Getting there & away
Both the ordinary bus terminal (0 4323 7472; Th Prachasamoson) and the air-con bus terminal (0 4323 9910; Th Klang Meuang) are central and convenient.
Air-con buses leave to/from Bangkok’s Northern bus terminal (329B, 6½ hours, every half-hour) from 6am to midnight. VIP service starts at 440B. Other air-con destinations from Khon Kaen include Chiang Mai (542B, 12 hours, 8pm and 9pm only), Nakhon Phanom (238B, five hours, four daily), Nong Khai (148B, 3½ hours, four daily), Pattaya (416B, nine hours, 10 daily), Roi Et (99B, two hours, four daily) and Udon Thani (104B, two hours, every 20 minutes).
There are ordinary buses from Khon Kaen to Chaiyaphum (70B, 2½ hours, hourly), Khorat (125B, three hours, every 30 minutes) and Roi Et (50B, two hours, every 40 minutes).
Khon Kaen is on the Bangkok–Nong Khai line. Express trains leave from Bangkok’s Hualamphong station for the Khon Kaen train station (0 4322 1112) at 8.20am, 6.30pm and 8.45pm, arriving about eight hours later. Bangkok-bound express trains leave Khon Kaen at 8.37am, 8.11pm and 9.05pm. The fares to Bangkok are 227/399/1068B for a 3rd-class seat/2nd-class seat/1st-class sleeper.
THAI (Thai Airways International; 0 4322 7701; www.thaiairways.com; 9/9 Th Prachasumran, Hotel Sofitel; 8am-5pm Mon-Fri) operates three services daily between Bangkok and Khon Kaen (one way 2305B, 55 minutes). The airport (0 4324 6345) is just west of the city off Hwy 12.