Nong Khai Transport
The Nong Khai Transport information below was last updated in August, 2009. Times and schedules might change.
Nong Khai doesn't have an airport, but there's one just 55 kilometers south in Udon Thani.
Airasia.com fly twice a day, 7am and 16:15pm (as of August, 2009) from Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport
Nokair.com fly 3 times a day, 6am, 12:20pm, 17:00pm. (as of August, 2009) from Bangkok's old Don Mueang Airport.
Thai Airways seem to fly once a day too....
I did a test booking for one month in advance - airasia.com cost just 790 baht, Nokair cost 1464 baht.
From the airport, there are minibuses to the Thai-Laos Friendship bridge (see map), 2 kilometers east of Nong Khai's center.
| The Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge
The cost is about 200 baht (80 baht to the center of Udon Thani) and they link-up with the flight arrivals so you won't be waiting long. You might be able to ask the driver to drive you in to the main town, if not, there will be plenty of tuk-tuks. waiting for your custom. (30 to 40 baht to town).
If you're going across to Laos and the capital, Vientiane, you can just walk to the border from where the minibus drops you off.
A closer airport to Nong Khai is actually in Vientiane, Laos. Laoairlines.com fly from both Bangkok and Chiang mai to Vientiane. If I remember rightly though, it's not cheap so many decide to get the bus or train (no train from Chiang Mai) to Udon Thani/Nong Khai.
Nong Khai Railway Station (see the bottom left of this map) is about 2 kilometers from Nong Khai's center, where most hotels and guesthouses are.
| Quiet Nong Khai Railway Station
Trains to Bangkok leave at 6am, 18:20pm and 19:15pm. Journey time is about 12 hours. To see details of train journeys in Thailand, click HERE. To see the train timetable for yourself, click here. (scroll the page down to the Northeastern Timetable)
2nd Class Sleeper (fan): 488 baht (upper bunk), 538 baht (lower bunk). (nice views from the window in the morning!)
2nd class sleeper (air-con): 708 baht (uper bunk), 778 baht (upper bunk).
2nd Class Seat: 388 baht (fan), 498 baht (air-con).
1st Class Sleeper: 1217 baht.
3rd class Seat: 258 baht.
| The usually quiet train platform at Nong Khai
You can now enter Laos by train over the Friendship Bridge. Trains to Tha Nalaeng train station in Laos (close to Vientiane) leave from Nong Khai railway station twice daily, at 10am and 16:00pm. (The train returns from Laos back to Nong Khai at 11am and 17:05pm). Journey time is just 15 minutes.
From Bangkok, you can't book a ticket all the way into Laos - you'll have to get off the train, buy your ticket for Laos (1st class (AC): 50 baht, 2nd class: 30 baht, 3rd class: 20 baht) and go through immigration. It might not be worth waiting! The train arriving to Nong Khai from Bangkok in the morning arrives at 8:25am...there's a 90 minute wait - it might be better to go over by bus.....For more details about traveling across the bridge to Laos, visit my Thai visa page.
To head to nearby Udon Thani by train, 50 kilometers south of Nong Khai, trains leave at 6am, 13:04pm, 18:20pm, 19.15pm. Tickets cost just 11 baht.
Nong Khai's bus station is off Prajak Road (see the bottom left section of this map.
Because of Nong Khai's northerly position, the station isn't as busy as most Thai towns. Buses south to Bangkok, through Udon Thani, Khon Kaen and Korat leave regularly. The picture below that I photographed while at the bus station shows bus times to Bangkok:
Notice buses leave fairly regularly through the day from 5:50am to 18:30pm. Cost is about 500 baht. Journey time is about 10 or 11 hours. There are quite a few ticket offices outside of the bus station where you can get buses later at night to Bangkok.
| Nong Khai Bus Station
To get to Udon Thani, where there are buses to many more towns, (including Chiang Mai, Sakon Nakhon and Roi Et) leave from either the bus station, or get the same bus on the other side of the road to Tesco Lotus, near the Naga Archway, a bit north of the bridge (see the southern part of this map). You'll most likely see a group of people waiting by the side of the road.
Buses to Udon Thani leave about every 30 to 40 minutes from 6am to about 6pm. See this timetable (opens in new window).
Also on this timetable, you can see bus times to Nakhon Phanom in east Isaan.
There are also buses east to Phon Phisai regularly between 6am and 6pm.
Buses west to Sangkhom and Loei are much less regular. If there's enough people, there might be buses leaving for Loei through Sangkhom at 7:30am and 9:30am. It might be better for you to travel to Udon Thani first (where buses to Loei leave more frequently) if you really need to get to Loei.
There's a bus service from the bus station across to the Laos capital, Vientiane, costing just 55 baht, leaving at 7:30am, 9:30am, 12:40pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm and 6pm. Below, see the photo I took of the sign:
| Sign at Nong Khai Bus Station
Tuk-Tuks, Your own Motorbike, or Bicycles
Large style tuk tuks are everywhere in Nong Khai.
| Large style tuk-tuks waiting for custom outside the train station
Bicycles are a great way to get about the city. Cost is between 30 and 50 baht a day (cheaper for longer - a month might cost 500 baht...) Hire one from one of the guesthouses along the riverfront (see guesthouses numbered 1 and 3 on this map).
You can also hire a motorbike at a few places around the town. The guesthouse numbered 3 on this page rents them for 200 baht daily.
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