Laos Border Crossings

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by DavidFL, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. mynameisroy

    mynameisroy New Member

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    Hello! We are planning to go through the Nam Can land border crossing with our own motorbike which we bought in Vietnam and rode into Laos (without any problem!) But we have heard that you cannot bring a motorbike from Vietnam into Laos at this border - does anyone know if you can go the other way from Laos to Vietnam with a Vietnamese motorbike?
    Many thanks!
     
  2. Dodraugen

    Dodraugen Ol'Timer

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    I dont have any personal experience with it - but what would it be problematic to bring a vietnamese bike into Vietnam? It doesnt make any sense at all to me...
     
  3. mynameisroy

    mynameisroy New Member

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    We'll that's what you'd hope but I've heard that you can't take motorbikes through that border, so I'm just trying by to find out if it's both ways or just from Vietnam to Laos. Border crossings in general make no sense to me, why can't they all have the same rules?!
     
  4. Murf

    Murf Member

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    Newby here.
    Has anyone crossed into Laos at Chiang Khong this year 2019.
    I'm heading for China in May and need at least 6 months temp export papers anyone with any info please?
     
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Yes no problem to enter Laos at Chiang Khong / Houei Xai.
    R13n - Hit By A 22-wheeler Chinese Truck
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    March 2019
    News in suggests that at some border crossings the Lao tourist police are charging 2,500 baht a bike for a "group" with no guide.
    A friend in the business suggested this was happening at the 1st Friendship @ Nong Khai, but another contact has could not verify this after a visit to the border; however two days ago a Swiss friend who entered Laos last @ Houei Xai / Chiang Khong month confirmed to me their group of 4 private riders were forced to pay 2,500 baht a bike to the Lao tourist police before they were allowed to enter. The alternative was to get a guide & a tour company to organize their trip, or just pay us 2,500 baht a bike & you can go. They opted to pay the tourist police & be allowed to carry on.
    Another contact in Chiang Khong who organizes motorcycle caravans to Laos says there is no policy change at Houei Xai, everything is still the same.

    So my conclusion is that the Lao Tourist police in Houei Xai are running a nice little scam to enrich themselves.

    What the definition of a group is would be is open to interpretation of the Lao police at the time, but it is probably 4 riders plus going on what happened with my Swiss friends recently @ Houei Xai.
     
  7. edh

    edh Member

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    our next trip by 4x4-car (mazda cx-5 AWD/XDL) will start end of may 2019 - exit-border is chiangkhong to houay xai - does somebody know, if there still is some UTM-regulations (ATM = Automatic Teller Machine / UTM = Under thetable Machine 1f609.png;-) - ??? - i remember last time some years ago we paid to thai-and laos about 800-1000 baht without bill...! is it still the same or did they change the "rules"? because we cross many other borders thai-laos or vv and never paid one baht, except the fees for the bridges! or overtime fees to laos (lunchtime/weekend/holidays etc.) - thanks for any infos!

    ps: we hope to find some more offroad-tracks in northern laos...any tips welcome too!

    another question - is the border
    Thailand-Laos Border Ban Huak
    จุดผ่านแดนถาวร ไทย-ลาว บ้านฮวก

    now an official border we can cross into laos?
     
  8. Jimenator

    Jimenator Ol'Timer

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    For 6 months temp export go to customs and request this prior to your trip.
     
  9. matt939

    matt939 Member

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    Crossed the border into Laos for a trip again. Decided to try via Nong Khai since it better suited my plans coming from BKK. On Thai side I got all prepared, but Thai officers kept rejecting me, sent me from one box to the other. Was annoying, they just didn’t want to do the work but I kept coming back. Prepared TM2 and TM4 forms for each departure and arrival, and the officer just kept the arrival ones and didn’t hand them back. Stupid me that I passed them over. On Laos side I turned right for the "foreign departures", a smaller crossing compared to the main one. Went straight to the customs box to see if I can get the temporary import declaration. The lady quickly checked in the system, couldn't find my bike and gave me a form for first timers to get cleared at box 105. I knew that will create trouble and had to insist another couple of times to please check the system again, until she finally found my bike and processed it. Paid around 130 Bt into a modern ticketing machine and got the green paper for a stay of 14 days. Unfortunately, she got the exit port wrong with "Chiang Khan" while I said "Chiang Khong". Must sound similar in Thai. Only after receiving that document I went to the other side for my visa.

