Laos Border Crossings

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by DavidFL, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

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    GTR first bike over the 4th Mekong Friendship Bridge, Chiang Khong - Houei Xai.

    Friendly Thai immigration at the Thai -Lao border crossing of Phu Du border from Uttaradit, Thailand.

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    For info on border crossings check out the main GT Rider website
    Border Crossings

    and

    Thailand - Laos

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    Exiting Laos at the 1st Friendship bridge Tha Dua (Vientiane) - Nong Khai 2008.

    Thailand / Laos Border Notes

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    Exiting Laos at the Friendship Bridge Savannakhet - Mukdahan in 2009.

    Laos / Vietnam notes
    IMG_2558.jpg
    Entering Laos at Nam Soi from Vietnam March 2010.

    Laos - China
    Laos / China Border Notes
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
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  3. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Some updates.

    Bueng Kan - Pakxan. 2/1/2015 Ferry running but not on weekends or public holidays.

    Nakhon Phanom - Thakhek 3/1/2015 I tried to cross, but was told no bikes what so ever were allowed on the bridge.

    Mukdahan - Savannakhet 3/1/2015 I tried to cross but was told I could only cross if I put my bike in the back of a pick up. I didn't bother spending hours trying and find a person with a pick up that would take me.

    Yes I know some riders have crossed at Mukdahan, but this was my experience.

    Chong Mek – Pakxe 10/01/2015. It took one hour, 20 minutes, from the time I arrived at Thai immigration, till the time I rode away from Lao customs. No hassles at all. This border crossing is open till 8pm.

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    Moto-Rex
     
  4. bbq

    bbq Member

    hi rex
    Can I get VOA now when i cross the river from thai to lao by ferry
    sorry for my low english
     
  5. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    In the past yes, apart from at Paksan. Not 100% if this is still the case though.
     
  6. bbq

    bbq Member

    thanks a lot
    although i was forget locate
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Two "new" docs you need to fill out entering Laos.

    1. At the Friendship bridge Houei Xai - Chiang Khong.
    A police vehicle inspection import permit
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    only filled out after you have cleared Lao immigration & customs

    2. Friendship Bridge Vientiane - Nong Khai
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    See also
    Riding across the Friendship Bridge at Chiang Khong
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  8. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Crossed back from VTE to Nong Khai today.

    hmmmm.. 400,000 kip (1600 baht for 4 days over stay).

    Make sure you check the number of days on the green customs form when given back to you on entry..
    The person that let me in only put down 7 days..

    Never had this problem before..

    To sort it out you end up walking over to the 'Boss' then he signed and stamped the green customs doc..
    Then you walk next door and pay.

    The fella that takes the green form informed me of the following.

    You can have up to two weeks in Laos.. But you need to ask for it. (Why not just give two weeks to start with)
    If you want longer.. e.g... a month.. You need to go to the same office where the 'Boss" is and he needs to approve it.

    Key thing.. Tell them how many days you want on entry.. if you are not sure and think you will be longer than two weeks.
    Ask for a month and get it signed off.

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  9. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Chatting with Moto-Rex earlier.. He crossed over to Southern Laos recently.
    Received 30 days with out asking.

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  10. distin

    distin New Member

    Hi Brian
    Is there any issue crossing from Nong Khai to Vientiene.
    Will be 3 big bikes. Am planning a trip there next month.[
    Thanks in advance.

    QUOTE=brian_bkk;303678]Crossed back from VTE to Nong Khai today.

    hmmmm.. 400,000 kip (1600 baht for 4 days over stay).

    Make sure you check the number of days on the green customs form when given back to you on entry..
    The person that let me in only put down 7 days..

    Never had this problem before..

    To sort it out you end up walking over to the 'Boss' then he signed and stamped the green customs doc..
    Then you walk next door and pay.

    The fella that takes the green form informed me of the following.

    You can have up to two weeks in Laos.. But you need to ask for it. (Why not just give two weeks to start with)
    If you want longer.. e.g... a month.. You need to go to the same office where the 'Boss" is and he needs to approve it.

    Key thing.. Tell them how many days you want on entry.. if you are not sure and think you will be longer than two weeks.
    Ask for a month and get it signed off.

    Cheers
    Brian[/QUOTE]
     
  11. Javawa

    Javawa Guest

    Just ask and you will get it - never had to go to the boss for permissions and yes, at most border crossings they automatically give you 30 days. By the way, the fine seems to be a bit on the high side as at the bottom of the green form they indicate that the file will be 5 USD (they call that reasonable) or 10 USD (which they call unreasonable on their own green form).

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  12. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Never had the need to ask before. I will be asking from now on.
    - Obviously trying to catch people out.

    Agree the fine is on the high side.. They did give a receipt but must say it looked a bit home made.
    Then again.. So are many of the newer forms they give you.

