Sakhon Nakhon Airport is located off Nittayo Road to the northwest of town, not far from the new bus station. It’s serviced by a few daily flights with Nok Air and Air Asia. A taxi booth is available in the tiny terminal.
The nearest train station is in Udon Thani, 160 km to the west.
The conveniently located old bus station on Rat Phatthana Road now only services songthaews and a few ordinary buses to towns within Sakhon Nakhon province that will generally be of no interest to travellers. All long-distance buses now depart from the new bus station, located around five kilometres west of town off the south side of Nittayo Road.
Little yellow city buses run to the new bus station roughly every 20 minutes and can be caught along Suk Kasem Road in downtown Sakhon. The fare is a standard 10 baht. Otherwise, motorbike taxis were the only means of transport available when we arrived at the new bus station. Fares include:
Bangkok (Morchit): First-class buses depart at 08:30, 08:45, 16:50 and several times from 19:00 to 20:00, and cost 480 to 550 baht. A few VIP buses also depart from 19:00 to 20:00 for 630 to 750 baht. The trip takes around 12 hours and also services Nakhon Ratchasima. If you miss the morning buses and don’t want to wait for a night bus, make a transfer in Udon Thani or Khon Kaen.
Chiang Mai: Departs at 02:30, 03:30, 04:00, 04:45, 06:45, 16:30 and 18:30. Costs 550 to 750 baht depending on class and takes around 14 hours.
Khon Kaen: Departs at 07:30, 09:15, 11:45, 15:15 and 17:10, costs 166 baht and takes four to five hours.
Mukdahan: Minibuses depart at 08:30, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00 and 13:30 for 80 baht and take around two hours.
Nakhon Phanom: Multiple departures every hour from 07:40 to 19:30 for 85 baht. The trip takes around 1.5 hours.
Rayong: Departs at 08:30, 16:30 and 17:30 for 650 baht, takes around 12 hours and also services Nakhon Ratchasima and Pattaya.
That Phanom: One daily non air-con bus departs at 14:30 for 40 baht. Otherwise make a transfer in Nakhon Phanom.
Ubon Ratchathani: Departs every two hours from 08:00 to 16:00.
Udon Thani: Departs every half-hour from 05:40 to 16:40 for 105 baht and takes around three hours.
Though not a huge city, Sakhon is somewhat of a challenge to get around due to the confusing tangles of old streets, few tuk tuks and very few meter taxis, and a general lack of motorbike taxis outside of key places like Big C, the central fresh market and the old and new bus stations -- plus the fact that few locals speak English. If you get lost, you’ll find a motorbike taxi or samlor eventually and most of Sakhon’s few hotels are known to all of them.
Car rental is available at the airport but our search for motorbike rental proved fruitless after asking several hotel receptionists and popping into four different motorbike sales shops. You could rent a motorbike in Nakhon Phanom or Udon Thani and ride to Sakhon.