Border Closures to Motorcycles - All of Laos?

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by jimoi, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    Bad news for me today as I crossed the bridge at VTE from Thailand. I have a Cambo reg bike and cross about every 3 weeks no problem and have had the bridge director's signature on the entry/exit form until today. I follow what rules have been set up for me, get all the documents signed and do not overstay, pay my weekly fee and so on.

    I was told this by the bridge director in room #5:
    - All border points will close to motorcycles no matter what country the are from. He said the closure at the VTE bridge started on the 15th of Jan 08.
    - The Ministry of Transportation has been turned into the Department of Public Works, roads, entry by vehicles, communications and so on. This happened on 01-01-08 and a new director was appointed, a Mr. Viengsavat Sipandong (spelling may be incorrect). He informed the VTE bridge that according to Lao regulations, all motorcycle AND bicycles are banned from entry to Laos.
    - I was informed that this ban will apply to all border points of Laos: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar.
    - I was informed that the decree is signed to make this a Lao Law.
    - I was informed that the decree was created from a 6 nation agreement that is not a part of ASEAN in general, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia were the signatories of the transportation agreement.
    - I was not able to extend my bridge paperwork but was issued a 2 entry extension on my current papers valid for 1 month.
    - I was told that I should draft a letter to the director of Public Works here in VTE and explain the situation of mine as well as the loss of tourism revenue to Laos but that there was little chance of it being effective.
    - I was told to have a nice day.

    How this filters to the borders is not clear. If the ban was to start on Jan 15, then Hoiue Xai is not following and neither is Dong Krolor down on the Cambo border. I would imagine that the Vietnamese that roll in on the loaded down shopping centers on step thrus will be able to cross with a little extra fee paid.

    So, the thing is that I don't want to sound the panic that the sky is falling at this time, only what was related to me.

    It sucks but that's the way it is. We'll see what happens and maybe it's going to be ignored in the hinter regions as it is an income reduction policy.
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Jim
    Thanks a million for keeping us informed.
    It certainly sounds scary & I sincerely hope the law is not enforced 100%.
    Silverhawk crossed at Houei Xai yesterday.
    Trevbart, Scotty007 & Julien Back Door Alien crossed today at the same place.
    I guess eventually the letter / direction from Vte will filter down to the provinces & they will decide themselves whether to strictly enforce the law or not.
    Hopefully, this is all probably not a great deal different to what is supposed to have happened with the first bridge ban - no motorcycles anywhere else, but the provinces pleased themselves what they did.
    The Snail intends to cross on Monday, myself Rhodie & Ian Bungy on Tuesday. So let's suck it & see what happens.
    But it's all a pretty scary thought.
    After you rang me, I also spoke to Khampean in Room 6 at the bridge & she wished us luck, saying that it was a big problem for everyone this time.
     
  4. deepcdiver

    deepcdiver Active Member

    Bummer! Looks like I may be renting instead of buying a bike in VN :(
     
  5. dirthonk

    dirthonk Ol'Timer

    grave news indeed,i wonder what their reasoning is.
    should be good news for all the rental companies though.
     
  6. burnjr

    burnjr Ol'Timer

    sound scary..as i will my group will cross from houei xai on this febuary 5th feb and out vte bridge..will hope we can do that ..anyway i wwil followup with
    Davidfl.
    tq bro
     
  7. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    Hmmmm....not good news at all. Please all post your findings. One of the greatest things i enjoy living in Chiang Mai for is the opportunity to ride into Laos. Ten times the scenery of Thailand and a refreshing culture.

    Lets hope the joys of Laos don't become more difficult to access. I second the Honkeys question...whats the rationale(if any) for Laos to have this rule implemented?
     
  8. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer

    Does this mean we will all have to keep a Laos registered bike in Cnx, from now on...
     
  9. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    On a good news side, it has been reported that many riders have crossed with no difficulty at Houie Xai within the past week. It seems the provinces are not following at the moment.

    Good news indeed. DavidFL will make inquires in VTE next week.
     
  10. burnjr

    burnjr Ol'Timer

    jimoi,
    good news to hear that,hope will should be no problem at houie xai on this coming 5th febuary..
    will c u :D :arrow:
     
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Situation was normal in Houei Xai early this week.
    Rhodie & I crossed over on Wed.
    Africa Twin RobertH crossed over on Thursday morning.
    KTM Laurence crossed over on Thursday afternoon.
     
  12. burnjr

    burnjr Ol'Timer

    Davidf,
    nice to hear that ,no problem during all of u crossing to loas..will c u in cnx on
    the 4th of febuary bro.. :arrow:
     
  13. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    Glad to see Houei Xai operating as normal and you gents getting across without issues.

    Waiting with baited breath for reports I'm sure DaidFL will be researching upon his arrival in VTE.

    Thanks all for the updates.
     
  14. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I'm pleased to say that from what I can gather in Vientiane the situation at the Bridge(s) into Laos is normal = no motorbikes are allowed in, but the other crossings are ok. Nothing has changed since this rule was first enforced in
    Feb 2006
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... -s100.html

    Exit from Laos via the Friendship Bridge to Nong Khai is also still ok.
     
