Chiang Khong Border failed !!!

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by JJ.CM, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Hi I am in Chiang Khong now, which is very nice except I was hoping to be in Huay Xai. Rode my unregistered bike to customs produced all invoicesThai motorcycle Licence. The customs man ( maybe the boss) looked at papers " not without register". Phoned my partner who phoned contact in local police, had a long chat with a nice captian of river policve, he called customs but they wouldnt budge..Ohh well back to CM tomorrow. I really want to get into Loa or Cambodia or both any ideas about Thai Cambodia borders or Friendship bridge???? I even named dropped Pirip, maybe that was my mistake...!!!lol

    if looks like a duck swims like a duck its probably a duck
  2. JJCM
    I'm in Luang Prabang right now, so cant check too much.

    You would not be the 1st one who failed to get out of Thailand with an unregistered bike at Chiang Khong. A "known" Asian motorcycle tour operator also has the same problem on a semi-regular basis, yet still advertises tours in Laos.

    Exactly what your problem is I'm not sure.
    You could simply be caught up in the current clamp down on unregistered rental motorcycles, that is going on in Cnx, but which might have extended further a field.
    Or it could be uncertainty about ownership of your bike.
    If you are still in Chiang Khong, then I can only recommend you try Aniruat at Ann Tour, as he has decent local connections & might be able to help. There will be a fee for this, & my guess is that you would be looking at US$100, at least. However this would be a small fee to pay & have your holiday problem solved.

    1. Whom did you buy from the bike from?
    2-3. Who's the partner who made the phone call - a business or social one? How well are they connected? If it is not very well, then they may have only hindered the process.

    Last but not least, the boss of Chiang Khong customs is a very nice guy, but often likes to do things by the book. He does however carefully explain the law to you, so that there are no misunderstandings. I give him top marks for this.
    For example on my last trip entering Thailand at Chiang Khong after 6 weeks away, I had a 2,000 baht fine to pay, as my Thai temporary export paper for the bike was only valid for 1 month / 30 days. I naturally queried this, but was shown the law & fees payable - all in English & there was no misunderstanding.

    No chance of getting out of Thailand at Nong Khai with an unregistered bike. They are the strictest in my experience.
    Next best bet then might be one of the smaller, but legal international, "mickey mouse" crossings into Cambodia from Thailand. Maybe the one south from Surin is worth a go. But get some more feedback to confirm your chances first.

    Have you done any other rides in the North? If yes, then any chance of contributing some trip reports?

    Keep the power on
  3. HI David, It was my first attempt at taking the bike out. I got the head man at Customs I think, very nice guy, patient good English. The bike was bought from Nopparat in BKK. There was a small problem re the invoice it is in my girlfriends name,( I will get this sorted this week) she voluntered to drive up sign a permission form or whatever they wanted, the guy just said no way unregistered. I called customs at Chang Khong from CM today and said if I have a letter saying the bike is in process of registration will you let me way...only with book and plate no red plate no unregistered. There was a discussion that I could take it in as parts, I went back this morning and asked if that was way...I think I need to go in company and maybe employ the services of someone..I realise however that may mean whoever is with me gets rejected...If you are coming out David..fancy going straight back in with company????. I really need to sort it, register it in Lao or Cambodia..anyone here any experience of either... Thanks Jimmy

    if looks like a duck swims like a duck its probably a duck
  4. Jim
    Yeah the problem could well be that the bike is not in your name. Did you have permission from the owner to take the bike out of the country? This is a very major consideration & one that is well mentioned on the GT Rider site.

    But why didn't you buy Phil (Pirip)'s 250 in Cnx instead of the one in Bkk? Phil's 250 is a good deal. How much money did you spend going to / from Bkk to get the bike?
    Also if you bought Phil's bike in Cnx, then "we" know that bike has been & gone thru Laos several times, and with the "right" invoices.
    So it's a bit odd that you did not listen to the guys in Cnx who are in the know from real experience & I sincerely hope that it is not the girlfriend who is calling the shots.

