rejected in Bung Kahn

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by saxonator, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. saxonator

    saxonator Ol'Timer

    3 days ago I tried to enter Laos via Bung Kahn. It was a nice ride down there and at the Thai Customs I didn't have any problems at all. I paid 100 Baht Fee for the procedure, then I went to the Immigration Officer and after checking all documents he said, it was impossible to let me cross the border at Bung Kahn, because I didn't have a Lao's Visa. I was a little bit confused, but still tried to argue with him, but he just wouldn't stamp my passport and refered me to Nong Khai. I still tried to find somebody, who could make this passage possible, but I wasn;t lucky. Also I asked around in Bung Kahn, if somebody could get me a Laos Visa - nothing!

    So I gave up and tried Nong Khai. The Thai side was not a problem at all. On the Laos side I was supposed to meet the person in Room Number 5, but nobody was there. I found a lady, that kindly told me, it was not possible for any vehicle from Thailand to enter the country. So back to the Thai side and cancel my departure. The astonished Immigration Officer aked me if I realy wanted to go to Laos. Well yes, I replied. So he went with me on my bike to the Laos side to see the big Boss there, Boualiphanh Temmelath.

    But even the Thai Officer couldn't impress him, I realy must thank the Thai side for so much support. He told me it was possible for a caravan of min. three bikes. I just couldn't get in, no matter how hard we tried.

    Well, I don't know if this message is helpful to anyone, but one thing's for sure now; THEY DO ISSUE VISA ON ARRIVAL IN PAXXAN OPPOSITE FROM BUNG KAHN. JUST BE AWARE OF THIS IMMIGRATION OFFICER ON THE THAI SIDE.
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Saxonator
    Sorry to hear about your problems at Bung Kan & missing out on getting into Laos with your (Thai registered) bike.

    In March 2006 I too had a lengthy problem with Thai immigration entering Thailand at Bung Kan from Pakxan. (See report on 12 March 2006 at
    http://board.gt-rider.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1203 )

    In July 2006 (see report 4 July 2006 at http://board.gt-rider.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1203)
    I entered Laos at Pakxan ok, but had a Laos visa previously issued in Bangkok. Pakxan Immigration were asked if they could issue a visa on arrival & the answer they gave to me was yes. They even had a sign on the window of the immigration booth saying “visa on arrival”. So what exactly is going on I am not sure.

    BUT…..

    Bung Kan has 3 immigration offices
    1. The main one in town
    2. By the customs office / pax ferry landing
    3. By the car ferry landing
    AND my experience is that the Thai immigration staff at the car ferry landing were absolute jerks.
    See report on 12 March 2006 at
    http://board.gt-rider.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1203

    Initially I was refused entry into Thailand, despite having a valid 1-year multiple entry non-immigrant visa.
    After a tense 45 minutes standoff we ended up at the main office in town, where I insisted we go.
    The boss there was a perfect gentleman and clearly understood that there had been a (deliberate?) misunderstanding on the part of his staff at the car ferry landing & apologized. 30 minutes later I was on my way & stamped into Thailand for the full three months as provided by the visa.

    Now in July 2006 I was again at Bung Kan & wanted to depart Thailand for Laos to test the border crossing, going into Laos. Everyone worked perfectly and there were no hassles, apart from the discovery that at the car ferry landing they did not have the crew & pax list forms – you had to get these from the immigration at the customs office. Fortunately too I did not encounter the same rude arrogant staff I met the first time in March coming in, otherwise the situation may have been quite different.
    On the Laos side I already had a 1 mth visa issued in Bangkok and was away in quick time.
    If you do get caught and I still want to cross at Bung Kan / Pakxan then your next best bet is go to the Lao consulate in Khon Kaen & get a Laos visa. This will most likely cost you 2 days travel time & 1,500 baht? for the visa.

    Saxonator while you are in Vte why not pop into the Lao immigration HQs to ask if Pakxan are authorized to issue Laos visas on arrival?

