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Laos forum

Ubon to Pakse - what are the options?

Posted by jet_bkk on 24/6/2009 at 11:07

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 jet_bkk has been a member since 11/5/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by MADMAC on 24/6/2009 at 18:33

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

Posted by jet_bkk on 25/6/2009 at 08:59

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 jet_bkk has been a member since 11/5/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by MADMAC on 25/6/2009 at 13:08

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

Posted by jet_bkk on 25/6/2009 at 14:04

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 jet_bkk has been a member since 11/5/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by Tilapia on 25/6/2009 at 23:58

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 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,499
 Where has Tilapia been? 

Posted by szhmle on 23/10/2009 at 17:34

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 szhmle has been a member since 22/7/2009. Posts: 3

Posted by somsai on 23/10/2009 at 19:32

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

Posted by MADMAC on 24/10/2009 at 00:30

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

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