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Laos forum

VIENTIANE TO UDON THANI AIRPORT

Posted by BUCKSBLOKE35 on 13/4/2006 at 23:39

What is the easiest way to travel this route.does it require booking and are there any alternatives.any help greatly appreciated.

tony

#1 BUCKSBLOKE35 has been a member since 28/2/2006. Posts: 26

Posted by exacto on 15/4/2006 at 11:22

Tony,

I see that nobody else has responded to this post, so I'll try to help, although I've never made the trip in this direction. In the past, I have flown into Udon, and then caught the Thai Airways van up to the Friendship Bridge on the border for the trip into Vientiane. I'm guessing that the reverse should be possible, but I don't know what time any vans or buses might depart Nong Khai, or from exactly where either.

I have read that there is a combo ticket that departs from within Vientiane, taking you all the way to the bridge, then over and down to the airport in Udon. Hopefully you'll be able to find this once you arrive in Vientiane. But if you can't find it or it doesn't exist, you'll can take a bus from the city to the bridge (very inexpensive but typically uncomfortably crowded) or just hire a jumbo for about 200 baht to take you the 20 km or so from the city to the bridge and the border. Once there, you'll go through immigration on the Lao side, board a bus (nominal fee of 10 baht or so), which takes you into Thailand. That bus should drop you off in the middle of a fairly active little bus station/market location on the outskirts of Nong Khai, where you can work out your trip to Udon (bus, Thai Airways van, etc.) It's still 60 km from Nong Khai to Udon, so give yourself plenty of time for the trip.

If you do learn about the bus from Vientiane to Udon while you are there, please include that info in a follow up post. I'll be making the same journey in July and would love to have that info. Good luck.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,660
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Posted by cedezlepassage on 22/4/2006 at 03:20

This is the cheapest and easiest way and yes it does wait until you have got an arrival stamp. http://www.tatnews.org/latest_update/detail.asp?id=2151#2

#3 cedezlepassage has been a member since 22/9/2005. Posts: 2

Posted by Nilsleo on 30/5/2006 at 01:48

Hi Tony,
having tried a travel agency in Nonkhai to get me across the border into Vientianne - very costly - I discovered a very comfortable bus service back to Udoni n March There is a highclass comfortalbe AC bus leaving Vientiane busstation behind the morning market at 10,15 am (3 departures all together during the day for only 80 baht) It takes you to the
busstation inthe centre of Udon Thani. From there it should be easy to get a tuk-tuk to the airport perhaps a bit more expensive than the coach ride from Vientiane.
Good luck

#4 Nilsleo has been a member since 29/5/2006. Posts: 3

Posted by BUCKSBLOKE35 on 1/6/2006 at 02:04

CHEERS,BEEN TO LAOS ALREADY,THATS HOW I DID IT.
15.00 BUS TO UDON THANI,THEN 80 BAHT TUK TUK TO AIRPORT.
SIMPLE.

#5 BUCKSBLOKE35 has been a member since 28/2/2006. Posts: 26

Posted by lucasoz on 26/12/2006 at 04:44

We need to make the trip from Vientiane to Udon Thani airport to catch a flight at 2pm in mid-January. I read the posts above but was not sure which bus station you were referring to.

I read information elsewhere saying that it was 3.5 hours to get from Vientiane to Udon Thani airport. Does that seem right to you?

We would like to do it VIP if that's possible and as quick as possible.

#6 lucasoz has been a member since 21/12/2006. Posts: 1

Posted by Nilsleo on 28/12/2006 at 01:32

Hi lucasoz,
as I said on 30.5.06 just take the 10.15 VIP bus from Vietiane to Udon bus station. it stops in the centre at the coachstation. You will be intime for your 2pm flight if you go by tuk-tuk to the airport.
Vientiane bus station is just behind the morning market, the tuk tuk driver will know. You can buy the ticket at the ticket office for the VIP -Bus -
with no gurantee for changes but just at walk to the bust station to find out the day before and discover beautiful Vientiane on the way.

