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Traveling from Bangkok to Vientiane
In October 2012 a new bus line opened that connects Bangkok directly with Vientiane which makes the trip a lot easier, before you needed to go to Udon Thani and there switch to another bus to the border where you needed to switch to a local bus in Laos, this new bus goes directly from Mo Chit in Bangkok.
Direct Bus from Bangkok to Vientiane
Duration: 11 hours
Price: 900 baht
Departure time: 20:00
The direct bus leaves Bangkok at 20:00 and takes 11 hours to reach Vientiane. The price of the bus is 900 baht, the bus leaves from the Northern Bus Terminal in Bangkok. This service started in October 2012.
(The International bus direct from Bangkok to Vientiane)
Plane from Bangkok to Vientiane
Duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Price: around 140 USD
There are direct flights from Bangkok to Vientiane. There are two airlines that fly between the two cities. Lao Aviation (Laos) and Thai Airways (Thailand)
The flight will take about 1 hour and 10 minutes and prices are about 140 USD for a one way ticket and 260 USD for a return ticket.
Bangkok to Vientiane with the train
Duration: approximately 11 hours
Price: 258-1317 baht
There are 3 daily trains between Bangkok Hua Lampong and Nong Khai. They leave at 18:30, 20:00 and 20:45 (December 2012). The trip takes about 11 hours. Make sure to check your schedule as the times might change. There is also a train at 08:20 to Udon Thani, but that one arrives in Udon at 18:10 and you will then have to sleep one night in Udon Thani.
(Second class fan train from Bangkok to Nong Khai)
There are three classes on the Thai train to Udon Thani, The price for a first class sleeper train is between 1,117 for an upper bunk and 1,317 for the lower bed. Second class sleeper, 708 for upper A/C and 778 for lower A/C, 488 for upper fan and 538 for lower fan. Second class seats 388 for a fan and 498 for A/C. Third class tickets are 258 baht with fan.
Traveling from Bangkok to Vientiane through Udon Thani
It is also possible to travel through Udon Thani, there are direct buses to Udon Thani and Air Asia often has cheap flights to Udon Thani. It is not difficult to arrange transport from Udon Thani to the border.
Bus from Bangkok to Udon Thani
Duration: approximately 8 hours
Price: around 500 baht
To go to Udon Thani you can take a bus from the Mo Chit Northern Bus Terminal in Bangkok. There are buses going practically every hour.
There are 2 VIP buses, one in the morning and one in the evening. The bus from Bangkok to Udon Thani takes about 8 hours and stops at the bus station in the center of town in Udon Thani. From there you can arrange transport to the border at Nong Khai.
Plane from Bangkok to Udon Thani
Duration: approximately 1 hour
Price: around 1400 baht
You can fly from Bangkok to Udon Thani and then go over land to Vientiane. A flight from Bangkok to Udon Thani takes about 1 hour.
(Minivan from Udon Thani airport to the border)
Air Asia often has special promotions and if you are lucky you can find flights for as little as 700 baht. The standard price is around 1400 baht. Air Asia flies from Don Muang Airport since October 2012.
Getting from Udon Thani to Vientiane
From Udon Thani you will have to travel to Nong Khai where you have the border crossing at the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge. At all the transport hubs where you arrive in Udon Thani you can arrange minibuses to the border. A one way ticket with the minibus from Udon Thani airport will cost you about 200 baht. It takes 45 minutes to the border.
(Waiting in line for your visa at the border)
At the border you can buy a bus ticket of 15 baht to cross the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge. Once you crossed the bridge you will have to pass the Laos check point. At the border you need to buy a visa on arrival.
Once you crossed the border you can take a local bus to the Talet Sao Bus Station in Vientiane, or you can chose one of the other options available at the border. A shared taxi into town will cost 300 baht per person, if you are with more people you can negotiate a price for 1 taxi.
Visa fees at the Thai-Laos border
The fees are between 20 and 42 USD, depending your country.
20 USD China and Vietnam
30 USD Eastern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore, Middle East , Philippines, South Korea
35 USD, Western Europe, United States
40 USD India, Nepal
42 USD Canada
Citizens of Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Jordan and Africa need to arrange a visa at a Laos Embassy abroad.
Traveling to other destinations from Vientiane:
(Last update December 2012)
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