I'm now on Koh Phayam... I'll be spending Chinese new year in Ranong, heading back to BK for the last week of the film festival then.... the night train to Ubon Ratchathani to go to Khong Chiam & Sam phan bok - Thailand's Grand Canyon.... before heading to Laos
If this interests you, give me a shout...
MM, maybe you can help me with this...
I arrive on the the 4th of Feb. in Laos, which is a Sat. - Banks will be closed for me to change Thai baht into Kip- Are there money changers around Pakse I can use? How is there rate in general?
Was also wondering if it was better to use Songtheaws to get one to the border - " (and the leave when they are full/regular intervals) and then jump on a minivan the other side. No schedule needed." or the VIP Bus from Ubon R.?
I'm afraid I'm the wrong guy to ask. Laos holds no allure or interest for me, and I've only been to Savanakhet for visa runs. You might check with Casey - I think he's crossed there. Maybe Rufus too. when I went to Savanakhet though, I just used Thai Baht and that was fine.
Khong Chiam - (where I am now) is 160 kilometres (99.6 miles) from Mukdahan... it's 60 K to Sam Phan Bok... should I go on scooter, would you put me up for a night - lol
I can certainly find you a place - but on a scooter it's a long ass ride man. I'd say you'd want to break it up over two days. If you were on a real bike, that would be different... I know this town really well, and you can cross into Laos here if you want to and head south. Might be worth the experience if you are not on a tight timeline. But what are you going to do with the scooter?
Madmac, Since you're the bloke in the know about this area. I'm planning to head from southern loas across to Thailand later this year(June) I'm not sure what route to take. Chong Mek / Vang Tao or Savannakhet / Mukdahan
I will have 15 days to head back to laos via nan. But have to spend a night korat and bangkok as well(Catch up with old football mates). I know roughly where I want to go after bangkok.
In your opinion is there much difference between this two crossing and the trip to korat?
#12 shambles has been a member since 12/7/2011. Posts: 7
I'm sorry man, I can give you details on Muk-Savanakhet, but that's it. It's the only place I have crossed, albeit crossed half a dozen times. You can take a bus from here to Khorat, and from Khorat to Bangkok. That's easy enough (although the bus ride to Khorat will kind of blow).
I have to cross at Chong Mek-Vang Tao, as I'm meeting a travbuddy on the 4th there. But I need to find a place nearby to spend a few days... Khong Chiam is fine, but I'll of seen everything. Also, transport isn't as organized here as elsewhere in Thailand.
I drove to Chong Mek today, it's nothing but a bus station, and a market really - Saw 2 guesthouses, but there's really nothing to do there.
If I were you I would head up to Khemmerat. It's not too far away, and while it's a small city, it's got a little nightlife (a few karaoke places), restaraunts, and a small downtown area. Barring that, Amnat or Ubon are your closest real cities.