Bung Kan border crossing: still okay?

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by pee, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. Coming from Thailand, has anyone recently crossed the border at Bung Kan, to enter Laos in Paksan?
    What's the latest?
    I have read related threads on this site but none of the posts are very recent.
    In order to smooth the process I plan to apply for Lao visa in Bangkok before departure... So, to avoid visa on arrival controversy in Pakxan.
    My bike is Thai registered: green book + purple book(International Transport Permit).
    Thanks for the update...
  2. Answer: Yes...But.
    I have only been given 15 days by the Thai side. Next time I 'll try Houay Xay or Pakse.
    I have a Thai registered bike.
    Documents:Registration Green book, International Transport Permit, Passport with a Lao visa issued beforehand in Bangkok. Apparently it helps to secure the Lao visa beforehand. This was the first question Thai official asked before processing the paper work.
    Note that I crossed on the 30th July which was a day off(religious holiday). There was an extra charge on both Thai and Lao side for the paperwork.
    There is a new building on the Thai side(Custom and Immigration). I will post pics when I get back to Bangkok
  3. Eric
    So it seems like the Thai officials at the Bueng Kan border are getting more efficient.
    When "we" first started using this border crossing a couple of years ago they were new to the game & very friendly - especially the ladies in the Customs office doing the paperwork.
    Maybe they are stricter now; but I see that you crossed on public holiday, so perhaps they were a bit cranky at having to open up for you & work overtime for you on a day off.

    The new buildings at Bueng Kan pier had started in July 2006, & almost finished when I was last there in Dec 2006.
    So the question now is what offices /staff are at the new buildings – both customs & immigration?
    Or are there still Customs & Immigration offices downtown?
    And you do all your paperwork at the new offices, or do you till have to go to two places?

    Now regarding border crossings & pubic holidays.
    The major border crossings
    1. Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai.
    2. Mukdahan (T) / Savannakhet
    3. Chong Mek (T) / Vang Tao,
    are open 7 days a week.
    But the minor Thai / Lao border crossings
    1. Chiang Khong (T) / Huay Sai (L)
    2. Thai Li (T) / Nam Hueng (L)
    3. Bung Kan (T) / Pakxan (L)
    4. Nakhon Phanom (T) / Tha Khek (L)
    are only open for vehicular traffic on regular working days Mon-Frid, & closed Sat, Sun & Public holidays, unless you book & pay the staff to work overtime.

    Have a good safe trip. I look forward to your trip report.
  4. Thanks for the border crossing list. I will probably exit Lao at Vang Tao/Chong Mek on the 13th august.

    -"So the question now is what offices /staff are at the new buildings – both customs & immigration?"
    -Yes, both customs and immigration staff are at the new building. I did all the paper work there. The officials were rather friendly. Mostly young people wanting to do well. I have been issued both "Simplified export form" and "TM2 Crew list". It will be interesting to know if someone else, crossing on a normal day would get more tha 2 weeks. I am getting incresingly annoyed with bureaucratic limitations.
    The processing fee has been increased because of the public holiday. I have got receipts for that. I can do a scan after the trip.
    Overall it was not a good idea to cross on a public holiday. We waited 3 and half hours for the ferry eating longans with the truck drivers. Nothing else to eat that day around the truck ferry site.

    -"Or are there still Customs & Immigration offices downtown?"
    -There are still custom and immigration at the passenger ferry site, about 2 kilometers before reaching the truck ferry site, coming from town.
    The immigration office downtown looked closed... However I can't draw any conclusion from that fact as it was a special day.
  5. Here are some pics of Bun Kan new Custom/Immigration office:



    You complete all the paper work in this building and then drive straight to the ferry.
    Easy... If only they would give more than 2 weeks...

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