Buses, Laos, Vientiane

Vientiane City 2 Bus Service Airport Shuttle: Wattay International Airport to Nam Phou Fountain and Central Bus Station (CBS) by former Kyoto City Bus

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.

Arriving from your flight, head out of the Arrival Hall as per normal to the driveway.

There will be signs along the way pointing to the bus stop for the Airport Shuttle.

If the bus is already there, the driver and/or conductor will be on hand to provide information about the Airport Shuttle to Vientiane city. If not, just wait around the clearly signposted bus stop along the driveway.

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.

The ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star on the Vientiane City 2 Bus Service at Wattay International Airport.

There are stickers around the donated buses to show that the bus was donated from Kyoto, Japan.

The bus stop post on the sheltered driveway at Wattay International Airport. The bus stop is located outside the International Arrival Hall.

The route map of the Airport Shuttle. Click on the image to enlarge.

The timetable of the Airport Shuttle and the listings of hotels with the corresponding nearest bus stop. Click on the image to enlarge.

Boarding the ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star.

The interior of the ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star on the Airport Shuttle.

The driving console of the ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star.

The door on the left side of the bus is not used in normal circumstances.

Even the clock on board is of “Japan Standard” brand.

Advertisement panels are not removed, with one bearing an apt advertisement of H.I.S. Vientiane.

A door safety mechanism is installed above the door by JICA Laos to prevent the door from shutting when there is an obstruction.

Not a very comfortable seat on top of the wheel.

The small curtain to prevent light from reflecting on the windscreen remains in tact.

The rear door steps has been filled in, with two seats installed on top of it since the doors on the left side of the bus are no longer in use.

After departure, the conductor comes around to sell tickets for the Airport Shuttle.

A ticket from Wattay International Airport to CBS costs 15,000 Kip (~S$2.41). However, fares on this route without coming from the airport costs just 5,000 Kip (~S$0.80) instead.

Leaving Wattay International Airport.

The Airport Shuttle takes the main Setthathilath Street to Vientiane city.

Announcements are made by the driver whenever approaching a bus stop, and when heading for the next one.

Press the bell to alight.

I dropped off at Nam Phou Fountain where my transfer back to Thanaleng Railway Station would pick me up. From here, the Airport Shuttle will continue on to CBS, and thereafter to Lao ITECC.

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.

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