The New Bridge Is Open; Mukdahan - Savannakhet?


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong


Buses using new bridge to Laos

The Transport Co has begun operating regular bus services over the new Mekong river bridge linking Mukdahan and Savannakhet province in Laos. The second Thai-Lao Friendship bridge was officially opened on Dec 20, but opened for regular traffic yesterday.

Wuthichart Kallayanamit, acting president of the state-owned company, said the service is being run jointly with the Lao state bus firm.

The one-way fare for the 17 kilometre trip on board a 45-seat air-conditioned bus is 45 baht. The bus will make eight to 12 trips a day from 7am to 5.30pm, departing from the Mukdahan and Savannakhet bus terminals, with a stop at the foot of the bridge.

Passengers must carry a passport and pay 10 baht each for the border crossing.

The Transport Co has been operating international bus services from Udon Thani and Nong Khai to Vientiane over the first Thai-Lao Friendship bridge since April 2004. A passenger service between Ubon Ratchathani and Pakse township in the southern Lao province of Champassak started early last year. A fifth route will open soon, Luang Prabang-Nan-Chiang Mai, said Mr Wuthichart.

Hhmm? So the big question is can you ride across on a bike from Thailand into Laos?
Aug 31, 2005
Well dave you've got nothing better to do so give it a shot. If it all goes to shit the food at the night market in Mukdahan isn't bad.... Well it was ok 12 years ago last time i was there.
Jan 15, 2006
yesterday 19 t9/01 it was an Official advertisement in Vientiane Times about the Savannakhet bridge where it was Officiallly written that the bridge is FORBIDDEN TO TUK TUK AND MOTORCYCLES !

I will try to scan it and mail.

see you

jean louis


Nov 17, 2004
Mukdahan - Savanakhet Bridge Update 31.01.07
According to the director of the bridge and Mr. Keosomboun Duangphonthisanh, Customs head(?) - non Lao and non Thai citizens are permitted to cross the bridge with motorbikes as long as they have the proper documetation with them. This was explained as the green book for Thai bikes and the Yellow book for Lao bikes. For countries outside se Asia, no problem and the nasty Carnet word was brought up but as long as a rider is in possesion of a valid international driving permit, papers for the bike and enough money to get a Lao visa - No Problem.

What was a little confusing is that a big boy from room 8 at the VTE bridge was there and he was not very happy with my questions. He said there is too much smuggling of Thai bikes into Laos and proper tax not being paid. He said after I asked him if this bridge was different - "Yes - it goes Thailand - Laos - Vietnam, lots of transit here."

On the issue of the Green Paper and Sticker, Lao and Thai bikes do not get them but if you ask the bridge customs man mentioned above, he will issue it. The price is 13,000 Kip. This price is for everything but seems very low. From experience, if you enter and do not get a green paper and try to exit over VTE, it gets complicated to explain that the customs did not want to issue the paper as it is only for cars/trucks/transit vehicles. Ms. Kampang in Rm 6 in VTE is aware as is Mr. Don, the chief of customs downstairs in the middle office.

If you cross, at the customs booth ask for Mr. Deosomboun Duangphothisanh. His mobile number is (856) 20 5540948, office phone (856) 41 212043. He speaks Englik fluently and will assist you if possible.

Things change but I did spend about 30 minutes talking about Non Thai riders coming on Thai plated bikes, non Thai riders on other than Lao bikes and it all seems to be fine to enter at the moment.