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Travel Guide > Asia > Laos > Savannakhet

Savannakhet Getting in & out

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By plane

Savannakhet has an airport. While there have been direct flights from Vientiane in the past it seems as though Lao Airlines (the only domestic Laos carrier) has terminated the route for the time being. Lao Airlines does offer several direct flights a week from/to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. Additionally, a few Lao Airlines flights from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang make a stop in Savannakhet; a Siem Reap to Savannakhet flight may be possible if you contact the airline.

There are direct flights from Bangkok only on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

By bus

There is bus service from Vientiane to Savannakhet. For the time being it is the only way to practically get to Savannakhet from the capital. It is a 9 hour bus ride on a newly paved road. While the ride is long, it is an excellent way to see the local villages and lush country side of Laos. Buses from Vientiane to Pakse, often stop in Savannakhet.

There are two different types of buses that service the route from/to Vientiane:

  • Local Bus 
  • VIP Bus 

There is also a local bus running from Lao Bao at 35,000 Kip.

Bus routes

  • The Second Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge across the Mekong to Mukdahan, Thailand opened to the general public on January 9 2007. There is a regular bus service between Mukdahan and Savannakhet. It departures approximately once an hour. Costs of the trip between Savannaket and Mukdahan is 100 Thai Baht.
  • Daily buses make the 5 hour trip from Lao Bao in Vietnam via Sepon Local bus 7 or 9am and noon.
  • There is also a bus every second day to Dong Ha in Vietnam to Savahnnaket via Lao Bao, most guest houses will know where this service leaves from, so ask around.
  • International Bus VIP to Hue leaves 10AM Monday to Friday and is an 8 hour trip. While low cost buses leave 10 or 11 PM daily, crossing the border in the morning and arriving in Hue around noon the next day.


Local buses run from Savannakhet to Hue daily at 11PM for 90,000 Kip. VIP buses run 5 times a week except on Sundays at 10AM for 100,000 Kip.

Be wary of the local bus, even if it seems like a fun idea at the time. Not only it is crammed with cargo (coal and live chickens, often underfoot) but the bus stops in the middle of the night for several hours in order to wait for the border to open at 7AM.


Whilst waiting, you will be herded off the bus for several hours where you will be approached by pushy locals offering assistance in getting a Laos exit stamp in exchange for money, usually USD$5 or more.

The men will take your passport, which can be incredibly disconcerting, but will actually provide the service they promise. 

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