Laos Border Crossings

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

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I understand they are valid for the length of the bike's rego = one year max at a time.
    You need a new one every year.
    BTW it seems to me as if they never ask for them at the border for a motorbike anyway.
     
  2. pensionist

    pensionist Ol'Timer

    Ok, thank you for the info. So I will request a new certificate.
    I crossed into Laos at Xiang Khong twice, every time thai customs wanted to see it and get a copy.
     
  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Confirmed all Xayaboury border crossings with Thailand are closed to motorbikes, including exit.
    Muang Ngern & Entering Laos
    Unbelievable how they are going backwards so fast.
     
  4. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    An update on Chong Mek and Vang Tao crossing from a friend posting in Lao adventure riding Facebook group.

    A quickie primer on crossing from Thailand into Laos at the Chong Mek/ Vang Tao border crossing. Did this yesterday on a CRF250L.

    Make 3 photocopies of the photo page and current Thai visa pages of your passport, color isn't necessary black and white is fine. Also 3 copies of all pages of your bike's greenbook that have anything printed on them and insurance and registration documents. Sign all six copies.

    At the Thai border go to the building across the road that looks similar to a highway toll booth. Ignore all signs for things like "border day passes" etc. At the toll booth like building submit passports and copies of documents you made. There are two windows at the toll booth, first one is immigration, the second for customs, to get the bike stamped out of Thailand, you will need to visit both. Once complete proceed into Laos.

    There is a "no man's land" between the two countries, after a short distance you come to a sign welcoming you into Laos. On the right is a new, at this point still under construction, white building, immediately after this also on the right is an older beige building, this is the one you want. At the beige building, apply for the visa at window #5. After filling out the visa application (requires 2 forms) submit this along with passport, 1 passport photo and $35 US (cheaper than other currencies, exact change is important). They will process this for a few minutes and return it to you at window #6 around the corner of the building. Next, go to window #8 and hand them your green book and a set of the copies you made. This is Lao Customs. With my bike it cost 50,000 kip. She will give you two documents, keep the green one handy. Immediately behind window #8 is a beat-up wooden kiosk, this is where to obtain Lao bike insurance. Give them the documents you received at window #8 and a few minutes later exchange 40,000 kip for an envelope containing freshly issued insurance documents. At the far end of the same building is a money exchange, easy to change a small amount into kip required to pay for the various official fees. There are also two banks across the street that accept different types of debit cards. The close one didn't accept my card but the one closer to the Thai border did.

    Freshly armed with our Lao visas, customs documents and kip we departed the border. About half a kilometer further on is a check station. Hand them the green document received at Customs window #8 and the process of entrance into Laos is complete. Remember to drive on the right side of the road!
     
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  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    A farang couple with their own Thai registered car were able to enter Laos "alone" at Kenthao from Tha Li in Thailand without any trouble last week.
    So cars are ok, but NO motorbikes
     
  6. rcm273

    rcm273 Ol'Timer

    Last time I crossed over from Chong Mek, I made detailed notes to save me a bit of time for further trips - theres always something, this time I forgot the copies of my tax page from the green book.

    I have scanned and created a proportioned new Laos Visa application, that they are using at Vang Thao, which you can find here.

    I posted my detailed procedure on my blog ( I would post here, but its a bit long )

    Also, I paid a Champasak tourist fee of 100B or so, my passport was held ransom until i paid it, but Brian and another member CHANTONY didn't seem to be caught by it. On my visa application I wrote Pakse for my destination, I think if you want to save 100B a head, just write Salavan or somewhere outside Champasak province.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
    Chantony likes this.
  7. Chantony

    Chantony Member

    And I have to say a big thanks to rcm273 whose blog was a biig help in being prepared for my first biorder crossing at Chong Mek!
     
