We got through Frienship Bridge III

Discussion in 'North-East Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by yempaul, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. yempaul

    yempaul Ol'Timer

    Was turned away initially. Had a chat with the officials and soon enough he was on the phone with his boss. As soon he got off the phone, " Ok give me your documents, you must go by 10 minutes". All smiles the 4 of us. Took some gamble but will not try again unless necessary.






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  3. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    I guess this was partly due to not being on Thai registered bikes? Did they mention why you were allowed across were others have been refused in the past.
  4. yempaul

    yempaul Ol'Timer

    Nope ... they turned down politely initially and told us the only way to pass is that our bikes be on top of a truck. After the converstaion with his boss, they said their boss said OK and we have to clear quickly. That's about it.
  5. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Moderator Staff Member

    Good for you...

    Lets hope they are softening up and want some tourist dollars over that side of the Khong..

    Thanks for updating us.

  6. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Seems like it's just a roll of the dice getting across the friendship bridges on bikes?

    We had no drama riding both ways over the Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai a few months back...
  7. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Moderator Staff Member

    The Friendship III bridge has been strictly no go for a long time..

    The odd exception like Yempaul.
  8. Jurgen

    Jurgen Moderator

    I did not really want to cross during my last trip (October), but curiosity pushed me to gather information. I spoke with several helpful Thai officials (did no pass the bridge to speak with the Lao officials) and they all confirmed that only people traveling with an authorized group could enter Laos on a (Thai registered) bike. I am amazed that they left people 'check out' on the Thai side knowing that they could 'usually' not pass the Lao border. Will this count for a 'cheap' visa run when people are refused entrance and drive back? I wonder how this is handled!

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  9. yempaul

    yempaul Ol'Timer

    Well the Lao side didn't question 1 bit except for the initial puzzled look. They eventually let us through.
  10. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Moderator Staff Member

    Looks like it is time to push this a but further.. Any bikes going that way.. See if you can cross..

    Just may be things are loosening up.. Lets hope so.

    That part of Laos will be in my plans when on leave from work if it does open up..
    Too much time lost going to Chong Mek and Paxsan when you only have 5 days to a week leave and leaving from Bangkok.

  11. Jurgen

    Jurgen Moderator

    Yes, Brian, maybe an idea for people who have the time to test and, in case it does not work, have the possibility to drie an alternative route. testing the limits might bring results ... Or, at least confirm information.

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  12. Javawa

    Javawa Guest

    This bridge has been open now for only a year or so (so certainly not a long time) and as far as I know the only other person who went over the bridge is MotoRex but from the Lao side and he was told that it was no-no thing unless it was on the back of a truck (https://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/35774-The-new-bridge-connecting-Thakhek-and-Nakhon-Phanom-Don-t-take-your-bike).
  13. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Moderator Staff Member

    When Rex and I crossed over from Chiang Khong to HouXai..

    The officers at customs said that we would be able to use the bridge when it opened in 2013.

    This is a different bridge.. But certainly looks like things are getting better..
    Now it is no drama to cross from Nong Khai to Vientiane over the first friendship bridge.

    Fingers crossed..

  14. Jurgen

    Jurgen Moderator

    The third 'Friendship Bridge' over the Mekong was inaugurated on the auspicious day on 11.11.11 @ 11.11, I.e. just over a year ago. The fourth bridge will be the one in Chiang Khong, projected in April 2013, but probably not inaugurated before the second semester. The annoying thing with these bridges, if not open to bikes in the Thai- Lao direction, is that the ferry crossing is also suppressed, as the boats are no longer operating.

    If this happens to Chiang Khong, there will be only Muang Ngeun left in the North for a crossing to Laos, not a bad option from Chiangmai but quite long for a trip to Luang Namtha or Muang Sing.

    Will the Lao policy, obviously dictated some years ago to protect Vientiane from Thai 'Honda' hooligans, be inflected by the number of new bridges ... Or by the ASEAN economic corridor? I have just hopes but no information about this yet.

