Nong Khai Vientienne border crossing a succuss

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by xnfu, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Good Day:

    I travelled from Chiang Mai to Vientienne on my Honda CBR150. I highly recommend taking 203 to Loei, 211 to Nong Khai, probably not as ambitous as other routes, but good for lower powered bikes, scenery is beautiful, and the waterfalls are a dream (it slowed my travel time majorly, every 15 minutes I just had to stop at the next one :)).

    This is not a travel report per say, but I want to convey my success on crossing the friendship bridge into Vientienne.

    I can not remember all the detials, everything is sketchy, and I really do not know all that I did and the paperwork, it took about 3 hours.

    First off, I did not see any other bikes at all on either side of the border, not one is sight, obvisously this scared me. On the Thai side, they seemed to have no issues at all doing the import/export papers and stamped, that took like 20 minutes with no fees. I tried to ask if on Laos side if it was open to bikes, but I could not find anybody who spoke english.

    I cross the bridge over into Laos side, this is where the fun began. I stopped and parked infront of the building. I asked customs about bike, and how to get across. they told me to do my visa first, I said no but they kinda refused to look at my bike documents until I have gotten my Laos visa. So i go and do that, 1800 baht for 30 day visa.

    I go back to customs desk, then they tell me this time that "no bike", "no thai bikes allowed". WTF ! Like they couldn't of told me that earlier before I committed to a 30 day visa. Different officers point me to different directions, to other booths beside them, that got me no where. Then one of them told me to go into the building, 2nd floor and go to room #5. I go to room, nice lady there and she says "no thai bikes", I was very nice, showed some worry and played kinda the dumb forienger role. I say that I got stamped out of Thailand, I paid 1800 baht for 30 visa for Laos, and I have my bike which can't go with me. She gave me lecture of why no bike, which I do understand. She goes and sees her boss to see what she can do, 1 minute later she comes back and says she will give me paper to allow me to go across with bike, but that this is special circumstance and it will not happen again. I believe her (again, not one spec of another bike at crossing at this border).

    I pay her 130 baht for paperwork and stamp, she tells me directions of what else I need to do with paperwork, but I got confused and stumped. After stumbling around with this paper in hand and showing everything, and everyone pointing at other boothes/offices/etc, I can't exactly remember all the details. But I had to get a signature from a little office on other side of building (going to Thailand), he signed and stamped for free. Then i went to one of the vehicle custom booths infront, showed them the paper, they stamp like 5 or 8 little cards (shows amount of baht paid for vehicle crossing or something), I had to pay 1800 baht, I tried to ask what is this for, I did not understand what the fee is for, but I seen lots of people going there and paying a fee for their vehicle. I do not know if I paid too much, or what the circumstance was, but in all fairness "no bikes allowed" and they allowed me to cross, so I did not care about the fee at all. About 20 minutes later I receive a nice printed out copy of something (sorry I do not know what this is, I don't see any indication what it is), but it had my indentity on it, bike make/model/reg # etc.

    Then i had to go across to the right and get Laos insurance, which was about 30,000 kip (which is a price of a nice meal, so whatever). And I showed officers at the open customes desk all the paperwork where it all started and they let me through.

    TA DAAAAA......

    The border is NOT OPEN TO BIKES, and I do not encourage anybody to try this, this was a one off, maybe I winked at the officer lady the right way, maybe I showed some good leg, I do not know, but it was a one off.

    BTW in room #5 on 2nd floor of building, they have a poster of GT-RIDER, nice one guys.
  2. Xnfu

    Lucky man getting in like that.
    Glad you like the GT Rider promo on the wall of of room # 5, Khampean's office.
    Have a good trip in Laos & please fill us in on the rest of your trip.
  3. Xnfu & David

    im bit buzzled abt this no thai bike to Laos,, rule, official or just some local?
  4. Official - no motorbikes are allowed to enter Laos across the Friendship Bridges.

    Look here for the full run down, as it happened ... t1203.html

    But note
    1. Exit across the bridge is ok.
    2. There are "plenty" of other entry ports ... sings.html
    3. Sometimes you hear of one-off exceptions & sucess entering via The Bridge.

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