Have a nice trip

#7 Nilsleo has been a member since 29/5/2006. Posts: 3

Posted by spuddy on 12/6/2007 at 00:55

I will be flying in from Udon Thani in August and would like to go Vientiane first. Will I be able to use the Thai Airways van if I am travelling by Tiger Air? How much is the cost? Will the van run a return journey from Vientaine back to Udon Thani Airport?

#8 spuddy has been a member since 12/6/2007. Posts: 3

Posted by flubber on 20/6/2007 at 13:06

Spuddy, to get from Udon Thani to Vientiane you have to first get a taxi to the bus station. That will set you back 50 Baht if you share a taxi with 3 others. You can get a bus ticket from Udon Thani to Vientiane for 85 Baht but this is a slow bus which is often overcrowded and without a/c. This bus departs several times a day and if you are on Tiger Air, you should be able to take the 10:30am bus.

From Vientiane, you can get the bus to Udon Thani in a VIP coach for also 85 Baht. No standing passengers so it's relatively a lot more comfortable than the trip from Udon Thani.

#9 flubber has been a member since 13/6/2007. Posts: 1

Posted by Nilsleo on 21/6/2007 at 02:23

Hi Spuddy, why not take the VIP bus from Udon Thani to Vientane? it's run by a Thai company, very comfortable, it leaves from the central bus Station in Udon. Obviuosly the price has gone up to 85 baht this year.
schedule is 3 busses a day; the first should start about 8.00 a.m but that is easy to find out.
Enjoy your trip

#10 Nilsleo has been a member since 29/5/2006. Posts: 3

Posted by text_edifice on 9/7/2007 at 18:22

Hi - have to get from Vientiane to UT airport by 7.30 / 8 in the morning to catch a tiger air flight...

Any way to do this through a comprehensive service (other than VTE to Bridge / Shuttle bus across bridge / 'limousine' to UT airport)?

I know the bridge is supposed to open at 6 so yes it is going to be frikkin tight - tickets are non-refundable so don't want to drop the cash until I know I can make the flight.

#11 text_edifice has been a member since 21/1/2006. Posts: 3

Posted by text_edifice on 9/7/2007 at 18:23

oh would also be good to know how long the 'limo' trip from the bridge to the airport is and if anyone knows when they start running.

#12 text_edifice has been a member since 21/1/2006. Posts: 3

Posted by somsai on 10/7/2007 at 09:49

Limo? You mean the mini vans that wait on the Lao side of the bridge I'd assume. After clearing Thai customs I'd say under an hour, as for when they start running, I've no idea but 6am seems pretty dogone early. If I had to be in the airport at seven thirty I'd spend a night in Udonthani.

#13 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568

Posted by indravarman on 15/7/2007 at 15:48

Hi everyone,

There's an airport at Savannakhet, but are there any flights from there to Vientienne? If not, how's the bus trip from Savannkhet to Vientienne these days? Or is it better to reach Vientienne by travelling through northeastern Thailand? We're planning to catch the bus from Dong Ha to Savannakhet in January. Hopping onto another long bus trip to Vientienne straight after that does not sound all that appealing. Bur we have a tight schedule, unfortunately. So we were wondering if it's better to then make our way to Vientienne by bus via Tha Khaek or to cross the border into Thailand at Nakhon Phanom and then take bus trips to Vientienne via Udon Thani.

#14 indravarman has been a member since 8/7/2007. Posts: 6

Posted by spuddy on 8/8/2007 at 21:45

I just returned from Udon Thani and Vientiane yesterday. It is now clearer which is the preferred way to travel from Udon Thani airport to Vientiane!
When I arrived in Udon Thani vis Tiger Air at about 0845,I was persuaded to take the mini-vans to the border which cost 150 bahts instaed of the trip to town which cost 60 bahts. From the border after clearing Thai Immigration, we took the bus which cost 20 bahts across the Friendship Bridge. At the Loas border, after clearing the Loas Immigration, we had to bargain for a cab to town. We managed to get one for 150 bahts after some bargaining. Therefore all-in-all we spent 245 bahts each and took us 2 hours to reach the city. If we would have taken the mini-van to Udon Thani town bus and take the bus at 80 bahts, we would have reach Vientiane city at about the same time! This bus will wait for you at both checkpoints and run you to the bus station in town. However, you will need to have a pre-arranged Loas visa or from Asean countries which is exempted.

