Chiang Khong - Houei Xai Border Crossing

SilverhawkUSA

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Mar 15, 2003
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Abg Acid wrote: I read this thread over and over, and memorising the pictures as well. It is really a detail explanantion from HTWoodson on what is on both borders. Felt sorry for Woodson to have had a fall whilst on the road. Wish you speedy recovery, bro.

Just a question to clear my doubts. Is the fee of USD35 for visa on arrival imposed on all citizenship? I m a malaysian, and will travel to Laos from Chiang Khong next month.

Thanks in advance
AA
The fee is not the same for all nationalities. Although I have no idea what it is for a Malaysian, my guess would be that it may be less.
 

Auke

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Nov 10, 2003
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Guess, Malaysia being part of ASEAN that you won't need a visa so there would be no fee. My wife (Thai) just gets her passport stamped at entry/exit and does not need a visa for Laos.
 

Abg Acid

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Jan 31, 2007
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Thank you silverhawk, Auke. Now that really clears my doubt. Will be there on a short tour on small bikes. Sort of detour from our North Thailand next month.

Thanks again bro,

AA
 

Moto-Rex

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HTWoodson wrote:
Finally, we went back to the Alliance Insurance office next to the Houei Xai Customs House. The building isn't marked but is only a few meters away.
Day4-17.jpg
Update Nov 2009.

You no longer have to find the Alliance Insurance office.
The customs office (computer room) now sells the insurance there.
So one less stop.
 

Abg Acid

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Jan 31, 2007
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Thats good news. I m following closely to this thread for any more changes. As our dates for Laos tour will be in 3 weeks from now.

Thanks bro

AA
 

nikster

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Nov 7, 2007
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Really great report on Chiang Kong, thanks a lot. I might go on a visa run there soon. I was thinking of taking the bike into Laos for a bit but I guess it's way too much trouble for just a day.
 

DavidFL

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mcgriffith wrote: Great report. As I'm planning on doing this trip solo in the next few days, much needed valuable information.
I'm hoping the roads have dried out a bit- I'm on a CBR150 with Michelin street tyres :roll:
I plan on crossing at Chiang Khong/Huay Xai, riding to LP, then Vientiane. Cross back at Nong Khai, back through Isan along the river, maybe hit a national park or 2. Then home to CM.
Anyone else fancy a quick 5-10 day trip? :wink:
Mark
Don't forget the holidays coming up - Monday 7th & Thursday 10th - Customs won't be working on the Thai side, so probably no paperwork for temporary export or ferry service.
Good luck with the trip & please let us know how you go.
 

8lackhonda

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Dec 3, 2009
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Thanks for the Post. ive looked everywhere but not much info is available on thai/laos river crossing. Hopefully i can squeeze in a day or two in laos next week
 

8lackhonda

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Dec 3, 2009
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Moto-Rex wrote: [quote quote=HTWoodson]
Finally, we went back to the Alliance Insurance office next to the Houei Xai Customs House. The building isn't marked but is only a few meters away.
Day4-17.jpg
Update Nov 2009.

You no longer have to find the Alliance Insurance office.
The customs office (computer room) now sells the insurance there.
So one less stop.
Thanks for the updates :D
 

DavidFL

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mcgriffith wrote: Great report. As I'm planning on doing this trip solo in the next few days, much needed valuable information.
I'm hoping the roads have dried out a bit- I'm on a CBR150 with Michelin street tyres :roll:
I plan on crossing at Chiang Khong/Huay Xai, riding to LP, then Vientiane. Cross back at Nong Khai, back through Isan along the river, maybe hit a national park or 2. Then home to CM.
Anyone else fancy a quick 5-10 day trip? :wink:
Mark
Heard you're in Mae Hong Son now, so you're moving around alright. How'd you go in Laos then?
 

yempaul

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Nov 15, 2007
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Thanks to all detailed step by step procedure for Chiang Khong - Huay Xai immigration clearance, me and my buddies successfully completed our 6 nation ride last month.

