Highway 2. If that doesn't help, find a travel agent in Bangkok and tell them you want to go to Laos. Easy as can be.
#2 whardy has been a member since 14/11/2011. Posts: 66
Depends on where in Laos you want to go. Vientiane - you can catch a train to Nong Khai and then cross over the border. For Southern Laos (Pakse) take the train to Ubon Ratchatani and then a bus a few hours across the border direct to Pakse. If you want to buy tickets in advance or get more information on train routes:
The bus just blows. I'm not sure I would "enjoy" the train, but I suspect it sucks less than the bus. But if you can afford to fly - fly.
#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Visa on arrival at the border. No problems there. Make sure you bring 35(36 on weekends) US dollars, it makes it cheaper than paying in Thai baht.
#8 whardy has been a member since 14/11/2011. Posts: 66
If you can afford it take the train (it's not much cheaper than flying to Udon though). The bus really sucks - a lot.
#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Agree train is the more relaxing way to go (Bangkok - Nong Khai). As seen on the Seat61 site a 1st class cabin goes for 1317 baht (almost as much as a flight to Udon but hey the train can be more relaxing than messing with airports and transfers, and you get to check the scenery en route during daylight). Also note that is for a twin-share cabin, but for 500b more you get it all to yourself.
Also, avoid the temptation to get the train to Thanaleng station on the Laos side. Waste of time just to go a few extra km across the Friendship bridge, and then your faced with very limited options for getting into Vientiane 25km away. Better to get off at Nong Khai and do the bridge via 20 baht frequent bus then 50 baht bus into the city.
I have to admit, one of the best traveling experiences I ever had was the train from Nairobiu to Mombassa. It was a glorious ride in an old style car that was comfortable, I was in the company of a truly lovely lady, and the scenery and food were excellent. Got to Mombassa and went down to Tiwi beach, stayed in a bungalow sitting on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. The entire experience was just magnificent.
#13 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
where in Laos is Mombassa and Nairobi?
I already know that Somalia is a Jangwat of Isan.
#14 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
God if only it were Sayadian - I miss Somalia so much it hurts.
OK, so Lou, the lessons learned here are:
1. Go first class. Don't skimp on the train. Man, that made my ride great.
2. Find a woman to go with you. That also made my ride first class.
3. Make sure you are going to go to a cool place once you arrive - spend a night somewhere cool in Nong Khai overlooking the Mekong - which ain't the pacific, but it's as close as you get in that part of the country.
#15 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Thank you very much for the advice. I'm sure the fellas i'm going with will have number 2 sorted!
Anyway decided to go from Bangkok to Chang Mai and then on to Laos, it all seems pretty straight forward but again anymore advice would be brilliant.
Thanks : )