    Davidfl
    Keep The Power On
     
  4. Craypot

    Craypot Ol'Timer

    David,

    My info for border crossings (all checked last week) is that the Paksan - Bung Kan Crossing is not a visa on arrival crossing.

    cheers

    Mike
     
  5. Craypot

    Craypot Ol'Timer

    I know you're going to ask for it so here is my complete list of official border crossings into Laos. I cannot accept any responsibility for the accuracy of this information and as you know things can and do change.
    Where the crossing is marked local people only that means people who live around that border. ie a tourist cannot cross at that point. Please don't ask me any questions about the list, if you don't know where the crossings are look them up on a map and if you dispute any of them go check with Lao Immigration as thats where I get the info from. Also, just because Laos might offer visa on arrival it doesn't mean the other country does and you may still need to get a visa,particularly Vietnam and China. And the rules may differ for citizens of ASEAN countries.

    International Border Checkpoints in Lao P.D.R.

    Update September 2006

    Vientiane Prefecture
    Wattay International Airport Visa on Arrival
    Friendship Bridge Laos - Nong Khai, Thailand Visa on Arrival

    Luang Prabang Province Luang Prabang International Airport Visa on Arrival

    Savannakhet Province
    Daensavanh - Lao Bao(Quang Tri) (Laos-Vietnam) Visa on Arrival
    Thaheuasavanh - Mukdahan(Lao-Thai) Visa on arrival
    Lao Mark Huat (Lao-Thai people only)

    Luang Namtha Province
    Boten – Mohan (Laos-China) Visa on Arrival
    Xieng Kok local people only
    Ban Mom-Vang Pung (Laos-Myanmar) local people only

    Bokeo Province
    Houayxsay - Chiang Khong (Lao-Thai) Visa on Arrival
    Tonpheung - Chiang Saen (Lao-Thai) local people only

    Sayaboury Province
    Nam Ngeun – Loei (Lao-Thai) no visa on arrival
    Namhuang (Lao-Thai) I no visa on arrival
    Pha Keo – Baan Kok (Lao-Thai) no visa on arrival

    Borikhamsay Province
    Namphao (Lak Sao) - Cau Treo (Vinh) (Laos-Vietnam)Visa on Arrival
    Paksane - Bungkane (Lao-Thai) no visa on arrival

    Khammouane Province
    Thakhek - Nakhon Phanom (Lao-Thai) Visa on Arrival
    Naphao - Cha Lo (Laos-Vietnam) no visa on arrival
    Pak Nam Hine Boun – Outhenh local people only
    Pak Sebangfai – Thath Phanom local people only
    Pak Beng – Baan Nat local people only

    Champasak Province
    Pakse International Airport Visa on Arrival
    Vangtau – Chongmek (Lao-Thai) Tel. Visa on Arrival
    Veun Kham - Na Leung (Laos-Cambodia) no visa on arrival
    (Immigration building not ready yet – not officially opened but is operating)

    Phongsaly Province Sobhun - Tay Chang (Dien Bienh Phu province) no visa on arrival
    Houaphan Province
    Nam Sauy - Na Meo (Laos-Vietnam) no visa on arrival

    Xieng Khuang Province
    Nam Kan - Nge Anh (Laos-Vietnam) Visa on Arrival

    Note: above are visa requirements for Laos only not the neighboring country.

    Mike
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Craypot
    You're quick off the mark alright. Good work & thanks for confirming that Pakxan does NOT have visa on arrival. This should avoid any further stuff ups (& unnecessary abuse of govt officials?)

    I note that your list of border crossings includes the Phonsali Dien Benh Phu crossing - Sobhun / Tay Chang as being open. My info was that there were two Dien Bien Phu crossings. One in Phongsali province & 1 in Luang Prabang province. Both were supposedly designated international, but in practice neither were fully open to foreigners. The other one from Luang Prabang province is supposedly called Na Sone on the Laos side. Id be interested to see if you can get any info on this one - is it for real or not?

    Davidfl
    Keep The Power On
     
  7. Craypot

    Craypot Ol'Timer

    David,

    Yes i was surprised to see the Dien Bhen Phu crossing on the list as was fairly certain it wasn't international. I only had the list updated last week and really haven't even read through it myself. Some of the town names/spellings are a bit weird as well and it takes a bit of searching to find out where they really are but most are as listed on your latest map. I'll check that Nasone crossing for you.

    cheers

    Mike
     

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