Laos — Transportation
Laos Taxis and Car Rental
Metered taxis started operating in Laos only about five years ago and currently Taxi Vientiane Group (+856-21-454-168) is the only company operating in Vientiane. Taxis can be called in advance and are particularly useful for getting to the airport early in the morning. Motorized rickshaws are not metered and fares need to be negotiated in advance. There are no metered taxis in any other cities in Laos.
Self drive is not highly recommended in Laos, primarily because road conditions outside the city are not good and roads are not well-marked. It is cheap and easy to hire a driver for a half or full day, so it’s not worth the extra expense or hassle, but Europcar does have a facility if the need arises.
Laos Trains and Buses
Bus connections are available from Vientiane to major cities such as Luang Prabang and Pakse, but bus travel in Laos is not for the traveler needing comfort. Although very cheap, standards are very low –in bad shape and often not on time.
Trains have not quite made it to Laos yet. One route has been built across the Friendship Bridge to Bangkok (Thailand); however, the line has not yet been extended into Vientiane. This means that you must get to the Friendship Bridge and get on the train at Thanaleng, get off at Nong Khai on the Thai side (to go through immigration) and then get on the mainline. The daily overnight train departs from the Laos border at 5:00 p.m., arriving in Bangkok at 6:25 a.m. However, there are three other daytime trips from Nong Khai (on the Thai side) to Bangkok.