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Posted 2010-05-14 09:50:48
I made the trip down on the 10th and returned on the 12th, the company was Chackrapong. The VIP bus leaves at 8:00pm, but they have 2. If you book in advance you will get a new BUS that really meets VIP standards, new entertainment sys, aircon that works and a decent toilet. If you try to book same day you'll probably end up on an old bus where none of the above applies. More on that later. On the trip to UT, I booked early and got a good seat on the new bus. Seats though new are not very comfortable and a tight fit for your average falang. But TIT, and all in all not bad. We left on time and, if you don't already know, this is not an express. We proceeded to stop at several area bus stops. Then headed back toward Chiang Mai because, as it turned out, the old "VIP" broke down completely. We collected those folks, many of whom got to sit on the floor or steps for 11 hours. Now over an hour behind we went on to UT without any more problems. Arriving at about 9:30am.
Because we arrived late on the trip down and had to rush to the Consulate I didn't book the return trip till 4pm the day I left. So I wound up on the old "VIP"(not) bus. If you get on this bus, besides stopping at every bus stop along the route, you will stop several times for service and there is a good chance you will break down completely. The worst part is it is painfully slow when on the road. We left UT on time at 8pm and didn't get back to CM until almost 11am, and that was without any major problems. Aircon could barely keep up and quit for a while, but it's a night trip and wasn't uncomfortable for me. At least I got the whole trip in my seat and I was in no particular hurry to get back so it worked out OK for me.
The trip is not great. But for 1226 baht round-trip if you're on a budget it's tolerable. If you're trying to make it to the consulate on the same day you make the trip to Udon Thani make sure you book early and get on the new bus or you probably won't make it.
as always YMV
Posted 2010-05-14 10:23:16
Sounds like the only thing that the bus is missing are chickens hanging from the back.
Posted 2010-05-14 11:52:20
I had two friends who did the same trip on the same day. However; apparently there is now a direct Chiang Mai - Nong Khai bus. It cost them 1000 baht rather than the 613 baht bus to Udon Thani. It probably ended up being more expensive but it saved them some time to be at the Thai embassy in Vientiane. They were back in Chiang Mai early on the 12th.
Posted 2010-05-14 16:22:41
I believe those are mini buses? I was quoted 1200 baht for one of those as well and would certainly go that route if I ever do this again. Normally I use long stay visas, this was a cheap way to fill the gap until I go home for a bit. I took the bus for the experience as much as anything. But once was enough
Posted 2010-05-17 18:26:55
I'm going to VTE this Friday or Saturday, to visit family during my break again, and have been debating if I wanted to fly to Udon and cross over or go by bus. If this a direct Chiang mai to Nong Khai, I defiantly want this bus. Where do I buy this ticket? At the Arcade Station? And do you know what days they travel?
How was their trip? How long was it? Only only issue with land transportation in Thailand is... I'm female... and mysophobic. So I hate public restrooms and Asian toilets. :/
Could you ask your friends if it was some what decent pit stops and all?
Posted 2010-05-17 18:43:26
I have taken NCA bus (VIP) enough times to Surrin and Pattaya to become familiar with bus stations and conditions. The conditions may not be to western standards but they are not primitive either. I understand your fear (mysophobia) so my advise is to fly. Its an 11 hour trip from CM to UT.
Posted 2010-05-17 21:21:45
I took a bus once. I worried about taking the aisle or window seat. In the end I was forced to sit on the third row however this experience has emotionally and mentally scarred me to this day. Could we just go back to discussing burgers?
Posted 2010-05-17 21:27:38
Yes could you be more specific of your knowledge on this other trip that goes direct if you know more please. Is it the mini van? The company I used to go to mae sai last weak said they also do the mini van trip to Nong Khai for 1700 baht return and that you just tell them when you need to return. I will post the name and number tomorow. However the trip to Mae Sai was not good due to an old van, uncomfortable seats, air con was minimal and the driver stopped places that even a Mexican Tumble-weed chaser wouldnt stop with no food, no real store etc and there was a nice 7-11 stop 1/2 kilo down the road with food stalls etc. I will ask the company if the van to VT is the same and go to see it Wednesday and report back.
Posted 2010-05-17 21:38:09
NCA doesn't do the CM UT route, it's Chackrapong. You have to ask a travel agent to get the direct mini bus, they don't go out of the Arcade. I talked to the agent next to the DK Book store. Normally they'll pick you up. But if you have that much of an issue with the facilities.....fly.
Posted 2010-05-17 22:04:19
I will try to get details tomorrow about the bus from Chiang Mai to Nong Khai. She said that it was a bus but perhaps she meant a mini-bus. She also said that pretty much everyone on the bus was farang so I assumed that others must have known about it. I'll post more details when I talk with her later this week.
Posted 2010-05-18 11:24:35
If you guys can get me all the info, the Bus to Nong Khai and the agent next to DK store, that would be nice. Cause I would like to buy a ticket and leave either Friday night or Saturday.
