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Transport from Bangkok to Laos - during the day

Posted by NatalieP on 7/4/2011 at 19:07

Hi I arrive in Bangkok at around 8 in the morning. I would like to see southern laos before heading into Cambodia.

All I can see is overnight buses and trains. Does anyone know if I can catch a bus or train during the day. If not - what should I do with my bag? I have been to bangkok before would rather travel straight away than see the sights again.

Any advice would be wonderful thank you

#1 NatalieP has been a member since 1/3/2011. Posts: 6

Posted by tinoh on 7/4/2011 at 19:41

You can get a bus to Ubon Ratchathani during the day and than go to Pakse the next day(I am assuming that, that is where you want to go).

#2 tinoh has been a member since 13/2/2010. Posts: 40

Posted by Tilapia on 8/4/2011 at 00:34

Hi Natalie,

I would be more inclined to take the night train to Ubon, then the International Bus over to Pakse when you arrive in the morning, rather than spend a night in Ubon.

I say this because it would likely be easier to find a place to stay in Bangkok, sort out a train ticket, and get some rest rather than doing a 12-hour bus trip immediately after arriving, and then having to look for a place to stay in Ubon after dark and then carrying on to Pakse the next morning.

I really enjoyed Ubon, but I didn't think that there was a very good selection of places to stay in, and we saw most of them. The places we saw, and the place we stayed in, were nice enough, though ... so what I'm saying is that the selection good, but small. Most were hotels. We only saw one guest house (Moon Guest House) and it was in pretty bad shape, though it was close to the train station. If there were any others, we did not see them and we rode around town for a very long time looking.

If you take a night bus, you will get off at the Ubon bus station and the International Bus leaves from there. If you take the train, you will get off at the station in Warin Chamrap and will have to take a songthaew to the bus terminal, though there are taxis that will take you. You could also hire a taxi or a songthaew to take you straight to the border if you like, but the bus is much more convenient and less expensive.

If you decide to go straight to the bus terminal and take a day bus to Ubon, I can recommend the Sri Isan Hotel ( It's in a decent area, close to the night market and Tungsrimuang Park, which is fantastic at night. Breakfast is included in the price.

#3 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,499
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Posted by exacto on 8/4/2011 at 01:13

I tend to agree with Tilapia that the overnight train to Ubon and then the international bus to Pakse is a sweet option. However, shows afternoon flights on both Thai Air Asia (cheaper) and Thai Airways (more expensive). You could catch a same-day flight and spend a nice night in Ubon before taking the international bus to Pakse the next morning.

As an alternative, you could also spend the night you arrive in Bangers and catch a very early flight to Ubon the next morning. But I'm pretty sure you'd just miss the morning bus to Pakse that way and have to catch the afternoon bus, essentially spending half a day in Ubon waiting for the bus.

There is a shopping center (for food court) right near the Ubon bus station and a decent-enough food court at the bus station as well, so at least you could enjoy a good lunch before you bus.

Let us know what you decide. cheers.

#4 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,660
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Posted by NatalieP on 11/4/2011 at 16:22

Hi guys,

Thank you for reply.

After your feedback, I will be doing the overnight train as I will be doing Laos after Cambodia.- so thank you.Also works out well as my itinerary has changed also.

I have 20 days.. and thinking this is a good time to see just the North, in your opinion do you think I have enough time to see the whole of Laos comfortably in the month of May given that its the start of the wet season? Also I need to catch my flight home from Bangkok

#5 NatalieP has been a member since 1/3/2011. Posts: 6

Posted by Tilapia on 11/4/2011 at 22:10

If you are going to Cambodia before Laos, then you probably won't be taking a night train.

Cambodia, and then all of Laos in 20 days, including your travel time to and from Bangkok? In short, probably not. It's unlikely you'll see all of Laos unless you're on the move every single day, and that would be unfortunate because you won't see much, if anything.

If the weather is decent, you might just want to stick around Southern Laos ... see the Bolaven Plateau and Si Phan Don areas. Together, they are worthy of at least 7 or 8 days. And I expect you are going to spend, at least, 6 or 7 days in Cambodia, no?

If you made it as far as Vientiane then you could take the night train back from Nong Khai and not waste an entire day getting back to Bangkok. Conversely, you could take the night train to Nong Khai, or straight across to Laos, then continue south by bus and cross into Cambodia, then fly back to Bangkok from Siem Reap.

Good luck with whatever you do.

#6 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,499
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Posted by MADMAC on 12/4/2011 at 11:21

Between northeast Cambodia and southern Laos you will have no problem eating up 20 days. Take your time and enjoy yourself. You can opt to fly back to BKK from either Pakse or Savanakhet - but it's very pricey. If it were me I would take the night bus out of either Ubon or Mukdahan.

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

Posted by caseyprich on 12/4/2011 at 14:24

I highly agree with the other posters - there is enough to do in Southern Laos for at least two weeks. A few days in 4,000 islands, Champasak for two nights, Pakse and the Bolaven Plateau (Tad Lo) are all very nice.

Great return option is to cross into Thailand from Pakse (to Ubon) and then catch an Air Asia flight from Ubon to BKK for comparatively the same price as a train.

#8 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by MADMAC on 13/4/2011 at 14:09

Yep - good point there Casey on the flight out of Ubon. Not very expensive at all.

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

Posted by NatalieP on 14/4/2011 at 23:01

Thank you for all your replies.

I think I must have been my apologies

I am heading to Cambodia and am there for 3 and half weeks. Originally I booked an internal flight back to Bangkok to head home. But now I have extended my holiday.

So effectively am Bangkok AGAIN to start my laos trip.

I know its strange as I can get into Laos for Stung Tteng.. might see if I can cancel my flight.

So 3 weeks in Laos, start in Bangkok and see Northern Laos. ( I have done alot of research on N. Laos already) Or head from Stung Steng and See Southern Laos. Decisions.. argh.

You are all stars. And I feel a bit mad.. lol

#10 NatalieP has been a member since 1/3/2011. Posts: 6

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