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Thanks David, your map rocks.
 

locoduc

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Aug 7, 2008
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Sabaidee! In Luang Namtha @ the Donchampak Hotel, thanks to the invaluable information on this thread. Would have been a lot harder without. Thought I'd might just update the information here for those who want to cross over at this point:

a) for Malaysians (and probably Singaporeans too) it is unnecessary to go to the Customs Office in town (N20 15.841 E100 24.433) as a first step. You would already have been issued with a temporary import paper when you entered Thailand (say, Sadao). Instead go to the Immigration Office in town (N20 15.588 E100 24.424) for the Form of Conveyance (I think I got the name of the form right) for your bike. This is more for the Laos side than the Thai customs I think. Fee is 100B. Takes 15 minutes or so and the office opens at 8 a.m. You will need to hand over a copy of your bike's registration card too.
b) Go to the car ferry port (N20 16.531 E100 24.338) where you will find Passport control, Customs (hand over the import paper) and car ferry ticket booth as described and take the steps in the order as descrived. The car ferry service begins @ 10 a.m and the fee remains at 500B. The car-ferry ticket booth is the last shack on the right opposite customs and passport control.
c) Survey the ferry and the path your bike needs to take - there was a lot of mud today and it took 3 guys to push the bike (Multistrada with panniers) through the mud and onto the ferry ramp. Park on the right (starboard?) of the ferry as the lorries on the Laos side are waiting on their right (your left) as you disembark - just makes life easier. Light up if you smoke, and enjoy the Mekong.
d) Get off the ferry and park up at the top of the hill if you are heavy with load as the slope is quite steep and/or crowded with lorries. Walk back down the slope and climb up the first flight of stairs to the right of the ferry landing. This will lead you to the Customs office as described (N20 17.093 E100 24.440). The fee is now 100B. Sigh.
e) Go down the flight of stairs and you may have noticed half way up that there was a shack to the right (as you're climbing up) with an officer sitting there. Give your import papers to him and he will endorse it with a stamp. Fee 100B. Sigh 2x.
f) Then walk back up the slope and climb the 2nd flight of stairs on the right. Ignore the building on the first landing. Climb further up toward the office at the top with the 2 doors. Enter the door on the right where another officer sits. This is where the import paper receives its sign-off - I believe this office sits in front of the "shack" described earlier down the Soi. They've moved I presume. Oh, and another 100B. Sigh 3x. (Then I remembered my own take of the acronym "PDR" - preez do not roose eet!)
g) AGL Insurance - could not be obtained at either the computer room or the AGL office at the top of the hill (right side) as you round the slope toward the main street. Lunch? At 11 am? Gave up waiting and went into a shop just before Passport Control in town (N20 16.594 E100 24.647) for LVI or Laos-Vietnam Insurance for 2 week's worth of 480B.
h) Passport control or Immigration is as described. Malaysians do not need a visa - so no fees. Just fill up the usual entry form (all in English).

Time taken? About 2 hours or so I guess. Not bad I presume.

Met up with a couple of RTWs from Oz in town - Clarissa and Neil - who stopped to check out if my wreck was really a Ducati doing Laos! They were on a couple of Beemers (R100 and R65(?)). Nice, friendly couple and I wish them all the best and safe riding for their planned 2.5 year ride.

Hope the information helps and that the co-ordinates are accurate. As mentioned, take your time and mostly, be patient. BTW, the ride into Louang Namtha today was outstanding - sunny with a short 5 minute light-shower. Road in perfect
 

