Crossing the Border: Nong Khiao – Piyaw

Getting to Vientiane by bus from Bangkok via the Nong Khia-Piyaw border crossing is really easy.

Bangkok-Nong Khia
I booked our bus online via 12ToGo. Confirmation was immediate. I printed out the voucher and presentrd it to counter 30 at the 3rd floor of the Bangkok (Chatuchak) Station (formerly called the Mo Chit Station). I got my 6 tickets and we headed down to the first floor to board the bus at platform 5.

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The bus run by  Budsarakam Tours was a really with seats that almost fully reclined. Seating arrangement was 1 seat-aisle-2 seats which made for wide seats and spacious leg room. Each seat came equipped with an electric back massage and an lcd screen. Really cool. We were given a cold bottle of water, a small carton of chocolate milk, and a small cake.

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I managed to grab the entire lower deck of the bus which sat 6 people, our exact  number.  It felt like having our very own cabin.

We departed at 8:45pm . At the upper deck were about 10 passengers. The bus made 2 stops. At the first stop, showing your ticket to the food counter gives you a free steamed bun. We arrived at the Nong Khai bus terminal at 6am.

Nong Khai to Vientiane
Exiting the bus, touts offetrd to bring us to the border by tuk tuk. The Lao border opens at 8am so there was no need to rush there. We bought tickets (THB 55) for the international bus to Vientiane. There were lots of locals so it was good to be there early to get seats.

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The bus left at 7:30 am. It was a bit traffic so we arrived at Thai immigrations close to 8am.

Thai Immigrations
We headed to Passport Control and for ourselves stamped out of Thailand. There were lots of people. So as soon you arrived, make a beeline to the counter. Past immigrations, we boarded the bus again. A few minutes later, we arrived at the Lao border.

Lao Immigrations
We filled-out the Arrival Forms (get them at the counters) and passed through passport control. Since we were visa-free, we had to go get our RFID card pass at another counter outside immigrations. Gave our passports to the officer and paid THB 5. To exit, we simply put the card pass at the electronic gate and went through. Viola! We were officially in Laos. The trip from the border to the Vientiane bus station took almost an hour. Arriving there, we hired a van for THB 300 to bring all six of us to Dong Deaun hotel near the river.

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