How to get to Mukdahan from Bangkok

What about

Mukdahan does not see many foreign visitors, and the majority of those who do arrive there, head right to the other side of the Mekong to the Lao city of Savannakhet, whether to apply for their Thai visa at the Thai consulate or to explore the southern provinces of Laos. Yet Mukdahan remains a very attractive riverside town, with great views over the Mekong, stylish cafes serving fresh coffee and a busy Indochine market which takes over the promenade on a daily bases. There are picturesque wats all along the river and the pace of life in Mukdahan is very laid back. All in all, even if not a destination all by itself, Mukdahan still makes quite a pleasant stop on your way to Laos or further afield to Isan.

Getting to Mukdahan

Neither Eastern, nor Northeastern railway line reaches Mukdahan. The only way to get there over land is by bus.

From Bangkok to Mukdahan by bus

Buses to Mukdahan leave from Morchit, Bangkok’s northern Bus Terminal. Though the terminal is huge, it is easy to navigate as there is plenty of staff ready to direct you to the correct gate. The overwhelming majority of buses depart in the morning and in the evening. As a standard, they all have a toilet on board, serve snacks and make several pit stops en route at large gas stations with a wide choice of forecourt operators, from hawkers stalls and chain restaurants to 7/Eleven convenience stores.

Tip: Air conditioning tends to be freezing in buses. Though for night trips blankets are provided, have a sweater or a jacket packed in your hand luggage.

The average travel time from Bangkok to Mukdahan is ten hours. Travelling by day steals you precious daytime, but leaving early in the morning (e.g. with an 8.30 Thaisanuan Tour VIP bus; arrival time to Mukdahan at 5.20pm; THB624), you normally have enough time both to find an accommodation in Mukdahan before it gets dark – if you are planning to stay in the city, or to cross the border to Laos (the border crossing stays open till 10pm).

Thaisanuan Tour also operates three evening express buses at 7pm (arriving to Mukdahan at 5am), at 9pm and 9.05pm (arriving at 7am and 7.05am), all at THB520. There is a VIP bus by Sahaphan company at 8.30pm (arriving at 5.20am, THB606) and VIP24, which is the most convenient way to travel, at 9.15pm (6.50am; THB808).

Getting to Laos from Mukdahan

The international bus from Mukdahan to Savannakhet departs from the same bus station in Mukdahan to which buses from Bangkok arrive. Buses leave every hour from 7.30am to 5.30pm with the last bus heading to Laos at 7pm. If you are in a hurry to submit the documents to the Thai consulate in Savannakhet (from 8.30am to 11am), after completing your border formalities at the Lao side, instead of returning to your international bus negotiate a tuk-tuk ride to the consulate. It will save you some 20 minutes. Drivers usually ask about THB200, but THB120 is a more realistic price.

The Second Thai-Lao Friendship bridge

A 1600 m long, 12 m wide concrete bridge spanning over the Mekong between the northeastern Thai province of Mukdahan and Savannakhet in Laos was opened in 2007. Note that traffic on the bridge drives on the right side, as in Laos. The changeover is at the Thai end of the bridge.

Note: If you are heading to Savannakhet to get your tourist visa to Thailand, note that effective from November, 13, 2015, there are no more double entry tourist visas. In Savannakhet, the only option for a foreigner is a single entry tourist visa which costs THB1000. A long waited for 6-month tourist visa costs THB5000 and can be obtained through the Thai consulate or embassy in your home country only.

Getting around

There are yellow songthaews plying the route between the centre of the city and Mukdahan’s bus terminal which is located west of town. A ride costs just THB10. You can easily cover the central part of the town along the Mekong on foot, or negotiate a tuk-tuk ride. If you want to go further afield, some of the guesthouses and hotels offer scooters for rent; sometimes for as low as THB100 per day.

Where to stay

There are a lot of cheap but clean digs around the Indochine market, but if you venture further south, there are great places facing the river at a reasonable price. The best choice without any doubt is Riverview Mekong Hotel at N49 by the river, though you will have to walk quite a bit to get to the market area.

