Bangkok to Nong Khai

Bangkok to Nong Khai

Bangkok
Nong Khai
Tue, Jun 18
One Way
NaN Passengers

Other Options

Bangkok to Nong Khai Schedule

Bangkok to Nong Khai Schedule
Transport NameRoute TimePrice
Glassflower Comfort Car 3pax Any time฿ 8,267
Chan Tour Express 08:50 - 19:50฿ 666
Nakhonchai Air Gold Class 11:05 - 19:57฿ 651
Tara Tour and Travel Express 16:00 - 06:30฿ 1,000
Nakhonchai Air First Class 19:50 - 05:30฿ 851
Thai Railway Class II Sleeper AC 20:42 - 06:25฿ 1,089

How to get from Bangkok to Nong Khai

It is a real pity that for the overwhelming majority of foreign tourists passing through Nong Khai the provincial capital and the province itself remain just a transit point on the way from Thailand to the capital of Laos. Stretching along the banks of Mekong, Nong Khai boasts the scenery striking with its quiet beauty. Pink sunsets, rural temples and laidback vive are what the region can offer to the traveller who is ready to slow down and to indulge in simple pleasures of life in Isan. Probably the two most well-known attractions of Nong Khai are the surreal Sala Kaew Ku sculptural park (there is a similar creation on the other side of Mekong, too) and the ethereal naga fireballs which are an inexplicable phenomenon observed yearly on the last day of the Buddhist Lent, Wan Ok Phansa. Note that though the backpacking scene is quite modest in Nong Khai, the city still remains the most explored by travellers region of the northeastern Thailand.

Getting to Nong Khai

Getting from Bangkok to Nong Khai is straightforward and easy as the route is well-travelled. There is a direct railway line from Bangkok which passes through Nakhon Ratchasima before terminating at Nong Khai. You have also a wide choice of buses, both governmental and those of private companies. If you are travelling by car, follow Route 2 from Saraburi to Nong Khai which is actually the first Thai highway meeting all the international standards, so the road trip is normally smooth and pleasant.

From Bangkok to Nong Khai by train

Trains to Nong Khai depart from the Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok and cover all the 624 km to the Lao border in 10-11 hours. There are morning and evening trains. Though travelling during the day makes you ‘loose’ the precious day-time of your journey, it is still worth considering as the countryside scenery you are going to pass is idyllic: grazing water buffalos, rice paddies, lively villages and much more. Besides, if you do not bother to book your train ticket in advance, the morning #75 train may be the only option available for the dates of your travel. Note that this train has the 3rd class seats only (air-conditioned, though), and for a lower back of an unprepared traveller it may turn our a challenge to spend on board 9½ hours. The night trip saves you some baht for a hotel room and the whole journey is normally a pleasant experience as you can sleep the whole night through. Even the 2nd class sleepers provide quite comfy seats which fold out into bunk beds, and there are curtains to give you some privacy. Second class AC sleepers go at THB958 and are the first to sell out. Note that #69 train departing at 8pm from Hua Lamphong also offers ladies only carriages at the same price. The first class sleepers cost THB1517 which is a good investment for the most comfortable and carefree ride. If you are on a budget, there are also 2nd class AC seats only carriages (THB453). #69 arrives to Nong Khai at 6.45am. This is the most convenient option for travelling from Bangkok. There is also the #77 train leaving Bangkok at 8.35pm but it arrives to Nong Khai early in the morning (4.15am) and has only second class AC seats.

The train station in Nong Khai is located southwest from the downtown. A tuk-tuk ride will cost you around THB60.

From Bangkok to Nong Khai by bus

The main bus terminal in Bangkok serving the route is Mochit which is in the north of the city. Buses depart throughout the day and differ in the level of comfort, but all of them have a toilet on board, serve snacks and make pit stops at a larger gas stations with multiple forecourt operators. A bus ride is about 9-10 hours long. It is a good idea to take an advantage of night buses which arrive to Nong Khai early in the morning. Budsarakan Tour and Sawadee Esan both operate night express buses and offer similar service which also includes an entertainment program (be prepared to listen to Thai style music!). Generally TV is switched off a couple of hours after the departure, so it is not a problem. There are three Budsarakan Tour night buses – at 7pm (THB479), 8.20pm (THB661) and 8.30pm (THB562). Note that the 7pm bus arrives to Nong Khai in the small hours (3.25am) and the two latter both reach the city at 5am. The Sawadee Esan’s 7.45pm bus arrives at the same time – about 5am – and costs THB551.
From Nong Khai bus station you can either walk to your guesthouse or take a tuk-tuk (about THB50).

