Southern Laos is directly accessible from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Luang Prabang and Vientiane, the capital of Laos. It can be reached by air and road.
Pakse International Airport (PKZ):
Lao Airlines, http://www.laoairlines.com offers domestic flights (to/from Vientiane, Savannakhet, Luang Prabang) and international flights (to/from Siem Reap, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh). Visas are available on arrival at the airport, please find more on visas under the Facts section of this website. For the latest update of the 2017 flight schedule, please click here.
Ubon Ratchathani Airport (UBP):
Alternatively, you can fly to Ubon Ratchathani Airport (UBP) in Thailand and travel by bus, taxi or public transport to Pakse (it takes about 2.5 to 3 hours). Cross the border at Chong Mek-Vang Tao (visa available on arrival).
There are international bus services from/to Vietnam (Da Nang, Hue), Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap), and Thailand (Ubon Ratchathani, Bangkok).
Pakse is Southern Laos’ transportation hub and from here you can find connections to many destinations. It is advisable to get tickets at your hotel, a restaurant, or at one of the travel agencies in Pakse’s town centre along Route 13, or on one of its side streets. Tickets usually include transfer to the terminal or pick-up at your hotel or guesthouse, but it would be wise to confirm this when you purchase your ticket.
For tickets to smaller, or more off-the-beaten-track destinations, you will have to go to the respective bus station and purchase them directly just before travelling. Pakse has several bus stations, but the two most important are the Northern Bus Terminal (7km north of Pakse, on Route 13, for connections to the north) and the Southern Bus Terminal (8km south of Pakse, on Route 13, for connections to the south and east including the Bolaven Plateau and Attapeu).
There are several other bus terminals in central Pakse. The King of Bus Terminal (Thanon 11, operates VIP night buses to/from Vientiane as well as some other bus services towards the north along Route 13 including Ban Saphai.) The Morning Market Bus Station (Daoheuang Market, on Route 38, has songthaews heading to/from several destinations in the surroundings of Pakse, including minivans to the Thai border), and the Evening Market Bus Station (2km, along Route 13, has services to/from Attapeu, Salavan, Sekong.)
There are several ways to get around in Southern Laos:
- Local (public) transport: bus, songthaew (small semi-open bus), samlor (motorcycle with side car)
- Tourist bus (bus or minivan organized by travel agents)
- Charter a tuk tuk (a fun way to see town as well as the surrounding area)
- Charter a boat or a luxurious Mekong River cruise
- Rent a car (with or without a driver)
- Rent a motorbike: It is highly recommended and required by law to wear a helmet! Drive slowly and carefully! Park in a safe place and lock your bike.
- Rent a bicycle read more about cycling routes in the Trip Ideas section of this website
- Join a tour: book with local travel agents