Laos Friendship Bridge No Entry

colesyboy

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Jan 9, 2007
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Hi all, about 10 days ago I tried crossing the friendship bride (foreign bike) from Nong Khai into Vietaianne. No joy. Thai immigration / customs boss man said Laos imposed the restriction last week....something he said that has always been the law but not really enforced....

Anyway, we met a guy that crossed after us ....no probs, he showed his carnet and suspected that its the paperwork they dont like doing...maybe so, maybe not.

Cheers

Brian
 

DavidFL

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quote:

Originally posted by colesyboy

Hi all, about 10 days ago I tried crossing the friendship bride (foreign bike) from Nong Khai into Vietaianne. No joy. Thai immigration / customs boss man said Laos imposed the restriction last week....something he said that has always been the law but not really enforced....

Anyway, we met a guy that crossed after us ....no probs, he showed his carnet and suspected that its the paperwork they dont like doing...maybe so, maybe not.

Cheers

Brian








Brian
So where did you get in?
Any other info / tips?
 

Carrol

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Jun 30, 2007
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Hi - we are planning on driving from Cambodia to Laos in our jeep - Cambodian built and registered. We have Cambodian drivers'licenses though I am Canadian and my husband New Zealand. I'm still not square on what exactly we need (after visiting the Laos Embassy and Thai Embassy who both shrugged and said just drive there, what is the problem). We'd prefer to go up through Anlong Vieng through Thailand to Nong Khi/Vientiane). Any info and/or help would be great!

quote:

Originally posted by goasia888

06/03/2006 - However No problems to cross from Cambodia (route 7) to Laos with Malaysian registered bikes (Honda Dream 100cc). The custom officer quickly glances at the registration papers. He did not even take the time to read it.






 

DavidFL

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quote:

Originally posted by Carrol

Hi - we are planning on driving from Cambodia to Laos in our jeep - Cambodian built and registered. We have Cambodian drivers'licenses though I am Canadian and my husband New Zealand. I'm still not square on what exactly we need (after visiting the Laos Embassy and Thai Embassy who both shrugged and said just drive there, what is the problem). We'd prefer to go up through Anlong Vieng through Thailand to Nong Khi/Vientiane). Any info and/or help would be great!






Carrol

1. ENTERING LAOS
Link removed

2. BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE (into Thailand)
https://www.gt-rider.com/bikes.html#BRINGINGYOUROWNBIKE
Thailand has its own vehicle temporary papers that are issued on arrival at the border. Subject to local insurance you are normally granted import for the length of your visa (one, two or three month), up to a maximum of 6 months. The overstay fine is 200 baht a day, with a maximum fine of 2,000 baht plus a stern warning not to do it again, or you will lose your bike. I've seen a few warnings given out to other riders over the years, & it's embarrassing to be around at the time!
Note also that the temporary import form, signed by you, stipulates a huge fine (more than the bike is worth) should you not take the bike out as agreed. Should you upset the apple cart by trying to be smart, they may threaten you with a massive fine & it is very scary. e.g. 420,000 baht for my Africa Twin valued at 140,000 baht!

3. FROM CROSSING BORDERS
https://www.gt-rider.com/crossingborders.html
CROSSING WITH A BIKE
To actually cross an international border with a motorcycle you need a passport and a bike. (Not as silly as it sounds.)
1. Passport: this should be valid & have the appropriate visa if necessary (if the rental shop has your passport as security for the bike then you can't cross the border.) Note: Entering Laos they like your passport to be valid for at least another 6 months, as one poor SQ tour leader found out in late 2005.
2. Bike: you need to prove it's "real", not stolen & have valid docs to support this = proof of ownership, the bike licence / registration, valid insurance. If you can't produce these then you're in for a tough time trying to get out of Thailand!
If the bike is not in your name or rented, then you need permission from the owner to legally export the bike. Click here for info on taking a bike out that is not registered in your name. Note that this works 99% of the time, but that remaining 1% is hard to take if you get caught short. You've been warned!
3. Motorcycle driving licence (although this is very seldom asked for.)

Whilst this info is for a motorbike, I don’t think there is much difference if it is a car.
The first question you should ask – who’s car is it? In whose name is it registered. You need the ownership papers.


DOCUMENTS DEPARTING THAILAND
https://www.gt-rider.com/crossingborders.html

You need to complete papers for both Customs and Immigration.
Do the Customs papers first. Get the temporary bike export approved, then clear immigration.

