Road Conditions Other Lao Driving Questions [Car Relat


New Member
Nov 9, 2008
I know this is a motor cycle forum, but it seems to be the best resource for Lao road information and importation of motor vehicles, so I hope I don't get flamed for asking these questions related to car driving in Laos.

I'd like to take my Thai 4 door compact-Sedan (2 wheel drive) for 30 days around Laos. I'm thinking, Nongkhai-VTE-Plain of Jars-Luang Prabang and maybe south down to 4000 islands and then back via Mukdahan.

My questions are:
1) are the roads OK for my compact Sedan on my route? I know this rainy season has produced an excessive amount of rain (I want to go during the month of Dec 08). How about the road to Oudomxai?
2) are the mountain roads up to LP, safe to drive? I was in VTE, last week and the Visitor information center said it was dangerous to drive the Mountain Roads, but a guesthouse and a merchant said it's OK, just drive slowly.
3) how easy is it to get a 30-day temporary importation of a vehicle from Friendship Bridge? How much will it cost me? Is it better to get the standard 14-day at FB, and visit Customs in VTE? Where is Customs located in VTE for an extension? Will I be able to get a full 30-days (equivelent to my Visa stamp, or only in weekly increments? meaning 4x7=28 days)?
4) Do I need any special papers to exit wth my car via Mukdahan instead of my entry point of Friendship Bridge (VTE/Nongkhai)?
5) I usually put gasohol 91 into my car, which gasoline should I be asking for in Laos?

Thanks, I've read and looked over many of the pics on this board, they all get me excited, but also a tad bit scared, cause some of those pot holes look really big (but I think most are taken off-the main highways). Thanks for the awesome board.


Jul 18, 2008

This past May a Thai friend and I and my wife went with a pickup truck from Vientiane up to the PDJ, Phonsavan for a couple of days, then over to Luang Prabang. After LP, over to Ban Houei Sai via Oudomsai and Luang Namtha.

Except for the rough stretch of road after Oudomsai, no problems. This piece of road has been noted recently in GT Rider as being a bit worse now.

There's also some rough patches now, GT reported, in the area south of Vang Vieng. An alternate route for this piece might be to go north out of Vientiane via Ban Kuen then west over to RT 13N.

FYI, saw numbers of Toyota vans on the roads, non-4-wheel drive so a regular passenger car should be OK.

Don't know about the 30-day importation, didn't notice what we received.

And, NO problem at all entering via the Friendship Bridge and exiting at Ban Houei Sai.

Also did this in February, via Thai registered van from Mukdahan to Savannakhet and exit via Thakhek to NKP. No problems.