On my return i took the 80 baht bus from the bus station near the Morning Market which took us all the way thru with 2 stops at the borders.

So next time I will certainly take the bus from the Udon Thani town instead of messing around with changes and end up more expensive. You will still be in time for the 1030 bus in town if you fly by Tiger Air which lands at 0845!

#15 spuddy has been a member since 12/6/2007. Posts: 3

Posted by Lam_merison on 10/8/2007 at 10:24

.. sorry

#16 Lam_merison has been a member since 29/5/2007. Posts: 14

Posted by horseback on 14/8/2007 at 23:02

I am arriving by Air Asia at Udon Thani at 17.15pm. We will not have visa for Laos. Do we have time enough to catch the regular bus to Vientiane (schedule Thai-Lao International Bus service show last departure Udon Thani at 17.00 pm) before closure of the bridge and arrange for visa's?? Or would it be wise to arrange in advance a pick up by carhire from Vientiane (costs usd 40-70 thru AVR) or is it convienient (and cheaper) to take a taximeter from Udon Thani to the bridge and go from there?

#17 horseback has been a member since 14/8/2007. Posts: 5

Posted by somtam2000 on 15/8/2007 at 07:23 admin

Hi horseback,

If you're arriving at Udon for 17:00 you'll miss the last bus to the border. I'm pretty sure the border closes at 18:00, so I think you'll be overnighting in Thailand regardless of your means of transport.

#18 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,577
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Posted by horseback on 16/8/2007 at 08:35

I have read info on other sites on Friendship bridge crossing and visa office for Laos open until 10.00 pm. Can somebody confirm this??

#19 horseback has been a member since 14/8/2007. Posts: 5

Posted by somtam2000 on 16/8/2007 at 09:25 admin

My mistake -- you're correct the border is open till 10pm.

A regular bus from Udon to Nong Khia takes around 1-1.5 hours which should leave you plenty of time to get to the border.

#20 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,577
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Posted by text_edifice on 16/8/2007 at 09:27

I live in Vientiane and the bridge is open after 6 - pretty sure until 10, but the last bus to the bridge is around 6pm from udon thani. also there is a special processing fee for visa's processed outside of working hours...

#21 text_edifice has been a member since 21/1/2006. Posts: 3

Posted by horseback on 16/8/2007 at 17:53

Tanks very much!

#22 horseback has been a member since 14/8/2007. Posts: 5

Posted by pauljaymes on 25/9/2007 at 07:53

Hi, I'm considering the Air Asia flight to UT arriving at 1715 - how did getting to Vientiane from that go? Was it cheap/easy/worthwhile?

I wondering because if I can't sensibly get to Vientiane the same night I might as well take the overnight train from BK instead...

#23 pauljaymes has been a member since 10/7/2006. Posts: 75

Posted by spuddy on 25/9/2007 at 08:55

Why don't you consider Tiger Air which arrives in the morning at 0845. You will be able to arrive at Veintaine bus station at about 1300 and not have to waste a day at UT. See my post above for details.

#24 spuddy has been a member since 12/6/2007. Posts: 3

Posted by _tuna_ on 25/9/2007 at 13:39

Hello - I posted this on Thorntree forum and it seems kind of relevant to what is being discussed in this thread. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Is it possible to get from Udon Thani > LP by bus in 1 day?

I know in theory it should be about 10 hrs from UT > LP but having travelled SE Asia a couple of times I know proposed timetables dont really count for much.

