Siem Reap to Vientiane: Route and Border Crossings?

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by jorai, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. jorai

    jorai Active Member

    I'll be riding my 250cc Suzuki Djebel from Siem Reap to Vientiane, in order to meet a friend there for a 4-week northern Laos adventure.

    The point of traveling from here to Vientiane is not adventure but rather to get myself and the bike there safely and on time. I have hardly any experience riding in Thailand and I'll be traveling alone.

    Thus I am looking for a reliable, time-efficient route, preferable with border crossings that don't give me a lot of trouble. Ideally I would be issued a 4-week entry permit for the bike (which is registered in Cambodia) at the Thai-Lao border.

    I have applied for a Lao-visa already here in Siem Reap, in order to not rely on visa on arrival.

    Tentatively I am planning on crossing into Thailand from Cambodia near Anlong Veng. From there I would proceed to the Nakhon Phanom crossing with Laos. This leaves me with the Bun Kan/Pakxan crossing as a backup if for some reason I fail to cross at Nakon Phanom.

    Is this a good plan?
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  3. jorai

    jorai Active Member


    I'll be leaving Siem Reap around Oct 25, any guesses what the impact of the floods will have been along this route?

    Any guesses whether the new bridge at Nakhon Phanom, which is due to be opened Nov 11, will increase or decrease my chance of crossing there?
  4. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    If you have aThai registered bike as of January this year this was not possible.
    The crossing points in Thailand do not have the computerised system hooked up to log your bike back into LoS.
    I do not know if this applies to Cambo of Laos bikes, but I suspect that it would be a similar issue.
    We tried crossing the northern border of Cambo from Siem Reap having visited Pol Pot's grave.
    We had been told by a reputable farang travel agent that this was possible - it was not then,
    and considering the state of Thai-Cambo relations I doubt it as changed.
    We ended up doubling back to Poipet which was far from ideal.

    The other route you can do is head for Stung Treng and cross over into Laos and follow Route 13 north
    long but doable - localized flooding permitting of course.

    Good luck and let us know how you fair.
  5. jorai

    jorai Active Member

    Rhodie, many thanks for taking the time to respond so helpfully.

    Indeed I had much the same plan, crossing north of Anlong Veng, because it seemed the most direct route and I've been there a couple of times and know the way.

    Even though I think that Thai-Cambodian relations have just vastly improved I would not take my chances that what was not possible in January on a Thai-registered bike will now be possible on a Cambodia-registered one.

    Stung Treng would be an appealing option in the dry season when it is possible to travel there directly from here through Kg Thom. Having to go all the way through Kg Cham and Kratie is much less appealing.

    Thus I am now planning on crossing at Poipet and heading north from there. I'm also hoping to get mandatory 3rd party liability insurance at the border and expect that chances are better at a main crossing like the Poipet one.

    Localized flooding is a concern that I am not sure how to account for in the plan other than by sticking to major roads based on Cambodia experience.

    Maps like this are not encouraging and not knowing Thai does not help

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