Nameo crossing - Vietnam to Laos on 2 Minsk

May 29, 2006
We crossed into Laos at Nameo on the 19th of Feb. For a little while it seemed as if the Vietnamese border guys were not going to let us through. They said that as the law stands we needed our names on the ownership papers for the Minsks, and a "International Vehicle Importation Licence" or something like that. We knew this might be the case, but it seems you just have to give it a crack because it is fruitless trying to do it officially. After a while us looking downcast at the prospect of having to backtrack and trying another border crossing, and mentioning that we were meeting a friend in Vieng Xai (only 56km from Nameo) the head guy said "OK, I help you" and away we went. I gave him 100,000 dong as we were leaving to buy some beers for him and his two mates (it was the last day of Tet), and to keep the goodwill there for other bikers.
The Laos border guard was very chilled out (surprise surprise) and helped push Trace's bike up the hill. We paid US$1 for I-don't-know-what and had a beer with him and we were off. Was good to be in Laos. I asked him about an importation certificate or whatever its called for having the Viet bikes in Laos, but he said no worries. I have his phone number and name in case anyone does ask here. Its less important to us than it is for the Thai riders who want to get their bikes back home, as we are going to sell the trusty Minsks in Laos once we are finished. Should make it easy for someone to tour Laos then head to Vietnam?
Because we have lots of time we have taken it easy, doing half day rides and chilling out. We have been to: Vieng Xai, Xamtai, Xam Nua, Nam Nuen, Vieng Thong, Nong Khiaw, Moung Noi, and arrived yesterday in Udomxai.
Internet here in Northern Laos is pretty average, so I will save the trip report for when I get somewhere better.

A couple of pics in the mean time:

Minsk Support team - Jeremy on a Baja


On the way to Xamtai

Suan Hin



East of Vieng Thong

Just east of Nong Khiaw