Getting there & away
Nong Khai’s main bus terminal (0 4241 1612) is located just off Th Prajak, over 1km from the riverside guesthouses.
Buses to Udon Thani (ordinary 40B, one hour) leave Nong Khai about every half-hour throughout the day. There are also regular air-con buses to Khon Kaen (148B, 3½ hours), Bangkok (482B, 11 hours) and Rayong (600B, 12 hours). For Chiang Mai, you have to change at Udon’s New Bus Terminal. Roongprasert Tour (0 4241 1447) and 999 VIP (0 4241 2679), with offices on opposite sides of the bus terminal, also offer daily 24-seat VIP services (700B, 10 hours) services to Bangkok at 7.45pm and 8pm respectively.
Take a túk-túk to the border crossing where you get stamped out of Thailand. From there regular minibuses ferry passengers across the bridge (15B) between 6am and 9.30pm to the Lao immigration checkpoint. From there it’s 22km to Vientiane – there will be plenty of buses, túk-túk and taxis waiting for you. If you already have a visa for Laos, there are also six direct buses a day to Vientiane from Nong Khai’s bus terminal (55B, one hour).
From Bangkok, express trains leave Hualamphong station daily at 6.30pm and 8.45pm, arriving in Nong Khai at 5.05am and 9.10am respectively. Going the other way, the express train services depart from Nong Khai at 6am and 6.20pm, arriving at 5.10pm and 6.25am respectively. The fares range from 1217B for a 1st-class sleeper cabin to 498/253B for a 2nd-/3rd-class seat. There is also one rapid train (348/213B 2nd/3rd class) leaving Bangkok at 6.40pm (arriving at 7.35am) and leaving for Bangkok at 6.20pm (arriving at 6.25am).
For information you can call Nong Khai train station (0 4241 1592), which is 2km west of town.
The nearest airport is 55km south in Udon Thani. Regular flights operate from there to Bangkok. Several travel agencies run shuttles to the airport (150B, one hour); Family Corp 2 (0 4241 1526; Th Prajak; 9am-7pm Mon-Sat), one of these agencies, runs five a day.