If money is matter to you as a travler, you could consider the following path to get to Laos from Thailand. Instead of paying around 250.00 to 300.00 dollars one way from Bangkok, Thailand to Vientiane, Laos, you pay around 40 to 60.00 dollars by flying from Bangkok to Udonthani and take the lumousine van or bus from Udonthani’s International airport to the border of Laos.
The lowest fare is the early flight which at 6:00 AM with Nokair airline (you can reserve e-ticket online by visiting their website www.nokair.com). It takes about one hours from Bangkok to Udonthani and about 40 minutes from Udonthani airport to the boarder of Thailand and Laos.
When you arrived at the boarder:
You will check out from Thailand to Laos. After Thai authority stamped out your passport, flow with the crowd, buy a bus ticket, costs about 25 baht thai, and wait for the shuttle bus to arrive and get in. The bus will take you cross over the Mekong river to Laos. It takes about 10 minutes.
When you arrived on the Laos side:
If you don’t have Lao Visa, you will need to apply one (usually you will need to have a passport photo to submit with Lao visa application but if you don’t have one, that is ok too. Laos authority usually make a copy of your passport to replace for the photo.).
Again, flow with the foreign crowd not Thai and Lao crowd. Lao Visa costs around 30 to 40 dollars. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to get it approve after you submitted it to Lao custom authority. When you get your Lao Visa, line up with the crowd and you are on your way to get into Laos.
You will go through at least three windows, the first one is to get your Passport stamp, the second one is to pay a fee to get in, and the third one is to have your passport and fee verify by Lao custom authority.
Pass the check point windows:
When you pass the three check point windows, you will be in Lao officially. There will be Taxi, Tuktuk, and Van drivers come and offer you with their services.
Some will offers you 300.00 to 500.00 baht (use Thai baht rather than Lao kip) to go from where you are to Vientiane or to your destination such as hotel or bus station in the morning market. Make the best deal that meet your needs. If you have some one come and pick you up, look for them at this area.
They will be waiting for you here.
Getting around in Laos:
You have many options to choose for getting around Vientiane and go to places.
Renting a car in Laos is expensive. It costs around 40 to 60 dollars per day. Sometimes, do not expect to get a luxury car to drive at this price range.
If you want to use the bus, the main bus terminal to all destinations is located at the Morning market. Ride Tuktuk or rent a motocycle or a bike to get around Vientiane.