A SLEW of new land-based services have boosted the number of options available to budget travellers looking to commute between Thailand and Laos.
Thai domestic LCC Nok Air introduced a new Fly ‘n’ Ride service from Bangkok to Vientiane on March 14. The service consists of a budget flight from Bangkok to Udon Thani, followed by a coach ride to the Thai Lao Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai—where travellers are processed through immigration before boarding a second bus to Vientiane.
To introduce the new service, Nok Air is offering an all-inclusive online fare of 3,200 baht (US$104) per pax. Compared to a direct flight from Bangkok to Vientiane, Nok Air’s Fly ‘n’ Ride service offers significant cost savings for budget travellers.
Meanwhile, Thai coach operator The Transport Company is planning to launch a new air-conditioned direct bus service from Udon Thani to Vang Vieng in Laos. The service is expected to help develop Vang Vieng from an overnight stop between Vientiane and Luang Prabang into a destination in its own right.
“Our service will not only benefit the tourism industry, but also trading and logistics between Thailand and Laos,” said The Transport Company managing director, Wuttichat Kanlayanamit.
The Udon Thani-Vang Vieng route will be the company’s ninth between Thailand and Laos. The others include Chiangmai-Luang Prabang, Udon-Thani Vientiane, Nong Khai-Vientiane, Khon Kaen-Vientiane, Nakon Ratchasima-Vientiane, Ubon Ratchathani-Pakse, Mukdahan-Savannakhet, and Nakhon Phanom-Thakhek.