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Transport Udon Thani

Option in Udon Thani, Thailand

As a major transportation center, Udon Thani can be reached a number of ways directly from cities around northeastern and central Thailand, including via private car, bus, train, or airplane. Once there, it may be easier to get around with your own car, but there are standard forms of local transport available for visitors: i.e. local busses, songtaews, motorbike taxis, and samlors (three wheeled bicycle or moped powered cabs).

By Train

Train service between Bangkok and Udon Thani is available every day. For more details, contact the Travel Service Unit, State Railway of Thailand (SRT), Tel. 1690; 0 2220 4334; and 0 2220 4444, or visit www.railway.co.th.

By Car

From Bangkok, travel along Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin Road), switching to Highway No. 2 (Mittraphap Road) at Km 107 in Saraburi, and then drive through Nakhon Ratchasima and Khon Kaen to Udon Thani. The total distance is around 564 km.

By Bus

There are ordinary and air-conditioned busses servicing the route between Bangkok and Udon Thani every day. The busses leave from Bangkok’s Northeastern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) on Kamphaengphet Road. For further information, contact the Transport Company Limited, Tel. 0 2936 2852-66, the Udon Thani Provincial Bus Terminal, Tel. 0 4222 1489, or visit www.transport.co.th

By Air

Daily flights between Bangkok and Udon Thani are offered by the Thai Airways, Thai AirAsia, and Nok Air. For detailed information, contact www.thaiairways.com, www.airasia.com, or www.nokair.com.

Getting Around Udon Thani

Getting around Udon Thani is both easy and inexpensive; visitors can opt for public busses, songtaews (pickup trucks with benches in the back), motorbike taxis, or samlors (three wheeled pedal powered cabs).

Songtaews are the most common form of transportation in Udon Thani and follow different routes, designated by their number and color. There are no fixed “bus stops” per se; passengers simply hail them as they pass. Be sure to tell them where you are headed so as to get on the right songtaew. Fares should be fixed at around 6 baht for trips within and along the city ring-road and 10 baht for longer journeys. The price goes up to 15 baht after 7.00pm and songtaews are generally off duty by 8pm.

Motorized samlors (a type of tuk tuk) charge a negotiated fare based on the distance, while pedal powered samlors cost less and are more pleasurable, if slower modes of transport; always agree on a price before boarding. Samlors are the only way to get around after dark, as busses and songtaews stop shortly after sunset.

There are two city buses: white and yellow. Trips around town cost between 5 and 15 baht depending on distance.

It is possible to hire a car from one of the many rental companies in Udon Thani, either with or without a driver. Daily rental fees vary between 1,000 and 1,500 baht, more if you wish to have someone drive you. Be aware that only Commercial First Class Insurance provides full coverage on rental cars that you operate (as opposed to limited personal third party only insurance or having a Thai driver). Most international car rental agencies will offer this insurance (some only for those with a valid international driver’s license) while local companies may or may not. You may wish to request a copy of their insurance policy and ensure that it states "For Commercial Use". Regardless, inspect rental vehicles prior to rental and drive with caution, particularly as traffic in Thailand can be quite confusing, especially the habit of Thai motorcycles drivers to drive on the wrong side of the road.

Most car rental companies in Udon Thani also offer motorbike rental too; for around 150 baht per day you can hire your own motorbike, which will typically require you to leave your passport as a deposit. Be sure to inspect bikes prior to rental and drive with extreme caution as rental motorbikes are not normally insured and accidents are frequent. Helmets are required by Thai law.