    Didn't have the time to argue the point.. Plus they looked like they were not going to budge.
    Lesson learnt.

    Be warned and yet another thing to make sure is done correctly.

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  13. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    You should be fine..
    Be interested to hear back how many days they want to give you and any run around.

    Ask for a month or 2 weeks or what ever you need.. Don't get caught out on the 7 day game.

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  14. distin

    distin New Member

    Thanks Brian
    I will post after the trip is done in Feb. We are going in for 6 nights.

    You should be fine..
    Be interested to hear back how many days they want to give you and any run around.

    Ask for a month or 2 weeks or what ever you need.. Don't get caught out on the 7 day game.

    Cheers
    Brian[/QUOTE]
     
  15. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    I spoke to the main immigration guy at Paxsan last week, and he said you are able to obtain a visa on arrival.

    Cheers Rex
     
  16. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The friendliest - easiest crossing from Thailand to Laos must be Chong Mek / Vang Tao.

    The least enjoyable one has to be at Laos - Muang Ngern / Huay Kon.
    The staff on the Thai side are all OK.
    IMG_3252.JPG

    Thai Immigration Huay Khon
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    Thai Customs at Huay Khon
    IMG_4192.JPG

    BUT on the Lao side...
    The Lao officials here are incredibly slow, starting with the police who like to rummage through your bags for something to do.

    The police barrier entering Laos at Nam Nguen
    IMG_4195.JPG
    it's the tall skinny cop who likes to practice his English & intimidate you

    Its a slow process then.....

    My Annoying Experience entering Laos at Muang Ngern in April 2016
    Step 1 stop at the gate, let the policeman check your papers before you can proceed.
    Step 2 get off your bike so he can look - rummage through your luggage (for something to do.)
    Step 3 move your bike 40 metres to the immigration office.
    Step 4 ask the Foreign Affairs staff for the visa application form. He doesn't have them so
    Step 5 ask the immigration ofifcer for the visa application form. Fill out the form. Then
    Step 6 take the visa application back to the Foreign Affairs officer, who will issue you with a visa
    Step 7 take your passport with the visa back to the immigration officer who stamps you in
    Step 8 pay an 80 baht tourist fee to the LNTA tourist official gleefully waiting to pounce & take your money.
    Step 9 go back outside & walk back to the customs office hut & get the Lao customs temporary import papers filled out. The customs guy then passes your papers to the officer next door who check them
    Step 10 get your Customs import papers back from the 2nd officer, who hopefully approves it & finds no errors. If there are errors he will hand the form back to the first guy who has to redo the whole form again. All the while you maybe sweating like a pig with your riding kit on.
    Step 11 papers all done, get on your bike & ride another 50 metres to the exit gate & hand all your papers in again for the policeman to check it all once more.
    All done then you are on your way & 100 metres down the is the AGL insurance office were you can get your insurance.

    The Lao Immigration & Customs huts at Nam Ngeun
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    Welcome to Laos & the PDR.

    Confirmation of the correct name of the Lao border crossing
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    it is called Nam Nguen, but I note in your passport the stamp says Nam Ngeun!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  17. sgBikerBoy

    sgBikerBoy sgBikerBoy.com

    Hey everyone! I'm planning a trip from Singapore through Malaysia and into Thailand. I'm also trying to include Laos (and Cambodia) into my itinerary. The rough plan is such - Singapore - Malaysia - Thailand (do the Mae Hong Son Loop) - enter Laos via Huay Sai. Head towards Luang Prabang, then south towards Vientiane - back to Thailand - then head south towards Cambodia.

    I've never done anything like this before. So couple of questions:
    1) How (legally) possible is it for a foreign-registered bike (Singapore registered) to do the Huay Sai crossing?
    2) Is insurance required in Laos? If so, is it available for purchase at Huay Sai?
    3) Is returning to Thailand via Vientiane (legally) possible for a foreign-registered bike?
    4) I'm planning to spend the majority of my trip in various parts of Thailand. Should I obtain my Thai insurance for the entire length of trip at the Malaysia-Thailand border? Would this still be valid after entering and exiting Laos back into Thailand? Or do I need to re-purchase the insurance at the Vientiane-Nong Khai border?

    Would certainly love to hear from some of the experienced riders here! =) TIA!
     
  18. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    If you want to take a look here first
    www.gt-rider.com/touring-information-overview/s-e-asian-border-crossings
    you will be able to answer most of the questions yourself.

    If you want to show us your ride you can post a pic or two here
    What bike(s) are you actually riding?
     
