Laos Border Crossings

DavidFL

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Does anyone know how long the "vehicle registration certificate" is valid?
My existing certificate mentions tax renewal date in march 2016.
Tax is payed until next year but not mentioned as the certificate was issued last year.
Do I need to get a new one?

I understand they are valid for the length of the bike's rego = one year max at a time.
You need a new one every year.
BTW it seems to me as if they never ask for them at the border for a motorbike anyway.
 

pensionist

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Jul 25, 2011
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I understand they are valid for the length of the bike's rego = one year max at a time.
You need a new one every year.
BTW it seems to me as if they never ask for them at the border for a motorbike anyway.
Ok, thank you for the info. So I will request a new certificate.
I crossed into Laos at Xiang Khong twice, every time thai customs wanted to see it and get a copy.
 

DavidFL

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Update 21 September 2016
The latest info to hand is that all 3 border crossings into Xayaboury Laos province are closed - entry & departure - for two wheels = NO motorbikes or bicycles in or out!


Update 21 September 2016
The latest info to hand is that all 3 border crossings into Xayaboury Laos province are closed - entry & departure - for two wheels = NO motorbikes or bicycles in or out!
See Muang Ngern & Entering Laos

Confirmed all Xayaboury border crossings with Thailand are closed to motorbikes, including exit.
Muang Ngern & Entering Laos
Unbelievable how they are going backwards so fast.
 

brian_bkk

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Mar 30, 2010
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An update on Chong Mek and Vang Tao crossing from a friend posting in Lao adventure riding Facebook group.

A quickie primer on crossing from Thailand into Laos at the Chong Mek/ Vang Tao border crossing. Did this yesterday on a CRF250L.

Make 3 photocopies of the photo page and current Thai visa pages of your passport, color isn't necessary black and white is fine. Also 3 copies of all pages of your bike's greenbook that have anything printed on them and insurance and registration documents. Sign all six copies.

At the Thai border go to the building across the road that looks similar to a highway toll booth. Ignore all signs for things like "border day passes" etc. At the toll booth like building submit passports and copies of documents you made. There are two windows at the toll booth, first one is immigration, the second for customs, to get the bike stamped out of Thailand, you will need to visit both. Once complete proceed into Laos.

There is a "no man's land" between the two countries, after a short distance you come to a sign welcoming you into Laos. On the right is a new, at this point still under construction, white building, immediately after this also on the right is an older beige building, this is the one you want. At the beige building, apply for the visa at window #5. After filling out the visa application (requires 2 forms) submit this along with passport, 1 passport photo and $35 US (cheaper than other currencies, exact change is important). They will process this for a few minutes and return it to you at window #6 around the corner of the building. Next, go to window #8 and hand them your green book and a set of the copies you made. This is Lao Customs. With my bike it cost 50,000 kip. She will give you two documents, keep the green one handy. Immediately behind window #8 is a beat-up wooden kiosk, this is where to obtain Lao bike insurance. Give them the documents you received at window #8 and a few minutes later exchange 40,000 kip for an envelope containing freshly issued insurance documents. At the far end of the same building is a money exchange, easy to change a small amount into kip required to pay for the various official fees. There are also two banks across the street that accept different types of debit cards. The close one didn't accept my card but the one closer to the Thai border did.

Freshly armed with our Lao visas, customs documents and kip we departed the border. About half a kilometer further on is a check station. Hand them the green document received at Customs window #8 and the process of entrance into Laos is complete. Remember to drive on the right side of the road!
 

DavidFL

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A farang couple with their own Thai registered car were able to enter Laos "alone" at Kenthao from Tha Li in Thailand without any trouble last week.
So cars are ok, but NO motorbikes
 

rcm273

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Last time I crossed over from Chong Mek, I made detailed notes to save me a bit of time for further trips - theres always something, this time I forgot the copies of my tax page from the green book.

I have scanned and created a proportioned new Laos Visa application, that they are using at Vang Thao, which you can find here.

I posted my detailed procedure on my blog ( I would post here, but its a bit long )

Also, I paid a Champasak tourist fee of 100B or so, my passport was held ransom until i paid it, but Brian and another member CHANTONY didn't seem to be caught by it. On my visa application I wrote Pakse for my destination, I think if you want to save 100B a head, just write Salavan or somewhere outside Champasak province.
 
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Chantony

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Oct 21, 2016
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Last time I crossed over from Chong Mek, I made detailed notes to save me a bit of time for further trips - theres always something, this time I forgot the copies of my tax page from the green book.

I have scanned and created a proportioned new Laos Visa application, that they are using at Vang Thao, which you can find here.

I posted my detailed procedure on my blog ( I would post here, but its a bit long )

Also, I paid a Champasak tourist fee of 100B or so, my passport was held ransom until i paid it, but Brian and another member CHANTONY didn't seem to be caught by it. On my visa application I wrote Pakse for my destination, I think if you want to save 100B a head, just write Salavan or somewhere outside Champasak province.

