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Bangkok to Vientiane By Train – A Simple Guide

This itinerary starts from Bangkok to Vientiane in Laos by train/bus.

Here’s my experience traveling from Bangkok to Vientiane by train. Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, and Vientiane is the capital of Laos. Let me just say this: there is no direct train service from Bangkok to Vientiane, at least for now. However, there is a direct bus from Bangkok to Vientiane. This travel itinerary will guide you on how to get to Laos without hassles. I’ve done this myself, and I can certainly vouch that this is the cheapest way to go between two Asian capital cities. 

Buy your train ticket: Bangkok to Nong Khai

I purchased my train ticket at the Bangkok train station because I was sightseeing in the area. However, I bought the ticket two days before my departure, meaning the only seats available were in a fan-ventilated train car. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this option as I could not sleep the entire night. The windows were open due to the heat, and the noise was unbearable. Despite my efforts, I could not fall asleep and could only keep my eyes closed in frustration. I’d recommend that you buy/take the bed space for an overnight train ride. You can buy your train ticket here

Bangkok to Vientiane By Train / Bus- A Simple Guide
Bangkok to Vientiane By Train / Bus- A Simple Guide

The train that departed from Bangsue Station in Bangkok was on time but arrived in Nong Khai later than scheduled. 

Alternatively, you can also take the direct bus from Bangkok to Vientiane. A friend chose this route, but he won’t recommend it. He said the drivers were drinking beer while driving.

From Nong Khai to Vientiane

Upon arriving at Nong Khai Station, I opted to take a shared tuk-tuk to the border near the Friendship Bridge. It was a quick 5-minute ride, and I paid 20 baht for it. On the other hand, if you are okay with walking for about 20 minutes and your backpack is light enough, you can take a leisurely stroll to the border.

Bangkok to Vientiane By Train / Bus- A Simple Guide
Arriving at Nong Khai Train Station – Bangkok to Vientiane By Train / Bus- A Simple Guide

Once I arrived at the border gate, I joined the long queue to the exit office. After successfully exiting, I found the booth where I could purchase a 35-baht bus ticket. This ticket would take me to the Laos entry immigration office. The process was well-organized, and I had no trouble boarding the bus when it arrived.

Buying a Visa at the Entry Border to Laos

The bus ride from Nong Khai (Thailand’s border with Laos) was quick, under 10 minutes. We stopped right in front of the visa office. There was no queue for visas, but I was overcharged. Instead of 1,400 baht ($40), I paid 1,700. When I asked for a receipt, the officer dismissed it, saying it wasn’t necessary. To avoid an altercation, I followed his directions to the next point. The entry border was a breeze, with hardly any wait, and the officer didn’t ask any questions. Smooth sailing!

Bangkok to Vientiane By Train / Bus- A Simple Guide Laos Border Thailand
Arriving at Laos Border – Bangkok to Vientiane By Train / Bus- A Simple Guide

Taking the Bus from the Border to Vientiane

Right after entering Laos, I made my way to the bus stop. It’s just to the right, near the shops. Look for a green/orange/yellow bus. Always check with the driver if it heads to Vientiane Central Bus Station. If you’re carrying luggage or a backpack, you must take it on board. The ride costs 30,000 lakh ($1.50). It’s a 30-minute trip to Vientiane’s Central Bus Station, also the final stop. Once there, catching a tuk-tuk to your hostel or hotel is easy but annoying as drivers swarm around you. 

Bangkok to Vientiane By Train / Bus- A Simple Guide Laos Border Bus
Inside the bus to Vientiane – Bangkok to Vientiane By Train / Bus- A Simple Guide

Where to Stay in Vientiane, Laos

In Vientiane, Laos, find a place to stay for any budget. For luxury, try Crowne Plaza Vientiane, an IHG Hotel. La Seine Hotel offers mid-range prices. Prefer hostels? Check out Nana Backpacker Hostel or the House of Jars. Each spot promises a unique stay in the city.

Watch: Bangkok to Vientiane by Train

This 2-minute TikTok video of my whole trip from Bangkok to Vientiane by train. This video will give the visual version of the entire trip. 

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