Laos Border Crossings

DavidFL

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Laos eVisa
The last few years saw a reduction in visa services on the borders.
Many small "mickey mouse border crossings" that were issuing VoA but not remitting the money to Vientiane at the end of the year got cut out of VoA system.

An eVisa system was also introduced to help relieve the load at the border crossings, but eVisas are only accepted at a few border crossings.
They are
  • Wattay International Airport
  • Luang Prabang International Airport​
  • Pakse International Airport​
  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I​
  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II​
  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge IV​
Source: Lao Visa Online | Lao eVisa Authorization Application

 

DavidFL

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FB4 Chiang Khong / Houei Xai
11th January 2023
The friendly policeman on the Laos side of the 4th Friendship Bridge @Houei Xai / Chiang Khong is still enjoying his game of charging 2,000 baht for entry into Laos. Be warned.
Some are able to bargain him down to 500 baht, some not.
 
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DavidFL

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FB4 @ Houei Xai 15th January. Jan Rozendaal.....

I crossed the border at Huay Xay today. With my Thai wife on 2 x CRF 300Ls. I was asked to pay bht 1800 for the visa. In hindsight I regret not having asked if I could pay the much lower fee in USD.
My wife did not need a visa and went immediately to the first of 3 boxes for paying a vehicle 'Entry Fee'. I joined her 5 min later with a visa. No fee of 2000 bht was asked by the 2 ladies sitting there. They stamped our passports and processed the paperwork given to us by the Thai customs. If I remember well, we wrre asked a fee of 200 bht pp. In the 2nd office information from the green or blue owners book has to be entered in a machine that prints a ticket with QR code valid for the 30 day stay. It allows leaving with your vehicle at another border crossing. At the 3rd counter we paid a fee of 80 bht for the ticket. And then we were free to go.
The final stop was at the insurance office where we paid 200 baht for 4 weeks coverage.
We arrived at Thai customs at 12.30, we finished in 1 hr and completed the Laotian procedures at 15.00 hrs.
My wife believes the scam of 2000 bht is only applied to non Thai visitors. This view was confirmed by the friendly insurance lady.
Conclusion: farang are potentially scammed twice: overcharge of about $20 at the visa counter and 'service fee' of bht 2000 at the first Entry Fee counter. All in all a major improvement compared to the past few years at this border crossing
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I suppose the crossing from Nonkai is still cheaper and easier.


FB4 @ Houei Xai 13th January
Peter Duffy paid 2,000 baht entering two-up with his Thai missus.
 

DavidFL

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FB4 @ Chiang Khong / Houei Xai

A late report from November 2022 from Andy in Nan

2 crossed at around 4pm and I came about 45min later hoping the so called 'Tourist Police' had left for the day but no luck.
We had info from 2 that'd crossed a day or two before who paid 500b so Russ and Steve paid 500b for two but they wouldn’t go any less than 500b for me. The bastards started at 6000 then quickly said 2000……..
 

DavidFL

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FB4 Chiang Khong / Houei Xai
Friday 16 June 2023
No Lao policeman looking to make money.
I was running late, and arrived at the bridge on the Thai side at 6pm.
1687184596904-jpeg.151588

The whole process was straight forward & easy.
Complete your immigration documents first, stamp your passport to exit Thailand, proceed to the Thai customs both & complete your temporary export papers.
1687187208002-jpeg.151595

At 6.30PM I was riding across the bridge. Too easy & zero complaints, with friendly efficient service from all the Thai staff.
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I dawdled across the bridge taking photos.

7pm I was queued alone, up on the Laos sides asking for a visa.
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The process again was straight forward & simple.
1. Visa
2. Immigration Entry
3. Vehicle Entry Permit + Insurance.
4. Lao customs bike import.
30 minutes for everything on the Laos side & no policeman looking for money.
In retrospect it was a good idea to go late, 6PM plus, because there are no other people waiting to cross when I was there. It was dead quiet & no queues for any of the process. So, take your time, go late & spend a night in Houei Xai first!
 