  8. Cutter

    Cutter Member

    My and my gf crossed at Chiang Khong and it was very smooth and easy. Got 30 days for my bike. The Thai immigration officials were the friendliest I have met and very helpful.
    Just brought my green book for the Thai immigration and he filled out the TM firms and made photocopies.
    On the Laos side it was also easy and just needed a photo and forms.
    Prices in baht:
    Thai side
    200 tm forms
    20 photocopy
    500 escort
    50 bike friendship bridge

    Lao side
    200. Customs
    200. Entryfee
    1700 visa
    450 insurance
     
    EricFR likes this.
  9. EricFR

    EricFR Member

    Hi cutter ?
    Are yout riding your own bike, or it's a rental ?
     
  10. Cutter

    Cutter Member

    It's my own bike.
    I believe that some rental agencies in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai will arrange the paperwork for you to take their rental across though.
     
  11. EricFR

    EricFR Member

    I'm already in discussion with one of Chiang Mai agencie (I don't know if citing name is allowed or not on the forum), and they arrange paperwork indeed. My doubt i about the difference in treatment between fully owned bike (which seem very easy according to your testimony) and rental bikes (maybe it's less smooth and easy, both side of the border)
     
  12. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Na has a Thai business card now

    DSC_0892.JPG
     
  13. Jimenator

    Jimenator Member

    Thanks for confirming this David. I would imagine cars should be OK due to the Thai-Lao cross border transport agreement. It's unbelievable that at Muang Ngern, the Lao side is breaching this agreement by only allowing Hongsa power vehicles across - there is no reason for doing so at Phu Du or Kenthao. I plan to cross Phu Du later this month but by car (Thai registered), I will let you know how it goes though I don't expect any problems.
     
  14. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Chiang Khong
    Crossed yesterday from Thailand to Laos..
    I arrived at 5.30pm to start the process.
    The immigration escort driver was in a hurry telling me to get my papers done quickly because at 6pm he goes home, taking the car with him so that after 6pm there is no escort vehicle = you can't cross with a bike without the escort vehicle.
    What a joke I thought.
    I said never mind I will just pay the 500 baht & you can go home. I will ride across the same. No cannot.
    After 6pm no car you cannot cross.
    Unbelievable stupidity IMHO.
    So be warned cross before 6pm.
     
  15. Jimenator

    Jimenator Member

    Just to confirm I crossed at Phu Du (from the Thai side to Laos) by car last month. Everything went fine as expected - the process was even quicker than on previous occasions. I saw two Thai registered motorcycles when I was there. I confirmed with Thai customs that motorcycles can cross there again but they require a tour. The two bikers (Thais) seemed to be waiting around for a long time (perhaps for a guide from the Lao side?) because by the time I finished on the Lao side, some 40-45 minutes after I rolled up at Thai customs they still hadn't appeared at Lao customs yet.

    Plenty of Thai bikers up in Luang Prabang that evening, not sure which border crossings they used but I did notice a lot of bikers coming up from the 4th Friendship Bridge towards Luang Nam Tha a couple of days later (which is where I exited) so likely many of the Thai bikes I saw in Luang Prabang entered that way.

    Sayaburi province is beautiful - great motorcycling country, road RH4 from Tha Li or Phu Du up to Xieng Ngeun (RH13N junction) is in fair condition, a couple of winding sections north of Paklai and fairly flat and wide before Sayaburi. Tons of Thai oil tanker trucks though, I lost count.
     
  16. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Savanakhet to Mukdahan - Second Friendship Bridge

    Chatting with some Thai riders that just finished a trip in Southern Laos.
    They crossed over from Savanakhet to Mukdahan on the 2nd Friendship Bridge today.

    "There is no problem leaving Laos.. But you need to be on a tour if leaving from Thailand to Laos"
    If someone is in the area.. Go check it out :)

    Great option if that is possible now.. Rather than the long run down to Vang Tao / Chong Mek (Ubon)
    - In the past have only heard of hit and miss attempts / success.

    Cheers
    Brian
     
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