Riding across the Friendship Bridge at Chiang Khong

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by DavidFL, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. I rode across the Friendship Bridge today from Chiang Khong to Houei Xai.
    It was no real problem.
    Only money.

    The procedure
    1. Clear Thai immigration first. Get your vehicle export approved.
    The fee for this is 200 baht, no receipt.
    2. Thai immigration get your passport stamped out.
    3. Thai Customs get your export papers done.
    4. Arrange the Thai immigration escort vehicle - 500 baht. No receipt.
    5. Ride across the bridge behind the Thai immigration car.

    On the Lao side
    6. Laos Apply for a Lao visa.
    7. Laos get your passport stamped in.
    8. Lao police. Bo Keo police get your provincial vehicle travel permit approved. 200 baht. No receipt.
    9. Lao customs. Get your import permit done. 100 baht
    10. Get your AGL vehicle insurance from the building to the right of the customs - immigration. Upstairs 2nd floor. I paid 2100 Baht for 12 months maximum coverage. 1 month minimum is about 300 Baht.

    Enjoy, Laos is always good & any problems crossing are nearly always with "Officialdom" on the Thai side. All the bridges are free except, Chiang Khong.

    Come on guys at Chiang Khong, wake up to yourselves... You're giving Chiang Khong a bad name.
  2. As soon as the bike is fixed we'll be doing this.
    Thanks for the info.
  3. Thankyou for the infor.

    How much time did it take to pass?
    Thai and Laos.
  4. #4 DavidFL, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
    It was slow considering there were few other vehicles around.
    However it did coincide with lunch time.
    Total time I guess was 1 1/2 hrs - 45 minutes either side - once you end up with the right people who actually want to do something.

    Below is a pic of people - squatting on the ground - tired of waiting for Lao immigration. I was in the same queue - but "unsquatting."

  5. Thank you for more information.

    Passport, Green Book, a motorcycle driver's license
    Other documents ...?

    Have a happy New Year.
  6. Thanks for a thoroghly written report on how to cross the Chiang Khong - Huay Xai friendship bridge Davidfl.

    Two questions if you dont mind....

    Regarding # 1 - Is this something needed only for a thai registred bike, or is it also neccesary for for example european registred bikes?

    Regarding # 8 - provincial vehicle travel permit??? I have never heard of that. Is it really neccesary? What about other provinces in Laos then, do one need the same kind of permit for every province??

    Thanks in advance!
  7. Exiting Laos from Houei Xai.
    1. Clear Lao immigration.
    Present your passport & bike import docs.
    They will stamp your passport + keep the provincial police import doc.
    They arrange a vehicle to escort you across the bridge. Cost 500 baht. No receipt.
    2. Clear Lao customs. You return the green temporary import doc. Pay 100 baht. No receipt.

    Then ride across the bridge behind the happy smiling Lao immigration guy in his new pickup.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Yes & Yes. I will reply in full in a couple of days. I have copies of the docs issued.
  9. hi David, and happy new year to you, thank you for a very helpful report on crossing the Chiang Khong friendship bridge, hopefully will be up there in the next few weeks.
  10. Thanks David and looking forward to that... :)
  11. #11 DavidFL, Jan 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
    This is the Immigration TM2 Information of Conveyance.

    Border Crossings

    You should already have one from your arrival, so if you're on a foreign registered bike leaving all you have to do is had the TM2 back in.
    But if you're leaving on a Thai registered bike, then you have to complete the form in duplicate when you leave. Then when you re-enter you have the copy back in.

    Here it is
    Iissued by the police

    I've lost count of the number of Thai-Lao border crossings I have done by bike - at least 20-25 times & whilst you have always had your docs checked by the police after you have cleared Lao immigration & customs, with your details generally written in a book only.
    I can't recall actually having to fill out this form; I even questioned the staff about this claiming that I had never had to do one before (maybe I have, & forget,) but they said yes you do need to have one.
    It could just be a new system for the computers they are using at the bridge on the Lao side & a sign of the times & things to come.
    You learn something new all the time is all I can say; & before the computers I fondly remember crossing the Thai - Lao border many times with unregistered bikes!
    But now that we have computers all the boxes have to be ticked correctly & everything has to match up.

    & once upon a time you were supposed to register with the police when you went from province to province.

    Where to get your Lao insurance at the bridge

  12. Thanks again Davidfl for information. I have got that paper of course and two others as well. I guess I can skip # 3 on your list when I am on a european registred bike?

    Regarding the provincial travel permit again - I came through from China Boten border crossing last october and travelled through several provinces of Laos and didnt hear about this document nor did the other persons I rode with. And we were never asked about them either. Now I plan to ride 30 days through most of Laos and exit to Cambodia. How many provinses would that be and how many police stations and how many hours do need to spend collecting 10-15 of those?

