Laos Crossing Updates ?

bsacbob

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Everything appears very quiet at the moment, but has anyone got any further news on motorcycle Crossings at Houay Xai or Huay Khon border points. I am planning a trip mid Feb, good or bad news would be appreciated to finalise my route.

:DD
 

KTMphil

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Bob - We were able to get the Laos border crossing problems news on the day it first started, through some contacts we have in Chiang Khong.


The latest information we have is as follows for crossing into Laos with a motorcycle (you can cross at all Laos international border crossings it's the motorcycle that is the problem):


1. In north Laos, the Chiang Khong, Thailand / Huay Xai, Laos international border crossing is your safest bet. Laos Government border officials are relaying that groups of 4 motorcycles or less (that are not on a tour-for-profit without permits) can enter Laos at this international border crossing. Some are hearing that the group can be as big as 6 motorcycles, seems to be at the discretion of the Laos Government officials.


2. The Nan province (Thailand) , Huay Khon/ Chalerm Prakiat, Thailand - Muan Nguen, Laos international border crossing is now NOT open for motorcycles crossing into Laos


3. The Tha Li, Loei province, Thailand - Muan Mor/ Kenthao, Laos international border crossing refused a Suzuki DR650 entry 2 weeks ago (see the 2 threads below), so not advisable, if you try have a backup plan.


4. The Nong Khai, Thailand - Vientiane, Laos international border crossing seems to be ok for motorcycles in small groups entering Laos. A group of 20 Malaysian motorcycles tried to enter Laos here and had difficulties and needed the assistance of the Malaysian Consulate in Vientiane, Laos to enter Laos. Only small groups should attempt entering here.



For South Laos, read the 2 threads below as there's some issues there too.







http://www.rideasia.net/motorcycle-...cross-huai-kon-muang-ngeun-nan-motorbike.html


http://www.rideasia.net/motorcycle-...883-dont-run-illegal-tours-laos-beware-3.html
 

bsacbob

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Thanks Phil,
It's that "at the discretion of the Laos Government officials" bit thats the problem, I had already given up on the Nan crossing and plan to travel south from CK to Hongsa on the trail. Maybe a good excuse to take a ride to CK and see what local knowledge is to be had, surely there must be a steady trickle of riders going through who may not contribute to the forums.

I guess exit would still be possible at Huay Khon amidst this situation we are having right now.


 

KTMphil

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As far as we're aware exit from Laos into Thailand at the Nan province (Thailand) , Huay Khon/ Chalerm Prakiat, Thailand - Muan Nguen, Laos international border crossing is still possible.



Thanks Phil,
It's that "at the discretion of the Laos Government officials" bit thats the problem, I had already given up on the Nan crossing and plan to travel south from CK to Hongsa on the trail. Maybe a good excuse to take a ride to CK and see what local knowledge is to be had, surely there must be a steady trickle of riders going through who may not contribute to the forums.

I guess exit would still be possible at Huay Khon amidst this situation we are having right now.


 

marcusb

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For what it is worth. In the thread about Tha Li I mentioned I have been across there many times, successfully. I should have added it was not always trouble free.
I first crossed two years ago. The first crossing was ok and I met the lady in the white office "trailer" and she processed all my paperwork.
I went back two months later and all the men said "no bike, go Nong Khai" which was stupid as at the time one could not go north across the bridge. I ignored all the men and went into the "white office", when your facing the office it is the door on your left, when you go through the door it is the lady on your right who does the documentation. Once you have papers from her everyone else is happy. This happened to me at least 4 times at that crossing, the men say no bikes but the kind lady makes it work. She works mon - fri 8-4:00, stat holidays she is off. I cross when I know she is there.
That said, I have not crossed there in awhile so I am unsure if the recent refusal was because of new policy or just the same misinformation run around I used to get.

I start holidays in mid March, I will try the Tha li crossing then.
 

Nightrider70

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I entered Laos from Cambodia on the 4th without any problems. They did not even look at the green book or any of the other papers for the bike. Laos sure is a hit and miss thing.
 

mt60

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I crossed at Huay Xai on Saturday 16th, the longest part was waiting for a boat, total time 2 hours from paying my overstay, ferry ride and all Laos formalities.
Entered back into Thailand at Mukdahan today 19th total time was under 15mins from Laos Immigration to riding out of Thai Customs so easy!! :cool: was a bit of a worry as the Thai side have turned me away several times when trying to enter Laos from Thailand!!
For some reason no problem coming to Thailand from Laos at Mukdahan and i was on a foreign reg bike.
 

crs

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Me and Alex got in to Laos fine but Thai Imm didn't give any papers to us to take into Laos. Normal? Got feeling we should have been left a copy of the bike form... We got temp import papers from Lao authorities OK. Do you need any papers from the Thai side when you go back in? Cheers.
 

KTMphil

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Me and Alex got in to Laos fine but Thai Imm didn't give any papers to us to take into Laos. Normal? Got feeling we should have been left a copy of the bike form... We got temp import papers from Lao authorities OK. Do you need any papers from the Thai side when you go back in? Cheers.



