new lao check points

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by guichard, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. guichard

    guichard Ol'Timer

    Hello David,
    I just read in today's BKK Post thatthey intend to open 3 more check points in the North.
    Muang chet ton would be nice to link CNX with Paklai and save the lorry-crowded and very dusty trail going to Namheung.
    Ban Huakfine to get to Hongsa ,Though opening Huay Kon in Nan,wold be better.
    I could not spot the 3rd one on the map. KHOK PHAI,do you know how far it is fromNamheung or is it the same one?
    Keep goig,see you in Nov.Lung.
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  3. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Difficult to say what will be done as the stories do change over time.

    The Thai News Agency (TNA) indicates on 17 August: During the seventh Thai-Lao provincial governors conference co-chaired by Interior Minister Aree Wong-araya and his Laotian counterpart Thongban Sengaphone in Phetchaburi, both parties agreed to turn a temporary border checkpoint at Baan Muang Jedton in Uttaradit and another at Baan Huak in Phayao into permanent border checkpoints, and upgrade the Khok Phai checkpoint in Loei to an international border checkpoint.

    So the only one which would be of interest is the international crossing as the other two are only for local traffic. The Khok Phai crossing (north east Chiang Khan) connects to a road which would be upgraded by a Korean company with timber interests in Lao according to the Vientiane Times in 2006 (can dig out the article if anyone is interested). This road will connect to Rd. 13 at Hin Heup.

    Interestingly, the TNA article does not mention the Huay Khon border crossing as I read somewhere (probably VT) that the Thais were planning to finance the upgrade of the road in Laos from Huay Khon to Pak Beng. Does anyone have info on this?
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    You got me on this one.
    I knew I had seen Khok Phai somewhere along the Mekong before but I could not find it on my map - I was looking the wrong way, to the west of / upstream from Chiang Khan! I was sure it was overlooking the Nam Heung.
    But now I see that it is downstream from Chiang Khan - a long way. It is 3.5 kms west of Pak Chom, on the Mekong of course. When you go down to the "khong in Khok Phai there is even a sign "Thai immigration marker", or something like that. Perhaps you can photograph / check it out on the way back from Laos this time.

    Now re the "Huay Kon / Hongsa" crossing. The immigration stamps in my passport show the official names as (1) Nan on the Thai side &(2) Nam Ngeun on the Lao side. The road here is being improved by the Lanna Lignite company, but going from Meung Ngeun straight down to the Mekong & not Hongsa (if my info from Watchara at Tammila is correct.) And I seem to recall that the Chinese have offered to build a bridge across the Mekong at / near Pak Beng.
  5. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Yes, that is correct - at least that is what I remember. The road would go "straight" to the Mekong and not via Hongsa. Not sure where it would reach the Mekong as from Thong ( a small village about 10-15 km. south of the Mekong you can either go on a left hand loop (this is what the French guys did early this years and crossed the Mekong SW of the Luang Xay resourt) or a right hand loop shown on your Lao map

  6. guichard

    guichard Ol'Timer

    Thanks both of you.
    So, coming from Kasi,after a night stop at Xanamkhan,it should be quicker to cross at Khok Pai(less traffic thus waiting) than going back to Paklay and exit at Nam heung.What do tou think ?It would leave us a half day for a nice ride along the boarder and the parks.
    Before a night stop at Nam Pat .Hope they have hot water now to get
    the lao dust off.Get sensitive to cold with age!
    Auke,Paul Racine whom you met in VTE in Jan and gave me his mail, just sent me his report on his trip from Saigon to Chieng Khok back
    to VTE..A superb tale with plenty of photos.He is presently sailing in Greece until Oct.This spring,He broke both his arms in the sand dunes of Morocco but expect to be fit next winter for new lao adventures.
  7. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Lung, in principle this is correct but even though the authorities say that Khok Pai will become an international border crossing, experience has shown that this will take time and I am not sure if at the end of the year the crossing will be open for foreigners.

    Happy to hear that Paul is sailing in Greece. I knew he had fallen off with his bike from a dune in Morocco after his trip from Vietnam to Cambodia and on to Laos and broken both arms - he was airlifted to the hospital in Rabat. Yes, his write ups and pictures of the Vietnam-Laos were amazing - unfortunately they were in French which is not my strongest language and so struggled quite a bit reading it.

  8. guichard

    guichard Ol'Timer

    Thanks Auke, I'll stick to my previous itinerary to leave Laos unless
    fresh news before mid Nov.
    By the way,did you ever ride-in Uttaradit- the 1339 road(not on my maps) which goes from Nam Pat to the shore of Sirikit Reservoir in front of Paknai? It was pointed out to me by the owner of the guest
    there 2 years ago ,but no time yet to check.Would. be a nice alternative to reach Nan or Phrae.Staying overnight on the bamboo
    rafts is magic.Food price tends to increase quickly through the years.Cheerio,Lung.
  9. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Yes, I have done that about 2 years ago but from the Nan area to Nam Phat. The road from Nam Phat to the Sirikit Reservoir is good with the exception of a few parts (see for more info). The crossing of the reservoir (here quite narrow) is OK depending on the type of ferry available.

    Just on the other side in Pak Nai near the ferry landing there are several rafts where you can stay the night , eat nice fish dishes and have a good time. From here you can drive north to Nan but I would recommend to take in Na Noi (you should now be on Rd 1026) a left turn onto Rd 1216. This road which is good but narrow goes through a National Park (Khun Satan?) with beautiful views if its clear. This road ends up on Rd 101 not far from Phrae (see also

    There is also a turn of from Rd 1216 to Rd 1217 near Rd 101 which was at that time under construction but which should link up to Rd 1024 and bring you also to Phrae (have not done this so no idea about the road conditions)

  10. guichard

    guichard Ol'Timer

    Hello again Hauke, I have stayed overnight on the raft in Paknai several times beacause in the early 90's we rented house in Nan during the winter.Yes,when you turn left in Nanoi,you go up Doi Khun Satan and at the bottom ,on the W side you turn left in1216 which is1342 after Pak Huai Oi Tai and links Wieng Nua from where you get back to 101.Fresh tar and loose gravel in Dec 2005 but lovely twisty road.This tip had been given to me by the friendly owner of the Bridgestone shop in Baan thung hong, about 1 km to the left south of
    the main shoping area,a few hundred yards before the Boran noodle shop,where you see alot of Benz and BMW registered in BKK during holi
    Bon appetit,Lung.
  11. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Checked yesterday at Khok Pai. The immigration on the Thai side indicated that within 2-3 months they would be ready to become an International Border Crossing but he was not sure if the Lao side would be ready.
  12. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    A quick update: The 2-3 months have now become 2-3 years and this border crossing is still not international. Checked with Thai Immigration and Customs about 2 weeks ago and they said that the Lao side was still not ready and they had no clue when it would be open to foreigners.

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