1. Ownership If the bike is not in your name then you need to provide permission from the owner to legally take the bike out of the country. See image 2 in the docs gallery.

2. Customs need a Temporary Export / Import form (Official name = Simplified Customs Declaration Form for a car and motorcycle temporarily imported or exported.) See image 7 in the docs gallery. You can get this from the customs office at the border. If you're leaving with a bike from o/seas then you just need to hand in the temporary import form you got at the border on arrival.
The temporary export is usually valid for just a month, and there is supposedly a fine of 200 baht a day, with a maximum of 2,000 baht if you come back late. However experience has taught me that enforcement is sometimes arbitrary and probably depends on the duty officers financial needs at the time. Some of them also like to threaten you with a huge fine as stipulated in the temporary import / export form. In my case this is 420,000 baht for a 1995 model Honda 750 Africa Twin. Personally I think it is all a bit of a game of bluff, but it can be a bit stressful at the time.

3. Immigration two forms are needed. These are (a) TM2 Information of Conveyance. See image 1 in the docs gallery. (b) TM4 Crew List. See image 8 in the docs gallery. Get these forms at the the border office.
These might seem a bit silly if you’re just riding solo on bike, but you do need them. The completed original of these forms is kept at the departure port and you are supposed to hand in copies of the same 2 forms at the arrival port when you come back in.
Experience has taught me that you are not always asked for these on your return, and often when you depart some slack immigration staff don't ask you to complete the forms!
But be warned there is a fine for not having the forms on your return and some immigration staff love it when you don't have completed copies with you. I've had several runs with border staff over this and either way you never seem to win - it's up to them & their mood of the day. Note too that I've yet to pay a fine, so I consider myself lucky.

This should be all the info you need, but I’m sure you will think of something else.
 

Carrol

New Member
Jun 30, 2007
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Davidfl,

Thank you so much for your response. I appreciate a lot of that info is scattered through the postings but the way you pulled it together makes more sense. I'm starting to feel calmer about this all and looking forward to the adventure.

Again thanks, Ciao for now, Carrol

quote:

Originally posted by Davidfl

quote:

Originally posted by Carrol

Hi - we are planning on driving from Cambodia to Laos in our jeep - Cambodian built and registered. We have Cambodian drivers'licenses though I am Canadian and my husband New Zealand. I'm still not square on what exactly we need (after visiting the Laos Embassy and Thai Embassy who both shrugged and said just drive there, what is the problem). We'd prefer to go up through Anlong Vieng through Thailand to Nong Khi/Vientiane). Any info and/or help would be great!









Carrol

1. ENTERING LAOS
Link removed

2. BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE (into Thailand)
https://www.gt-rider.com/bikes.html#BRINGINGYOUROWNBIKE
Thailand has its own vehicle temporary papers that are issued on arrival at the border. Subject to local insurance you are normally granted import for the length of your visa (one, two or three month), up to a maximum of 6 months. The overstay fine is 200 baht a day, with a maximum fine of 2,000 baht plus a stern warning not to do it again, or you will lose your bike. I've seen a few warnings given out to other riders over the years, & it's embarrassing to be around at the time!
Note also that the temporary import form, signed by you, stipulates a huge fine (more than the bike is worth) should you not take the bike out as agreed. Should you upset the apple cart by trying to be smart, they may threaten you with a massive fine & it is very scary. e.g. 420,000 baht for my Africa Twin valued at 140,000 baht!

3. FROM CROSSING BORDERS
https://www.gt-rider.com/crossingborders.html
CROSSING WITH A BIKE
To actually cross an international border with a motorcycle you need a passport and a bike. (Not as silly as it sounds.)
1. Passport: this should be valid & have the appropriate visa if necessary (if the rental shop has your passport as security for the bike then you can't cross the border.) Note: Entering Laos they like your passport to be valid for at least another 6 months, as one poor SQ tour leader found out in late 2005.
2. Bike: you need to prove it's "real", not stolen & have valid docs to support this = proof of ownership, the bike licence / registration, valid insurance. If you can't produce these then you're in for a tough time trying to get out of Thailand!
If the bike is not in your name or rented, then you need permission from the owner to legally export the bike. Click here for info on taking a bike out that is not registered in your name. Note that this works 99% of the time, but that remaining 1% is hard to take if you get caught short. You've been warned!
3. Motorcycle driving licence (although this is very seldom asked for.)

