Thailand to Vietnam Bus: A Comprehensive Guide to Schedules and Prices

Bus routes to Thailand – Vietnam – Cross-country travel has never been easier. This is a highly notable topic recently, especially for those interested in traveling between these two Southeast Asian countries. Traveling from Thailand to Vietnam by bus is a popular option for many travelers. It is a cost-effective way to travel between the two countries, and it allows you to see the beautiful scenery along the way

Therefore, let us now thoroughly explore the information about this special bus journey! So, let’s dive into the details of this unique bus trip today!

Overview of Thailand to Vietnam by Bus

As a budget means of transport, a bus will be priced at around US $50 for a direct route from Thailand to Vietnam. Transit to one destination in Cambodia or Laos is even cheaper up to your choice. Thailand – Cambodia – Ho Chi Minh City route costs only US $32 to US $35, while it goes from US $24 to US $26 for Thailand – Laos – Hanoi route.

There are two main routes that you can take to travel from Thailand to Vietnam by bus: Thailand – Cambodia – Vietnam or Thailand – Laos – Vietnam. Here is a brief overview of each route:

Thailand – Laos – Vietnam

If you choose to travel the Thai-Lao-Viet route, you’ll start from Bangkok by bus, then reach Vientiane, and finally arrive in Hanoi. Specifically, the bus route begins from Thailand (Nakhon Phanom city) to Laos (Thakhek) and proceeds to Vietnam with a route length of approximately 300 km. Travelers can explore three countries without taking more than 01 day to complete

This route is less frequently traveled and offers a more adventurous experience as it passes through the mountainous and rural regions of Laos and northern Vietnam. Along the way, you can explore beautiful natural and cultural sites like Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Dien Bien Phu, and Sapa. The average cost per person for this route ranges from US $70 to US $80.

Thailand – Cambodia – Vietnam

The most common and convenient way to travel by bus from Thailand to Vietnam is to go through Cambodia, which shares borders with both countries. You can also go through Laos, but this will take longer and cost more. Here are the main steps to follow if you choose to travel by bus from Thailand to Vietnam via Cambodia: 

  • Step 1: Take a bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap.

To start your journey, travel from Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, to Siem Reap, the entrance to the renowned Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia. Several bus companies, including Giant Ibis1, Nattakan, and Transport Co International, provide this service. The trip generally takes 8 to 10 hours depending on traffic and border crossing. Prices range from $28 to $32 per person. You can purchase tickets online or at Bangkok’s bus stations.

  • Step 2: Explore Siem Reap and Angkor Wat.

Relaxing in a popular tourist destination in Cambodia. It is home to Angkor Wat, the world’s largest and most impressive religious monument. You can spend a day or more discovering the ancient temples, appreciating the architecture and carvings, and learning about the history and culture of the Khmer Empire. 

  • Step 3: Take a bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.

The next step is to travel from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Several bus companies, such as Giant Ibis1, Mekong Express, and Virak Buntham Express, operate on this route. The journey usually takes 6 to 7 hours, and prices range from $10 to $15 per person. Some buses provide wifi, air conditioning, and toilets, while others are more basic. 

  • Step 4: Explore Phnom Penh and obtain your Vietnam visa.

If you plan to continue your journey to Vietnam by bus, it’s important to obtain your visa in advance, as there is no visa on arrival option at the land border. You can apply for your Vietnam visa online and receive an approval letter that you need to present at the embassy in Phnom Penh, along with your passport, photos, and payment. The process typically takes 2 to 3 working days, with fees varying according to the visa type and duration. Alternatively, you can apply for your Vietnam visa directly at the embassy in Phnom Penh, though this may take longer and cost more.

  • Step 5: Take a bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City.

The final step is to travel from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest and most dynamic city. The journey, including the border crossing, takes around 6 to 7 hours, and prices range from $12 to $18 per person. 

How to Book and Prepare for Your Bus Trip

  • If you want to save time and money, and visit the major cities and tourist attractions of Cambodia and Vietnam, the Thailand – Cambodia – Vietnam route is the best option for you.
  • Make sure to reserve your bus ticket in advance either online or at the bus station, especially if it’s a busy season or during holidays
  • Prior to booking, it’s essential to review the bus schedule, route, price, and user feedback for a well-informed decision.
  • Prior to crossing borders, ensure you have all the necessary documents ready, including your passport, visa, and other required paperwork. Your passport should be valid for at least six months, have two blank pages, and you must possess the appropriate visas or visa exemptions for every country you plan to visit. 
  • Applying for visas in advance can be done online or at the respective embassies or consulates. Additionally, some countries offer visas on arrival at the border. For a hassle-free visa application process, you can take advantage of online platforms such as iVisa or eVisa. It’s crucial to have additional documents like your bus ticket, hotel reservation, and travel insurance for immigration and customs checks.
  • Pack your belongings and essentials thoughtfully for your bus journey. Ensure your luggage, be it a backpack or a suitcase, adheres to size and weight restrictions as buses often have limited space and weight allowances. 
  • Remember to pack essential items such as water, snacks, cash, phone, charger, earphones, mask, sanitizer, toilet paper, and a pillow or blanket to make your long and potentially bumpy ride more comfortable. 
  • Consider bringing entertainment options like a book, game, or movie to keep yourself occupied during the trip.


Traveling from Thailand to Vietnam by bus offers an affordable and thrilling opportunity to explore two captivating countries in Southeast Asia. Nonetheless, this journey is neither direct nor easy, demanding careful planning and preparation. The itinerary involves multiple bus transfers, two border crossings, and obtaining a Vietnam visa in advance. 

Additionally, one must possess patience, adaptability, and an open-minded attitude to navigate the challenges and unexpected encounters along the way. However, if you seek a remarkable and enriching adventure, traveling by bus from Thailand to Vietnam presents an excellent choice. You will be treated to awe-inspiring attractions, encounter amiable individuals, and gain profound insights into the region’s culture and history.

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