And I have to say a big thanks to rcm273 whose blog was a biig help in being prepared for my first biorder crossing at Chong Mek!
 

Cutter

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Oct 23, 2016
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My and my gf crossed at Chiang Khong and it was very smooth and easy. Got 30 days for my bike. The Thai immigration officials were the friendliest I have met and very helpful.
Just brought my green book for the Thai immigration and he filled out the TM firms and made photocopies.
On the Laos side it was also easy and just needed a photo and forms.
Prices in baht:
Thai side
200 tm forms
20 photocopy
500 escort
50 bike friendship bridge

Lao side
200. Customs
200. Entryfee
1700 visa
450 insurance
 

EricFR

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Nov 17, 2016
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My and my gf crossed at Chiang Khong and it was very smooth and easy. Got 30 days for my bike. The Thai immigration officials were the friendliest I have met and very helpful.
Just brought my green book for the Thai immigration and he filled out the TM firms and made photocopies.
On the Laos side it was also easy and just needed a photo and forms.
Prices in baht:
Thai side
200 tm forms
20 photocopy
500 escort
50 bike friendship bridge

Lao side
200. Customs
200. Entryfee
1700 visa
450 insurance

Hi cutter ?
Are yout riding your own bike, or it's a rental ?
 

Cutter

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Oct 23, 2016
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It's my own bike.
I believe that some rental agencies in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai will arrange the paperwork for you to take their rental across though.
 

EricFR

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It's my own bike.
I believe that some rental agencies in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai will arrange the paperwork for you to take their rental across though.
I'm already in discussion with one of Chiang Mai agencie (I don't know if citing name is allowed or not on the forum), and they arrange paperwork indeed. My doubt i about the difference in treatment between fully owned bike (which seem very easy according to your testimony) and rental bikes (maybe it's less smooth and easy, both side of the border)
 

DavidFL

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Chiang Khong
If you're having trouble with your documents - paper work for Laos, go to see Ms Na at Asia Venture
View attachment 2698

Na used to have a small coffee shop & internet cafe downtown opposite Bamboo Mexican restaurant, but the premises were sold & she is now south of town.

The new place is 1.8 kms south from the old location.
View attachment 2700

Heading south on the right hand side
400 metres south of the traffic lights by the market / 7-11

View attachment 2699

GPS Waypoint: N20 15.233 E100 24.521

Next to Dr Bike, bicycle shop
View attachment 2701

Na has a Thai business card now

DSC_0892.JPG
 

Jimenator

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Jul 5, 2016
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A farang couple with their own Thai registered car were able to enter Laos "alone" at Kenthao from Tha Li in Thailand without any trouble last week.
So cars are ok, but NO motorbikes

Thanks for confirming this David. I would imagine cars should be OK due to the Thai-Lao cross border transport agreement. It's unbelievable that at Muang Ngern, the Lao side is breaching this agreement by only allowing Hongsa power vehicles across - there is no reason for doing so at Phu Du or Kenthao. I plan to cross Phu Du later this month but by car (Thai registered), I will let you know how it goes though I don't expect any problems.
 

DavidFL

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Crossed yesterday from Thailand to Laos..
I arrived at 5.30pm to start the process.
The immigration escort driver was in a hurry telling me to get my papers done quickly because at 6pm he goes home, taking the car with him so that after 6pm there is no escort vehicle = you can't cross with a bike without the escort vehicle.
What a joke I thought.
I said never mind I will just pay the 500 baht & you can go home. I will ride across the same. No cannot.
After 6pm no car you cannot cross.
Unbelievable stupidity IMHO.
So be warned cross before 6pm.
 

Jimenator

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Jul 5, 2016
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Just to confirm I crossed at Phu Du (from the Thai side to Laos) by car last month. Everything went fine as expected - the process was even quicker than on previous occasions. I saw two Thai registered motorcycles when I was there. I confirmed with Thai customs that motorcycles can cross there again but they require a tour. The two bikers (Thais) seemed to be waiting around for a long time (perhaps for a guide from the Lao side?) because by the time I finished on the Lao side, some 40-45 minutes after I rolled up at Thai customs they still hadn't appeared at Lao customs yet.

Plenty of Thai bikers up in Luang Prabang that evening, not sure which border crossings they used but I did notice a lot of bikers coming up from the 4th Friendship Bridge towards Luang Nam Tha a couple of days later (which is where I exited) so likely many of the Thai bikes I saw in Luang Prabang entered that way.

Sayaburi province is beautiful - great motorcycling country, road RH4 from Tha Li or Phu Du up to Xieng Ngeun (RH13N junction) is in fair condition, a couple of winding sections north of Paklai and fairly flat and wide before Sayaburi. Tons of Thai oil tanker trucks though, I lost count.
 

brian_bkk

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Mar 30, 2010
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Savanakhet to Mukdahan - Second Friendship Bridge

Chatting with some Thai riders that just finished a trip in Southern Laos.
They crossed over from Savanakhet to Mukdahan on the 2nd Friendship Bridge today.

