Phongsali is one of the larger towns in Northern Laos. As with much of Laos tourism and other infrastructure is being developed at a rapid pace and information in guidebooks is quickly out of date.
The tourism information centre is well signed and staff are friendly and speak good English. Opening hours are limited however if you call the number on the sign a staff member will visit you at your Guest house to assist outside hours if needed.
Unless you have your own transport, local buses provide the only option directly into Phongsali. Buses travel from several towns, the closest being Boun Neau, approximately 40 km to the west. The buses pick up passengers from Boun Neau several times per day, usually in the afternoon as they are coming from other destinations and ending in Phongsali. Tickets cost 15,000 kip and the journey takes just over one hour. The bus station in Phongsali is around 2 km from the city, and tuk-tuks will be waiting for the bus arrival (8000 kip / person).
Alternatively you can travel to Phongsali via the small riverside town of Hatsa, if you have caught the boat up the Nam Ou river. As of July 2017, a dam has been constructed so river transport from Muang Khua is no longer available.
There are a number of guest houses and hotels although few if any staff will speak any English. Prices start around 50,000 kip /night for very basic double room.