Whilst this info is for a motorbike, I don’t think there is much difference if it is a car.
The first question you should ask – who’s car is it? In whose name is it registered. You need the ownership papers.


DOCUMENTS DEPARTING THAILAND
https://www.gt-rider.com/crossingborders.html

You need to complete papers for both Customs and Immigration.
Do the Customs papers first. Get the temporary bike export approved, then clear immigration.

1. Ownership If the bike is not in your name then you need to provide permission from the owner to legally take the bike out of the country. See image 2 in the docs gallery.

2. Customs need a Temporary Export / Import form (Official name = Simplified Customs Declaration Form for a car and motorcycle temporarily imported or exported.) See image 7 in the docs gallery. You can get this from the customs office at the border. If you're leaving with a bike from o/seas then you just need to hand in the temporary import form you got at the border on arrival.
The temporary export is usually valid for just a month, and there is supposedly a fine of 200 baht a day, with a maximum of 2,000 baht if you come back late. However experience has taught me that enforcement is sometimes arbitrary and probably depends on the duty officers financial needs at the time. Some of them also like to threaten you with a huge fine as stipulated in the temporary import / export form. In my case this is 420,000 baht for a 1995 model Honda 750 Africa Twin. Personally I think it is all a bit of a game of bluff, but it can be a bit stressful at the time.

3. Immigration two forms are needed. These are (a) TM2 Information of Conveyance. See image 1 in the docs gallery. (b) TM4 Crew List. See image 8 in the docs gallery. Get these forms at the the border office.
These might seem a bit silly if you’re just riding solo on bike, but you do need them. The completed original of these forms is kept at the departure port and you are supposed to hand in copies of the same 2 forms at the arrival port when you come back in.
Experience has taught me that you are not always asked for these on your return, and often when you depart some slack immigration staff don't ask you to complete the forms!
But be warned there is a fine for not having the forms on your return and some immigration staff love it when you don't have completed copies with you. I've had several runs with border staff over this and either way you never seem to win - it's up to them & their mood of the day. Note too that I've yet to pay a fine, so I consider myself lucky.

This should be all the info you need, but I’m sure you will think of something else.






 

DavidFL

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quote:

Originally posted by Carrol

Davidfl,
Thank you so much for your response. I appreciate a lot of that info is scattered through the postings but the way you pulled it together makes more sense.
[quote






Yeah well it's real easy if you start here
NEW USERS
Link removed

Who's navigating on the trip?
 

DavidFL

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UPDATE 3RD FEB 2008
Entry into Laos via either of the Friendship Bridges
1. Nong Khai - "Vientiane"
2. Mukdahan - Savannakhet
is still not possible.
Exit from Laos via the Nong Khai Friendship bridge was still ok in Feb 2008.

The new "all borders closed" warning in
https://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... html#18618
does not appear to true & other border crossings are still ok.
 

DavidFL

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DavidFL

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beddhist wrote: Another correction for your map: Friendship Bridge 2 is closed for bikes in BOTH directions.
Disagree, didn't you exit Laos from here - ride across the bridge?

https://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... t3268.html

OK, here is what happened today:

I thought I haven't got much to loose to try anyway. After a few minutes I was called into the main building, then the director of immigration took me into his office where he explained to me that according to an agreement between the two govts. only cars, trucks and buses are allowed onto the bridge. He then proceeded to call his counterpart in Thailand and they agreed to exceptionally let me cross.

After that processing was quick. Nobody asked for any bike documentation, which I didn't have anyway, only had to show the rego.

Approaching the toll booth I was stopped again. They had a problem with me crossing and wanted me to go to the police, which I didn't, obviously. I think their problem was that the toll system is automated and they don't have a rate for bikes, but there are induction loops in the road. After 10 or 15 mins they indicated that I could go, but I had to leave via the wrong way, where there was no barrier or loop.

So, I made it in the end, but I would advise against others trying it, because if it doesn't work you have a long detour ahead.

The previous day I went to ask about any fees involved in leaving, not whether I would be allowed to leave, as I was under the impression that leaving wasn't a problem and apparently in Vientiane you still can.

And I'm afraid I agree with you, as they build more bridges crossing with bikes will become a mission.
Confirmed
http://beddhist.googlepages.com/lao4
After a few minutes I am called into the main building, then the director of immigration takes me into his office where he explaines to me that according to an agreement between the two govts. only cars, trucks and buses are allowed onto the bridge. He then proceedes to call his counterpart in Thailand and they agree to exceptionally let me cross.
In practice I think they will let you out everytime, despite the policy.
 