    What is the punishmet for not having those kind of permitions?

    Anyhow - thanks for all other useful information Davidfl.
  13. I don't think there is any need for inter provincial police permits & I can only remember registering with the police once in LPQ or LNT - many many years ago.
    I think that what they are doing just now, specifically at Bokeo, is just checking you into the province as you come enter from overseas, nothing else.
    And if you check what happens each time you go into Laos, after you clear immigration & customs you have to present your papers to the police, who may or may not note the details & put them in a book, then wave you on. It's not a big deal & nothing to be overly concerned about.
    Ride & enjoy & don't forget your Lao insurance.
  14. Thanks again for the information Davidfl. I will just take it as it comes. Surely I will enjoy Laos again. Its just my third motorbike trip there though so I am a little behind you......
  15. Crossing at VTE recently, had to complete an Application for Temporary Import Vehicle form.

    Never had to do this before and the bike has been in to Laos numerous times

    BUT not via VTE... So guess what.. Needs to be completed and added to the database.

    (sounds like there is no real link up of customs systems)

    Then you get sent to an office to have it approved or added to the database.
    This office was locked.. So i go back and they send me over to the area where the insurance is...

    That person had gone to eat... So back I go again and speak to the customs fella in Blue.

    He tries to send me back to the first office.. I explain it is locked. Then tries to send me back to the second office.
    Explain someone is having a feed...

    He is not sure what to do and looks at me and then carries on..

    I say.. Never mind I will wait here... and stand there at his desk very politely.

    He looks at me.. Takes me back to the guy that started this wild goose chase and tells him to add my bike to the database.

    The form is different to above.

    In November at Vung Tao was not asked to fill out this form.. Guess they are just added it with out the run around.


  16. We came back 1,5 week ago. We arrived afternoon at the friendship bridge Chiang Kong 8 motorbikes one jeep. We payed nothing this time. Crossing the bridge free of charge. Everybody body friendly maybe the win in the lottery ????? But I m not shure.


  17. 602264_10151107753027036_2001514108_n.

    Hi Guys,

    If I have a thai custom declaration form, do I still need TM2 Information of Conveyance form?
    I been to south of Thailand few time never do any TM2 form before, by the way I'm not riding Thai or Laos bike.

  18. You are supposed to have one, but they are notoriously slack at the southern border due to the volume of traffic.
    All you can do is test it & try to ride out.
    At worst there maybe be a small negotiable fine for not having one.

  19. I've read a few travel blogs lately where people have politely declined the "assistance" of the "escort vehicle" @ THB500 and been waved through. Seems like a major rort. Also wondering what's the go if you're travelling in a group of 10 bikes, do they try and sting you THB5000???
  20. Exiting Laos today it cost 200 Thai Baht for the Lao immigration escort vehicle.

    The Thai immigration were less than efficient with a frustrating process from an officious non smiling officer.

    1. You cant get a TM6 card from the booth when you arrive with your vehicle. You have to walk over to the main building & get one from the "counter asistance staff" sitting at the table. Fill out your TM6 & take the card back to Smily & hand in both your customs & immigration docs from Huay Kon for him to inspect.
    2. Smily looks at the immigration docs from Huay Kon & says these are no good now because you have a passenger. You have to complete another full set of docs
    A. Information Of Conveyance
    B. Crew List
    c. Pax List
    Go back to the counter asistance staff who will complete a full set of docs for you.
    The counter assistance staff - 3 of them - are also less than impressed & dont agree on the process, but fill out another set of docs anway.
    Back to Smily again.
    No these documents are not right.
    Who did these for you?
    Your own immigration staff sitting over there.
    Please go back & do them again.
    It is bloody hot kitted up for what should be a simple 10 minute process....
    NO! I'm sorry I have given you two sets of documents prepared by immigration staff.
    It is obvious the left & right had of immigration right now dont know what they are doing.
    So you can call them & talk to them. I am very hot & not walking over there again to get the wrong documents as you claim they are.
    He calls the staff on his two-way....loh & behold.....oh your bike has a Thai number plate. OK no problem. You can go now.
    WTF read the bloody documents presented to you.

    I have now had 3 less than enjoyable experiences with the Chiang Khong immigration crossing the bridge -
    one outward
    two inward
    and you have to wonder where do they get these staff from!
    Is Chiang Khong the "sin bin" for errant staff.
    Be polite. Be firm & stand your ground folks.
  21. Exiting Laos across the bridge on Monday 17th October there was no Lao escort vehicle & no fee.
    I was free to ride across the bridge exiting Laos, unescorted, nothing was said.
  22. Crossed through into Laos yesterday. Easy enough, took about an hour in total. Not many smiles but i'm not sure why anyone in a government job in any part of the world would be smiling anyway. Did get a thumbs up from the police escort after the bridge though!

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