DavidFL

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locoduc;283761 wrote: Sabaidee! In Luang Namtha @ the Donchampak Hotel, thanks to the invaluable information on this thread. Would have been a lot harder without. Thought I'd might just update the information here for those who want to cross over at this point:

a) for Malaysians (and probably Singaporeans too) it is unnecessary to go to the Customs Office in town (N20 15.841 E100 24.433) as a first step. You would already have been issued with a temporary import paper when you entered Thailand (say, Sadao). Instead go to the Immigration Office in town (N20 15.588 E100 24.424) for the Form of Conveyance (I think I got the name of the form right) for your bike. This is more for the Laos side than the Thai customs I think. Fee is 100B. Takes 15 minutes or so and the office opens at 8 a.m. You will need to hand over a copy of your bike's registration card too.
b) Go to the car ferry port (N20 16.531 E100 24.338) where you will find Passport control, Customs (hand over the import paper) and car ferry ticket booth as described and take the steps in the order as descrived. The car ferry service begins @ 10 a.m and the fee remains at 500B. The car-ferry ticket booth is the last shack on the right opposite customs and passport control.
c) Survey the ferry and the path your bike needs to take - there was a lot of mud today and it took 3 guys to push the bike (Multistrada with panniers) through the mud and onto the ferry ramp. Park on the right (starboard?) of the ferry as the lorries on the Laos side are waiting on their right (your left) as you disembark - just makes life easier. Light up if you smoke, and enjoy the Mekong.
d) Get off the ferry and park up at the top of the hill if you are heavy with load as the slope is quite steep and/or crowded with lorries. Walk back down the slope and climb up the first flight of stairs to the right of the ferry landing. This will lead you to the Customs office as described (N20 17.093 E100 24.440). The fee is now 100B. Sigh.
e) Go down the flight of stairs and you may have noticed half way up that there was a shack to the right (as you're climbing up) with an officer sitting there. Give your import papers to him and he will endorse it with a stamp. Fee 100B. Sigh 2x.
f) Then walk back up the slope and climb the 2nd flight of stairs on the right. Ignore the building on the first landing. Climb further up toward the office at the top with the 2 doors. Enter the door on the right where another officer sits. This is where the import paper receives its sign-off - I believe this office sits in front of the "shack" described earlier down the Soi. They've moved I presume. Oh, and another 100B. Sigh 3x. (Then I remembered my own take of the acronym "PDR" - preez do not roose eet!)
g) AGL Insurance - could not be obtained at either the computer room or the AGL office at the top of the hill (right side) as you round the slope toward the main street. Lunch? At 11 am? Gave up waiting and went into a shop just before Passport Control in town (N20 16.594 E100 24.647) for LVI or Laos-Vietnam Insurance for 2 week's worth of 480B.
h) Passport control or Immigration is as described. Malaysians do not need a visa - so no fees. Just fill up the usual entry form (all in English).

Time taken? About 2 hours or so I guess. Not bad I presume.

Met up with a couple of RTWs from Oz in town - Clarissa and Neil - who stopped to check out if my wreck was really a Ducati doing Laos! They were on a couple of Beemers (R100 and R65(?)). Nice, friendly couple and I wish them all the best and safe riding for their planned 2.5 year ride.

Hope the information helps and that the co-ordinates are accurate. As mentioned, take your time and mostly, be patient. BTW, the ride into Louang Namtha today was outstanding - sunny with a short 5 minute light-shower. Road in perfect
Thanks locoduc. Good info & tips for non-thai registered bike riders.
 

kchow24

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Oct 6, 2013
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locoduc;283761 wrote: Sabaidee! In Luang Namtha @ the Donchampak Hotel, thanks to the invaluable information on this thread. Would have been a lot harder without. Thought I'd might just update the information here for those who want to cross over at this point:

