Laos Friendship Bridge No Entry

Gary D

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Apr 17, 2010
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Gary i have recently crossed to Laos from Nong Khai without any problems on either the Thai side or Laos side. I came back from Savannaketh to Mukdahan and it was even easier. The Mukdahan bridge crossing is much less busy than Nong Khai, both sides extremely helpful and would be my preferred crossing. Matter of fact i will be doing it again soon.

Gary
 

supernova-dw

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Mar 12, 2013
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Has anyone crossed the bridge recently? I went across yesterday in my car and noticed a new sign saying no motorbikes or bicycles can cross the bridge....
 

DavidFL

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Jan 16, 2003
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supernova-dw;294716 wrote: Has anyone crossed the bridge recently? I went across yesterday in my car and noticed a new sign saying no motorbikes or bicycles can cross the bridge....

Not sure about this - is it right on the bridge in no man's land?
On 27 November I exited Laos as normal across the bridge, but before leaving I dropped into see Ms Khampean, the bridge secretary, who used to process all the bike import papers, before they got computerized.

Davidfl;294860 wrote: Exiting Laos at the Friendship Bridge in Vientiane a few days ago I popped into to see Ms Khampean, the bridge director's secretary.

294860=17698-45216449-S.jpg


Khampean says that officially the bridges are all open to motorbikes, however some provinces may have their own policy.
 

brian_bkk

Ol'Timer
Mar 30, 2010
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ntb;295107 wrote: Any news about bikes being able to cross the bridge at Chiang Kong?
David is over there right now.
Should have an update shortly.

Cheers
Brian
 

Atwin

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Nov 20, 2006
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Can bike still go thru the friendship bridge via nong khai to laos. Understand that exit from Laos n enter to Thailand will not be a problem
 

Atwin

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Nov 20, 2006
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Thks David....we are planning to enter Laos on our Sg Bikes....most likely about 12 bikes. Will there be any problem to enter for such big group. Do We need a laos fixer to get all the document done..
 

DavidFL

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Atwin;295217 wrote: Thks David....we are planning to enter Laos on our Sg Bikes....most likely about 12 bikes. Will there be any problem to enter for such big group. Do We need a laos fixer to get all the document done..
I think the 1st Friendship Bridge is ok, but you could always break your group in two an hour apart.
However I honestly believe that if you're riding around in Laos with a big group, then it is wise to have an escort, otherwise you are asking for trouble.

Very recently the most embarrassing of accidents occurred in the far North of Laos between 2 different Harley groups - one going & one coming from China - & yep you guessed a collision between bike from the two different caravans.
The great danger with big caravans is that the riders often follow the bike in front & not keep their distance or watch the road - very easy for accidents to happen.
 

DavidFL

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Some History on the Friendship Bridges

More Bridges Expected between Thailand, Laos - Mekong Tourism

Within the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), Thailand and Laos are already the best-connected. The neighbours already share 10 official border checkpoints including four ‘Friendship Bridges’ crossing the Mekong River. The four bridges have served a rising number of travellers going both ways.

Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge 1 is the oldest of all the border checkpoints over the Mekong River and remains today the most used by regional and international travellers. It was opened in 1994 following a grant from Australia and links the city of Nong Khai to the suburbs of Vientiane. The bridge is the only one to be opened to both land vehicles and rail services. Friendship Bridge 1 stretches over 1,170 meters and welcomed into Laos 1.22 million international travellers in 2015. It was also used by 1.49 million Laotians travelling outside the country.

It took over a decade to see a second bridge. Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge 2 was inaugurated in 2007. It links the Thai province of Mukdahan with the city of Savannakhet in Southern Laos. The bridge has a total length of 1,600m and is the second most used border checkpoint to and from Laos. In 2015 788,000 international travellers and 348,000 outbound Laotians traversed it.

Another bridge in Southern Laos was opened in 2011. Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge 3 links the province of Nakhon Pathom with Kammouane Province in the vicinity of Thakek. The bridge has a total length of 1,423 m and in 2015 served 122,000 inbound travellers into Laos while 495,000 Laotian crossed it to go to Thailand.

The latest bridge over the Mekong River is located in Chiang Rai province, linking Chiang Khong city with Houayxay (Bokeo Province). Opened at the end of 2013 with a length of 630 m, it is the least used bridge over the Mekong River. In 2015, only 7,300 travellers crossed from Laos into Thailand while 35,000 Laotians travelled from there into Thailand.

The success of the four bridges is translated into their rising use by international travellers visiting Laos. According to data from Laos National Tourism Administration, there were 1.49 million inbound visitors crossing the Friendship Bridges 1 and 2 in 2011; a year later, with the new Friendship Bridge 3, this number grew to 1.85 million. In 2014, the bridges served more than two million inbound visitors while last year, 2015, a record 2.14 million people crossed into Laos by bridge from Thailand.

This trend is seen as an encouraging sign for regional integration. At a recent meeting between the Thai and Lao Prime Ministers, there were discussions to build another three bridges between the countries. The Laos government proposed bridges linking Bolikhamsai to Bueng Kan, Salavan to Ubon Ratchathani, as well as Vientiane province to Loei province.

Plans for the Friendship Bridge linking Bolikhamsai province and Thailand’s Bueng Kan province are the most advanced with the design already completed. The 1,350-m bridge will link highway 13 in central Laos to northeast Thailand at a cost of around US$85 million. Construction is slated to start by 2019. It now awaits confirmation for funding.

Please note this is an old thread & that the Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai is indeed open to bikes.
The posting of the history was merely to keep the bridge histories in one thread
The 2nd Friendship Bridge at Mukdahan / Savannakhet is probably not open going into Laos unless you have prior approval via tour company. Exit out of Laos maybe ok.
The 3rd Friendship Bridge at Nakhon Phanom / Tha Khek is probably not open going into Laos unless you have prior approval via tour company. Exit out of Laos maybe ok.
The 4th Friendship bridge at Chiang Khong / Houei Xai is open both ways, although you jay need to pay 50 baht (no receipt) to Thai immigration for an escort vehicle.

See
Laos Border Crossings
for the latest info.