On our recent trip to Laos we went to Savannakhet. Years ago we went to Vientiane. It is an interesting city – we refer to it as the sleepiest capital city we have ever seen! Read on to find out how we travelled between Thailand and Laos.
For a quieter change of pace we highly recommend Savannakhet. It is such a beautiful place with many gorgeous old French Colonial buildings. Some of these buildings have been restored but there are still many that are slowly rotting away and there is something beautiful in the decay of these buildings.
There is another style of building seen all over Savannakhet – a Soviet-era type building. They are different again but they are also very beautiful in their art deco style.
No matter how beautiful Savannakhet is, I’m sure you want to know how we travelled between Thailand and Laos.
From Chiang Mai to Khon Kaen
We are currently staying in the north of Thailand so we decided to fly from Chiang Mai using AirAsia, to Khon Kaen in Isaan. AirAsia has some great deals on at times but if not you can always go by bus – it’s only a 12 hour bus ride for around 700 baht. Also if you live in Bangkok there might be a direct bus to Mukdahan.
Khon Kaen to Mukdahan
Then from Khon Kaen we took the KK city bus from the airport to the bus station for only 15 baht per person. From there we took a bus to Mukdahan.
We arrived at the Khon Kaen bus station at 9:15am. The bus we decided to take left at 9:50am so we went across to MeSah restaurant across from the bus parking area to eat 40 baht fried rice.
They had the option of a bus or a minivan. We took the bus there (5 hours) 170 baht per person and the minivan back from Laos (4 hours) 240 baht per person.
The buses and minivan leave at regular intervals, almost hourly but not quite.
The bus is very very old and rattley, no toilet and no actual toilet breaks but at one stop we saw the driver get out and have a smoke so one of us asked if there was a toilet nearby and the driver directed us to the Police Station across the road. Free toilet yeah!
Mukdahan to Laos
It finally arrived in Mukdahan where we purchased a ticket on the International Bus for 50 baht per person to go across the border and into Laos.
It was a fairly straight forward process – we got off the bus to get stamped out of Thailand, got back on the bus and drove across the bridge and then got our visa on arrival and got stamped into Laos and then travelled into Savannakhet’s bus station. We took our luggage with us each time we got off the bus because at some stage we changed to a different bus and we weren’t sure when that was going to be. The whole process was relatively straight forward but just remember your passport photos and money to buy your Laos visa.