Where to Go
Transport Nong Khai
As a major northern hub for travel around northeastern Thailand and neighboring Laos, Nong Khai can be reached via private car, bus, train, or airplane. There are numerous ways of getting across the border to and from Laos, including bus and train. In Nong Khai town there are standard forms of local transport available for visitors: i.e. songtaew, motorbike taxi, and tuk tuk for local and regional transportation.
The State Railway of Thailand has daily train service from Bangkok to Nong Khai that takes around 10 ½ hours. For further information, contact the travel service unit, Tel. 1690, 0 2220 4334, 0 2220 4444, or visit www.railway.co.th.
You can also now travel between Bangkok and Vientiane by train, as a new rail link opened in March 2009 that crosses the Friendship Bridge connecting Nong Khai to a new international rail terminal at Tha Naleng, about 13km from central Vientiane.
From Bangkok, drive along Highway No.1(Phahonyothin Road), past Saraburi and switch to Highway No.2 (Mittraphap Road) passing through Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, and Udon Thani to Nong Khai, a total distance of 615 km and a 9-10 hour drive.
The Transport Company Limited has a regular service of ordinary and air-conditioned busses from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2/Chatuchak) to Nong Khai every day. For further information, contact the Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal, Tel. 0 2936 2852-66, or visit the website www.transport.co.th.
In addition, there are private bus services that also connect Bangkok to Nong Khai: 407 Phatthana, Tel. 0 2992 3475-8, 0 4241 1261; Chan Tour Limited, Tel. 0 2618 7418, 0 4241 2195; Barami Tour, Tel. 0 2537 8249, 0 4246 0345; and Cherdchai Tour, Tel. 0 2936 0253, 0 4246 1067.
From the Nong Khai Bus Terminal, there is a bus service from Nong Khai to Loei, passing through Amphoe Tha Bo, Amphoe Si Chiang Mai and Amphoe Sangkhom in Nong Khai, and Amphoe Chiang Khan in Loei. The route runs along the Mekong River and there are guesthouses available for visitors who wish to stop along the way.
From Vientiane to Nong Khai, one can take a short bus across the border and the friendship bridge. The bus station to Nong Khai is near the Thai embassy in the east of Vientiane, opposite the Morning market on Mahosot Road. You must show your passport and visitors of many nations may enter Thailand without a visa on a visa waiver. Check with the Thai embassy if you are uncertain if you qualify.
The bus to Nong Khai services the Nong Khai Bus Station. Those who wish to go to the train station should get a tuk tuk immediately after clearing the Thai immigration checkpoint.
For busses from Nong Khai to Vientiane, visitors from outside of ASEAN nations can apply for visas at the border. From the Thai Border at Nong Khai it is 22km to Vientiane. For trips in either direction, the Friendship Bridge closes at 10pm.
Although there are no regular commercial flights to Nong Khai, AirAsia, Nok Air, and Thai Airways all have daily service to Udon Thani, a 51 km bus ride away from Nong Khai that takes about one hour.
Alternately, one can fly internationally into Vientiane Airport on Laos Airlines or on Thai Airways from Chiang Mai and take a short trip to the border crossing and onto Nong Khai.
As in most rural Thai provinces there are typically songtaews that follow established routes around the provincial capital and between towns within the province. Songtaews, motorbike taxis, and a form of tuk tuk, called a “skylab” are usually available for private charter as well. Visitors can also use car rental services operated by many tour companies in town.