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Mukdahan

Getting there and away

Air

There's no airport in Mukdahan, but you can fly to Savannakhet on the Lao side of the river with Lao Airlines. At time of writing, it's only possible to fly to Savannakhet from Bangkok, Da Nang or several destinations within Laos, and rates are expensive.

It's also possible to fly into other nearby Thai cities such as Sakhon Nakhon (125 kilometres northwest), Nakhon Phanom (130 kilometres north) or Ubon Ratchathani (165 kilometres south) with budget carriers Air Asia or Nok Air.

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Train

Trains do not run to Mukdahan. The closest you could get would be Ubon Ratchathani, 165 kilometres to the south.

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Bus

Mukdahan bus station is out on Route 212 towards the west side of town, a good 2.5 kilometre walk from Indochine market. Tuk tuks are readily available at the bus station -- a fare shouldn't cost more than 30 baht to any of Mukdahan's hotels.

First and second class air-con buses run regularly from Bangkok's Morchit (northern) terminal. There are also two VIP buses, one departing around 08:00 and the other around 20:00. The journey is long (around 12 hours) and the standard buses offer little leg room so you'll probably have a deep vein thrombosis by the time you reach Roi Et. The standard buses also make multiple stops en route and take the longest time. The VIP bus has huge seats and loads of leg room and it's quite easy to sleep for the overnight drive. You may want to wrap up warm though because the air-con can get really cold.

From Mukdahan, buses run frequently to Bangkok and several regional destinations. Sample fares include:

Bangkok: First and second class air-con buses run hourly from 05:30 to 20:30. First class costs 530 baht and second class 420 baht. 32-seat VIP buses depart at 08:00, 08:30, 20:00 and 20:15 and cost 829 baht.
Khon Kaen: Air-con buses depart 27 times daily from 04:00 to 20:55, cost 170 baht and take about five hours. From Khon Kaen you can catch buses to Nong Khai (Vientiane), Chiang Mai and many other destinations.
Nakhon Phanom: Minibuses depart every half hour from 06:00 to 17:30, cost 80 baht and take about 2.5 hours. These also service That Phanom for 45 baht.
Nakhon Ratchasima: Air-con buses depart roughly every 1 to 2 hours from 05:45 to 16:00, first class costs 313 baht, second class 244 baht, and it takes about seven hours.
Sukhothai: One air-con bus per day departs at 17:00, costs 566 baht and takes about 10 hours. These buses also stop in Phitsanulok and go all the way to Mae Sot after Sukhothai.
Ubon Ratchathani: Air-con buses depart roughly every hour from 09:00 to 17:30, cost 105 baht and take about four hours. Minibuses also run hourly from 06:00 to 18:00 for 140 baht. From Ubon you can catch buses to southeastern destinations like Chanthaburi and Trat (Ko Chang).
Udon Thani: Air-con buses depart roughly every two hours from 08:30 to 15:30, cost 229 baht and take about five hours.

Buses also depart hourly for Savannakhet in Laos from 07:30 to 19:00, cost 45 baht and take less than an hour unless there's a hang up at the border. You'll get off the bus to pass Thai immigration, re-board to cross the Friendship Bridge 2, get off again to pass Lao immigration, and re-board once more for the 15-minute ride to the bus station in Savannakhet.

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Boat

Now with the bridge open, only Lao and Thai nationals are permitted to cross from Mukdahan to Savannakhet by boat.

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Getting Around

Mukdahan is a small and pleasant town to explore on foot. It's also great for bicycling, and quality mountain bikes can be rented for 150 baht per day at the small bicycle repair shop on Samut Sakdarak Road across from River City Hotel. The man who runs it spent some time cycling the US and Canada so he speaks good English and is very enthusiastic about cycling in the area.

Unfortunately there is no place in Mukdahan to rent motorbikes at time of writing.

Tuk tuks are easy to catch anywhere in town, with a good number of them always found hanging around Indochine Market and the bus station. Mukdahan also has a handful of motorbike taxis.

Several songthaews also cruise the area's streets in typically fixed loops, although some at the bus station do allow travellers to charter them for a trip to one of the national parks. As far as we could tell, blue songthaews run southwards for several kilometres down Samut Sakdarak Road and yellow songthaews run in a loop on Damrong Mukda Road up to Route 212 and back along Samut Sakdarak, with stops at the bus station, Big C and near Indochine Market.

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