Bung Kan border crossing: still okay?


Mar 10, 2006
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...


Mar 10, 2006
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


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
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.


Mar 10, 2006
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.


Mar 10, 2006
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...