Activities

There is not much to do in Mukdahan itself apart from soaking up the atmosphere of a cosy riverside town. Several brightly coloured temples along the promenade bear distinctive Lao features. In the evening you may sometimes catch a dance class in one of them. The Indochine market is a great way to shop for Thai, Lao, Vietnamese or Chinese goods, from spices to everyday cotton clothes. Several street food restaurants offer food right in front of the market during daytime. For a stunning view over Laos and the Mekong head to the Phu Manorom mountain. It is especially picturesque at the sunrise. If you have another day to spend around Mukdahan, do not miss Phu Pha Thoep National Park which is best known for enormous stone ‘mushrooms’. There are good cycling opportunities in the vicinity, too. You can rent a bicycle (THB50) and head to the north of the city, following the narrow secondary or dirt roads along the river whenever possible. The setting is idyllic and there are a couple of nice temples – including one of the oldest wats in Mukdahan, Wat Manophirom – and a lot of fish farms.

Tip: Less that in 60 km north from Mukdahan lies That Phanom, a town in Nakhon Phanom province. Wat Phra That Phanom, the main temple of That Phanom, is one of the most important and revered temples of Isan. On religious holidays it draws crowds of worshippers from the both sides of the Mekong River. The form of the main stupa of Wat Phra That Phanom is replicated in many other wats in the area. A worth-to-visit destination from That Phanom is Renu Nakhon, famous for its cotton weaving traditions.

Bangkok to Mukdahan @ bus, flight Oct 28, 2017

From Morchit to Mukdahan by bus

08:30
Morchit, Bangkok
18:10
Mukdahan
9h 40m
Instant
19:00
Morchit, Bangkok
06:00
Mukdahan
11h
Instant
20:30
Morchit, Bangkok
06:10
Mukdahan
9h 40m
Instant
21:15
Morchit, Bangkok
06:55
Mukdahan
9h 40m
Instant
21:15
Morchit, Bangkok
07:45
Mukdahan
10h 30m
Instant

From Suvarnabhumi Airport to Savannakhet by flight

15:35
Suvarnabhumi Airport
17:05
Savannakhet Airport
1h 30m
15:35
Suvarnabhumi Airport
17:35
Savannakhet Airport
2h

Passenger reviews out of total 818 passengers traveled with us on this route

At 12Go our operators offer three types of service:

Cheap, Fast, Good - but you can usually pick only two of them!
Cheap & Fast won’t be Good. (e.g. buses from/to Khao San Road, local buses or 3rd class trains)
Cheap & Good won’t be Fast. (e.g. VIP trains in Thailand)
Fast & Good won’t be Cheap. (e.g. private limousine services, or VIP24 buses vs Express buses)

Make your choice! Please remember that though we are closely monitoring services, we are still an agency marketplace - meaning we focus on ticketing service and route availability / coverage rather than on factual seat recline angle you got today ^_^