  19. Cycle Wallah

    Cycle Wallah Member

     
  20. sgBikerBoy

    sgBikerBoy sgBikerBoy.com

  21. sgBikerBoy

    sgBikerBoy sgBikerBoy.com

    Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately, I was just taking of using the Muang Ngern / Huay Kon border as I'd be coming from Chiang Mai and thinking of heading to Luang Prabang and then head south towards Viantiene. ☹️
     
  22. cperkinsrun

    cperkinsrun Member

    Jan 2016 updated notes on costs/paperwork for Cambodia > Laos border crossing
    There is only 1 border crossing and it is between Stung Treng, Cambodia and Veun Kham, Laos

    1) Cambodian Customs Export papers $10 per bike (paid at border) ***I did not have Import paper work from my border crossing into Cambodia at Ha Tien. The Customs officer said I could NOT exit and that I needed to exit where I entered at Ha Tien since I did not have Import papers. I told him I needed to cross into Laos today. He looked around nervously, leaned in and asked if I wanted “to make secret"? I agreed and he prepared the Import and Export papers for me for $10.
    2) Cambodian immigration exit stamp for passport $1 ($2 on weekends or after hours) ***they did not ask me for this
    3) Laos Customs temporary Import papers for 15 days in Laos, $10, paid at border. ***$36 for 28 days
    4) Laos Immigration entry stamp for passport $1 ($2 on weekends or after hours) ***$2, can pay in Real
    5) 15 days’ insurance for dirt bike in Laos $8, purchased at border ***did not ask me for this, so I was not charged this fee
    6) Temperature taken for swine flu $1 ***they did not ask me for this
    7) Visa on arrival to Laos is now available at the Stung Treng > Veun Kham border crossing.

    The Cambodian officials are happy to let you ride into no mans land without ensuring you have you motorcycle Import/Export papers in order. I DO NOT suggest doing this, since there are posts online of riders getting their bike stuck in between borders and neither side allowing your bike back in. Then a guy walks up and offers to buy your bike for cheap. This particular border has been noted for this.

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    DavidFL likes this.
  23. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Nice update & thanks. You don't get many updates for the Cambodian border crossings.
    If I understand correctly you were on a Viet plated bike - how did you go exiting Lao & back into Vietnam. Where did you exit Laos from?
     
  24. rcm273

    rcm273 Ol'Timer

    You didn't mention the duration of your trip.

    I think you will find that its more economical to buy three months insurance as you enter Thailand on the Malay border, its usually 1, 3, 6 and 12 month periods and the pricing is usually 3 months for around the price of two.

    If its anything like Malaysian insurance brokers, it can take them about an hour to process, so by having insurance you will save yourself a time and you aren't dependant on waiting for an office to open - Depending on your bike it can be anything from 500-1000B per month / country.

    Those border insurance agencies seem to be a bit of a game, just some local with a cellphone and a cheap printer who are able to communicate with the local office. I never pay the amount asked by Malaysian border insurance agents, and someone else mentioned never accept the first quote from Laos insurance agents too, tell them that its too expensive and you didnt pay that much last time ( get me ? ). I checked a recent one month Insurans Generali cover note, 500B, I was asked for 900B and I ended up paying 700B.

    Hope that helps.
     
  25. sgBikerBoy

    sgBikerBoy sgBikerBoy.com

    I think I just got ripped off by the insurance counter in Sadao. When asked for insurance for my bike, I was pushed a card showing prices. For motorbikes, it's minimum 450THB for 3 months. So I paid the 450THB. Everything's in Thai (including the dates) and I absolutely didn't understand the insurance cover sheet. Today, when I checked with the mechanic here in Chiang Mai, I was told that my insurance was good for only 1 month. Not 3 months. Bummer.

    Anyway, I'm stuck here in Chiang Mai now from a catastrophic engine failure. Yup. It seem like my crankshaft bearings failed catastrophically. The ball bearings even came out with the draining of engine oil. Seems like I'm gonna be here for awhile...

    Story here: The sgBikerBoy 2016 Trip – Day 13. Bad news.
     
  26. rcm273

    rcm273 Ol'Timer

    Ahh .. I hope your trip gets better ..

    Sadao is just a hotbed of corruption, did immigration ask for an illegal 20B / 2 ringitt fee to stamp your passport too ??

    A contact on another forum paid 100B for the minimum period for his CRF250 at Allianz when entering Laos, could have been a month but he didn't mention.

    Like I say, border insurance is a scam, when entering Thailand you are just paying compulsary insurance, for my CBR150 I pay 350B a year, you paid 450 for 1x month. ( which company ? )

    When entering Malaysia on my Versys 650 I pay 700B per 1x month or 1

    TBH I pay the Malaysian insurance because I need it to get a ICP, ( Laos customs also need to see it at the last checkpoint at the border ) to enter Thailand did anyone ask you to show it ? The chances of being stopped and asked for the worthless insurance is minimal.
    Upto you .. Maybe just let Thai insurance slip your mind.
     

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