Mukdahan Bridge entry?? Visa run.

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by harrythefinn, May 27, 2007.

  1. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Just did a visa run to Savannaket and taking the board advice avoided the bridges. Leaving Thailand at Nakhon Phanom was a painless 20 minutes. The Immigration and customs are in the same building at the ferry ramp and were very helpful to get everything done as a ferry was waiting to go, this was 4 PM. At 100B for the bike and myself I was probably overcharged for the ferry. My bike was the only vehicle on the car ferry and the Lao visa was done just as all the duty free shops closed and only cold beer was available. The customs asked if I was going to Vientiane and as I said no they just stamped the I.T.P and I was away to Savannaket for the night.

    While wasting time waiting for a visa a couple of trips around the local lakes etc were completed. The guy running (owner) of Cafe Chez Boune was quizzed about the bikes only being allowed on the bridge one way (ie. Lao to Thai only) and he checked with the guy in charge of land transport as said yes this was how it is. Further trip to the bridge to question the customs, don't know,go there, police, don't know, go there, Information,don't know. I finally got to the arrival side police and the responsible guy said "no problem".

    So next day leaving Lao via the Freedom Bridge 2. The Lao side was a painless couple of minutes, quick blat across the river and into Thailand. Immigration done, and customs is helped by a young customs lady who runs my documents to her boss to sign. Her English is pretty good so try again to ask the Thai version of bikes across the brige from her boss. He is insistent that it is no problem for a Thai registered motorcycle with the correct Thai paperwork to cross across the bridge into Lao. So I say are you sure? Yes, no problem. I am tempted right then to turn around and ride back into Laos across the bridge but it is 3PM and I still have to ride to Korat. I leave with an agreement to come back and try to cross the bridge at a later date.

    Maybe someone with a bit of time up their sleeve can attempt a crossing across the Freedom Bridge 2.
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  3. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Good Job Harri. Appreciate all the info. I believe you are the first to report going across the new bridge.
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the report Harry. Good to know you're still out & about riding. Glad too that all my SMS tips for Savan worked out. Now cant wait to get mobile on the ol AT & have a crack at the bridge.
  5. jerome

    jerome Active Member

    hi harry,good to hear from you! I ve been staying in savannakhet for 2 months now. I ve done 2 bridge crossing to mukdahan with my cambodian register bike,no problem!except on the thai side,they didn t have the paper for the temporary entry permit;but they let me go as I was only going to mukdahan for 2 days!they were as ususal very accomodating,and the young custom lady who speak english is the only one single among the female staff!!and shelikes to have a good laugh about it!Boune s retaurant is a good place to stop for a good meal,but yesterday a new bar opened near the church,run by bruce the ozzy(met david a while ago!),serving cold beers and snacks!hope to see you next time in savan,there is good riding in the back country!
    jerome TTR250
  6. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Hi Jerome,
    the same one I met in PP I hope? Send us your phone number and next time there I will call. I'm going to work early June, not sure when I'm back.
  7. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    I met with the Bridge Director and Senior customs agent at the F B 2 a few days after it was open. I was informed that Lao bikes can not leave and Thai bikes with proper paperwork and Farang riding them will be permitted to enter. It is best to call ahead to Mr. Deosomboun Duangphothisanh. His mobile number is (856) 20 5540948, office phone (856) 41 212043. He asked me to call him before I came across so it would go easy. The fact Jerome is crossing with a Cambo plated bike is a good sign and the more he crosses, the better for everyone else.

    Jerome, any fees for the green import paper on the Laos side? I pay 200 Baht a week up here in VTE.
  8. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer


    Once again excellent info, would have saved me a few Kms not going via Nakhon Phanom.

  9. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    I did post this quite a while back -

    Mukdahan - Savanakhet Bridge Update 31.01.07
    According to the director of the bridge and Mr. Keosomboun Duangphonthisanh, Customs head(?) - non Lao and non Thai citizens are permitted to cross the bridge with motorbikes as long as they have the proper documetation with them. This was explained as the green book for Thai bikes and the Yellow book for Lao bikes. For countries outside se Asia, no problem and the nasty Carnet word was brought up but as long as a rider is in possesion of a valid international driving permit, papers for the bike and enough money to get a Lao visa - No Problem.

    What was a little confusing is that a big boy from room 8 at the VTE bridge was there and he was not very happy with my questions. He said there is too much smuggling of Thai bikes into Laos and proper tax not being paid. He said after I asked him if this bridge was different - "Yes - it goes Thailand - Laos - Vietnam, lots of transit here."

    On the issue of the Green Paper and Sticker, Lao and Thai bikes do not get them but if you ask the bridge customs man mentioned above, he will issue it. The price is 13,000 Kip. This price is for everything but seems very low. From experience, if you enter and do not get a green paper and try to exit over VTE, it gets complicated to explain that the customs did not want to issue the paper as it is only for cars/trucks/transit vehicles. Ms. Kampang in Rm 6 in VTE is aware as is Mr. Don, the chief of customs downstairs in the middle office.

    If you cross, at the customs booth ask for Mr. Deosomboun Duangphothisanh. His mobile number is (856) 20 5540948, office phone (856) 41 212043. He speaks Englik fluently and will assist you if possible.

    Things change but I did spend about 30 minutes talking about Non Thai riders coming on Thai plated bikes, non Thai riders on other than Lao bikes and it all seems to be fine to enter at the moment.
  10. jerome

    jerome Active Member

    harry,yes that s me! boune told me about your trip to the lake!
    jimoi,I think I paid about 100 bath not for 1 week, but for the whole month!and you don t have to go to different desks unlike in ventiane!you save lot of time!
    jerome ttr

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