Udonthani or Nongkai - Vang Vieng bus and visa on arrival

by Dganit
(Israel)

Thank you for the extant info about Laos.


I have some doubts and hope you can help...

We are a couple (age 51 and 58) planning to cross the border from
Thailand to Laos in Nong Khai.

We plan on getting our Visa to Laos on arrival at the border.
Then, we intend to travel directly to Vang Viang. Travel date planed :February, 7th, 2015

According to the information about crossing the border by bus, Udon to Vang Vieng bus is the only bus that stops and waits for the tourists that needs to do the Visa on arrival.

On the other hand, many tourists are telling stories about difficulties on buying the bus tickets in Udon or in Nong khai because they are asked to show the Visa to Laos before purchasing the bus ticket.

My questions are:
1. Can I count on buying the bus tickets to Vang Vieng in Nong khai
or in Udon without having the Visa yet..?

2. If I hop on this bus in Nong khai – No problem with getting a
seat? (Buses are usually not too full?)

3. Can I buy the tickets for the bus at the evening before, to
reserve a seat?

4. What are the opening hours for buying the tickets at the bus
station in Nong Khai?

5. What are the opening hours for the for buying the tickets at the bus station in Udon Thani?

Thanks

Comments for Udonthani or Nongkai - Vang Vieng bus and visa on arrival

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Sep 26, 2014
Answers to Udon or Nongkhai bus + Visa on arrival
by: Duangpy

Hello Dganit,

Good questions. Let me get to them one by one.

1. Can I count on buying the bus tickets to Vang Vieng in Nong khai or in Udon without having the Visa yet..?

According the bus company in Laos (just checked this morning), you can buy bus tickets without having a visa in advance.
However, selling bus tickets (Udon or Nongkhai - Vang Vieng) is managed by the bus station in Udon or Nongkhai which I'm not quite sure that they will say the same thing.
So... I called Nongkhai bus station to check. It apparently turned out that you won't be
able to buy a ticket if you don't already have a Lao visa stuck on your passport.

Well... a little surprise!
I have always believed that you don't need to have the visa before you can buy the bus ticket.
That confirms that you need to already have the Lao visa on your passport before you can buy the bus ticket from Udon or Nongkhai to Vang Vieng.

2. If I hop on this bus in Nong khai – No problem with getting a seat?(Buses are usually not too full…?)
It is hard to say, sometimes it's full sometimes it’s not. It can't be guaranteed.

3. Can I buy the tickets for the bus at the evening before, to reserve a seat?
Not sure for the Udon station, but the Nongkai one only sells tickets on a day-to-day basis (according to the ticket officer), you won't get the tickets long before travel date not even the day before.

4. What are the opening hours for buying the tickets at the bus station in Nong Khai?
The opening hours starts from 6:00am till the departure time. In this case till 9:40am (Nongkhai - Vang Vieng bus departs at 9:40am).

5. What are the opening hours for the for buying the tickets at the bus station in Udon Thani ?
I'd assume the opening hours are the same as Nongkhai station. I don't have a contact at Udon station so couldn't check to make sure.

Hope this helps,
Enjoy the trip planning.

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