  15. beddhist

    beddhist Ol'Timer

    Thanks for that update. Just so as to save somebody hassles I'll add here again that the Friendship Bridge 2 Savannakhet - Mukdahan is closed in both directions for anything with less than 4 wheels.
     
  16. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    Great news David, thanks for the update.

    Lets hope the continued access continues.
     
  17. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, but I reckon that in practice it will be the same as the Nong Khai-Vte bridge - exiting Laos, they will let you out across the bridge; just as you experienced when you left
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... t3268.html
     
  18. beddhist

    beddhist Ol'Timer

    I hope you are right, but it was such a performance that I wouldn't rely on that, especially if you are pressed for time. I'm only a visitor here, but I got the impression that if the boss isn't there then you won't get across.

    I should add here that the boss was very fiendly, even invited me to come back to look him up if I ever was in the vicinity again.
     
  19. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    An interesting thing happened today when I was a Friendship Bridge crossing over to Nong Khai. I still have an in/out paper from the director valid for a while longer and when I went to see him and drop a small bottle of cognac on him, he was in Nong Khai. Upon my return, he was in his office and told me he went over to Customs in Nong Khai to get a motorcyclist across the bridge. I had a small look at the inbound book of the day and it looked like a rider from Malaysia and Singapore as well as Thailand crossed the bridge that day on Honda bikes in a range of 600, 750 and 1100 cc into Laos.

    He said he was happy to go over and get the biker in and this could mark a change in the weather at the bridge in VTE and as well for the country.

    I've been talking very discretely to the Ministry of Transportation, Department of Public Works, Bridge Directors and the # 4 man in (I think) in the Laos National Tourism Association and they have asked me to come up with a report on allowing motorcycles to enter Laos. I have a few weeks plus to produce this and will be posting a survey on the board so I can collect some data from riders that enter Laos at places other than VTE and riders that are thinking about crossing at VTE.

    No personal data, mostly days in country and money spent as well as where, I'm trying to give this a Pro-Poor Tourism spin so it has some teeth with the boys in VTE.

    I'll keep an open post on this and if you can contribute by giving me data for the report, thanks.

    In the mean time, cross those borders that are now still open with respect for all fees and regulations as well as make sure you get insurance as David FL has posted.

    Incidents of illegal crossings that occur before I can put in my report to the 5 decision makers will not only delay any chance but will pretty much have an impact not only on VTE but beyond.

    In other words, be responsible, I'll admit it's tough but try to do so at the border entry/exit points.

    Jimoi
     
  20. burnjr

    burnjr Ol'Timer

    Jimoi,
    During my visit last month to loas from Huai Xai,i meet david at Changmai ,thanks david for info and buy a loas map from him....
    I already have are ambesy latter from loas ambesy at kuala lumpur..
    so went i entre huayXai fromChiangKong..the custom and police just sign and stamping..at behind the latter...no paper given as they say.. i heard and understand just vip..
    we just buy a insurance as recommed by David.and during
    out from loas at vte we just show the paper..the custom say ok. u can go.so we hadeding to NongKai.
    before my trip, my friend entre vte with bike thai custom already remain him u cannot entre loas at vte with bike..my friends say he have a latter from loas ambesy..Thai custom say Good Luck.so at vte customer he go to room 5 and get everything settle between 30 min..so he entrevte with bike and out from loas at Huai Xai.
    :D :arrow:
    and at luang lamtha i meet a loas reporter/tourism..i just say we entre loas fro Huai Xai and we have difficulity entre at vte..he say we can entre but we must get a permit..(What i think we must get latter from ambsy)..
    then he say thanks for coming to loas and support their country on tourism. :D :lol: thats my experience entring loas.
     
  21. pee

    pee Ol'Timer

    Crossed the border at Chiang Khong-Houay Xay on March 10 (1 Thai registered bike and 1 rider with a Lao visa issued at Bangkok Lao embassy): no problem...except the lenghtly process: Thai side + small boat accross the Mekong+Lao side= 3 and half hours.
     
  22. ansmania

    ansmania Member

    Hi guys,

    What's the update on the Friendship Bridge 1?

    We have 2 bikes from Singapore headed up in Dec 08
     
  23. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    You don't have any choice - head to Nong Khai & give it a go.
    If it does not work you just potter down the road 140 kms to Beun Kan, cross the Mekong to Pakxan, then "back track" 120 kms up to Vientiane.
    But with a Sing plate I'd say you have a good chance, & if it does not then it's just an inconvenience. Been there & done it a few times already.
    Note that at Beun Kan you have to cross on a week day. Saturday & Sunday Customs are closed - so no ferry service for vehicles.
     
  24. ansmania

    ansmania Member

    weekends only? Oh dang, not good.. Cos we are planning to head there on a Sat...

    Is there any other options other than those?

    Thanks!
     
  25. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

  26. burnjr

    burnjr Ol'Timer

    Asmania,
    suggest u cross to loas via Huay Xai/Pak se...my friend just cross to loas
    at vte..he hv problem ..lucky one of them can speack thai...he took 3hrs..
    to stttle jum ofice to office..(eventhough they all have the vehical permit from laos embessy in kuala lumpur..dont loose ur time..
    good luck..
     

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