By bus the journey from Chiang Rai to Nakhon Phanom is scheduled to take 18 hours, however, the scenery on route makes this an interesting journey. The slightly faster alternative to taking a bus all the way is travel by road to Chiang Mai, then fly to Udon Thani, and from there take a bus to Nakhon Phanom.
Bus Times from Chiang Rai to Nakhon Phanom
There are currently 2 direct bus service a day from Chiang Rai to Nakhon Phanom available to book online.
- Express 44: 44 seat air-conditioned bus with an on board toilet.
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Chiang Rai Bus Station
Bus services from Chiang Rai to Nakhon Phanom depart from the Sombat Tour bus station near Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2.
Nakhon Phanom Bus Station
Bus services from Chiang Rai to Nakhon Phanom terminate at Nakhon Phanom Bus Station.
About Travel to Nakhon Phanom
Nakhon Phanom is a scenic small town with a population of around 27,000 permanent residents located on the Mekong River, which marks the border between Thailand and Laos.
Travel to Laos
Nakhon Phanom is a popular transit point for travel to the town of Thakhek in Laos, which is the starting point for a popular 3 days motorbike tour. There are frequent bus services from Nakhon Phanom Bus Station to Thakhek in Laos crossing over the Mekong River via the spectacular Third Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge, which is 14 km to the north of Nakhon Phanom town centre.
Attractions in Nakhon Phanom
Nakhon Phanom town itself is often overlooked as a tourist destination. The town has a great riverside path which passes an old Catholic church and offers superb views of the Mekong River and the promise of distant hills across the water in Laos.
More recently the town has installed a Naga Monument, which is a homage to the local legend of a mythical creature believed to inhabit the river.
The major tourist attraction in the area, Wat Phra That Phanom, isn’t in Nakhon Phanom itself but 58.3 km by road to the south in the town of That Phanom. Wat Phra That Phanom is one of the most important temples in Thailand best known for its spectacular 57 metre chedi tower.