a) for Malaysians (and probably Singaporeans too) it is unnecessary to go to the Customs Office in town (N20 15.841 E100 24.433) as a first step. You would already have been issued with a temporary import paper when you entered Thailand (say, Sadao). Instead go to the Immigration Office in town (N20 15.588 E100 24.424) for the Form of Conveyance (I think I got the name of the form right) for your bike. This is more for the Laos side than the Thai customs I think. Fee is 100B. Takes 15 minutes or so and the office opens at 8 a.m. You will need to hand over a copy of your bike's registration card too.
b) Go to the car ferry port (N20 16.531 E100 24.338) where you will find Passport control, Customs (hand over the import paper) and car ferry ticket booth as described and take the steps in the order as descrived. The car ferry service begins @ 10 a.m and the fee remains at 500B. The car-ferry ticket booth is the last shack on the right opposite customs and passport control.
c) Survey the ferry and the path your bike needs to take - there was a lot of mud today and it took 3 guys to push the bike (Multistrada with panniers) through the mud and onto the ferry ramp. Park on the right (starboard?) of the ferry as the lorries on the Laos side are waiting on their right (your left) as you disembark - just makes life easier. Light up if you smoke, and enjoy the Mekong.
d) Get off the ferry and park up at the top of the hill if you are heavy with load as the slope is quite steep and/or crowded with lorries. Walk back down the slope and climb up the first flight of stairs to the right of the ferry landing. This will lead you to the Customs office as described (N20 17.093 E100 24.440). The fee is now 100B. Sigh.
e) Go down the flight of stairs and you may have noticed half way up that there was a shack to the right (as you're climbing up) with an officer sitting there. Give your import papers to him and he will endorse it with a stamp. Fee 100B. Sigh 2x.
f) Then walk back up the slope and climb the 2nd flight of stairs on the right. Ignore the building on the first landing. Climb further up toward the office at the top with the 2 doors. Enter the door on the right where another officer sits. This is where the import paper receives its sign-off - I believe this office sits in front of the "shack" described earlier down the Soi. They've moved I presume. Oh, and another 100B. Sigh 3x. (Then I remembered my own take of the acronym "PDR" - preez do not roose eet!)
g) AGL Insurance - could not be obtained at either the computer room or the AGL office at the top of the hill (right side) as you round the slope toward the main street. Lunch? At 11 am? Gave up waiting and went into a shop just before Passport Control in town (N20 16.594 E100 24.647) for LVI or Laos-Vietnam Insurance for 2 week's worth of 480B.
h) Passport control or Immigration is as described. Malaysians do not need a visa - so no fees. Just fill up the usual entry form (all in English).

Time taken? About 2 hours or so I guess. Not bad I presume.

Met up with a couple of RTWs from Oz in town - Clarissa and Neil - who stopped to check out if my wreck was really a Ducati doing Laos! They were on a couple of Beemers (R100 and R65(?)). Nice, friendly couple and I wish them all the best and safe riding for their planned 2.5 year ride.

Hope the information helps and that the co-ordinates are accurate. As mentioned, take your time and mostly, be patient. BTW, the ride into Louang Namtha today was outstanding - sunny with a short 5 minute light-shower. Road in perfect
locoduc,

Have to keep this thread going ... very useful information, keep up.

Regards,
Kelvin.
 

Khun Mark

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Jan 3, 2014
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A small addition to kchow24's report. I crossed into Laos at Chiang Khong in late November. I have a Thai registered bike and when I turned up at Customs Office in town at Chiang Khong, they redirected me to the Immigration Office next to the Police Station and helpfully gave me a map. Immigration filled in the paperwork and charged me 200 baht, the whole process in this office took 15 minutes. On to Immigration, Customs and Ticket Office at the car ferry where the procedure hasn't changed. I did find that both the Immigration Offices and the Customs wanted photocopies of my Registration Book. I had run out by the 3rd office but the ticket office ran one off for me, the cost was 10 or 20 baht. The amount of time dealing with Thai officials couldn't have exceeded 45 minutes.

