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Ubon to Pakse - what are the options?

  • jet_bkk

    Joined Travelfish
    11th May, 2009
    Posts: 6

    I'm arriving in Ubon at 9am on Saturday and need to get to Pakse. I believe there is a bus at 8:30 and the next is 2pm so I was wondering if there are other ways to do this.

    Are there other buses, or minibuses going across the boarder and to Pakse?

    Can I assume it is no problem getting a visa on arrival at the border at well? I've been to Chong Mek before but never crossed.

    #1 Posted: 24/6/2009 - 11:07

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  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6406
    Total reviews: 10

    Taken right from Travelfish:

    For those planning on visiting far southern Laos from Thailand, the Chong Mek / Vang Tao crossing is the most convenient. From Thailand a regular bus runs from Ubon Ratchathani to the border town of Chong Mek taking 1-1.5 hours. Sometimes you may be required to change buses as Phibun Mangsahan depending on the bus caught. Once deposited at Chong Mek it is a five minute walk through each crossing and regular songtheaws run from Vang Tao to Pakse, taking about one hour. Visa on arrival is available.

    #2 Posted: 24/6/2009 - 18:33

  • jet_bkk

    Joined Travelfish
    11th May, 2009
    Posts: 6

    Thanks; I read that, but what I really want to know is if I need to wait for the 2pm bus or whether there are other options. I don't want to spend 5 hours in Ubon obviously. I see on Travelfish that there one company has 2 morning and an afternoon bus but was hoping there are other buses, or mini-buses doing the same.

    #3 Posted: 25/6/2009 - 08:59

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6406
    Total reviews: 10

    That I don't know... but I would spend a day or two in Ubon anyway. It's not a bad place to just hang out. Not sure what your itinerary is, but if you just took the bus into Ubon (or did you fly?) then you ought to be pretty beat. If you flew into Bangkok and took a connecting flight to Ubon I'd be exhausted.

    But as for other buses going to Paxse, sorry, I can't help you there.

    #4 Posted: 25/6/2009 - 13:08

  • jet_bkk

    Joined Travelfish
    11th May, 2009
    Posts: 6

    I live in Bangkok and am flying to Ubon. I found out today I can get a car from the airport to Chong Mek for 1000 baht (although the bus is only 200 baht all the way to Pakse apart from the bad timing).

    So worst case I'll just do that and pickup some transport at the border to Pakse I guess.

    #5 Posted: 25/6/2009 - 14:04

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1425
    Total reviews: 15
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    At least 113

    You can try to make it on your own by taking local buses and/or songthaews, or you can take the International Bus.

    I wrote about that on another branch, or another thread, but can't find it so I'll repeat myself ...

    The International Bus leaves from the Ubon Bus Terminal, in the north end of the city (it's the main one, so if you are coming in by bus you will arrive there.) The cost is B200, and it takes longer than 1-1.5 hours. Expect the whole trip to take around 2-3 hours.

    According to the literature at the bus station, buses leave 4 times per day. Twice in the morning, and twice in the afternoon. However, when we were there the bus was only going twice per day, and that was during high season. It was leaving once in the morning and once in the afternoon. It all depends on the amount of business they are getting. So, it is entirely possible that there will be another bus leaving in the morning. If they have slashed two of the trips, then I guess you might be waiting or trying another way.

    The bus is quite convenient. You get dropped off at immigration, cross the border, get your visa, and then get back on the bus on the Laos side and continue on to Pakse where you'll be dropped off at the VIP Bus Terminal at the south end of town. For B200, I think it is a good deal.

    If you are coming into Ubon by train, you'll have to catch a songthaew to the bus station. I think that it is songthaew #2.

    There will be drivers at the train station more than willing to take you to Chong Mek, or all the way to Pakse.

    #6 Posted: 25/6/2009 - 23:58

  • szhmle

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd July, 2009
    Posts: 3

    I travelled from Pakse VIP Bus Terminal to Ubon in early October 2009. Contrary to what is written in the Travelfish guide, there are only to bus connections at 08:30 and 15:30 every day. I paid 200 baht for the trip.

    #7 Posted: 23/10/2009 - 17:34

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 564

    Looks like an old thread resurected from the dead, I'll add my two santang as no one else seems to have mentioned it yet.

    I took and like the songthaews because they leave all the time and are cheap. No waiting, just get on and go. I left from the large market in Ubon and arrived at the big market in Pakse with a couple of changes.

    Everyone assumed I spoke no Thai or Lao so it takes no language abilities.

    Waking up early and stumbling out of my guest house I flagged down a tuk tuk and told him I wanted to go to Pakse. He dumped my by an almost full songthaew whose driver confirmed about a million times that I wanted to go to Laos and Pakse as if I was daft or something (no coffee probably did it). Part way to the border half the people got on a different songthaew and half way again half of us got on a different one and paid some more baht.

    At every step of the way people spoke to me as if I were a child making sure multiple times that I knew I didn't need to change songthaews or that I did need to change on this one and that the new one cost xx baht or something.

    At the border some tout kept hassling me to take a minivan for all kinds of money, 1000, then 600, then 200 baht. After I got done with my VOA the minivan pulled up beside me and I was charged xx baht to the big market in Pakse just like everyone else.

    In 06 I took the international VIP headed in the other direction and had to pay racist based dual pricing which I didn't like much, seemed to take about the same amount of time. Busload of people took forever to clear immigration.

    #8 Posted: 23/10/2009 - 19:32

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6406
    Total reviews: 10

    "In 06 I took the international VIP headed in the other direction and had to pay racist based dual pricing which I didn't like much"

    Did you do what my wife does, which is to insult the offending party in ways that make me cringe? She's a petite woman, but if someone tries to cheat her (and by inference me) then suddenly she seems like she's ten feet tall.

    #9 Posted: 24/10/2009 - 00:30

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