regional capital is Phongsali.
|| Luang Namtha |
The regional capital is Luang Namtha. The province offers trekking in the Nam Ha National Protected Area and is home to many ethnic minorities which can be visited around Muang Sing and Vieng Phoukha.
|| Sainyabuli |
Bordering Thailand this is another area less travelled to. The regional capital is Sainyabuli.
The region is served internationally by Luang Prabang airport which has scheduled flights from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi and Siem Reap and domestically from Vientiane in Central Laos.
Visa-on-arrival is available at Luang Prabang airport and the price is variable based upon your nationality. You need a passport picture to obtain a visa. If you don't have one, they'll scan your picture from your passport and charge you an additional $1.
Highway 13 connects the region via Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng and Vientiane in Central Laos
Buses from the northern bus station travel in Vientiane travel along the Mekong River to Sanakhan (the Lao town opposite Thailand's Chiang Khan), then through the mountains to Pak Lai. More details at http://farsidetravel.net/2010/12/26/the-journey-is-the-destination-third-in-a-naga-saga/
From Pak Lai, buses travel south to the Thai border crossing at Kaen Teo and north to Sainyabuli, where buses leave for other northern destinations, including the old royal city of Luang Prabang.