In August 2009, I hope to travel from Ubon Ratchathani (UR) to the Chong Mek/Vang Tao border crossing by public (ordinary bus). In June 2008 I caught a VIP bus from the Northern Bus Station, which cost 200ThB.
I understand there is also a Southern Bus Station from which public buses leave for the Chong Mek/Vang Tao border crossing. I have consulted my Lonely Planet and Rough Guide without success.
Does anyone know if public buses leave the Southern Bus Station for the border, and can I just turn up early morning without pre-booking?
#1 rayc101 has been a member since 19/2/2006. Posts: 50
I'm pretty sure that the bus terminal for buses going to Chong Mek and Khong Chiam is at (or IS) the Warimchamrab Market (Talat Warimchamrab.)
However, I think that getting there may require you to hop off in Phibun and then get onto a songthaew for the rest of the trip.
Mmm...it looks like the VIP bus is more convenient and cost-effective than a public bus. Especially if I need to arrange additional transport to Pakse once at the border.
I generally prefer public buses for their community, and I usually get to practice my rudimentary Thai. However on this occasion maybe I'll stick to the VIP bus from UR to Pakse .
#3 rayc101 has been a member since 19/2/2006. Posts: 50
You should be able to practice your rudimentary Thai on the VIP bus just as easily as on any other kind of public transport. I think that about 80% of the people using that bus are either Thai or Laotian.
I'm sure that you could do it for a lot less than B200, but the bus definitely is convenient. The bus stations in UR and Pakse however are not conveniently located with regards to places to stay.
Anyway, happy trails.
There is a private bus company office in the center of Ubon on the main road near the 7-11. I forget the actual cost from there but you save the 15-20baht motobike ride to the bus station.
I think for this trip the VIP bus is probably worth it, with the hassle of the alternative outweighing most benefit.
The bus station in Pakse that the international bus arrives at is at least in the town, maybe 1.5km from the main center of town, not the 8km bus station outside the town.
Anyway, sounds like you've done this before anyway so no biggie. And sure thing 80% or more will be Thai or Lao people anyway so good for chatting up if you like.
#5 rocketmanblamb has been a member since 7/1/2009. Posts: 1