Today I attempted to cross the border at Vientane from Laos to Thailand with my Vietnam registered bike (a Honda GL Pro). It's suggested that its a bad idea to just rock up with no preparation, so that's just what I did. I turned up at the border crossing at about 11:30 with my 'blue card' (ownership paper) for my bike in someone else's name, a single entry visa for Thailand (which was applied for with 30 days requested), my bike loaded with gear and a few 100k kip. On the Laos side of the bridge I was told to fill in a departure card and get my passport stamped, which went without a hitch. I was then told to go to the vehicle export desk to do the paperwork on my bike, the officer there asked for a form which apparently I should have got in Vietnam before leaving, I was then supposed to get this stamped somewhere in Laos (as far as I could work out from the broken English he spoke). I insisted that I didn't understand, asked if there was a translator who could better explain this to me. The officer then guided me to a building where he sat me in front of another officer the two of them talked very fast in Laotian for about 5 minuets the guy at the desk looked at me from me to time as if expecting me to understand something, I just smiled and shrugged apologetically. After a while I was taken back outside and told "OK, you go Thailand now" while he pointed out the road leading to the bridge. From what I could follow (not a lot) I think the problem was I shouldn't have even been allowed in to Laos without this form and I would have had the same problem at any border I tried to leave by so they just wanted shot of me and sod the paper work. I then had a nice ride over the bridge its quite a view looking down the Mekong, though I was worried that they just let me out so Thai guards could explain I wasn't allowed. I got to the Thai side where I pulled up to a kiosk on my bike. A guard came over and told me to park up while I sorted out my paper work and I actually managed to park my bike on the Thai side of the barriers (not that it helped). He then asked for the vehicle form, here we go I thought, I showed him my blue card and said that's all I had. He then said that I should get my passport stamped for entry first and pointed me to a kiosk where I was to pick up my arrival card. I headed over and after some queuing I handed over my passport and by luck my blue card as well, the guy handed me the arrival card and was about to give back my documents when he noticed the blue card he then kept hold of my docs and started filling in a form I later found out to be a 'Information of conveyance', he then handed back my passport, blue card, an arrival card, and the information of conveyance form. Pointing out two other kiosks he told me to take my arrival card to one and the form to the other. I filled in my card and handed it over at the kiosk as directed where I was asked for 200 baht I tried offering 200k kip which he wouldn't accept, he then asked others in the queue if anyone would exchange some money for me and the cost was quickly resolved at a fraction of the 200k kip I'd offered him. He handed back the passport saying "your visa is valid for 2 months enjoy your travels". I then went to the final kiosk I'd been directed to (and the one I had originally pulled up at) with the information of conveyance form, queued a while longer, and finally got my chance to hand over my docs (the information of conveyance form, passport and blue card) the girl behind the desk tapped away at the computer a while then stopped and studied the card a while before asking where the owners name was printed I pointed out Mr Phong's name to her, more tapping on the keyboard produced a form called 'Simplified Customs Declaration Form' which needed signing in triplicate, I signed and was then told I was all done, I mounted up and off I went, job done... and with a whole extra month on my visa than I originally applied for. I'm now sitting here looking over my documents and it seems I've guaranteed myself to take the bike out of Thailand by the 13th of June this year of forfeit 300,000 baht... Ouch ... don't breakdown baby. My advice for others trying this: Smile, be happy and be humble. Don't get frustrated or angry (if you don't like the way things are going just say you don't understand and continue smiling). Give it a go, this is your trip of a lifetime! Don't listen to 'nay sayers' they probably just want to buy your bike on the cheap. In other news I hit 8,500 Km on the Honda today!