From Nong Khai to other cities of Isan

Nong Khai has good bus connections with the other towns and cities of Isan. Buses and minibuses head to Loei, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phatom and Udon Thani. It is also possible to get to Kanchanaburi (Central Thailand) from Nong Khai.

Getting to Laos from Nong Khai

Nong Khai is a gateway to the Lao capital of Vientiane which is located some 20 km from the border on the other side of Mekong.
If you arrive by train, you can catch a shuttle train which goes from Nong Khai train station to Tha Nalaeng train station in Laos. Buy tickets at the railway station on arrival. Note that Tha Nalaeng is literally in the middle of nowhere, and you will have to make your final 20 km to the capital by a tuk-tuk – and tuk-tuk drivers in Tha Nalaeng are very reluctant to negotiate prices! After arriving to Nong Khai train station walk (or take a tuk-tuk) to the bridge instead. Go through border formalities on the Thai side, cross the bridge (there is a shuttle bus going back and forth over the bridge) and check-in at the Lao side. From there take a tuk-tuk to Vientian which are plentiful and offer reasonable prices.
International buses to Vientiane depart from Nong Khai bus terminal every two hours (THB60). The whole trip takes about 1½ hrs due to border formalities both on the Thai and Lao sides. In Laos, buses head to the bus station in the centre of Vientiane, opposite the Morning market. If you are in a hurry (e.g. to submit your documents to the Thai consulate), you may save some time by hiring a tuk-tuk at the Lao border to go directly to the embassy. Depending on your negotiation skills it will cost you from THB100 to THB200 (you can pay in Thai baht).

Note: If you are heading to Vientiane to get your tourist visa to Thailand, note that effective from November, 13, 2015, there are no more double entry tourist visas. In Vientiane, 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.

The First Thai-Lao Friendship bridge

Opened in 1994, a 1170m concrete bridge connects Nong Khai province in Thailand with Vientiane prefecture in Laos. While crossing the bridge, take a notice of traffic driving on the left side of the road as in Thailand. After the traffic lights at the Lao end of the bridge traffic changes the side of the road and drives on the right side.

Getting around

Nong Khai is a great place for cycling. Traffic is quite limited and the scenery of the countryside near Mekong is beautiful. Many guesthouses rent out or let you use their bicycles for free. You can rent a scooter (THB200-THB250 per day), which will make your life in the city much easier and will be a good companion in your explorations. A tuk-tuk ride around the city costs from THB40 to THB60. There are taxis, too, but you have to negotiate the cost of your trip in advance. If you are planning to go to Sala Kaew Ku, all the eastbound local buses from the bus station pass close to it (THB10).

Where to stay

The majority of budget accommodation is located near the riverfront. You can easily walk to this area from the bus station or use a tuk-tuk (THB50). There are several nice digs around the town, too, but they are generally not so atmospheric as those at the banks of Mekong. The quality of guesthouses and prices are among the best in Isan. The cheapest rooms go at THB300 and offer both air-conditioning and hot water.

Activities

Visiting Nong Khai is a meditative experience. Watch the sunset over the Mekong River, sample some local food and admire intricate rural temples on the riverbanks west of the city. Nong Khai is famous for its colourful festivals, so try to adjust your schedule accordingly. There is the unique week-long Anou Savari Festival in March, the Rocket festival in May or June, the Candle festival marking the beginning of the Buddhist Lent (normally in July), and the mysterious Naga Fireballs festival at the end of the Buddhist Lent in October.

Sala Keaw Ku sculptural park occupies the upper lines in every Nong Khai visitor’s program. Built in 1996, it cannot be considered a monument of great historical or architectural value, but weird sculptures featuring Buddhist and Hindu mythical creatures do impress.

Every Saturday the colourful Nong Khai night market fills the Riverside Promenade with local handicrafts, mat mee cotton and delicious food. Do not miss it if you are around during the weekend. During the rest of the week you can find the latest imports from Lao and China in Tha Sadet market, aka Indochina market.

