Many guests travelling to or from Gecko Villa combine a stay at our country pool villa with a visit to Vientiane or Luang Prabang in Laos, given the proximity of the Thai / Laos border. Here we list some travel options from Udon Thani to Vientiane.
Train: Train 69 leaves Udon Thani at 07.14 and arrives in Nong Khai at 08.25. Delays are frequent. From Nong Khai train station, you can transfer to the bus station to head over to Laos. There is also a once daily train service from Nong Khai to Thanaleng, which is in Laos but about 13 kms from Vientiane.
Bus: There is an international coach service from Udon Thani to Vientiane, although we would only recommend this if you have your Lao visas issued prior to arrival in Thailand. If you have these, this alternative is fairly straightforward and inexpensive (approx THB100 per person.) Buses generally depart each way at 07.00, 09.30, 15.00 and 17.00 If you plan to get a Lao visa on arrival, you can take a coach from Udon to Nong Khai. A shuttle bus runs from the bus station across the Friendship Bridge to Laos every 20 minutes throughout the day ( fare about THB30). It stops at Thai immigration 5 mins after leaving the bus station, where you need to get your exit stamp, then crosses the Friendship Bridge to arrive at Lao customs & immigration some 10 mins later (a visa on arrival is available for Laos at this border point). You now remove your luggage from the bus luggage hold and go through Lao customs. Then take a tuk-tuk to your chosen hotel.
Car: Private Thai vehicles are not allowed into Laos without a special license. This means you need to get to Nong Khai in one vehicle, go through the various passport and customs controls, take a third party bus across the bridge, go through Lao immigration, then take another bus or taxi into Vientiane. Guests of Gecko Villa may book a fully licensed car in advance for the transfer between Gecko Villa and Vientiane (in only the one vehicle, and without border issues.) This is the quickest and most independent option but is more costly, at approx THB3,500 each way.