Just wanted to let people know that there is a passenger train running from Nong Khai, Thailand, across the Friendship Bridge to Laos. Departure times coincide with the arrival of the overnight trains from Bangkok, and obviously they are catering to those travellers -- although our train arrived almost two hours late and the cross-border train was scheduled to have left all ready, it waited for everyone. Cost was 20B per person, and did immigration right on the train platform (same in Laos side, where we got visas).
Although Laos required a passport photo for the visa on arrival, we didn't have one and they still let us in (no extra fee, either). It's also worth noting that it was the equivalent of US$48 if the fee was paid in Baht, but only US$36 if paid in dollars. They don't accept Kip.
From the station on the Lao side, it was 350B for an open pick-up into town, or 450B for an a/c van (as many as could fit). Since they want to send as many vehicles as possible, it's worth making friends with people on the 10-minute train ride -- 5 people with luggage could easily share a van. Bargaining down the prices listed on their white board seemed futile.
#1 JavaJunkie has been a member since 19/1/2010. Posts: 9