Our flight from BKK > Udon Thani arrives at 7.05am on 24 December. We will have pre-arranged Lao visas so we can get the bus direct from UT town > Vientiane.

Do the buses to LP fill up quickly? Assuming we can get on a bus in Vienitiane > LP by mid-morning / lunchtime then we would have no problem but I wasnt sure if they got booked out well in advance, especially given the busy time of year.

If we couldnt get on a bus to LP until later in the day would it be a problem arriving in LP late at night, possibly after midnight? We have pre-booked accomodation in LP but its not much help if they are shut for the night when we arrive, it is only a little guesthouse.

I am thinking that it may be safest to book a flight from Vientiane > LP but if people think its easily do-able and I can save $ on flights then I'll roll with that.

Thanks in advance

#25 _tuna_ has been a member since 25/9/2007. Posts: 3

Posted by somtam2000 on 26/9/2007 at 10:20 admin

Welcome to Travelfish tuna,

Yes it can be done in a day. A long, somewhat uncomfortable day, but can certainly be done, especially as you're getting into Udon so early. I think the idea of a Lao bus being "full" is a bit of a novel concept -- they'll always make room for more -- you just may end up on a plastic stool in the aisle.

If you were going to be arriving in LP very late in the evening, I'd suggest calling the guesthouse beforehand and letting them know your situation, so that someone can hang around to let you in.

It's certainly doable, so a flight from VTE to LP prob is not needed.

#26 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,577
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Posted by _tuna_ on 26/9/2007 at 11:24

Great, thanks!

#27 _tuna_ has been a member since 25/9/2007. Posts: 3

Posted by ambrosia on 28/4/2011 at 23:54

Hello everyone,

I'm planning to go to Thailand and Laos in September. I will go in Luang Prabang than will have to go to Phuket. I have two solutions:

- Take the bight bus from LP to Huay Xai, then the bus to Chiang Rai, then another bus to Chiang Mai and then a plane Chiang Mai-Phuket that arrives at 00h50 at Phuket.

- Take the flight from LP to Vientiane (13h10-13h50), then cross the border and go to Udon Thani to catcht the 17h55 flight to Phuket.

Do you think the second option is doable? It would be much quicker! Will I have enough time to catch my second flight?

Thank you very much for your help!

#28 ambrosia has been a member since 28/4/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by Rufus on 29/4/2011 at 12:03

The second option is the one I would choose.

#29 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by ambrosia on 29/4/2011 at 12:48

It looks like the better option for me too, but will I have enough time to catch my second flight? I will have 4hours and 5 minutes to go from plane to plane once my flight touches ground in Vientiane .

Does it take long to get out of Vientiane airport and go to the Vientiane center to catch a ride to Udon Thani airport?

Is there a schedule for this kind of transport?

Do you have to arrive long before your flight in Udon Thani, like 1h30 here in Europe?

I hope it works!

#30 ambrosia has been a member since 28/4/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by ambrosia on 29/4/2011 at 12:48

It looks like the better option for me too, but will I have enough time to catch my second flight? I will have 4hours and 5 minutes to go from plane to plane once my flight touches ground in Vientiane .

Does it take long to get out of Vientiane airport and go to the Vientiane center to catch a ride to Udon Thani airport?

Is there a schedule for this kind of transport?

Do you have to arrive long before your flight in Udon Thani, like 1h30 here in Europe?

I hope it works!

#31 ambrosia has been a member since 28/4/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by MADMAC on 30/4/2011 at 02:03

If it were me - I'd slow way down. Boking flights and then having to rush around and hope the bus doesn't break down or I get hung up at customs or whatever is adding stress for no good reason. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in Udon or any of these towns for that matter. Some of these posts are now quite old, but one person here was contemplating taking the bus from Hue to Savanakhet and then another bus from Savanakhet to Vientiane. Talk about torture. What's the hurry?

#32 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by ambrosia on 30/4/2011 at 03:23

I wish I did not have to rush... Holidays are so short this time..

