And more importantly, can I buy tickets online? My initial Google search says that the train terminates in Thailand, and that I have to take the bus crossing to Laos. Has anyone tried this? Will there be problems crossing the border by land? I am from Indonesia. Thanks! - Capri - Guest
Travel by train from Bangkok to Vientiane (in Laos) is possible via the daily overnight sleeper train, which connects Bangkok to Nong Khai, and then the special connecting international shuttle that links Nong Khai to the international rail terminal in Thanaleng, Laos. Thanaleng Station is only 13 kilometers outside of Vientiane, from where you can easily take a tuk tuk or a bus to the city center.
The trip is very safe, comfortable, and not to mention, cheap. To take this route, you will have to buy a ticket from BKK to Nong Khai and then buy the onward ticket to Thanaleng, upon reaching Nong Khai station. You may purchase your Bangkok-Nong Khai sleeper train ticket at the reservations office in BKK for convenience. Unfortunately, online ticket booking for Thai Railways ceased operations in January 2013, so you can no longer buy tickets online. Nevertheless, it is easy to buy tickets once you arrive at the station.
You won't have any problems crossing the border, so long as you have the proper documentation. Visas on arrival (Laos) are issued at the Thanaleng station and they cost about $35 (USD) plus an additional 1 Baht entry fee.
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