    My next trip to Laos will unfortunately be on the plane, again.
    Next planned bike trip should be end of Feb / early March, but more than likely likely this will be "private."
    I also hope that you have not upset the apple cart in Chiang Khong!

    Best of luck & pls keep us informed, & make sure you post some road & trip reports to share the info.

    Keep the power on
  5. I definately think the reason you didnt get in Jimmy is because you mentioned my name!

    But seriously i think the way to get over is a mixture of having the correct papers, the right attitude towards the customs staff and a bit of luck!
    I have had close shaves with boss who nearly didnt let me cross, but he is a nice guy and a pleasant change from the usual mob at immigration, who couldnt raise a smile if thier lives deppended on it!
    Having old copies of past paperwork from customs showing my bike had already gone over helped this as he didnt want to show inconssistancy ( heaven help????) so he ignored the registration part, but of course you have to get over first for this to help you.

    I do agree with David that you may have stirred up at bit of a hornets nest here.
    Sometimes you just have to accept the inconsistancey of Thai beaurocracy and just try again another time, when luck may be on your side.
    My friend has been refused one time, only to get in again the next month he tried.
    The boss is legaly in his right to refuse you entry as your bike is not legal without a number plate and registration, so unless you know someone with some influence ( $$$) its a bit pointless pushing it this hard and best to just try again.
    but i can understand the frustration when your packed up, psyched up, ready for some wicked ridding and riden a fair distance to get there, only for someone to decide you not going!
    So good luck with what you decide to do.
    thanks David about the bike! i do agree......( of course!) .... see you when you get back for a bevvy!
  6. OK 2nd attempt lost the first lot!!!! bugger. I tried to leave Thailand Via Chiang Khong..was refused on my unregistered bike on to plan B. Truck the bike to Trat, overnight train , bus t Trat one night at Pops guest house morning onto Phnom Penn...arrive PP % pm check in at California 2. Next morning see a nice man about a Cambodian reg plate and card, collect 24 hours later. Return To Kho Khong , bought the front seat in the taxi...not to be sold short driver sold his seat as well so two in drivers seat and me in passengers. Stopped in Kho Khong Asean Hotel 15 usd air tv clean.Next day exit Cambodia enter Thailand mini bus to Trat pull bike out of transport get bike shop next dfoor to attach my new plate, stick on my Cambodia flag stickers top up the empty tank and ride to border. I waited till the Shianookville ferry docked and strolled up to Thai Immigration.." you no like Thailand stop one day?." Ohh I like but checked my e mail in Trat and my friends have left BKK for PP so I meet them, in PP. "Where’s papers for bike?"....ohh what papers where do I get them from can I get them now?. Look of disbelief at stupid Farang..." go Cambodia now go!!" I duly oblige and am now legit..Cams registered bike in Cams wonderful!!!!Stopped in K.K. again, met up with a few brits...John at J.Cs bar and Rik. Rik was planning to come with me but had an oil leak on his BMW rear bevel....Helped strip it down and read seal number, Rik found a seal in KK. Removed leaking seal, which had been pushed too far home and was now in several pieces ( this was a replacement 2nd hand bevel assembly and the seller had fitted a new seal and fxxxd up). Fitted new seal tested hey presto no leaks. Rik now had female plus gastric problems ( I am not suggesting the female gave him the sxxxxs ok) So I left alone up the dirt 140ks 4 ferries and washboard surface with liberal pea like dross on top...not too many pot holes and maybe one or two water ravines so overall good ( I had traveled it twice by car/mini bus) Arrived Sihanookville 6 hours later stayed at The Small Hotel, Hiendric was most helpful. I had lost two bungees on my trip and he helped locate them I bought 4 for a dollar...Next day off to Batang and the abandoned French resort...This road has been described as the worst in Cambodia, I don’t know enough about the other contenders but this is best described as a railway line without tracks and rails...large aggregate and hard edged pot holes ..27 ks??? 1 hour plus up 50 mins down ...2 up...poor Honda....gave the forks and damper some exercise. Left Sihanookville onto P.P again at Jims ...passed on some good info and locations of temples. I applied for Lao visa $40 and