Mukdahan does not have an airport, but Air Asia and Nok Air both offer “fly and ride” services that make it possible to book an all-inclusive minibus and flight to/from Bangkok via Nakhon Phanom, Sakhon Nakhon or Ubon Ratchathani. Air Asia’s meeting point is the Riverfront Hotel, while Nok Air meets at the Ploy Palace Hotel.
The closest train station is in Ubon Ratchathani, 160 kilometres to the south.
Mukdahan’s bus station is located a few kilometres west of town off Highway 212. Plenty of tuk tuks are available, or you can hop in a yellow songthaew for a 10-baht ride towards the river along Pitakpanomkhet Road. Fares include:
Bangkok (Morchit): Second-class buses depart roughly every hour from 10:15 to 18:30 for 395 baht. First-class buses depart at 08:00 and 08:45, and then several times from 17:00 to 19:00, and again at 20:45, with fares running from 500 to 550 baht. VIP buses depart at 08:30 and several times from 17:00 to 20:30 for 600 to 850 baht. The trip takes around 12 hours.
Khon Kaen: Departs roughly every hour from 05:00 to 16:00 for 180 baht and takes around four hours. If heading to Chiang Mai, make a transfer in KK.
Mae Sot: One bus departs daily at 17:00 for 720 baht. It also services Khon Kaen for 240 baht; Phitsanulok for 510 baht; Sukhothai for 556 baht; and Tak for 626 baht. Crossing the entire upper part of Thailand, the trip to Mae Sot takes over 12 hours.
Nakhon Phanom: Minibuses depart every 20 minutes from 06:00 to 18:00 for 80 baht and take 1.5 hours. These also service That Phanom for 40 baht.
Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat): Departs hourly from 05:45 to 08:45, and then at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00, for 300 baht. Takes around seven hours. Bangkok-bound buses also stop in Khorat.
Savannakhet, Laos: International buses depart hourly from 07:30 to 17:30 and again at 19:00 for 50 baht. These stop on both sides of the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge 2 and wait for all passengers to clear immigration.
Ubon Ratchathani: Minibuses depart hourly from 06:00 to 17:30 for 111 baht. Regular buses depart at 09:00, 11:00, 12:00 and 13:30 for 140 baht. The trip takes around three hours.
Udon Thani: Minibuses depart every 45 minutes from 06:30 to 17:30 for 180 baht, and some of these service Sakhon Nakhon. Regular buses depart at 08:45, 10:30, 11:30, 14:00 and 15:30 for 220 baht. The trip takes around five hours. If heading to Nong Khai, make a transfer in Udon.
Mukdahan isn’t a bad city for walking and tuk tuks are everywhere should the sun wear you down. You can also take a yellow songthaew heading west towards the bus station on Pitakpanomkhet Road, or a blue songthaew heading south towards Mukdahan Tower on Samut Sakdarak Road. A few regular meter taxis are also available, though they usually need to be arranged through hotels.
We highly recommend a bicycle ride along the riverfront or beyond. Quality mountain bikes can be rented at Nikorn Bike (T: 086 994 6669; sign in Thai) across from the River City Hotel and next to a bike-themed coffee shop on Samut Sakdarak Road. A former mountain bike racing champ, Mr Nikorn has competed in North America, speaks good English and is very enthusiastic about biking in the area. He thoroughly checks each bike before renting them for 60 to 150 baht, depending on how long you need it for.
For a city the size of Mukdahan, motorbike and car rental are strangely lacking. We checked at several hotels and motorbike shops, including a Honda shop across from the Picking Cowboy that a local expat pointed us to, and had no luck finding a motorbike to rent. The closest we came was at Ploy Palace Hotel, where the manager said he might be able to find an extra motorbike for a guest. If you need a motorbike or car in Muk, you’re best off renting in Nakhon Phanom or Ubon Ratchathani and driving here yourself.