Took the Lao Thai International Bus from Vientiane to Bangkok this time which means a through bus rather than taking Vientiane-Nong Khai then a Nong Khai – Bangkok bus. It was a better choice as this means just taking a single bus.
We bought the tickets (THB 1000) at the Talat Sao bus station as soon as we arrived in Vientiane weeks ago. Just look for the window that says Vientiane-Bangkok.
Hotels and guesthouses advertise a Super VIP bus with reclining seats, screens, etc for THB 1,100 including transfer to the bus station. I don’t know if it’s the same bus. There is a THB 750 bus being advertised too.
We were given seats at the 2nd deck. Each row is configured as Seat A-aisle-Seat B-Seat C. Rows are named Row 1,2,3 and so on. So Seat A1 is both a window seat and an aisle seat. on the front.
There are 6 seats on the lower deck with the same seat configuration. However, it’s less spacious.
Seats are really wide and recline almost in full. There is ample leg room so that even if the seat in front of you is fully reclined, it doesn’t knock type knees.
We were given a bottle of water, a small carton of juice, and a box with 2 small cakes, a cup, and instant coffee. Blankets were distributed. I didn’t get one as the bus was quite warm which I regretted later on as it was cold during the night.
Unfortunately, the toilet wasn’t working.
Crossing the Border
At the Laos border, we did the following:
1. Lined-up at the counter and paid THB 45 (or LAP 10,000) to get the RFID card.
2. Had our passports stamped-out at immigrations.
3. Went through the gate via the RFID card.
Viola! We were out of Laos. Boarded the bus again and crossed the Mekong via the Friendship Bridge and to Thai immigrations. Now, this involves muscle power as you gotta get all your bags and bring it with you. Some of the Thai and Lao left their plastic bags in the bus so I guess you just gotta bring bags and luhgages. I noticed a man with an ID board the bus and inspect the bags inside.
We filled-out the departure cards and got ourselves stamped-out of Thailand. Past the counters, we put our luggages on the x-ray machine (where by the way, there was no one watching) then got them. Loaded our stuff back to the bus then boarded. We were now officially in Thailand.
Sawadee Kha Bangkok
The bus took a toilet break somewhere after Udon Thani. The food break came around midnight. I was too sleepy to bother eating. We arrived at the Mochit station at 6am, a full 12 hours. Paid THB 500 (so expensive) for a Datsun pick-up to our hotel in Ratchathewi.