#33 ambrosia has been a member since 28/4/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by Rufus on 30/4/2011 at 07:35

Getting out of Vientiane airport is pretty quick. I would get a taxi at the taxi stand inside the airport to take me to the Friendship Bridge - so no mucking about in town. Then get yourself a ride from the Friendship bridge to Udon Airport. You will find a number of taxis - genuine and private rides there. The cost to Udon should be 1200 Baht absolute maximum. OK all this will cost a bit, but you will make your plane easily.

#34 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by MADMAC on 30/4/2011 at 10:35

"I wish I did not have to rush... Holidays are so short this time.."

Ambrosia, you don't have to rush. You are choosing to rush. The reason people end up rushing around is because they want to see everything, instead of chill out and smell the roses. I call it the Japanese tourist syndrome. When I was living in Augsburg, busloads of Japanese tourists woudl pour out of buses at Rathaus platz. They came out so fast (cameras at the ready) and dispersed so rapidly, I had an image of a jumpmaster inside yelling "go, go, go". Then they would move to landmarks in the city center, get a bunch of pictures, and an hour latter back on the bus for the next destination.

The reason you feel you have to rush is because you have locked yourself into going certain places, and by the time you stuff them all into an itinerary, you are pressed for time. So you have built stress into your vacation. I understand why people do it ("I can't miss out on Angkor Wat") but they miss a key element of being in SEA when they do this to themselves. This place is all about slowing down (really any vacation should be). What do you have to do in Phuket that you can't be there a day latter? For that matter, why do you need to get to Phuket at all? Business meeting there or something? When you backtrack on this, it really all comes down to wanting to stuff five pounds of **** into a three pound bag. I understand why people do it, but I think the price they pay in missing out on what makes this place special isn't worth it. But, as they say, up to you.

#35 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by ambrosia on 30/4/2011 at 15:12

Thanks Rufus, so definitely doable!

Madmac, I don't like being in a rush as well. This is actually the only part of our trip where we will rush. We plan to calmly enjoy northern Laos, then RUSH down to the southern part of Thailand, and calmly chill out there. But you are right, rushing adds some stress..

#36 ambrosia has been a member since 28/4/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by MADMAC on 1/5/2011 at 09:56

As long a you have a plan B in case the bus breaks down or something, then you'll be fine. I recently had a taxi driver decide he was coming to pick me up to take me to the airport in the early monring in Khon Kaen show up 45 minutes late. That added some stress. I had only planned for 15 minutes late.

#37 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by wimpix on 6/1/2012 at 10:07

Anybody who can tell me how much time it takes to travel from Vientiane to the airport in Udon Thani ? For example if you take the VIP coach from the morning market, (is it still leaving at 10.15h?) are you in time to catch the Airasia plane leaving Udon Thani at 13.00 h?
Or should take a taxi earlier in the morning to be save? Any suggestions?

#38 wimpix has been a member since 6/1/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by Rufus on 7/1/2012 at 00:01

Depends on the queue at the border. I would definitely allow at least 3 hours.

#39 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by KailaDK on 27/12/2012 at 03:42 TF writer

My Nok Air flight arrives in Udon Thani at 8:20pm on the 2nd. Does anyone know if it's possible to make it to the border crossing before it closes at 10pm? Or should I stay in Udon Thani and try to do it the next day?

#40 KailaDK has been a member since 27/12/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by MADMAC on 27/12/2012 at 09:27

I'd just spend the night in Udon. The town's nothing to write home about, but it's OK. I like the Irish Clock.

#41 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by Rufus on 30/12/2012 at 23:38

I just back from Thailand yesterday. On the way there, we drove to the Friendship Bridge, (you would have to get a taxi or a tuk tuk there), and organised a mini bus from the Lao side. He took us across the border and drove all the way to the airport at Udon for 1,000 Baht. I thought this was a great deal as there were 6 of us. He met us at Udon Airport and drove us back across the border to the Lao side for the same amount.
By the way, I like the Irish Clock too, Mac.

#42 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973


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