The border crossing in Nong Khai, Thailand to Vientiane, Laos is the most popular among backpackers. Crossing the border is straightforward.
You will probably arrive in Nong Khai via bus or train. From the bus or train station, there are many tuk-tuk who are more than willing to transport you to the Friendship Bridge for 50 baht. If you’re travelling alone, it is best to find a companion to split the fare. The tuk-tuk will drop you off at the foot of the bridge where you will officially exit from Thailand.
The border is open from 6am to 10pm daily. Be sure to arrive in between those hours. Otherwise, you will be charged an overtime fee of 10,000 kip at the Laos side. After getting your stamp out of Thailand, you have to board a shuttle bus for 20 baht or 5,000 kip. The ride only takes about three minutes as it will only literally cross you to the other side of the bridge. You will now enter Laos and the process is as straightforward too. You have to fill in an arrival card with your details, and get your stamp from the immigration officer. You are now officially in Laos. The whole process can only take less than 30 minutes but will take longer depending on the volume of people crossing. Also, it will depend if you need to apply for visa on arrival which may add another 15 to 30 minutes.
The border is 20 kilometers away from Vientiane city center so you have to take a bus which will cost you 15,000 kip. Your last option is to take a tuk-tuk which will cost you a minimum of 80,000 kip. From the bus station, you can hire another tuk-tuk going to your accommodation. The bus station is around one kilometer away from the tourist area where accommodations abound. You can choose to walk or ride a tuk-tuk which will require your bargaining power. 8,000 kip should be your starting offer.