The Laos side was as described but I was unprepared for the lack of signs for the relevant offices and lack of interest of the officials in them. They wanted a small sum for one of the documents, 200 baht again I think, but I'd cleared both of the Customs offices in 20 minutes. It was the same at Immigration in town, quick, disinterested and I was on my way. When I went across, both of the insurance offices, (one at Customs and one on the corner by Immigration) were closed. When I asked about alternative offices, I was effectively told to pick up some insurance when I could which I did the next morning in Luang Namtha for 400 baht. I found taking the bike out at this border crossing to be a totally painless exercise, hassle-free, queue-free and for government officials of any nationality, friendly.
 

ntb

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Aug 18, 2009
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Any up dates now that bridge is open? I plan crossing Feb.2 this year.
 

brian_bkk

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Mar 30, 2010
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angkor1;296659 wrote: Cross the bridge some days ago from Laos to Thailand each bike 1000 baht.
Were you offered an official receipt?
- or have they taken over from the ferry pirates ;-)

Cheers
Brian
 

Jurgen

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I crossed to Laos in Chiang Kong-Houai Xei on January 28th.

On January 27th I had made an excursion at the bridge’s immigration check point to clarify the situation, even asking if some sort of payment would allow me through the bridge. Answers were slightly unclear, at that moment, but, later on, in Chiang Khong, I met an Hungarian biker who was prohibited to cross and sent to a helpful local lady agent (Na).

On 28th January, I used the same services (Ms Na). It implied a visit to the former ferry pier with the bike, were paper are made. There, my agent rented a small boat (not a big ferry). Leaving the bike at the pier, we took a taxi to the bridge. There I cleared the papers on the Thai side and took a bus over the bridge to Laos.

After clearing Laos immigration and the bike’s import papers, I took a taxi to the former Laos immigration point (small boat arrivals) where my bike was delivered. All set! The process took two hours, but, as a Swiss national I do not need a visa and as I crossed at 09:00 in the morning there were no big queues.

I had asked about the possibilities of a return journey from Laos over the bridge and also got negative answers. I would have to do the same process in the reverse direction, unsure about the ferry rental.

My easy work around was the fancy road Oudom Xai – Beng – Muang Ngeun – Nan.

I met a group of bikers who had crossed the bridge in Chiang Khong. This was possible only for a group, with a police escort and a fee payment.
 

brian_bkk

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Mar 30, 2010
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Jurgen;296736 wrote: I crossed to Laos in Chiang Kong-Houai Xei on January 28th.

On January 27th I had made an excursion at the bridge’s immigration check point to clarify the situation, even asking if some sort of payment would allow me through the bridge. Answers were slightly unclear, at that moment, but, later on, in Chiang Khong, I met an Hungarian biker who was prohibited to cross and sent to a helpful local lady agent (Na).

On 28th January, I used the same services (Ms Na). It implied a visit to the former ferry pier with the bike, were paper are made. There, my agent rented a small boat (not a big ferry). Leaving the bike at the pier, we took a taxi to the bridge. There I cleared the papers on the Thai side and took a bus over the bridge to Laos.

After clearing Laos immigration and the bike’s import papers, I took a taxi to the former Laos immigration point (small boat arrivals) where my bike was delivered. All set! The process took two hours, but, as a Swiss national I do not need a visa and as I crossed at 09:00 in the morning there were no big queues.

I had asked about the possibilities of a return journey from Laos over the bridge and also got negative answers. I would have to do the same process in the reverse direction, unsure about the ferry rental.

My easy work around was the fancy road Oudom Xai – Beng – Muang Ngeun – Nan.

I met a group of bikers who had crossed the bridge in Chiang Khong. This was possible only for a group, with a police escort and a fee payment.
Thanks for the update Jurgen.
Great info :)

Cheers
Brian
 

angkor1

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Feb 8, 2009
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Hi Brian, it was total easy. My Lao friend talk with the officers on Laoside. They take 1000 Baht each and we follow a pickup from them. On the Thaiside they waiting for us. 2 immigration officers fill out all the paper for the Thaientry. I never seen this before. Nobody has to sighn the paper. Easy going all 10 bikes in Thailand after nearly 40 minutes and everybody friendly to us.

All my biker friends are happy for this short action because the entry to Laos takes 7 hours in Meung Ngeun. Although our Thaiguide had made our paperwork finished before we arrived.

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