Hi, in Thailand at the moment and was wondering of anyone could help with the best and cheapest way to get into Laos from Ko Pha Ngan? Cheers.
#1 tuck60 has been a member since 14/8/2012. Posts: 9
The "best" way is of course not always the "cheapest" way. In general buses can be done cheaper than trains but depends on class. Connect the dots: ferry to the mainland (probably Don Sak pier) then minivan or bus transfer to Surat Thani . Note: tourists usually end up at the Phunphin district transit hub near the train station. If you want a government-licensed bus you'll need to go to Surat Thani the town itself and buy tickets directly at the station. If you get a tourist (illegal) bus be sure to keep valuables with you at all times as reports of theft are common.
So get a bus or train to Bangkok, then another one to Nong Khai . Trains depart from the same station (Hualamphong) but by bus you'll probably need to transfer to Mor Chit station, the northern terminal. In Nong Khai get to the bridge and follow the others. Stamp out of Thailand, get the 20 baht shuttle across the bridge, Laos visa on arrival best if paid in US dollars ($30-35 most nationalities, Canadians $42), stamp into Laos, get 50 baht bus into Vientiane.
Or get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai then buses and minivans run to the northern border at Chiang Khong / Huay Xai.
Best way: fly Surat Thani to Bkk, then Bkk to Vientiane on Air Asia. These flights aren't usually priced too bad.
This is assuming that you just wanted to get there and weren't interested in slower travel and taking the time to see the sights along the way.