The 14 hour bus ride from Vientiane to Pakse is an opportunity to enjoy the sleeper chair option provided and watch Laos’s landscape transform as you head East and South along the Thailand border. While the trip is long you will be taken care of by the friendly staff, may make use of the toilets on board and use this as time to rest before you set out on your adventure in the beautiful south of Laos.
There is 1 operator that run from Vientiane to Pakse, with 6 departures per day. If you decide to take a minivan, you can take the Standard option.
There is 1 operator that run from Vientiane to Pakse, with 1 departure per day. If you decide to take a flight, you can take the Economy option.
After your trip to Laos’ capital of Vientiane, a good next destination is southwards to the city of Pakse. Although Vientiane and Pakse are 465 kilometers (289 miles) apart, they have several similarities. Both sit close to the border of Thailand and are riverside cities, with the Mekong River stretching between them. But despite some common factors, Pakse is very much its own city with lots of unique qualities.
Pakse was once a French colony, and there is still much French architecture present today which creates an interesting mix when in such close proximity to more traditional architecture such as Buddhist temples and pagodas. The Historical Heritage Museum is a great place to learn more about Pakse’s past and culture. Pakse is a great base for those looking to explore nature, as it is located close to some popular attractions such as the Bolaven Plateau which is home to hills and waterfalls.
The journey from Vientiane to Pakse can be done by bus or flight. Of course, a flight is the faster and more expensive option, while bus travel is cheap, has lots of operator options, and is a significantly longer journey. If you don’t mind the long trip, a sleeping bus is a good option for a comfortable journey and means you can save on a night’s worth of accommodation.
The journey itself from Vientiane to Pakse is a scenic route through some beautiful and wild regions of Laos. As you arrive in Pakse you are entering the gateway to Southern Laos where the culturally and historically fascinating city is surrounded by some must-see natural sights.
The journey from Vientiane to Pakse by road takes you along the Mekong River. The Mekong is the longest river in Southeast Asia and acts as a partial border between Thailand and Laos. Along the river you will pass the Nakhon Phanom-Lao Friendship Bridge which is a primary border crossing between Thailand and Laos.
The region between Vientiane and Pakse is fertile and green with many diverse conservation areas that sit side by side along most of the route and make for an interesting and peaceful sight out of the window.
If traveling by plane, you are likely to spend a lot of the flight over Thailand or the border . You can spot the wild, jungle regions and national parks that are prominent on both sides of the border before landing in Pakse where the airport is located right between the Mekong and Xe Don Rivers that meet within the city.
Taking a bus
There are quite a few bus operators and class options to choose from when traveling from Vientiane to Pakse. Different buses have varying extras onboard such as bed-like seats and blankets on overnight sleeper buses as well as WiFi and TV’s on some journeys. Bus travel takes between 10 and 12 hours, so it is worth going for the most comfortable and appealing option for you, especially as prices do not vary much between operators. Sadly, most bus operators have one departure time a day which may limit your final day in Vientiane.
Taking a flight
The flight from Vientiane to Pakse is operated by Lao Airlines and has one departure a day. Flying is a much pricier option than bus travel but will get you to Pakse in only 1.5 hours. As is often the case with air travel, luggage allowance is reasonably good while free cancellations and ticket changes are not possible. Both the airports in Vientiane and Pakse are close to the centre of town and easy to travel to by tuk-tuk.