This is my complete route across Laos. I already detailed the first part of my Laos trip in this entry. I'll include a shortened version here.
I entered Laos from Thailand on December 22nd at Huay Xai. From there I took a boat down the Mekong to Pak Beng (not shown), spent a night, and proceeded (again by boat) to Luang Prabang. I stayed in Luang Prabang for several days, then bussed the hilly but gorgeous roads to Phonesavan. Spent a day there seeing the Plain of Jars, then took a hired car (again hilly and beautiful) to Vang Vieng. From Vang Vieng, a bus to the slow-paced capital of Vientiane where I saw the sights and got my Vietnamese visa. On to Tha Khaek, where I spent a day browsing the Khammuan Limestone area. Next stop Savannakhet - a quiet town. Back on the bus, down to Pakse to see the beautiful Bolaven plateau with its waterfalls and world-class coffee plantations. Then a day in Champasak to see the ancient Khmer ruin, Wat Phu. Next leg was the chicken bus back to Pakse where I spent a night, and then a not-quite-so-bad bus on to Savannakhet where I spent a day and a half hanging out at the monasteries giving impromptu English lessons to monks while also getting to learn about Lao life. By the time you read this, I will have taken a bus on January 20th from Savannakhet to the Dansavanh/Lao Bao border crossing to Vietnam and on to Hué. I expect I will also have boarded a plane and flown up to Hanoi, but my plans do occasionally change.
Update: I ended up in Dong Ha, not Hué, and took the bus to Hanoi after a day in the area.