Laos Bike Entry Difficulties. Chiang Khong - Houei Xai.

brian_bkk

Ol'Timer
Mar 30, 2010
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Update for those that are thinking of crossing at Nong Khai..

While sitting in Vientiane today having lunch and a Beer Lao we noticed a Farang on a Thai registered CBR 250.
It looked to new and clean to have come any where but over the Friendship Bridge..

Walked over and asked him.. He crossed yesterday with no problems what so ever..

Remember a couple of weeks back some people were asking about the Friendship Bridge from Nong Khai..

You can safely say that you can cross no problems at the moment..

Cheers
Brian
 

xanc

New Member
Aug 27, 2012
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brian_bkk;288046 wrote: Update for those that are thinking of crossing at Nong Khai..

While sitting in Vientiane today having lunch and a Beer Lao we noticed a Farang on a Thai registered CBR 250.
It looked to new and clean to have come any where but over the Friendship Bridge..

Walked over and asked him.. He crossed yesterday with no problems what so ever..

Remember a couple of weeks back some people were asking about the Friendship Bridge from Nong Khai..

You can safely say that you can cross no problems at the moment..

Cheers
Brian
Yeah can confirm its true, no issues on the friendship bridge ffrom nong khai to vientiane.. My friends and I took it on 25 feb and we went through easily.. Not sure whether our Singapore passports have anything to do with it, I doubt though..
 

kchow24

Ol'Timer
Oct 6, 2013
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Shah Alam, Malaysia
Hi Guys,

I'm new a comer from Malaysia, and planing to cross over to Huay Xai from Chiang Rai this coming December 2013, just wondering any latest changes or difficulty crossing.
This is my first time border crossing from Thailand to Loas, any special prosecutions or procedure to follow. Any useful piece of advise, thank you in advance.

Regards,
Kelvin.
 

DavidFL

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Jan 16, 2003
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kchow24;293492 wrote: Hi Guys,

I'm new a comer from Malaysia, and planing to cross over to Huay Xai from Chiang Rai this coming December 2013, just wondering any latest changes or difficulty crossing.
This is my first time border crossing from Thailand to Loas, any special prosecutions or procedure to follow. Any useful piece of advise, thank you in advance.

Regards,
Kelvin.
Hi there Kelvin & welcome to GTR.
Should be no trouble crossing.
As you leave Thailand hand in your customs & immigration papers at the Chiang Khong port.
On the Lao side park your bike 3/4 of the way up the ramp on the left hand side in front of Pornvichit Restaurant, then walk back down the ramp & up the steps to the customs office.
Hand in your docs & the Lao customs staff will fill out & print out the import forms for you. Then you just need a signature from the customs guy in the thatched hut overlooking the boats & ramp: & thats it.
EXCEPT for Laos insurance.
You can get Lao-Viet insurance at the bottom of the ramp on the Thai side, or AGL insurance at the top of the ramp, right hand side on the Thai side.
The hardest bit will be getting on & off the ferry.
Good luck, take care, enjoy the ride & hit us with a trip report after the event.

BUT BUT
Maybe when you come the bridge might be open, so the exact same proceedure above will not apply.
 

kchow24

Ol'Timer
Oct 6, 2013
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Shah Alam, Malaysia
Hi Guys,

Just to understand further.
I'm planning my route from Chiang Khong - border crossing to Hauy Xai - Luang Nam Tha - Muang Sing - Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng - Vientiane - border crossing to Nong Khai. By going in Hauy Xai and coming out Thanaleng, any problem with the documents? Or is it a must in and out the country at the same border?

Regards,
Kelvin.
 

DavidFL

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Jan 16, 2003
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kchow24;293558 wrote: Hi Guys,

Just to understand further.
I'm planning my route from Chiang Khong - border crossing to Hauy Xai - Luang Nam Tha - Muang Sing - Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng - Vientiane - border crossing to Nong Khai. By going in Hauy Xai and coming out Thanaleng, any problem with the documents? Or is it a must in and out the country at the same border?

