Vientiane City 2 Bus Service is a new bus serving serving Vientiane, promoted to be safe, reliable and convenient. Two new routes are currently in operation, namely the ITECC-Talat Sao Line and the Airport Shuttle, both of which offer through services to the other at most times of the day. The Vientiane City 2 Bus Service uses donated Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star buses from Kyoto, Japan, which operated on Kyoto City Bus services.
The new Airport Shuttle is a key bus route linking Wattay International Airport with Vientiane city.
While traffic runs on the right side of the road in Laos, the ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star remains in its original configuration of being right-hand-drive. However, a new door has been cut out on the right side of the bus to facilitate boarding and alighting on the correct side of the road.
Signs around the bus, using the existing scrolling destination signs inherited from Japan, display the route of the bus.
The interior of the ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star on the Vientiane City 2 Bus Service.
Former cloth seats are replaced with PVC covering instead.
Most of the interior and exterior of the bus has been left untouched, perhaps even reconditioned with original Japanese signs and fittings for service in Laos.
The view from the rear of the bus.
The crew of the Vientiane City 2 Bus Service are extremely friendly and helpful, with the staff speaking very good English. It is a very impressive start to my first public bus ride in Laos.
The driving console remains the same as in Japan, with the original Japanese words around the console still in tact.
The door on the left side of the bus is not used in normal circumstances.
The bell on board the bus still has the original Japanese words on it.
The scrolling destination sign at the back of the bus.
Free WiFi is available on the ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star.
The new door on the right side of the bus. The fare box has also been moved here, but is not in use as tickets are sold by the conductor.
The original rear door at the back of the bus is no longer in use, with seats placed on the former steps in front of the door.
Priority seat labels remain in place on the bus.
The Vientiane City 2 Bus Service stops at only authorized proper bus stops.
The conductor will come around selling tickets for the bus service.
A ticket from CBS to Wattay International Airport costs 15,000 Kip (~S$2.41). However, fares on this route without heading to the airport costs just 5,000 Kip (~S$0.80) instead.
Fare information, including information about the through services on the ITECC-Talat Sao Line and the Airport Shuttle can be found around the bus.
The Airport Shuttle serves major hotels and attractions around the western entrance to Vientiane city and central Vientiane itself.
Turning into Wattay International Airport.
Press the bell before alighting. However, this is not needed at the terminal bus stop. The bell will light up with Japanese words, just like in Kyoto.
The Airport Shuttle will alight passengers at the International Departures door.
Here, the check-in desks are just straight ahead.
Overall, based on the staff’s service and information about the Airport Shuttle available, the Vientiane City 2 Bus Service Airport Shuttle is the best airport public bus service in the whole of ASEAN. Both the driver and conductor are extremely friendly and English-speaking, stops are made only at official bus stops as stated on the map and timetable, the driver drives at a safe speed AND according to the timetable like in Japan, the air-conditioning is great especially with the hot and humid weather in Laos (and around ASEAN too), and free WiFi is available throughout the journey.
If travelling between Wattay International Airport and Vientiane city, the Airport Shuttle would be my top choice for a safe and affordable journey.