Northern DIEN BIEN PHU Border Opens to Vietnam

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by jimoi, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    The border from Laos to Dien Bien Phu is open for international travel and visa upon arrival in Laos is also available. Rules on bikes are the same as any other VN Border but Laos is pretty much a free for all according to reports.

    Sorry, the road is fine except for the last 80 KM or so. The Ford Ranger made it from DBP leaving at 07:30 and arrived in Vang Vieng at 20:00.

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  3. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    How's the road now Jim? It was a pretty rough ride when I went up that way last time.
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the tip off. The opening of that border crossing should make a huge impact on tourism in N Laos / N Vietnam, as this is THE ONE everyone has been waiting for.

    How was the weather while you were out there - got any pix?
    Doing it in a Ford Ranger is a bit up-market from Minsk eh?
  5. Craypot

    Craypot Ol'Timer

    I checked today with those that know and was told that all "international" border crossings are now visa on arrival to Laos (even the one to Paksan). This does not include the crossing into Cambodia as thats still not officially open.
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    CONFIRMED alright...

    2007-0509 - VNS - New Laos, Viet Nam border gates open ... 5ECO090507

    New Laos, Viet Nam border gates open

    VIENTIANE — A pair of border gates joining Laos and Viet Nam were oofficially opened to the public over the weekend.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Phongsavat Boupha and his Vietnamese counterpart, Le Cong Phung, cut ribbons at the Sobhoun gate in Laos' Phongsaly Province and the Tay Trang crossing in Dien Bien Province.

    The gates are expected to help northern Laos business people boost trade and tourism co-operation between Viet Nam, China, Thailand and Myanmar. VNS
  7. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    I am sure it's true, but hard to believe. In 2005 it was a hard ride on a 250 with rocks, river crossings and steep climbs and drop offs. There was so much rock it bounced the heck out of the m/c. See the Muang Khua section in the below post;

    Hopefully they did some major road reconstruction since then.


    The "busy" Dien Bien Phu border crossing
  8. rectravel

    rectravel Ol'Timer

    Yep, it looks like #1 jimoi did it first. From the Lonely Planet board:


    I am in Sapa of Vietnam now, and am hopeful to cross over to Laos without having to return to Hanoi. A few days ago, I met two Swiss travelers who just made the border crossing near Dien Bien Phu, northwest Vietnam. I want to check to see if any other travelers have made this crossing. Would you please be so kind to post back a reply if you knew that border has been opened for foreigners?


    There will probably be many more reports soon. Thanks again SilverhawkUSA for the pictures.

  9. rectravel

    rectravel Ol'Timer

    Reading the kids who post to the Lonely Planet board is sometimes interesting. The following doesn't have anything to do with motorcycles doing this crossing, but it does reconfirm that #1 jimoi has the scoop. From Lonely Planet user name lindzoo


    I have successfully crossed the border from Vietnam into Laos through Dien Bien Phu - that border IS OPEN TO WESTERN TRAVELLERS IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. Lao visas are available on arrival but Vietnamese visas are not.

    From Dien Bien Phu, there is a bus that leaves at 5:30am Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning from the main bus station at a cost of 60,000 VND. This bus takes you through the border crossing and drops you off in Muang Khua, Laos in the early afternoon. Note that this is the ONLY BUS and there are no bus connections on the Lao side of the border. If you aren't on this bus, you're hitching your way to Muang Khua (75 km from the border).

    From Muang Khua, it's one full day of travel to Luang Prabang (through Udomxai) and that bus leaves at 9am.

    I was told at the Lao Embassy in Hanoi that ALL border crossings between Laos and Vietnam are now open to foreign travellers and Lao visas are available on arrival at all border crossings.

    To get from Sapa to Dien Bien Phu, you have to flag down a bus headed to Lai Chau (50,000 VND) by the petrol station at about 7am (they leave from Lo Cai). And then from Lai Chau you catch another bus to DBP (70,000 VND). You can easily do it in a day (and if you get lucky with the connection, you get to DBP by 3pm-ish) otherwise, 6-7pm.

  10. Santana

    Santana Member

    But until now no way to cross the border to Vietnam by 250 ccm or more ???????
  11. rectravel

    rectravel Ol'Timer

    Sorry, no, only 175cc or less can cross the border into Vietnam.

    For ideas about this, see the long thread on

    Most likely, it will be the Hanoi based guys who run the site on

    who will be the first do this trip via Dien Bien on motorcycles, and in the Vietnam to Laos direction. However, if you found a 125cc Minsk somewhere in Cambodia or Laos and rode it up there to the Dien Bien crossing, maybe you would be the first to do this crossing on a motorcycle? It might be a project to work on, no?

    BTW, if you wanted to listen to some old Santana live concerts while you are fooling around on your computer, see ... st&id=6254

    Click on "Performer" and then "Play this concert". Viva Santana!

    Updated trip reports about getting your motorcycle across at Dien Bien are most highly encouraged by all readers here. Enjoy your trip.

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