Regards,
Kelvin.
Kelvin
Yes should be no problem. You can exit from other border crossings. If you take a look at some of the GTR Laos trip reports & you will see very few guys exiting from the same entry point.
 

DavidFL

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kchow24;293689 wrote: Thanks David,

Will try my luck.
By the way, your office is located in Chiang Mai, right? Maybe can drop by if time is allow.

Regards,
Kelvin
KElvin
Glad you are clear now.
If you want to meet up the X-Centre in Mae Rim is the closest & easiest place for me.
 

kchow24

Ol'Timer
Oct 6, 2013
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Shah Alam, Malaysia
Hi David,

Scheduled somewhere 14 and 15 Dec 2013 arriving Chiang Mai if the plan are smooth...
Just wondering, a group of 6 or 7 bikes entering Laos from Chaing Khong, will it be any difficulty?

Regards,
Kelvin.
 

DavidFL

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kchow24;294161 wrote: Hi David,

Scheduled somewhere 14 and 15 Dec 2013 arriving Chiang Mai if the plan are smooth...
Just wondering, a group of 6 or 7 bikes entering Laos from Chaing Khong, will it be any difficulty?

Regards,
Kelvin.
I don't have more news. The bridge could even be open by then.
You did not indicate that you were coming in a group in the original post ; I honestly think that with 6 or 7 bikes questions maybe asked on the Laos side; so it may be best to split up into two groups a couple of hours apart.
 

DavidFL

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As reported & with the rumour mill in over gear with confusing misinformation, I recently spent a night in Houei Xai to ascertain the real situation & probable causes of the problems.

From what I can gather, taking directly to police, the tourist office, tour operators processing the paperwork - the current Laos bike import difficulties come from accidents with motorcycle caravans.
Accidents have occurred, including the death of one local , & the police are not happy about it all.
Negotiations for satisfactory compensation have been unpleasant & stressful & not always amicable.

SO bike groups 6 & over need a police escort, or a police man in the group, to control speed & assist negotiate compensation in accident situations.
5 riders may be ok.
4 riders is ok, as long as you don't look like a tour group.

CUSTOMS at the border aren't worried how many bikes come in - provided your paperwork is correct.
IMMIGRATION don't care either, as long as you have a passport & visa.

TOUR GROUP with paying customers - you need to go through the proper channels - get your bike import approved, get your route approved, use an official guide, notify the police & use an escort.
That is the law; & always has been. Things have been slack for many years now; but because of the spate of recent accidents the rule book has been dusted off & the rules are being enforced.

MUANG NGERN / HUAY KON is still a no-no: from the police. So we can assume the most serious accidents have occurred in Xayaboury province. How long it remains like this who knows.

A KLX 250 ridden by a Thai was written off in a head on collision near Luang Nam Tha very recently. The riders was a Thai & is ok. He was very lucky - forgetting what side of the road he should be riding on.
A bike caravan coming back from Vietnam was involved in a collision a few months ago & the compensation negotiations were not at all satisfactory according to the Lao.
What happened to Lung Guichard I don;t know yet, but am checking.
The boat skippers at Houei Xai say every time a big bike caravan comes back there are broken bikes & riders. They are a headache.

So the popularity of big bike rides & caravans in Laos would seem to be a victim of it's own success at the moment.

Customs & Immigration at Chiang Khong & Customs at Houei Xai both know about the "shutters up" at Muang Ngern & don't understand why they say. Complaining strongly to them does not make the border officials any happier.

In Houei Xai for a tour group I was quoted
1,500 per bike + US$20 a head for paperwork.

Enter in small numbers as friends, preferably no more than 4 bikes & you should be ok.
Otherwise there is an official channel for you to negotiate & use.

I hope this helps riders understand the situation a bit better.


Bump for an old 2013 thread, but for a guy asking about the problems with bike tours &how / where it all started.