Vientiane is the capital of Laos and often used as a hub to transfer to Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang or Pakse.
If you’re travelling the 650km distance from Bangkok to Vientiane, you can choose from 3 options: you can take a 1-hour flight for $48 or you can save a few dollars on a train or bus for 11 to 12 hours.
Taking a flight from Bangkok to Vientiane is the fastest and easiest option. The flight takes just 1 hour and there will be no need to worry about the hassle of border-crossing.
However, travelling by train or bus is way cheaper and more sustainable. A train ride costs only $37.50 while a bus ride costs $45. If you travel at night, you also won’t lose valuable daytime and you can even save one night on accommodation.
In a hurry to get to Vientiane? Then you better book a flight. Flying from Bangkok to Vientiane can be quite cheap if you book in advance. However, ticket prices increase quickly closer to the travel date.
AirAsia and Lao Airlines offer the cheapest flights starting at 1,450 THB ($48) for a one-way trip. The flight takes a little over 1 hour.
Note that Lao Airlines flights depart from Suvarnabhumi Airport and AirAsia flights depart from Don Muang Airport. Make sure to check which airport your flight is departing from!
All flights land at Vientiane Airport, which is officially named Wattay International Airport. Read our article about how to go from/to Vientiane Airport to find the best way to get to the city center.
Duration: 11 hours excl. transfer time Cost: 1,130 THB ($37.50)
There are no trains from Bangkok that take you directly to Vientiane.
What you have to do is take a train to Nong Khai and then from there, take another train to Thanaleng, and then finally another transfer to the city center. We break down the steps below.
Step 1: Bangkok to Thanaleng by Train + Train
Duration: 10h 25min excl. transfer time Cost: 1,030 THB ($34)
Take the train SP25 which leaves Hua Lamphong Railway Station daily at 20:00 and arrives in Nong Khai at 6:25. The cost for a second class berth is 1,000 THB ($33). This train takes you to Nong Khai which is right near the border between Thailand and Laos.
Once you get off the train, head to a counter and buy train tickets to go to Thanaleng for 30 THB ($1). Then go to the immigration booth on Platform 1 and present your passport for the exit stamp. The next step is to board the train bound for Thanaleng at 7:30. This is only a 15-min train ride.
The perk of taking the train is you get to avoid the chaos at the immigration border where most of the travellers pass through to cross to Laos.
Duration: 30 min excl. transfer time Cost: 100 THB ($3.50)
Upon arrival at Thanaleng, head to the immigration booth to collect your arrival/departure card and duly fill this form. Hand in this document with your passport, a passport-size photo and the fee of 1,500 THB ($50) to window #1. Then wait to collect your passport.
As soon as you exit the train station, you’ll find endorsements for transfers going to Vientiane. They charge about 100 THB ($3.50) per person. However, there have been multiple cases wherein drivers ask you to pay more than what was agreed on when you arrive at your destination.
You can avoid this by pre-booking a transfer from the train station to the city center. Just click the button below.
Taking the bus is also a good alternative to flying from Bangkok to Vientiane. Like the train, it will require some time to reach Vientiane, but can save you money if you are late with booking your flight.
Naga Travel offers one trip daily for 1,350 THB ($45). The bus departs from Mo Chit Bus Terminal at 20:00 and arrives at Vientiane Downtown Area at 8:00. We suggest booking your bus trip with them since they do provide good service and their buses are in good condition.
Transport Co. also offers one trip daily at 20:00. The cost of the bus ticket is a little cheaper than Naga Travel. Its bus also departs from Mo Chit Bus Terminal and arrives at Talat Sao in the city center.
You can also book with Khao San Tara Tour, but its travel time is 19 hours. Its bus departs from Khao San and parks at Khua Din Bus Station near the city center.
Set just slightly outside of downtown Vientiane, this hotel offers peace, quiet and a great night’s rest. The hotel is new with clean modern furnishings and extremely comfortable beds. They offer an outdoor swimming pool and bicycle rentals. Breakfast is included daily with your stay. There is a shuttle that runs guests to and from the downtown area.
An excellent location in central Vientiane, just a 5-minute walk from the Mekong River, you will find numerous restaurants, shops, bars, and amenities nearby. The hotel is clean, comfortable and the rooms are very spacious. Each room comes with a TV and refrigerator as well as a private bathroom. Shuttle and laundry services are available upon request and a delicious breakfast is included daily with your stay.
Located in the heart of Vientiane, this hotel is the perfect location. It is within walking distance to many sights, the night market, the Mekong River, and countless restaurants, shops, and amenities. There is an outdoor pool situated in a lovely garden setting which is a great place to cool off after exploring the city. Breakfast is included daily. The rooms are clean and the beds are very comfortable.