★★☆☆☆ Oct 3, 2017 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
The host in the bus was a very rude young kid. The blanket smelled so bad that I wanted to vomit the entire time we were traveling. The TV wasn't working properly and the AC was turned on very high while it had need raining all night.
★★★★☆ Aug 22, 2017 (bus VIP, Thaisanuan Tour) :
We had daily trip to Mukdahan (8:30 from BKK) at VIP bus. All was fine, except there was NO any plug or USB charger! But on website was mention that there is plugs onboard. Very dissapointed and said: spent all day without music. Guys it's 2017 and it's very easy to make USB chargers everywhere! Pleaaaaaaase! All the rest was fine: bus has toilet, drinking water, even some lunch was included and no delay at arriving at all! But please, make chargers!!!
★★★★☆ Aug 7, 2017 (bus VIP, Thaisanuan Tour) :
There is no plug on the bus. And delay 1.30hrs
★★★★★ Jul 23, 2017 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
Clean, comfortable and such good service. Each seat has its own screen so you can enjoy the onboard entertainment. Felt like you on an international flight. Will use this bus service again.
★★★★☆ Jun 15, 2017 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
Great seats, on time...
★★★★★ May 1, 2017 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
Pleasent drive and food. Enjoyed.
★★★★★ Mar 29, 2017 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
Great trip. Have used this company before and will continue to do so. Buses are clean, large wide seats and snack reasonable for Thai standards. Contrary to other feedback buses run on time. If you've every seen Mo Chit bus station you'd realise why.
★★★★★ Feb 21, 2017 (bus VIP, Sahaphan)
★★☆☆☆ Jan 30, 2017 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
The bus was more than an hour late setting off from Bangkok. The seatbelt didn't work and we were one and a half hours late getting to Mukdahan. I therefore missed the International Bus to Laos. So much for VIP
★★★★☆ Jan 14, 2017 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
Okay,beautiful
★★★★☆ Dec 5, 2016 (bus VIP, Thaisanuan Tour) :
Comfortable seat for me with adequate leg room. Timing wasn't an issue for me but arrive at Mukdahan @ 08.45 am, not good if you're getting a visa from Savannakhet. Staff helpful at Mo Chit ticket corner so overall very happy with the whole trip
★★★★☆ Nov 26, 2016 (bus VIP, Sahaphan)
★★★★★ Nov 25, 2016 (bus VIP, Sahaphan)
★★★★☆ Sep 29, 2016 (bus VIP, Thaisanuan Tour) :
No bathroom in the bus but outside of that, the ride was comfortable and easy.
★★★★☆ Sep 27, 2016 (bus VIP24, Sahaphan) :
Just a heads up if you're tall like me; seat A6 is at the steps. While you don't have a seat reclining towards you, it also means you can't stretch your legs.
★★★★☆ Sep 26, 2016 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
this trip is ok
★★★★★ Sep 21, 2016 (bus VIP, Sahaphan)
★★★★★ Jun 27, 2016 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
It's easy to book from here good
★★★★☆ May 11, 2016 (bus VIP24, Sahaphan) :
Like to know why I cannot reserve better seats or downstair seats two month in advance!!!
★★★★☆ Mar 3, 2016 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
Cake for a night snack is not good, bus is kind of old already but all other things are okay especially the driver's assistant. Departure and arrival are both on time.
★★★★☆ Nov 15, 2015 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
Very good service, will use again.... no surprises...! Clean bus, on schedule....Driver did very well, drives safe. plus still on schedule....!
★★★☆☆ Oct 29, 2015 (bus Express, Thaisanuan Tour) :
Bus cancelled and l was left to find my way about getting others to assist with my travel arrangements. No warning emails from supplier of itinerary. Driver very safe but had taxi driver habit of "pumping" accelerator and not maintaining constant speeds
★★★★☆ Aug 27, 2015 (bus Express, Thaisanuan Tour) :
Booking process was very smooth - and no problem picking up my ticket, finding the bus, etc. Everything was fine, basically, though the A/C was freezing.
★★★☆☆ Aug 24, 2015 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
Bus a little old an worn but staff excellent and trip safe and on time.
★★★★★ Aug 9, 2015 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
Perfect bus. Perfect trip. Perfect staff.
★★★★☆ Jul 7, 2015 (bus VIP, Sahaphan) :
good travel.
★★★★★ Apr 23, 2015 (bus VIP, Sahaphan)
★★★★☆ Feb 5, 2015 (bus VIP, Thaisanuan Tour) :
Really good trip. Departure time is a guide not a fixed idea. I had to call the helpline to find out where the bus was as there were no staff at the station to tell me. It seemed to stop at every village later in the evening. I would also have liked wifi available or at least charging points on the bus. Overall a very nice service, thank you.
★★★★☆ Feb 5, 2015 (bus Express, Thaisanuan Tour) :
Great. No smelly farang backpackers.
★★★★★ Feb 4, 2015 (bus VIP, Thaisanuan Tour) :
Wonderful trip but little tiring to sit all time. Stop in the middle of the way was a relief..
12Go response:

Thank you very much for your comment, Margarita. We are happy you enjoyed the trip to Mukdahan.

★★★★★ Jan 7, 2015 (avia Economy, Lao Airlines)
★★★★★ Jan 7, 2015 (bus Express, Thaisanuan Tour)

News

Laos says more time needed at border checkpoints with Thailand

The tourism-minister of Thailand says tourism industry representatives in Laos have asked for longer operating hours at border posts between the two nations. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said the request was made at a recent meeting with industry representatives in Laos. 

08 June 2017

Thailand submits UNESCO listing application for iconic Esarn temple

Thailand has submitted an application to UNESCO which could see one of its best known temples designated a World Heritage Site. The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry prepared the portfolio of documents needed to pave the way for Phra That Phanom Temple to be UNESCO listed.

17 February 2017

Thailand Laos Vietnam move closer to tri country bus routes

Vietnam’s roads authority has announced the completion of surveys assessing the feasibility of a bus route from the nation’s Ha Tinh Province to Bangkok. A spokesperson told media representatives the route would traverse Laos and cross into Thailand on the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge III.

08 September 2016