New bus service to Laos
BANGKOK, 2 March 2012: The Transport Co Ltd, under the Ministry of Transport, kicks off its ninth bus route, Friday, linking Thailand and Laos between Udon Thani province in the northeast and Vang Vieng, a resort town in Vientiane province, Laos.
A second-class air-conditioned bus with 46 seats will be used on the route until traffic warrants an upgrade in quality.
The service departs daily at 0700 from Udon Thani with a brief stop in Nong Khai to pick up passengers before heading to the First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge to clear immigration. The seven-hour trip continue to to Vang Vieng a distance of 166 km from the Lao capital. It arrives at 1400.
From Vang Vieng, the bus will depart at 0800 and arrive in Udon Thani at 1500.
The Thai bus will go all the way to Vang Vieng, while a Lao bus will travel through to Udon Thani.
The one-way fare is Bt320 from Udon Thani and 88,000 kip from Vang Vieng.
The distance from Udon Thani to the Thai-Lao border is around 60 km and from the Lao border to Vang Vieng 190 kilometre. Overall distance is 250 km on a smooth divided highway to Nong Khai. From there driving conditions are poor.
The ministry is also considering a service from Bangkok to Vientiane, but has yet to provide details.
Earlier in January, the Transport Co.Ltd launched a daily bus service from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang passing Chiang Khong district in Chiang Rai province where it stops to pick up passengers before crossing the Mekong River by ferry.
The route goes through Luang Namta and Udomxai, to Luang Prabang covering 500 km from the Mekong River on pot-holed country roads. The entire trip takes 18 hours.
Once the 4th Thai-Laos Friendship bridge opens in 2013, connecting Chiang Khong with Huay Xai, in Laos, the the second class type will be upgraded to first-class and the fare will increase from Bt1,200 to Bt1,500 one-way.
Other bus routes are: Udon Thani-Vientiane; Nong Khai- Vientiane; Ubon Ratchathani-Pakse; Mukdahan-Savannakhet; Khon Kaen- Vientiane; Nakhon Ratchasima- Vientiane and Nakhon Phanom-Thakaek.