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A typical street in Vientiane.  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Laos > Viangchan Prefecture > Vientiane

Vientiane Getting in & out

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By train

There is no rail terminal in Vientiane; the only train station in Laos itself is 20km away at Tha Naleng, beside the Friendship Bridge. Built with enthusiasm by the Thai wishing for greater connectivity with Laos, the Vientiane government has simply left it hanging as a useless station in the middle of nowhere with no plans to connect it to the town.

By bus

If you do wish to travel by train (e.g. for decent sleeping quarters), the most convenient bus for rail travel to Bangkok leaves at 14.30 for 15,000 kip. This allows you to breeze through the border during a less busy time and on to the quiet charm of Nong Khai with an hour or two to spare before the "Rapid" train heads for Bangkok.

By air

Wattay International Airport (Tel. 02123233434242) is close to the town but direct flights only operate to and from Laos' four more developed neighbours such as Thailand, China, Cambodia and Vietnam, as well as Air Asia's direct service to Kuala Lumpur. When traveling long distance to Laos, aim for Bangkok and work from there. It is often cheap and relatively painless to travel to Vientiane by land rather than air from its neighbours.

A tuk-tuk waits in front of Patuxai Monument, Vientiane.  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

By boat

Vientiane may be situated on the mighty Mekong; but it lives more in fear than in love with the river. There are no bridges across it in Vientiane, and there are no docks or prominades currently: a new levee is built that will separate the town from the river by 100 metres of parkland.

Boat travel from Vientiane on the Mekong is extremely rare, slow and expensive, especially travelling upstream. Don't plan on it!

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