Na Meo Border Crossing

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by BOB, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. BOB

    BOB New Member

    I am planning on passing from Vietnam into Laos at this crossing in late January. What I am specifically wondering is will the Lao officials issue a visa at that point or does one need a visa on arrival.
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  3. Glenn

    Glenn Member

    Hi Bob,

    You will definitely need to obtain a visa before you head out to Na Meo. Also be aware that Tet falls at the end of January next year, so the Vietnamese border guards could either be away or charging the traditional Tet tax either side of new year's day...

  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    According to the NTAL visa on arrival is available at Na Meo. But if there's any doubt in your in, mind (& there is in mine), play it safe & get one before you go.

    The official (but dodgy?) Laos visa info from the NTAL that I have is:

    Visas for Laos
    30-day visas are available before arrival from Lao embassies.
    15-day visas are available on arrival at the following international checkpoints:
    - Wattay International Airport (Vientiane)
    - Luang Prabang International Airport (Luang Prabang province)
    - Pakse International Airport (Champasak province)
    - Friendship Bridge (Vientiane - Nong Khai)
    - Boten checkpoint (Luang Namtha - China)
    - Houei Xai checkpoint ( Bokeo province)
    - Na Meo checkpoint (Houa Phan province- Namkhan checkpoint (Xieng Khouang province)
    - Nam Phao checkpoint (Bolikhamxai province)
    - Thakek checkpoint (Khammouane province)
    - Na Phao checkpoint (Khammouane province)
    - Dene Savanh checkpoint (Savannakhet province)
    - Dan Savanh checkpoint (Savannakhet province)
    - Vang Tao checkpoint (Champasak province)
    To extend your visa, visit the Lao immigration head office in Vientiane. Tel 021 - 212529, or contact a major Lao tour company that facilitates visa extension.

    - Na Phao checkpoint in Khammouane province. I’ve been out to this border crossing & the local immigration staff say NO visa on arrival!
    So is the situation the same at Na Meo, probably?
    Glenn, when you crossed at Na Meo did you ask the Lao immigration staff if a Lao visa was available on arrival?
    Bob, when & if you do cross, please make a report so that we know what the exact situation is.

    Check out
    for an official NTAL website & info on Laos.

    Keep The Power On
  5. BOB

    BOB New Member

    Thanks for the quick reply. My suspicion was that the required paperwork would be a good thing when making a crossing there. I'll be sure to pass on what info I can as I go.

  6. Glenn

    Glenn Member

    In July, we checked at the Lao embassy in Ha Noi about obtaining a visa on arrival at Na Meo but the answer was definitely no. The Vietnamese border guards also checked for Lao visas before they let us through.

    As for Na Phao, known as either Cha Lo or Mu Gia on the Vietnamese side, I'd be very surprised if foreigners could actually cross there. I've been up there from the VN side and was chased down by some VN border guards who thought I'd somehow managed to cross into VN from Laos without them noticing. They were determined to stamp my passport but they were finally persuaded that this wasn't necessary. Perhaps this means it is possible for foreigners to cross there?

  7. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    I was at the crossing the second week of September and there is little on the Laos side and visa upon arrival was not available. The ride from Hanoi is a bit long all the way to Sam Nua but doable if you depart very early.

    from the turn 90 km from the border, there is fuel and at the border, Mr. Chet has a 'guest house' on the right side almost to the end of the road. It is not marked so well and is about 300 meters from the border. There is little to do or eat there and if you get stuck, it's there. Best to run hard to Sam Nua.

    There is no fuel from the border almost all the way in and it's a lovely ride, some very heavy upgrades on tight turns but manageable.

    Make sure you have all your papers in order before crossing. I would like to hear from you after you cross as I have do so and am interested if the border VN officials are following the law, several friends of mine are also interested as well.

    [email [email protected]][email protected][/email]

    Ride Safe
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    This one, Na Phao, is international. I've been out to the border on the Lao side.
    Take a look at the 15th post / 8th March in
    Link removed
    and you will see some pix of the crossing on the Lao side.
    The sign says "Immigration International of Naphao Khammouane Province" Laos.
    The Lao immigration officials I spoke to there say YES the border crossing was international.

    Keep The Power On
  9. Mingh

    Mingh Active Member

    We crossed this border with no trouble. Too little trouble actually, because the Lao officials had no idea about Laissez-Passers and other documents regarding the bike.
    Does anyone know if they are needed, and if so where in luang prabang or Vientiane we can get them?

    We arranged our Lao visa in Hanoi, as advised by the lao embassy. As far as we can tell, you can't get a visum at the nameo border.

    And No, Nobody even hinted anything about bribes or 'special taxes'
  10. Glenn

    Glenn Member

    Hi Mingh,

    What bikes are you riding, where are the bikes registered and are you intending to return to VN? I'm asking because the VN border guards at Na Meo keep changing the way they deal with the yellow slips and whether you declare the bike as a temporarily exported good...

    Good to hear the guards let you through with no hassle. Have they opened the new buildings on the VN side yet, or are they still using the bamboo shacks?

  11. Mingh

    Mingh Active Member

    We're on a ramshackle Minsk 125cc, registered in Vietnam (license plate and the little papers) on the previous owner's name. It was too much hassle getting new registration done as nobody seems to care what name is on, as long as you have the registration papers.
    We are intending to return to Hanooi with the bike (if it holds) If things work out as we plan , we'll go via cambodia and from there we hope to work our way north again via the new highway 15, or at least where it's ready.
    Also see my topic on official paperwork needed to bring the bike in Laos: neither the embassy in Hanoi, nor the Na Meo border guys had a clue about temporary import papers. They didn't have any, and didn't know what we were talking about when we mentioned Laisser-passer. Do you know how necessary they are to cross teh border in the South? Wil we be fined without the temp import docs? Where can we obtain the papers in Vientiane?

    The officials are still in the funny old bamboo shacks ;-)

  12. BOB

    BOB New Member

    I am about to make the crossing. I will be on public transport but will endeavour to acquire any information that might help future riders. If you can give me any pertinent questions that I might ask I will do my best to get the info and pass it on. With regards to appropriate paperwork, should you have the translation of the form name that would be helpful I am sure.

    Hoping to help,

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