July 13, 2024
New Passenger Train Connects 2 Of Southeast Asia’s Most Stunning Countries

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There’s never a dull moment exploring Southeast Asia. What could make it even better?

How about a new train connecting 2 of the most stunning countries in the region?

That’s the case this week as a test run took place June 14th between the extremely popular nation of Thailand and lesser-known Laos in preparation for the launch of a new route between this dynamic duo.

Female backpacker boarding train in Thailand

Long held as a budget traveler’s haven and a never-ending playground hopping between temples, islands, and bustling cultural cities, this new train is the latest thrilling news for travelers venturing into this part of the world.

All Aboard! New Train Facilitates Travel From Bangkok To Laos

Surely, we all know how popular Thailand has become.

It’s probably the first place you have in mind when planning a trip to Southeast Asia unless you’re dead set on visiting Bali.

Oftentimes, travelers’ gateway into this fascinating country brimming with indescribable wonder begins in Bangkok.

Train passing Pa Sak Jolasid dam in ThailandTrain passing Pa Sak Jolasid dam in Thailand

Cheap, rich in culture, and nonstop action at every turn, Bangkok is an incredible place to visit.

However, avid travelers don’t always stay in one place as we all get the itch to jet off somewhere new.

In this instance, it could be Laos by train.

There is no direct comparison to Thailand, but Laos checks off a lot of boxes if you were to try – you know, eye-popping temples, scenic waterfalls, traditional markets, and mouthwatering cuisine.

Governments of both nations put their heads together to come up with this new train route to showcase the wonderment of both countries, and in doing so, make it as seamless as possible.

Solo female traveler in ThailandSolo female traveler in Thailand

For example, only requiring tourists to receive one passport stamp rather than two – a headache cross-border travelers know all too well.

Next Stop: Vientiane

Train travelers can ‘stand clear of the closing door’ to Laos already, but not directly to Vientiane, a major city lying just across the Thailand-Laos border.

Currently, trains will take you to the neighboring Thai province of Nong Khai, where you will then need to arrange alternative transportation.

Tourist outside Vientiane train stationTourist outside Vientiane train station

What’s exciting about this new train is it cuts out the need to switch back and forth between cars, busses, and trains, making it a much more efficient straight shot to Laos.

Like Bangkok, Vientiane serves as both an awesome base and a gateway to explore the relatively unknown country of Laos.

Nestled along the famous Mekong River, tourists will love perusing local vibrant markets, mesmerizing temples, and the intriguing French colonial architecture throughout the city.

But this is just the beginning. Outside the city limits, the Lao countryside brings on a whole new personality with stunning landscapes, villages, and wildlife.

Patuxai Victory Monument of VientianePatuxai Victory Monument of Vientiane

What better place to explore by train? Arriving and departing from the marvelous Khamsavath station, you are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Khamsavath is in an excellent location and provides excellent access to the city center, but I say you should take my favorite mode of transportation – tuk tuks. Always a fun way to get around!

Laos is phenomenal end to end and you definitely won’t break the bank. Laos is cheap. Like, dirt cheap. Tourists can stay in 5-star hotels in Vientiane for under $100 and comfortable boutique hotels are far less.

Woman visiting Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang, LaosWoman visiting Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang, Laos

How Much And How To Book

Official prices have not yet been released, but multiple publications have guesstimated tickets to cost under 300 baht from Bangkok to Vientiane.

If you would just be taking the Nong Khai -Vientiane route, you can expect to pay 60-70 baht.

If you’re not up to date in your baht game, currently, $1 equates to about 37 baht.

Travelers should sacrifice a Starbucks drink to pay for their train ticket from Bangkok as this totals just over $8, while fares from Nong Khai to Vientiane will cost under $2.

Female tourist waiting on train platformFemale tourist waiting on train platform

If the schedule sticks, it’s expected that 4 round-trip daily runs will be made between Nong Khai and Vientiane.

Tickets are not yet on sale, but an announcement should be made when you can purchase at a ticket counter.

Better yet, this is just the first step of many as train travel will extend beyond Laos connecting all the way to Beijing.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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