How and where do I book Siem Reap - Pakse - Vientiane bus

by Donnie
(Philippines)

Hi D.


I'd like to get some clarity on the following topics.

1. From Siem Reap I should book a bus from Phnom Penh Sorya from Siem Reap to Pakse (approximately 6 hours bus ride-right?) then change buses there in Pakse to Vientiane (for another 8 hours?)

2. In Pakse, Laos are there really interconnecting buses on stand by taking all passengers from previous bus from Siem Reap? How much would this cost and what bus company will this be? What do you suggest?

3. Is Dong Kralor - Veun Kham the only borders / places for acquiring visa upon arrival? Also I have read so many blogs / websites about the bribery concerns (1 to 2 USD)from both sides of the border, is it necessary to pay them? If so
what do we say to them, ask for a receipt? And if its really necessary to get through, how much is the maximum?

4. Upon arriving at Vientiane, is it possible to get a bus towards Bolikhamxay province for a an overnight stay in Ban Na? Where do I ride one? What bus company? As I plan to stay in Green Discovery Laos? How many hours from Vientiane?

5. From Bolikhamxay, will it be the same bus going back to Vientiane and will they have the same terminal and time of departure?

6. In Vientiane, is it right to get a tuk tuk towards Tanaleng Station to take me to the Friendship Bridge to transfer to the train towards Bangkok?

I would really appreciate if you can provide clarity to all my questions.

Thanks,

Donnie

Comments for How and where do I book Siem Reap - Pakse - Vientiane bus

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 29, 2014
Answers on Siem Reap - Vientiane Bus
by: D.

Hello Donnie,

Thanks for asking the questions. I've been asked similar questions many times now, I think it's time to share the questions & answers here.

Here are the answers.

1.From Siem Reap I should book a bus from Phnom Penh Sorya from Siem Reap to Pakse (approximately 6 hours bus ride-right?) then change buses there in Pakse to Vientiane (for another 8 hours?)

Yes, Phnom Penh Sorya transportation is the only Cambodian company that provides bus service to Laos.

As for how long it takes, I'd say around 10 hours from Siem Reap to Pakse and another 10 hours from Pakse to Vientiane.

FYI: here is a breakdown of distance.
- Siem Reap - Kampong Cham, where you change buses, is around 250km (4 hours at least).
- Kampong Cham - Pakse is over 460km, (6 hours).
Total: 10 hours.
- Pakse - Vientiane appoximately 700km, (10 hours).

In Laos, it's hard to speed up due to road conditions (narrow roads and pot holes in some areas) plus villages scatter along the road where cattle, pets and kids often wander around especially in the evening.

2.In Pakse, Laos are there really interconnecting buses on stand by taking all passengers from previous bus from Siem Reap? How much would this cost and what bus company will this be? What do you suggest?

Yes, there are plenty of buses, the company that provides Laos-Cambodia bus service always has buses on stand by for connecting passengers from Cambodia.
Besides, there are many companies that provide bus service between Pakse and Vientiane, so... you'll always be able to catch one.

Cost:
- Siem Reap - Pakse): 280,000kip around $35.00
- Pakse - Vientiane: 170,000Kip
Company: Sengchaleun bus company.

My suggestion is to break down your booking (e.g book Siem Reap – Pakse in Siem Reap, and book Pakse - Vientiane leg at Pakse station. The total cost should be the same as booking the whole thing from Siem Reap, but it's more flexible, more options e.g. you can chose to go with other company.

3.Is Dong Kralor - Veun Kham the only borders / places for acquiring visa upon arrival? Also I have read so many blogs / websites about the bribery concerns (1 to 2 USD)from both sides of the border, is it necessary to pay them? If so
what do we say to them, ask for a receipt? And if its really necessary to get through, how much is the maximum?

Yes, Dong Kralor - Veun Kham is the only place you can obtain visa on arrival when coming from Cambodia by land (that's the only international border crossing point for Laos and Cambodia).

As for the bribe, I also heard the story from other people, but I never experienced it myself so... I can't confirm if that's true or false, and don't dare to suggest.

About the receipt, if it's a bribe, who would provide you a receipt, forget it. I know most travelers can't stand it, but that's how it works here, if you don't pay it, which is a little amount, you won’t get through no matter how hard you resist. Don't get be wrong I'm not supporting the corruption, just give you the fact.

Jan 29, 2014
Answers on Siem Reap - Vientiane Bus (cont')
by: D.

4. Upon arriving at Vientiane, is it possible to get a bus towards Bolikhamxay province for a an overnight stay in Ban Na? Where do I ride one? What bus company? As I plan to stay in Green Discovery Laos? How many hours from Vientiane?

You can indeed get off at Paksan, the capital of Bolikhamxay, on the way to Vientiane unless you want to go to Vientiane first.

You can ask the driver to drop you off at Paksan market and from there you should be able to get a ride to Ban Na (there are buses and Song Teo [converted trucks]), that will save you a few hours of bus ride (to Vientiane and back). However, the bus from Pakse is scheduled to arrive at Vientiane station around 6:00am so if you decided to get off the bus at Paksan, it means that you would get off around 4:00am or a bit earlier. Too early? It can be difficult.

However, if you want to go to Vientiane first, it is possible to get a bus to Bolikhamxay from Vientiane, and you can ride one at the same station (Southern bus station or Dong Dok). Many companies provide the service including slow buses that most locals use. You can also catch one at Morning Market station, but only local (slow) buses depart from there.

You can also take the buses that head to Thakek (khammoune province)or Savannakhet or even Pakse one (from Southern bus station) because you'll go back the road you've just come. Cost might vary from one bus to another.

5. From Bolikhamxay, will it be the same bus going back to Vientiane and will they have the same terminal and time of departure?

I'm not sure about this.

6. In Vientiane, is it right to get a tuk tuk towards Tanaleng Station to take me to the Friendship Bridge to transfer to the train towards Bangkok?

Yes, that's right the train station and the Friendship Bridge are in the same direction, only the train station is a little further down.

There are also more form of transports available such as local buses (cheapest of all), Song Teo (convert truck) or minivan. If you want to take the bus or minivan, just go to Morning Market bus station. Song Teo is available on the road in front of Kop Chai Der restaurant while tuk tuk is available everywhere.

Hope this helps

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Laos Visa Experience or questions.