There are nice temples in Nong Khai, some of which show a slight Vietnamese influence. The holiest temple of the region is Wat Pho Chai which holds a gold and bronze Buddha statue, Luang Pho Phra Sai. The statue has a beautiful legend behind it and is considered to be one of the three holy images of Buddha which had belonged to the daughters of the King of Lao until King Rama I sacked Vientiane. The second statue was lost in the waters of Mekong during transportation to Thailand and the third one is kept in Bangkok.

Transportation from Bangkok to Nong Khai

Facts about the transport from Bangkok to Nong Khai

Cheapest Transport$1
Fastest Transport2h 15m
Earliest Departure6:00 AM
Latest Departure9:42 PM
Departures per day40
Distance629 kilometers
Transport CompaniesBudsarakham Tour, Chan Tour, Glassflower, Jiratkan Kemarat, Kim Transfers Thailand, Nakhonchai Air, Nok Air, Sawadee Esan, Sombat Tour, Tara Tour and Travel, Thai Railway, Thai Railways, Transport Co

Bangkok to Nong Khai Destination Reviews

CP
The service is poor. The bus is not on time, passengers do not sit in their assigned seats, and there are frequent stops, resulting in a journey taking more than 20 hours, whereas it usually takes less than 8 hours.
Bus VIP, Jiratkan Kemarat (จิรัฐกาล-เขมราฐ), Apr 19, 2024
RE
Taking the overnight train is something I will do again ! Pros : - the bathroom is very small, like in the plane, but clean. - the blankets they give are very clean and the cover keeps warm during the night Cons : - There is no free food served, but you can order some, although I recommend bringing your own - The light stays on all night - The AC is really strong, bring a jacket Anyways, don't hesitate !
Train #25 2nd Class Sleeper AC, Thai Railway (การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย), Mar 13, 2024
MD
Clean and tidy, right on time, but lights in all night
Train #25 2nd Class Sleeper AC, Thai Railways (การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย), Feb 8, 2024
KM
Service is really good
Bus Express, Chan Tour (ชาญทัวร์), Jan 4, 2024
CW
Fantastic
Train #25 1st Class Sleeper, Thai Railways (การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย), Dec 20, 2023
RP
I really enjoyed this trip. The driver was always on time. I did not expect this at all, but we were well fed, treated to sweet biscuits and provided with water. It was very pleasant. In addition, there was a warm blanket on the bus. All the people who provided the trip were kind and polite.
Bus VIP, Sawadee Esan (สวัสดีอีสาน), Dec 12, 2023
C
traveled on the 9th / very essy to find the bus / well organised surprisingly included was not only water, juice & a snack, also warm nice quality food (rice chicken sausage) .. very smooth drive .. only too cold
Bus Gold Class, Nakhonchai Air (นครชัยแอร์), Nov 11, 2023
PP
Satisfied, on time, clean except that we felt the train was slow and stopped at every station (I think it was unnecessary for a special express train like this. )
Train #25 2nd Class Sleeper AC, Thai Railways (การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย), Sep 25, 2023
A
Clean cheap fast and efficient. We did the overnight train from Bangkok to the border of Laos. We treated ourselves to the private sleeper room, Because in America, this is expensive to ever do. It was so nice. They had the beds are already made and even though obviously it’s a small room it’s enough space to put your bags underneath the bed and stretch out and staring out at the Passing countryside and towns. I kind of wish we had taken a 10 hour trip during the day so there was stuff to watch. But this was a night train. Everyone was very quiet and we were actually able to get to sleep. Clean blankets, and linens. I read online that they have towels for the shower, but we did not see that so I did not use the shower, which is communal him down the end of the train car. We bought the tickets with 12Go, and wish it was that easy to get the tickets for the Lao/China railway. But we couldn’t figure that out so later took a hellride minibus 10 hours from Vientiene to Luang Prabang. I do not recommend that - figure out those train tickets. I walked through the entire train to get to the dinercar, and the second class sleeper area actually quite nice too. It’s private little curtains for everyone to sleep. I would love to travel this way again.
Train #25 1st Class Sleeper, Thai Railways (การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย), Sep 16, 2023
TK
Buss departed 1 hour late and the trip took in total 5 hours longer than advertised. Even if traffic up north was horrific they could have made some early announcement to try and warn potential travellers. Lost one day vacation due to extended travelling and had to re-schddule several bookings because of arriving very late. Other than that the bus and the ride itself is quite okay..
Bus Express, Budsarakham Tour (บุษราคัมทัวร์), Aug 4, 2023
4.4
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