Nakhon Phanom’s airport is located 18 kilometres west of town and serviced by a couple of daily flights to/from Bangkok with Nok Air and Air Asia. A minibus to the airport can be arranged at hotels for 100 baht per person, or you could use a meter taxi or tuk tuk.
The bus station is situated 1.5 kilometres west of the clock tower and riverfront on Fueang Nakorn Road. Readily available tuk tuks and regular taxis should take you to any of the hotels for 30 to 70 baht. Fares include:
Bangkok (Morchit): One VIP bus and one second-class bus depart at 07:30; then there are 10 departures from 16:30 to 19:00. Fares range from 430 to 855 baht depending on the type of bus, with the most common first-class buses going for around 600 baht. The trip can take 11 to 14 hours and includes a stop in Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat).
Chiang Mai: Departs at 15:00 and 17:00, costs 820 baht and takes around 14 hours.
Chiang Rai: First-class buses depart at 11:30, 12:45 and 14:00 for 778 baht. VIP buses depart at 15:30 and 16:30 for 907 baht.
Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai bound buses will stop in Sakhon Nakhon, Udon Thani, Loei, Dan Sai and Phitsanulok, where you can easily transfer to Sukhothai. Chiang Mai bound buses also stop in Lampang, while Chiang Rai buses run up through Phrae, where you can transfer to Nan.
Khon Kaen: Departs at 06:10, 08:00, 10:00, 13:00 and 16:00, costs 234 baht and takes around five hours.
Mukdahan: 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.
Tha Khaek, Laos: International buses depart roughly every hour from 08:00 to 17:00 for 70 baht. These will stop on both sides of the Friendship Bridge III for passengers to clear Thai and Lao immigration. On the Lao side, visa on arrival is available for many nationalities.
Ubon Ratchathani: Minibuses depart hourly from 08:30 to 16:00 for 220 baht and take around five hours. There is also one regular bus departing at 06:00 for the same price. All of these also service That Phanom and Mukdahan.
Udon Thani: Departs roughly every half-hour from 04:20 to 16:10 for 210 baht and takes around four hours. These also service Sakhon Nakhon for 85 baht.
In addition to the Mukdahan and Ubon bound minibuses, That Phanom can be reached by beige local songthaews that depart from in front of Kasikorn Bank on the east side of Aphiban Bancha Rd, towards the southern end of town. These depart every 20 minutes from 07:00 to 16:00 and also cost 40 baht. The trip takes longer by songthaew, but it’s the better option if you have large luggage.
Foreigners can only cross the Mekong River into Laos via the Friendship Bridge III. If you hold a Thai or Lao passport, you can take one of the ferries that depart from a pier near Indochine Market and run straight over to Tha Khaek.
Nakhon Phanom town is small enough to explore on foot, though it’s really best suited to bicycles. Centrally located 777 Hometel on Bamrung Mueang Rd rents out decent push bikes for 100 baht per day, and they also have a couple of tandem bicycles. Bicycle rental is also available at The P Hometel, The River Hotel and LA Cycles.
777 Hometel and The River Hotel also rent out automatic motorbikes for 250 baht per day. Alternately, try the Honda shop across the street from the Windsor Hotel on Bamrung Mueang Rd. Car and van rentals can be arranged at a couple of airport booths or The River Hotel, with rates starting at around 1,100 baht per day.
Otherwise, Nakhon Phanom has plenty of tuk tuks that cruise by often on all of the main roads and sit around waiting for customers at the bus station, riverfront boat pier, hospital and other points. A handful of regular meter taxis can usually be found at the bus station, or can be arranged through hotels. A taxi driver quoted us 200 baht for a ride up to the Friendship Bridge III.