DavidFL

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FB1 @ Friendship Bridge Nong Khai.
18th July 2023.
20230718_140830-01.jpeg

Parked in the wrong spot on the wrong side of the building.

I crossed yesterday 18th July using an agent.
I was advised you cannot enter without an agent at FB1 now David.
I was prepared to try and bluff my way through but my Vte contact said no, we will do the paperwork for you David
And so it was....

Exiting Thailand was no issue, once I told both immigration and customs that I had prior approval to enter on the Laos side.
25 minutes and I was cleared on the Thai side.
Having your bike data in the customs computer from previous trips is a huge help.

I arrived on the Lao side slightly before the agent and already had my Lao visa and stamps when he arrived.
20230718_142044-01.jpeg


The next step was to clear police and customs.
Police were no problem once the documents were presented.
However the all important official made us wait 2 hours for a signature on a "yellow stick me note", before we could submit the documents for customs.
Once the all important signature was given, it was relatively simple as my bike data was already in the computer from a couple of weeks ago.
Total time from start Thai side to exit Lao side was 1.30pm - 4.45pm. The delay being 2 hours waiting for the Lao customs signature.

We believe the delay on the Lao side was because there was no commission being paid for the signature. The all important official involved was in a claimed meeting for 2 hours, and no one else could sign an import approval?
This person is a cousin of Lotus Travel who are preparing most of, if not all, the bike import papers at the FB1.
Is this a racket and monopoly being set up?
Complaints and questions that have been made in Vientiane are currently being ignored, but more complaints will be made. This is not the way to facilitate entry, travel, and tourism in Laos.
If you can use another entry port into Laos please do. Don't support this scam if possible.
You can enter Laos at Bokeo, Tha Khek and Vang Tao easily enough at the moment. Savannakhet maybe ok once again, if you can exit from Mukdahan.
Entry from Thailand through Xayaboury province is problematic because there are No Visa on Arrival facilities, Elisa accepted, at any of the 4 Xayaboury ports of entry.

When you enter Laos at the FB1 bridge, note that there is a new private car section on the extreme right behind the row of buildings on the right.
20230718_142901-01.jpeg

The new "hidden" private vehicle section.

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It is a bit confusing the first time, but it is a bit easier now that they've separated public buses and private vehicles.

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Total cost for the paperwork on the Laos aide was approximately 150 baht.

Cheers everyone.
 
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Dodraugen

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So more than 3 hours for a simple bordercrossing and a fee to an agent of probably 2-3000 baht?
Its so much unneccesary waist of energy and time and pure nonsense spending more than 3 hours to cross a simple border and paying several thousands of baht for it as well is so utter corrupted that my jaw just drops….

Will NOT use that bordercrossing as long as it is like that…!
 

DavidFL

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So more than 3 hours for a simple bordercrossing and a fee to an agent of probably 2-3000 baht?
Its so much unneccesary waist of energy and time and pure nonsense spending more than 3 hours to cross a simple border and paying several thousands of baht for it as well is so utter corrupted that my jaw just drops….

Will NOT use that bordercrossing as long as it is like that…!
If you use an agent who has the customs boss signature in advance the entry should be fast.
We did not have that and wanted to test the system out to see what was going on.
If you pay the 2000 baht fee in advance via an agent your entry on the Laos side will be hassle free and quick.
The paperwork does not take long actually, but getting the all important approval signature takes time.
 

DavidFL

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UPDATE 21 December 2023 - Chiang Khong.

Checking at the border FB4 for entry to Thailand with a Lao registered bike.
From the phone of Thai Customs & their current agreement status with the Lao side at FB4.

Bring motorcycle in Thailand there are 2 cases:
1. Thai/Lao People- with no tour group = Bike must have more 250cc- with tour group = no limitation
2. Foreigner with or without tour group = no limitation

1703142583743.jpeg


Note that this is the policy at FB4 Chiang Khong.