After launching Krabi and Mandalay routes, Bangkok Airways ( has announced it will start operating direct flights between Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Udonthani from Nov 29. For the uninitiated, Udonthani is North Isaan’s largest commercial hub and is only a short trip from the Thai-Lao border and Vientiane. That’s the reason why Udon’s malls and growing range of cool hangouts are packed with newly-minted Laotians every weekend. A roundtrip ticket is from B3,580.