one day and met Sean and American we teamed up for the ride to Kampon Cham and onto Kratchie. Via temples and ruins..Road to Kampon was good and the temples filled the day nicely, The local at the ruins wanted to show us around and pointed out the small outlying ruins complete with writing in the weathered stone....arrived Kampon Cham late afternoon checked into the Mekhong hotel and had a beer round the corner at The Mekong Crossing. Joe the owner advised the dirt road to Kratchie and described it as interesting....big understatement...Dusty , Sandy, very very busy. Took an age finding the ferry at Stung Trang. There is a big diversion and somehow we overshot Stun Trang doubled back found Stun Trang ..but the ferry.....???. Spotted it on the other bank and realised we had stopped next to the dirt track that dropped down to the ferry terminal ( terminal is maybe a bit grand....flattish river bank would sum it up) Ferry over and onto S.T. Many interesting sites a house being moved..the 9 legs had been strapped together and a board fitted at the bottom of each, the house was jacked up and on wooden rollers on a board track that had been laid...the house was half in the road and moving nicely when we last saw it. This road is very very busy animal vehicles ppl. I had one close call with a young boy ( 4 years old?) He came from my left never looked and ran out, I braked hard and stopped with my front wheel inches from him...very very lucky.!!!!Its there front garden and we go there as interlopers be very very careful!!!!.
    The next morning at Kratchie Sean and I split up he back to PP me onto Stung Treng. The road is new dirt very very smooth very wide and 120ks is easy no traffic and a dream, however the roads still under construction and there were many diversions off the road and onto temporary tracks around pipe laying site...these varied from short and firm to long and soft/ sandy. It was at this point I developed sandophobia. One section was deep maybe 10 inches plus and the base hard and rutted, well that’s my excuse!!! the bike developed a mind of its own and despite even speed and trying to keep my weight back I lost it and dropped it very very slowly. I have about 25 kilos of spares in a bag running from the rack halfway up the seat. I couldn’t lift the bike so sat and waited help arrived within 5 mins. Lifted the bxxxxd up and walked alongside with bike in first...ok no problem but the fuel leaks when its on its side and its not nice watching it drain into the sand by a hot engine. Now you would think I would be a little more cautious...well 10ks further on same same...This time I had the bike at 30 degrees and was trying like buggery to right it but nope I ended up laying it down in the sand and waiting...10mins later help arrives stops and again I walk the bike in gear....Stung Treng and a beer !!!. At the riverside chatted to the locals keen to practice English and enquired about the road to border and opening hours...Set off next day Sunday at 8 am caught the ferry. There’s a canoe for bikes and a car ferry if needed, first 10 ks normal ishh then the road is the same super dirt highway smooth 120ks last few ks to border is narrow dirt broken tar. Arrived at border 8.45 Crossed into Lao no problems was asked to pay 2 dollars at both points Sunday supplement..paid up with a smile and onto Hwy 13....My God where did this road come from its ..wowww super sealed signs in English weight limits on bridges lots of cattle and buffalo and a nasty fright.!!!. I was rounding the rear of some crossing buffalo when a large white bird flew out...struck a glancing blow on my helmet blood feather and snot everywhere but ok. The birds not so happy I guess...I always wear my safety gear and further up the road saw two guys on Bajas wearing shorts Tee shirts and flip flops...hey its your choice but sometimes all your skill aint gonna save you.. arrived in Savannakhet a little after 2pm had lunch and checked into hotel. Nice warm bath and a soak...On the road next day at 9 am road north to Vientiane winds a little more and gets busy the last 30ks...pressed and checked into Mekhong hotel 5 1/2 hours later...numb arse....plan to stay a few days, had oil and filter changed today at place on T2 by shell station, sorry cant remember the name though there’s no name outside in English anyway so just look for the motocross bikes outside. Plan to have a few short day rides out and then onto Luang Prabang and Huay Xai...though might try Hwy 8 onto Viet reports of some success Whisky and smokes can help????.

    if looks like a duck swims like a duck its probably a duck

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