It sounded to good to be true. Just opened 2 days ago, Thai's and Laos can cross without visa for a limited time, and according to Chiang Mai immigration. falang can cross and get visa. WRONG!!! I made it from Chiang Mai to Loei Province in just over 5 hours. Past Phu Rua I suddenly see a sign "Louang Phrabang". Making the turn onto what is a beautiful road bypassing the town of Loei, there are numerous signs in English pointing to the Friendship Bridge or LPB.. I figure I will probably be the first Big Bike and Falang to make it across and have a great ride up the river to LPB. I GPS a rather circuitous but well marked (especially for Thailand) route. I get to the bridge which is actually in Nom Khaeng, not ChIang Khan as you would guess. Hey, there's a party going on! Dozens of vendors tents and beer tents, and Thai and Lao people partying all over. a GRAND OPENING and everyone should be in a good mood. Straight to Thai Immigration and I tell them "I want to cross and I want to take the Motorcycle". I get a quick and firm CANNOT! I give them a whole story, show them my papers from my last crossings, and do the best Jai Yen-Yen I can. Finally they say, go talk to Laos and if they say "Yes" it is OK! I walk to the bridge (which is only a standard road bridge about 75m wide). There they have a tent and table set up on the Thai side giving dozens of people free passes. I have mostly drunk Thai and Laos people trying to drag me across to party, while I tell my story to Customs and Immigration. CANNOT! More Jai yen-yen and they get me more officers to talk to. I am even offered a free pass, "Great, I need one for 2 weeks and my motorcycle" CANNOT! Make a long story short, the Laos side is not prepared to issue visa on arrival. If you have a visa from BKK or Nong Khai you can cross. Motorcycle, CANNOT with no explanation. They say go Nong Khai. After talking to everyone I can from both sides, immigration and customs, I go back to the Thai Immigration office which is just a portable office/trailer setup along with customs. The 2 officers actually were quite OK and asked me to sit down and talk. They explained the problem was Laos, which I already knew, and they said this crossing will be quite good maybe next year. Yeah right! We chatted about Chiang Mai as one of the guys came from there and then he said, "Oh let me see your passport". He kept talking as he went through every page. He found my 1 year, multiple entry visa and he said "Oh you can stay, until Oct 2005! Come and go as much as you want". I didn't need him to tell me that. That is why I paid the money in the first place. Finally, I don't know if it was curiosity or if I had just had a quick going over by immigration while we chatted. I think the latter. So 4 hours later I am in Nong Khai and will head for Vientiane in the morning. I'll update if there are any changes to that procedure. Dave Early Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?