Border Crossing Laos Chong Mek And South Laos Road Updates

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by DutchMike, May 2, 2016.

  1. DutchMike

    DutchMike Active Member

    We did a 8 day trip in April in Southern Laos, inspired by Jurgen's Ferry-tale post (Thank you Jurgen) and keeping in mind not to give in to the urge to cross the border into close... (Thank you for reminding us of the risks of illegal border crossings GT-rider admin).

    Chong Mek appeared to be the nearest border crossing into Laos from where we live (Chanthaburi), but it is still 800 km.
    The Thai side of the border was even more efficient than promised in some GT-Rider posts.
    We were informed to go directly to counter #2 with 2 passport copies, owners registration book copies ( 2 of the owners page and 2 copies of the tax page). The officer handled immigration and vehicle papers in one go, I only had to sign and show the papers at the next counter, at two steps. That was it, it took 10 minutes and a friendly “there you go!” finished the whole procedure.

    At the Laos side it was a different story, but also not that bad.

    Jurgen covered the Bolaven loops and the South in a post and I am only adding some alternatives and road updates to his report.

    The road from Paksong that joins highway 11 between Attapu and Sekong is sealed and an easy ride.
    We chose to try a different road as Google maps and “” on my telephone showed interesting tracks. Going strait on where the sealed road turned left we did not get very far on the dirt road.
    After 15 km there was no track left, at least not of the kind I can manage with my road bike and two on the bike. (After seeing the pictures of Moto-Rex I already had decided not to try the 18). The alternative to a dead end road was another dirt road to the left passing the Tadtayicseau waterfall and joining the sealed road again after a while. It was fun and can be done with a road motorbike.

    Coming from Don Phapheng (4000 islands) on the R13 going direction Pakse we had a look at the ferry to cross the Mekong to Champassak.
    We declined the offer to use this alternative ferry, I am not that brave.

    Since there is a new road from Pakse at the other side of the river a ferry is not really necessary any more. Besides, it was made clear to us that a bike did not mean business to them and I would have to wait until more traffic showed up. As that was not going to happen, my guess, and it was very hot, we went via Pakse, crossed the Mekong and then South again to Champassak. For cars it is a toll road, motorbikes go free.
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  3. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Thanks for the update Mike, I think the Chong Mek border crossing is probably is the easiest crossing as you found as well. The Thai side is always a breeze.
    I’m also relucted when it comes to those smaller bike ferry’s after I ended up in the drink a few years ago. Besides, as you found, the road from Pakxe to Champasak on the west side is a nice ride.

    Cheers Moto-Rex
  4. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Nice update.. Brave.. Big Bike, road tyres.. Looks like you had a blast.

  5. DutchMike

    DutchMike Active Member

    Talking about ferries, the day before we saw a ferry losing motor power in the middle of the Xe-Kong river near Sekong, scary.
  6. DutchMike

    DutchMike Active Member

    There were moments I regretted having sold my Kawasaki KLX 250 ...
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the update Mike.
    I too reckon that the Thai officials at Chong Mek are the friendiest happiest easist border staff I have ever had to deal with.
    They make border crossings a pleasure.
    THe Lao side is not quite the same, at least until they get in their new building & offices. Compared to theThai side how long do you reckon it took to clear the Lao side?
  8. DutchMike

    DutchMike Active Member

    It took us about 45 minutes David, but it can be done a lot faster I think. Upon asking we were directed to the wrong counter and when it was our turn we had to start all over again at another counter (nothing in English at either counter). But a border crossing within one hour in total is still not that bad.
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Sounds familiar - queue up, wrong counter, stat all over again.

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