is it possible to hire a driver? I'd rather do that than take one of those small vans or buses. I'm thinking of doing a trip to Laos in November or December for about 2-3 weeks, and then about 10 days in Cambodia, where I've been before. Did some research on Laos in 2011 but don't know what the prices are now. In 2011, a flt from Chiang Mai to LP was about $250 with Lao Airlines; flight from LP to Vte was about $100 one way. To hire a driver would have been about $150-$250 one way, depending on the driver.
I would really like to see all the scenery between these to places, and hence my preference to hire a driver. Can someone who has done the trip by road advise if the scenery is worth it, or would I be better off to fly ( I think it's an hour long flt), and then explore various areas around Vientiane, and make a side trip to Vang Vieng and stay for a day or two... Don't want to be in with the extreme partiers so would probably stay on the outskirts of Vang Vieng ( I hear the scenery around that area is great!).
Also, if anyone has ideas on current costs to fly or hire a driver, that would help in my planning. What is the best way to hire a driver - through my hotel or some other way? Thanks for any advice.