Friendship Bridge, Vientiane now ok.

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by danwhite, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. danwhite

    danwhite Ol'Timer

    Just crossed to Vientiane over the Friendship Bridge from Nong Khai side. On the Thai side you need the green book and they type up the form. All quite quick. On the Lao side you start at Room 6 after immigration and visit another 5 or so officials, dropping around 900 baht on the way for the various bits of paper. After Chong Mek where the Lao don't even (or didn't) even look at the bike, this is fiddly .... But at least they have it organised to let bikes in now. Maybe this is a trend and the seeming closure of Laos to bikes with the opening of each bridge has now been reversed.... I would be interested to know if anyone has tried to cross from Mukdahan in the same way.

    Cheers
    Dan
     
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  3. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    That is great news..

    Sounds like the 900 baht is to dissuade the Thai Honda Wave day tripper.
    Couple of weeks ago at Chong Mek it only cost 100 baht on the Lao side.. but no large population centres nearby.

    Worth every penny to be able to cross over easily at Nong Khai.

    Did you just try your luck or did you hear there was a change in the rules?

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  4. danwhite

    danwhite Ol'Timer

    I was going to cross at Beung Khan/Paksan but got a nod from our furious leader to give the bridge a go as he had got wind of regime change..... As you say, definitely worth all the form filling and bits of cash. Lets hope it is permanent.
     
  5. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    A quick check with the Ministry of Transport said there were no changes from their side. What's happened is really good to hear and it's one of those left hand/right hand deals. I hope it continues as open so more riders can get in.
     
  6. danwhite

    danwhite Ol'Timer

    Maybe it really is simply up to the local admin on the bridge. Was there previously a ministry directive stopping bikes or did it all just chaotically fall down that way?..... Anyway, lets hope to God it is a concrete development since it opens up great opportunities.
     
  7. jerome

    jerome Active Member

    Last week in Savannakhet,the Lao Police didn t let me cross the bridge! It s the first time this happen to me,and I ve been crossing that border about once a month since its opening! 2 months ago,it was on the Mukdahan side that the Police was giving me hard time coming back to Svk after a day trip! After one hour,they let me cross.With the customs,no worries! I will try again in few weeks!!
    jerome
     
  8. Jurgen

    Jurgen Ol'Timer

    I crossed from Vientiane to Nong Khai, in May, after entering the country in Muang Ngeun. I thought that the reverse was not possible and had a chat with several officers before leaving the Laos side. Asking if entering was also possible, they answered that it was not a problem. I insisted and finally someone confirmed that a « farang » could do it … but not on a Thai registered bike!

    It seemed that not all were well informed, but probably the one putting the stamp would know. Going through might be a question of luck (accompanied by the right « value » paper). I would happily pay my « dues », but for the time being, I do not force my luck and will cross in Chong Mek next week.

    Of course if the policy is really changing, it would be great news.
     
  9. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    So nothing new here. When you ask if it's possible, you get several answers:
    Yes
    No
    Maybe
    Sure, how much can you pay

    Exiting Laos to Thailand is not an issue as long as you have obtained the proper papers on your way in. Entry from Thailand to Laos over this bridge has not changed in policy but some riders have gotten in and I've also seen a few bikes parked at the Lao Customs overnight.

    My offer for assisting with papers to enter at Friendship Bridge is a secure way to enter Laos.

    I had a meeting with the vice director of the Ministry of Transportation last week and he said the rules are not going to changing for the bridge. From Jerome's post earlier, seems like this is now down south as well.
     
  10. danwhite

    danwhite Ol'Timer

    They had a system in place.... It's Laos for God's sake... No official is just going to do anything independently on a whim..... Especially near Vientiane.....
     

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