The primary mode of transport in Vientiane for short distances is the tuk-tuk. These privately owned three-wheeled motor vehicles transport passengers in and around the city, charging flat rates for different destinations. Taxis tend to gather at busy locations in the city such as markets and bus terminals. The Talat Sao Bus Station is the city centre's main terminal, offering routes to neighbouring cities and Thailand. Buses can be badly maintained and lack air-conditioning. They are, however, a major source of transportation for locals. Bicycle and scooter rentals are available from private businesses and some guesthouses. Travellers are advised that it is illegal to ride a scooter without a helmet and fines are known to be costly. Transport in rural areas might be difficult to obtain or unreliable, and it might be a good idea to hire a car for longer distances.
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