Yes, but the day before the man wasn't there and I don't think I would have been able to cross, had I wanted to. I suspected at the time that it won't work all the time and there is a US couple here in Mae Sot who rode a Minsak from Vietnam to here. They had several attempts at getting across, but were unsuccessful in the end. However, to more or less complete the info I also have to mention that their Lao documentation somehow wasn't in order and the head of customs made a big fuss over it and sent them to Friendship Bridge 1, where the paperwork could be corrected.

My vote is for marking the crossing as closed in both directions, which it officially is. Had I known about it at the time I would have stayed in Vientiane to get my Thai visa and crossed there.
 

bonnyboy

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Oct 19, 2008
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I crossed the border from Nakhon Phanon to Tha Khek today (28th October 2008), and thought Id share my experience.Getting through the Thai side only took a matter of minutes.I got my passport stamped, and handed over my temporary import certificate (my Triumph Bonny is UK registered).The fun started with getting on the ferry( more of a floating platform with a tug by its side).At the bottom of the ramp is a thick pile of mud, churned up by countless large trucks, watered by the Mekong, and mashed by the platform everytime its lowered.I negotiated this and made my way to the end of the deck.They only managed to get my bike and three artics on board.The platform doesnt sit very high above the water, so I doubt if they would have got another truck on.I asked before I got on about a ticket to cross, only to be met with blank stares from the thai customs.I found out soon enough how much it was going to cost.Halfway across the river I was tapped up for 200baht.This seemed like a figure drawn out of thin air,but I had no choice but to pay it.When I handed over the money there were howls of laughter from all round, so I guess the farang got ripped off again.Getting off the ferry was more stressful than getting on.After the trucks had got off it was my turn.The platform doesnt sit flush with the ramp, and the addition of a foot high wall which the platform sat on didnt help.There was a drop of about a foot and a half from the end of the platform into the river, before you made contact with the ramp.I gingerly lowered my front wheel into the water, only to see it going deeper and deeper into it.It finally hit the ramp, and it was then a matter of edging forward till the back wheel was on the edge.Then i opened the throttle and hoped for the best.Amazingly I kept the bike up and road throught the water and up the ramp.My heart was pounding, but I got some appreciative waves from a small crowd that had gathered to watch the spectacle.It was then into Laos immigration and customs to get my paper work sorted.After paying for and getting my visa, I showed them my carnet.I was asked to pay 43000kip for a reciept for the bike, then headed over to customs to get the bike sorted.It took about 45 minute to get my temporary import certificate, and was asked for another 30000 kip for "paperwork".I ignored this request for more money, and they didnt mention it again.Its nice being back in friendly Laos, although I dont think they see many fully loaded Triumph Bonnevilles down this part of the world, judging by how many people stop and stare as i ride by.
 

Pikey

www.tbbtours.com
bonnyboy wrote: Its nice being back in friendly Laos, although I dont think they see many fully loaded Triumph Bonnevilles down this part of the world, judging by how many people stop and stare as i ride by.
Good for you mate, especially negotiating the ferry! Here's a pic of me travelling light in N.Laos a couple of weeks ago and sure, all big bikes attract attention over there.

PA08012700.jpg


Would be great to see a pic of your bike all kitted out for your trip.

Cheers,

Pikey.
 

bonnyboy

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Oct 19, 2008
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Pikey.if you go to my website http://board.gt-rider.com/topic.asp?TOP ... erms=DR650 I think there is one on there , if not I'll attempt to post one on this forum.Hit my first patch of dirt road today.I missed a turning out of Pakse heading for Tadlo falls.On the map there was a road further that connected the 16 with the 20.It was only when i got there I saw it was about 20ks of dirt, albeit dry and hard, but still rutted and lumpy.Riding in Turkey,Pakisatn and India stood me in good stead for riding poor roads, so it wasnt too bad.Heading off down to 4000 isalnds in a few days, then back up to Thailand.
 

racingter

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Dec 12, 2008
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Greeting to all bros here,i am from singapore and i am very interested in this forum,next year i will be riding from singapore up to laos and i am quite confused by the "bike banned border crossing situation"...read thru the 5 pages and after 2 years the outcome is still abit...?Any Bros here can advise me on which border allows bikes to pass on...hehe,Do not wanna stuck in a situation that they say..."Uh sorry Bikes cant get through".