Posted 2010-05-18 11:47:41
The travel agency I talked to is in the same parking lot as DK, just look to your left as you drive in. I was told they go every night in a 10 pax mini bus, departing a 8:00pm. They will arrange to pick you up. Price was 1200 baht. I talked to them only because I was at the book store for something, but any of the agencies that offer visa runs could probably book this for you.
FYI: I ended up talking the regular bus out of the arcade so I don't know how good or bad the mini buses are.
Posted 2010-05-18 17:40:38
Im driving tommorow early to udon then onto laos for visa anyone wann join call me 0899996409
Posted 2010-05-19 12:47:12
If only you could have waited till Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. :|
Posted 2010-05-19 14:43:07
I got the information on the direct bus from Chiang Mai to Nong Khai.
It is a mini-bus. 2000 baht for a return ticket. It leaves every night at 8:30 near the train station and arrives into Nong Khai around 5:30 am. I have the contact details for the agent that my friend used:
Mr Kyaw Zay Ya
28 Chaiyaphum Road (Near Amora Hotel)
Posted 2010-05-22 15:45:08
I went there and couldnt find the place. :/
Posted 2010-05-22 17:31:52
Sawasdee Khrup, Khun Yunnie,
You are probably already travelling by now, but, fyi, there has been a lot of discussion here on TV CM regarding the two bus companies providing "VIP" service from CM to Udon Thani and back.
The consensus, in the past, ioho, was that Oosuksatour provided a much better, more modern, bus, but, think it was in late 2009, someone commented here that Chakrapong had upgraded their buses.
Our experience riding a Chakrapong bus once to UT, in 2008, was terrible. Our experience riding Oosuksatour buses in the last two years has been good.
Hopefully, people will continue to report in here on the state of the two company's buses and service.
Our last trip was in early April using Oosuksatour. The problem being that they alternate days for buses to and from CM to Udon: we left on a Monday night, thus arriving Vientiane early Tuesday: we had our Thai visa in hand Wednesday afternoon, but had to wait until Thursday to catch the Oosuksatour bus back from Udon Thani to CM.
We chose to wait the extra day in Vientiane since there is nothing appealing at all to us about Udon Thani, and it has obnoxious air pollution in the central city. And Udon Thani, like Vientiane, is full of the giant full grown adult form of the "tuk tuk" with brakes that screech like fingernails on a blackboard.
The first time we went to Vientiane, we realized that most of the tuk-tuks we see in Thailand are the larval form: they swim the Mekong in order to transform to final adult phase, and then I guess some swim back to infest places like Udon Thani.
Posted 2010-05-22 21:58:11
Omg.. I never thought of it that way.. Larva form.
No I'm not traveling yet due to curfew . I'm going to take the "mini bus" down to Nong Khai on Monday night, one way because they dont let you extend return trip pass 1 week. I have 2 weeks to waste. So I might come back by VIP bus. What days do Oosukatour runs from Udon to Chiangmai? And is it okay to buy on the same day there or should I buy earlier? I rather not have to spend a night in Udon...
Posted 2010-05-23 10:23:39
On my trip down I went to the window that should have been (based on o37's previous post) Oosuksatour, the one all in Thai next to Chrakrapong. I was sold a ticket on Chakrapong with no mention of different companies on different days. I speak a little Thai and had my GF with me so language wasn't an issue.
I would be interested to know if there are still 2 companies. I didn't notice any other buses marked CM-UT, but I didn't really look that close.
Posted 2010-05-23 12:30:04
Sawasdee Khrup, Khun Crgram,
All we know is that in April this year, and for two years prior to that, there were definitely two companies. They are right next to each other in the Arcade. We definitely booked on Oosusksatour. Oosuksatour's headquartes in Udon Thani appears to us to be only for their company.
Hypothesis: you wanted to go on a day when Oosuksatour did not have a bus: so they sold you a ticket on Chakrapong ?
However, in LOS things can change in less than a moment For all we know both companies are simply tentacles on some vast subterranean web of interlocking transport services.
Please do post a review here of how the bus was, and the service after you travel.
Posted 2010-05-23 12:35:36
Sawasdee Khrup, Khun Yunnie,
Suggest you go to Arcade bus station, and ask the company directly since schedules may change.
Also, we booked our round-trip on Oosuksatour two weeks in advance: even booking that early the bus already had many reservations. We know two people who went there to book two or three days in advance, and the VIP was completely booked. Believe us: you do not want to take the so-called "first-class" bus unless, of course, you are a masochist or broke.
Posted 2010-05-25 18:21:52
Please could someone tell me:
- The time taken to get a Laos visa at the border ( I will most likely get a bus from Udon Thani), and do Thai's need to queue and do the same process also...
- What time the border shuts
- How much it is
and finally how long the buses take to get from the Laos side to Vientianne...
oh.. and where can i get Laos visa before I go, and the turnaround.. much obliged.. if anyone has time to answer...
Edited by whiterussian, 2010-05-25 18:22:27.
Posted 2010-05-25 19:03:51
He can; tell him how cute you are.
Posted 2010-05-25 21:35:03
Kwai do you actually have anything relevant to add to ANY post?
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