    Testing the possibilities, when easily feasible, might be a way to get information and maybe rise awareness. It would be a pity to have the crossing possibilities shrinking to 2 land passages and one unfrequent ferry.

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  15. burnjr

    burnjr Ol'Timer

    in november 15th 2012..they didnt allowed us to cross at this bridge..on thai side nhakorn phanom..but on laos side is okk..tell us return back to thakek(laos)..???
    dont know what law there are using..on/off depend on your luck..
  16. ray23

    ray23 Ol'Timer

    If you have a Thai registered bike what documentation do you need, to cross?
  17. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    we got turned back on the laos side last week , JAN 26th?, in the north of Nan.

    Initially Thais told us the Laos wouldn't let us in. We did not believe that (ignorance....) and went to the Laos side (Thai immigration told us to just go ask and come back ... no documents needed. Sure enough the guy at the Laos border said yeah, sure no problem, can do can do. So we went through the entire check-out procedure with the Thais scratching their heads but doing it anyway. Then we get to Laos again, this time a higher up tells us no way, only registered tour groups. An english speaking guy was summoned, he was very friendly and had all the time in the world for us. He even let us use his phone to call the rental company in the feeble hopes they could somehow reclassify us as official tour group. No go. So we had to go back to the Thai border and cancel our exit stamp and cancel our exit customs papers, too. I didn't even know that was possible.

    The Thais were super friendly and feeling sorry for us. They cancelled out exit stamps and customs exit paper (so that's what happens when you check out of Thailand but aren't allowed in on the other side...)

    Then we went to Chiang Kong, customs and immigration were all streamlined on both Thai and Laos sides and very fast, and specifically the Laos customs guy told us that with these papers we can exit at any border in Laos. I don't know if that's true but when we exited trough the northern Nan border it was all done in 5 minutes and no eyebrows raised.
  18. burnjr

    burnjr Ol'Timer

    we really dont understand what/why..go wrong with this setiousion
  19. mak1966

    mak1966 New Member

    We got turned away at Chong Mek in Ubon...........
  20. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the tip off.
    Why did you get turned away - on the Thai or Laos side?
    What bike were you riding?
    What rego - Thai or other?
  21. Malindi

    Malindi Member

    I'm on a Canadian plated bike. I suspect I can cross anywhere? (ignorance is bliss....)
  22. awabms

    awabms Member

    It was in January 2012, I enter Pakse via Chong Mek without any problem but I"ve been told by the hawker at chong mek a group of biker(vespa club) was denied their's entry to Pakse.The immigration at savanaket let me cross the friendship bridge to mukdahan but keep remind me, motorcycle are not allow to cross the bridge.Even the guy at the toll booth stop me at first but finally has to let me go.I went to the Thai immigration office in Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan,they said I have to load my bike on the truck to cross the bridge.
  23. burnjr

    burnjr Ol'Timer

    Nope ... they turned down politely initially and told us the only way to pass is that our bikes be on top of a truck. After the converstaion
    yap yempaukl the big boss is a ladies..that way to strike..good luck friend
  24. guichard

    guichard Ol'Timer

    On Jan 8th 2010,after clearing at Tha Li,I was turned down on by a police officer before reaching the immigration and custom boths.I phoned a Lao friend to have him talk to the police officer.The answer was: new regulation from the day before! And suggestthat I "try my luck" at friendship n°1(Huay Khon was not yet open to farangs)
    The Thai officers felt sorry for me and cancelled my previous stamps.
    On Jan 9th,after clearing on the Thai side,the Lao first denied my entry.It was 11 30 lunch time. They kept me waiting until 3 PM as I sat on the kerb in front of the office,and finally let me in! May be they pited an old lonesome biker? (I was 71 then)
    As Jurgen said earlier,lets hope that it will be OK at the new bridge in Houei Sai.I never had any problem on both sides in the last 10 years.And its more convenient now that the customs is next to the immigration. May be the ferry will move to Sop Ruak,andit wil be a new opening for bikes when they have the customs?

    Cheers, Lung Jacques.

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