When you arrive in Vientiane, Laos at Wattay International Airport, you have a few options of how to get to the city. Vientiane is a small city with a population just over 200,000, and the airport is only 4km away from the city center along the main road. It's possible to walk, although maybe a bit difficult with luggage. You can also take a taxi or songtaew for $5-$10 depending on your bargaining skills.
Now, there's a new option, the Vientiane City Bus and Wattay Airport Shuttle!
Vientiane Airport Shuttle Bus
The Wattay International Airport bus stop is just outside the arrivals terminal at the capital's airport. Just step outside and look to your right; the airport bus stop is just 25m from the exit! If the bus isn't there, just have a seat and wait - it departs every 15 minutes and will be there soon!
You can pay for a ticket on board. There is an English-speaking staff member who will collect your money (15,000 kip per ticket) and ask where you want to go. Then, the attendant will announce each bus stop and let you know when to get off.
The bus only stops at a bus stop if someone is waiting to get on or off. When the attendant announces the next stop, just stand up and push the button by the door to ring the bell, singaling the driver that you want to get off.
The airport shuttle bus runs in a loop through Vientiane, stopping at the city's main attractions, and the areas where most hotels, guest houses, and hostels are located. The bus eventually terminates at the Vientiane bus station, before heading back to the airport.
How much does the Vientiane City Bus cost?
The airport shuttle bus costs 15,000 kip (about $1.75) per ride.
Regular city bus lines cost only 4,000 kip (about $50) per ride, making it a cheap and easy way to get around the city.
Where does the Vientiane City Bus go?
There are several numbered bus lines running through Vientiane, hitting all of the most popular sites. The Vientiane City Bus stops at:
- Wattay International Airport
- That Luang
- Vientiane Bus Station
- Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge (the border between the two countries)
- Buddha Park
- and much more
Check out these maps to help you plan your budget visit to Vientiane - a trip by bus is much easier and cheaper than travel by local songtaew or tuk tuk.