Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by donvangilder, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. i crossed over to laos right before noon today from chiang kong with my thai registered (in my name) honda 150 nsr. customs was closed at that moment so the guy told me to go to immigration and do my passport and come back at 13:00. when i came back, the custom's officer took my registration book, and the documentation that the thai's gave me, and told me to wait at my bike. after a little bit a guy came up to me on his scooter with my paperwork and told me to follow him on my bike to his office, which turned out to be a residence, about 1 km from the custom's office. this guy first said he would need 2000 bt to do the necessary lao paperwork, which he later said he would do for 1000 bt, as well as 850 bt for me and 800 bt for the bike to go on the slow boat to luang prubang tomorrow. this all seemed a bit sketchy to me so i said i was leaving. i went and got lunch and a guest house room (i have my bike and all my thai paperwork and passport) and thought i'd try back at customs. i talked to a different guy at customs this time and he sent me to a tourist office around the corner from customs. when i got there they had no clue what customs is talking about. i am planning to get on the slow boat tomorrow and going to pruang brubang, and i have all the necessary thai paperwork and my bike, do i need to be concerned about not having anything from the laos side besides my tourist visa? if so, can i do what i need to in luang prubang? these people seem to have no idea what is going on so i am left in a quandary. thanks for any help you can give me.

    don vangilder
  2. Don
    I would not say “they are clueless.”
    You need to legally temporarily import your bike into Laos, before you can go anywhere.
    That means you have to clear customs / do the paperwork, otherwise the bike is illegally in the country & can be seized.
    If you can get your bike on the boat without any papers, you’ll find out that there is a police checkpoint on the Mekong at Pak Tha (1/3 rd of the way to LPQ from HX), where they like to see the import papers for your bike.
    But I don’t think that you’ll get that far, as no boat skipper would allow you to put a smuggled bike onboard & be vulnerable for carrying “illegal cargo.”

    So no, don’t be so stupid to think that you can skip it for the time being, enter as you please, & do the paperwork later on whenever / wherever you feel like it. It does not work like that & you're only looking for serious trouble!

    If you take a look at
    Link removed
    “New Proceedures Huay Xai or not”
    you will see that of late the Lao Customs in Huay Xai have been difficult / "playing games."
    You'll have to make your own assessment & decision on how to play it. But if it was me, I'd try to be firm, not rude, & attempt to sort it out myself. If doing it yourself does not work, then you'll just have to agree to their request to use an agent to do the paperwork & pay the “appropriate” fee. Welcome to the Lao PDR………………..People Don’t Rush.

    Good luck & pls let us know how you go.

    The Mekong boat trip Huay Sai – Luang Prabang is fantastic, but a bit repetitive if it's a 2 day boat trip.

    TIP: take your bike off the boat in Pak Beng & ride out to Udom Xai & then onto Luang Prabang. There’s no real need to go all the way to Luang Prabang, the ride from Pak Beng – Udom Xai – Luang Prabang is so good.

    Keep The Power On
  3. Don-

    Good advice from Davidfl. If you read the topic he suggested you will see I just went through all the new crap they are doing. I had a Thai/Laos speaker with me and we still did not get around the system. They told us that sometimes now it takes all day just to get the paperwork done. Don't be surprised that it seems a little unprofessional. The girl who helped us had to be called from school to come take care of us. Once in Laos we were stopped at many check points on this trip and they were not playing games. You will get a sticker that goes on your windshield that shows you are legally in the country with your bike and they do look at it. Good Luck.

    Dave Early

    Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?

Share This Page