regards,
racingter
 

DavidFL

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racingter wrote: hmmmm...anyone?
ENTERING LAOS WITH A BIKE
https://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-laos-c ... sings.html

Thailand / Laos the seven legal ones are:
1. Chiang Khong (T) / Huay Sai (L) OK
2. Thai Li (T) / Nam Hueng (L), the 2nd Friendship Bridge. This over the Nam Heung river. OK?
3. Nong Khai (T) / Friendship Bridge, Vientiane (L) No Laos Entry
4. Bung Kan (T) / Pakxan (L) OK
5. Mukdahan (T) / Savannakhet (L), the 3rd Friendship Bridge. This one over the Mekong river. No Laos entry.
6. Nakhon Phanom (T) / Tha Khek (L) OK.
7. Chong Mek (T) / Vang Tao, Pakse (L) OK.

ENTERING / DEPARTING LAOS NOTES

1. Friendship Bridges: may or may not be open to bikes. After several years open to motorcycles, Lao authorities in Vientiane "closed" the 1st bridge "Nong Khai / Vte" to motorcycles without warning in Feb 2005. Watch the GT Rider message board for the latest info on this crossing.
If it is NOT open to motorcycles then try Bung Kan (120 kms downstream from Nong Khai) / Pakxan (150 kms downstream from Vientiane.) where in December 2006 it was still possible to enter Laos. Note too that if you gain entry to Laos at another border crossing it is possible to leave via the Friendship Bridge. Weird isn't it! The same applies to the 3rd Friendship Bridge at Savannakhet / Mukdahan.

2. The 2nd Friendship Bridge at Thai Li (T) / Nam Hueng (L), the 2nd Friendship Bridge, over the Nam Heung river (not the Mekong.) Supposedly FULL international in Dec 2008 with visa on arrival, but not sure about temporary import on arrival (will someone pls give it a go.)

3. The 3rd Friendship bridge at Savanakhet (L) / Mukdahan (T) across the Mekong. No entry to Laos for motorbikes. Try either Tha Khek (L) /Nakhon Phanom upstream, or Vang Tao (L) / Chong Mek (T) further south (Pakxe /Ubon Ratchathani).
 

racingter

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Dec 12, 2008
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Davidfl wrote: [quote quote=racingter]hmmmm...anyone?
ENTERING LAOS WITH A BIKE
https://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-laos-c ... sings.html

Thailand / Laos the seven legal ones are:
1. Chiang Khong (T) / Huay Sai (L) OK
2. Thai Li (T) / Nam Hueng (L), the 2nd Friendship Bridge. This over the Nam Heung river. OK?
3. Nong Khai (T) / Friendship Bridge, Vientiane (L) No Laos Entry
4. Bung Kan (T) / Pakxan (L) OK
5. Mukdahan (T) / Savannakhet (L), the 3rd Friendship Bridge. This one over the Mekong river. No Laos entry.
6. Nakhon Phanom (T) / Tha Khek (L) OK.
7. Chong Mek (T) / Vang Tao, Pakse (L) OK.

ENTERING / DEPARTING LAOS NOTES

1. Friendship Bridges: may or may not be open to bikes. After several years open to motorcycles, Lao authorities in Vientiane "closed" the 1st bridge "Nong Khai / Vte" to motorcycles without warning in Feb 2005. Watch the GT Rider message board for the latest info on this crossing.
If it is NOT open to motorcycles then try Bung Kan (120 kms downstream from Nong Khai) / Pakxan (150 kms downstream from Vientiane.) where in December 2006 it was still possible to enter Laos. Note too that if you gain entry to Laos at another border crossing it is possible to leave via the Friendship Bridge. Weird isn't it! The same applies to the 3rd Friendship Bridge at Savannakhet / Mukdahan.

2. The 2nd Friendship Bridge at Thai Li (T) / Nam Hueng (L), the 2nd Friendship Bridge, over the Nam Heung river (not the Mekong.) Supposedly FULL international in Dec 2008 with visa on arrival, but not sure about temporary import on arrival (will someone pls give it a go.)

3. The 3rd Friendship bridge at Savanakhet (L) / Mukdahan (T) across the Mekong. No entry to Laos for motorbikes. Try either Tha Khek (L) /Nakhon Phanom upstream, or Vang Tao (L) / Chong Mek (T) further south (Pakxe /Ubon Ratchathani).
Thankyou Davidfi for ur valuabe advice... :D Information Noted