    Exiting Laos at Huai Xai border all boxes were empty, so I approached the customs box first, which was a mistake. He kept that green form and sent me to the immigration officer, who eventually showed up. Of course he wanted to see that import form but customs refused to hand it back to me. Developed into an awkward situation me standing there and not having anything to produce. Took a while to get one of them out of their boxes and speak to each other! Immigration officer also wanted to have "immigration papers", I had no clue what he meant, I thought of my visa but apart from my passport I couldn't show anything. Maybe he referred to the TM2/TM4 from Thailand? But that shouldn't have to do anything with Laos? Before I got my OK and could pass he nicked 200 Bt from me, was not sure if I should refuse or not. Maybe could have created another issue. Apparently exit port on import document doesn’t matter, they didn’t mention it at all. On Thai side I approached the first box, he checked documents, asked questions, and sent me to immigration building. There checking of documents again, questions, copying, and handing me back my arrival forms I have completed again. Not necessary apparently! With the stack of paper I went to the box again, checking again, questions again. Why there is no Lao stamp on my departure forms, he asked. I never had that before on any border, never got a foreign stamp on my Thai documents. Is that necessary for Chiang Khong crossing? Guess he realized too much of a hassle to send me back again. Customs was straight forward fortunately.

    Interestingly, met there a German couple on their GS650s, doing a world trip. They told me they even didn’t have that green import paper for Laos, after they had issues at a border, they just crossed through the jungle from Thailand. Obviously had a bit of a discussion at Huai Xai crossing to come back, but also passed it eventually. Playing stupid helps. Sometimes.
     
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  10. edd

    edd New Member

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    Hi, I was planning a trip on my bike to Savannakhet until I read some post about bikes not allowed to cross the borders into Laos anymore.

    Is there anyone who has more information into crossing the Thai-Laos border by motorbike (big bike, no group) at these borders:
    - friendship bridge 2 Mukdahan-Savannakhet.
    - friendship bridge 3 Nakhon Phanom-Thakhek.
    - Border crossing into Pakse.
    Even at vientiane?
     
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Good question.
    If you read the post above, Vientiane can be tricky.
    I've been refused at Chong Mek / Vang Tao & Vientiane last year.
    I wouldn't be so optimistic about the other two Friendship Bridges, but it could be that they've slackened off on the strict "tour group" policy now & are letting private bikes back in.
    If you're on a Thai visa run, give it a go at Nakhon Phanom first, then if that fails, go down to Mukdahan & give that go, if it fails there too, park your bike at your hotel in town, get a bus or taxi to the bridge, then bus over the bridge & into Savannakhet.

    Mukdahan Overnight Parking

    Mukdahan Accommodation.

    Let us know how you go, so we can keep the info up to date.
     
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  12. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Update 9 July 2019
    Nakhon Phanom - Tha Khek.

    I successfully exited Thailand @ Nakhon Phanom & rode across the FB3 & entered Laos @ Tha Khek.
    upload_2019-7-13_16-3-48.
    I didn't do anything special or different. The hardest part was getting out of Thailand. Thai customs were reluctant to let me go in case I got sent back. But on the Laos side there were absolutely zero issues.
    upload_2019-7-13_16-5-6.

    No questions asked. Just process the documents as normal. Perfect.

    And the AGL Insurance office is right there on the bridge, behind the customs booth
    upload_2019-7-13_16-8-9.
    so there are no excuses.
     
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  13. Jimenator

    Jimenator Ol'Timer

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    @matt939. So you're saying that German couple entered Laos illegally? That's something I would strongly advise against. Whether only your motorcycle or both the traveler and the motorcycle enters illegally, this could have serious repercussions for the individual involved. If only the motorcycle crossed illegally by taking it across a "natural border" route, then I assume they crossed illegally back and forth to get back to a border crossing and stamp themselves in before picking up the motorcycle from the other side. Either way, a very risky move.
     
  14. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Update 15 July 2019 Savannakhet - Mukdahan
    At Savannakhet I was able to exit Laos, ride across FB2 to Mukdahan.
    Last year I tried to exit from Mukdahan & no go, so this year I entered Laos from Nakhon Phanom to Tha Khek, then went to exit at Savannakhet.
    Immigration & Customs said ok to exit, but then a cop came over & said no, no. After a few minutes he changed his mind & said ok, but then 4 other cops came over & said no. You cannot ride across the bridge it is dangerous, you can put the bike in the back of a pick up & go. No I can ride across the bridge, I only want to leave. Look at m,y passport - I've crossed ridden across every bridge on the Mekong to Laos. I can ride. I wont go in a pickup. And so it went for 40 minutes, eventually I wore them down. I'm not outing my bike in a pick up to ride across the bridge. If you don't let me ride across I can ride back up to Tha Khek & ride across no problem. ok ok.. Victory. And off I went riding across the bridge.
    On the Thai side, no one said anything. Just processed the paperwork s normal.

    A couple of photos on the Thai side of the bridge entering Mukdahan.
    upload_2019-7-24_19-9-8.

    upload_2019-7-24_19-9-20.

    The offices being built..
    upload_2019-7-24_19-9-50.

    Note that in May 2009 I was able to exit at Savannakhet, so I knew it was possible if you stood your ground & could speak the language

    Exiting from Savannakhet 2009
    upload_2019-7-24_19-21-11.

    Riding across the bridge
    upload_2019-7-24_19-21-40.
     
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