"There is no problem leaving Laos.. But you need to be on a tour if leaving from Thailand to Laos"
If someone is in the area.. Go check it out :)

Great option if that is possible now.. Rather than the long run down to Vang Tao / Chong Mek (Ubon)
- In the past have only heard of hit and miss attempts / success.

Cheers
Brian
 

DavidFL

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March 2017
The old rule book has been dusted off & no motorcycles less than 250cc across the border.
Even the local agents are unable to help!
Also in the works is the planned re-introduction of bike passports for Thai registered motorbikes. This however may still be a way off.
 

Dodraugen

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Aug 19, 2012
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They make it harder and harder.....

So will a Honda Crf 250L that actually is only 249 cc qualify for a Lao entry then?
 

Vivek

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Mar 11, 2017
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An update on crossing from Cambodia to Laos. I'm Indian.

I crossed on 11th March 2017 with a Yamaha Nuovo 125 cc bike registered in Vietnam.

No troubles from Cambodia side. Usual 2$ stamp fees.

On the Laos side I paid 2$ and 1$ stamp fees.

Just before I could leave they asked me to get my motorbike through customs. Customs gave me a temporary vehicle import form which is supposed to be for 25k kip (3$) but I paid 40k kip. This was really arbitrary though, since the Swedish guy I was travelling with wasn't asked to go through this, even though we did everything at the same time.
 

Lakota

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Oct 10, 2011
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I crossed from Savanakhet to Mukdahan yesterday on a thai registered Bike , also with another Guy on a Malaysian registered one. No problems but got the impression it's hit and miss.
 

DavidFL

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I crossed from Savanakhet to Mukdahan yesterday on a thai registered Bike , also with another Guy on a Malaysian registered one. No problems but got the impression it's hit and miss.

Good news there. I've always found the Lao side to be much more understanding.
Did the Thai side give you any trouble when you tried to enter Thailand? They once tried to send me back to Laos, because they claimed you weren't allowed to ride across the bridge...
 

Lakota

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I was with a genuine tourist on a Malaysian bike that had fallen fowl of the Visa rules and had been sent to Savanakhet after being refused entry down Pakse way. He had been stranded in Savanakhet from Friday until tuesday and told by thai consulate that he couldn't cross there after he had received his tourist Visa. He was a bit flustered to say the least.

But it was fine on the day. My only concerns where that the passport guy on both sides sent us over to Customs first as he wasn't sure we would be OK.

also on exiting we couldn't use the normal barrier, we had to go around the outside as though we wouldn't be clocked out or something.
 

DavidFL

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also on exiting we couldn't use the normal barrier, we had to go around the outside as though we wouldn't be clocked out or something.

Yes I reckon that is part of the bridge problem. They pads must register a 4-wheeled vehicle going over, because motorbikes aren't in the system. The same thing happens at Chiang Khong, you ride on the side after the police car has gone over the pads.
 

Wendell

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May 21, 2017
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Update on Chiang Khong border crossing (Thailand) and Na Meo crossing with Vietnam.

Around May 10, 2017 I crossed into Laos from Vietnam on a 120cc Detech win with VN plates. The border crossing was very easy on both sides, and probably took ~45min in total. On the VN side I had to pay an export form of around 150,000 dong or so. I think the Lao import form ‘tax’ was $3. The Lao visa for an American is supposed to be $35 but somehow they refused my insistence and requested $45. I had driven through the rain that morning & wasn’t in the mood to come to a standoff with the Lao authorities so I paid.

The road from the border to Viang Xai, the closest town of significance is approx. 60km. However, in the rain it took maybe 3-4 hours. Several areas of the road were underwater to the extent that they were very close to the ‘impassable on a motorbike’ point. The road itself is in bad shape and is quite bad when wet. Make sure you leave the border with a full tank of gas (filling stations on both sides) and plenty of daylight to get into town.

On May 19, 2017, I attempted to cross into Thailand at the Huay Xai/Chiang Khong checkpoint. When I got there the Lao side informed me that Thailand would not let the bike in. After talking through it, they agreed to let me leave the bike in Lao and go talk to the Thai’s without stamping my visa or me paying any money. They were actually pretty helpful as I think they felt bad. Eventually one of the Lao officers called the Thai border and asked them about it and confirmed that I would not be able to take the bike into Thailand. It was around 9am in the morning so I had to make the quick decision to take the slow-boat back to Luang Prabang to sell the bike and move on with the trip.

The slow-boat passenger tickets are 210,000 KIP and the bike fee was an incredible 240,000 KIP (~30 USD). It took some haggling with them but they knew I had to get on their boat. There was one other VN win motorbike (bought in Huay Xai, probably from a backpacker in a similar situation as me). I don’t know how much it cost for the other bike’s two day trip. I lucked out and met someone in LPG quickly to buy the bike for a decent price, but I would recommend against ending up in LPG wanting to buy or sell a motorbike – there just isn’t a market there for them.