Thanaleng Railway Station is the only railway station in Laos, located in the middle of nowhere, near the border but approximately 22km from Vientiane city itself. The only way to get from Vientiane city to Thanaleng Railway Station is by private transport. However, as I spoke to Mr Per of PTS Transit Service who did my Thanaleng Railway Station to Vientiane Talad Sao transfer in the morning, who offered a shared ride on his minivan back to the station at the same rate of 200 Baht (~S$8.37), I took on his offer without hesitation.
This article was originally published on 29 August 2018 on BusTravel Station.
As promised in the morning, Mr Per of PTS Transit Service showed up at the Nam Phou Fountain bus stop slightly after 3pm. However, he was contactable via Line, when I texted him at 3pm saying that I was at he bus stop waiting for him.
Goodbye Vientiane, it was a short but fruitful sightseeing trip and an insight to Laos.
Along the way, Mr Per informed me that there would be two other passengers from Vientiane city joining on the trip to Thanaleng Railway Station, and he’ll be picking them up.
However, he could not find the two other passengers who said that they were taking up the ride. So, Mr Per actually got off the minivan to ask the cafes and restaurants around the area if they have seen two Thai people waiting around for a minivan transfer, to no avail.
10/10 for trustworthiness.
While he was out searching for the two other passengers, I took some interior photos of his minivan. It may not be the most impressive minivan out there, but I’d take a trustworthy driver over comfort any time.
In the end, the two Thai passengers were not found, so it was just me who will be picked up from Vientiane city.
Heading to another outskirt location to pick up one more passenger to Thanaleng Railway Station.
Passing by the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Vientiane. Looks quite Singaporean with the typical gates and shelter.
After picking up the last passenger, Mr Per took a new road not found on Google Maps, but it was less crowded and bumpy than the main road skirting the Mekong River.
This might be Vientiane’s equivalent of a freeway with wide roads and not many traffic junctions anywhere along it.
Crossing over a small river.
Only one side of the new road has been completed on certain stretches, so both directions share the completed side of the road.
After a cool, drizzling day, a rainbow showed up on the way to Thanaleng Railway Station.
A pretty nice end to my first visit to Laos.
Entering the Thanaleng Railway Station compound.
Even from the main gate, the station itself is quite deep in.
Payment is done upon arrival, with Mr Per accepting either 200 Baht or 50,000 Kip for the transfer. I chose to pay in Lao Kip to clear off as much as possible from my wallet, as it is not very widely accepted at banks or money changers outside of Laos. Also, he did not ask for extra money despite me having almost the full minivan to myself with the two Thai passengers not showing up.
I gave him a 100,000 Kip note for the fare, and he returned me 200 Baht in change, saying that “This is easier for you later.”.
10/10 for service and thoughtfulness.
The journey from Nam Phou Fountain to Thanaleng Railway Station took about one hour, inclusive of the time taken waiting for other passengers who showed up or otherwise.
Thank you to Mr Per for a great transfer service to and from Thanaleng Railway Station!
Mr Per is contactable at the following numbers if you would like to reserve his service for your shared transfer to Vientiane, and offering various kinds of ticket purchasing services across Laos, Thailand and Vietnam as well. You can also purchase the PTS Transit Service Train+Minivan Combined Ticket from Nong Khai to Vientiane on 12Go Asia, which will be using Mr Per’s minivan for the transfer from Thanaleng Railway Station to Vientiane.
This is not an advertorial, and a 100% personal experience. I receive no cutbacks (except from 12Go Asia if booked there) if you choose to use Mr Per’s minivan services.