Chris - when you leave Thailand with a Thai registered motorcycle, you will be issued with 2 documents, one from Thai Immigration (a "TM" form can't remember the number) & a temporary export contract from Thai Customs (normally valid for 30 days of temporary export).


When you arrive back in Thailand, you are supposed to produce both of these forms at the Thai border crossing when you return. The immigration "TM" is no where near as important at the Thai Customs temporary export contract, you can usually play dumb and get around the immigration "TM' document, however the Thai Customs temporary export document is the key to getting you motorcycle back into Thailand duty free.
 

crs

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We completed the tm forms - they just kept them - and didn't issue any export form. Checked with them twice if we should take anything away with us - the guy at thai immigration said no. There was maybe some confusion as we had to go to the police station 1st to confirm the bikes were ours as we only had copies of the green books. The guy at the police station completed all forms there and took 200 baht per bike - we just handed them back in down at immigration. Something seemed iffy but checked and checked him again. We'll go back in at C Khong then so should be able to find the guys who dealt with us if there's a problem. Can't see too much of a problem coming back into Thailand with Thai plated bikes.... Hopefully.
 

bsacbob

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If you cross at CK you should be ok just give your green paper to customs Laos side duck out of going to the small immigration office on the ramp Laos side. Thai side just park your bikes up the top of the ramp and do your entry stamp at the immigration, they may ask to see your green book and that's all, don't go to the customs and your golden.
 

crs

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Cheers guys. We've got the papers to keep Lao side happy so, when we get back over the river, we'll go sort passports at Thai imm then just do one. Thai reg bikes, in our names and we have copies of green books - don't see how they can make a big issue there.
 

crs

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Yep, should have kept a copy of the TM form and visited Customs to get an export form before leaving Thailand. (But Imm kept all TM form copies and said 'finished' at both Departures and Arrivals when we checked with them... Didn't mention Customs.)

Note, Thai Imm wanted to see the real Greenbook - not a copy - on departure. I don't know exactly what's done at Thai Customs - as didn't do.

Here's what i just emailed to Alex re. departure procedure from Laos to Thailand at Chiang Khong crossing - who's still in Laos...

Had to wait 6.5 hours for the boat! Sunday service = maybe only 2 ferry runs - and just missed the 1st.

Laos side = Get your Passport stamped out at Departures (where you got Laos Visa) - extra 10000kip if on overtime. Then go down ferry ramp to little Immigration office first, who should update computer records and stamp your Laos Import paper which you then take down to the Customs Office (where they gave paper) who take it off you and want 200b.

Ferry = ask at hotel what times the boats go!

Thai side = Go back to little ferry ramp and Immigration Arrivals. Get passport stamped in. They want a copy of your green-book and you have to fill in another form. They also wanted to see a copy of the TM 2 form - I just pointed over the road and said that, when we left, Departures had kept everything and didn't give a copy back. Then, Arrivals told me to go to Customs next - a couple of times... I explained that we had checked with Departures and they had said we didn't need to do anything else - so we didn't go to Customs before leaving Thailand.

There could be a problem with this - looks like Phil was right... Should have kept a copy of the TM form and should have done export stuff at Customs. Be nice when you talk to them at Arrivals and maybe they won't be bothered or say anything about the TM form or Customs. If they do, smile and try to explain like I did. If you're real worried you could go change out of all bike clothes before going to see them - then probably no idea you've got a bike.
 

Lone Rider

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When you want to cross the border you need to fill in TWO copies of the TM2 forms. One is kept by Immigration and the other copy is given back which you need to show to Customs as it has all the engine/frame/chassis numbers. Customs then prepares the Temporary Export Document. These two documents you will need to keep with you (TM2 and the Temporary Export Document) and the copy of the TM 2 is kept by Immigration when you enter back into Thailand while Customs wants to have the Temporary Export Document back.
 

crs

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Maybe a sticky with the required forms, documents and procedures would be a good idea. Gather things change at different crossings but... Is there such a sticky? I found bits in different threads but no concise summary. Maybe I missed it.
 

Lone Rider

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Maybe a sticky with the required forms, documents and procedures would be a good idea. Gather things change at different crossings but... Is there such a sticky? I found bits in different threads but no concise summary. Maybe I missed it.
In the same section you posted this (Red Tape - Border Crossings) there are a few stickies where you can download all the forms you need as well as information on the crossings themselves (a bit outdated now but still very useful).
 

KTMphil

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crs

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Good, good. The only thing I'd add is that Chiang Khong Thai Immigration, Departures wanted to see the actual green book - not just a copy.

Because we didn't have this, we had to go to the Police Station and get them to verify current ownership (as a copy could be of an old, previous owners page, I guess). We completed the TM forms at the Police Station where we also handed over 200b - instead of at Immigration. We then just handed all this in back at Imm (which I think miffed them some). There was a 2nd copy of the TM form with all of this - but Imm just kept the lot and said we didn't need to take anything away from them. I thought that wasn't right - but checked twice. That was a mistake - and I, myself, didn't know anything about the Customs export form - which Thai Imm D and Thai imm A didn't mention either...

Just hope Alex gets through OK.
 

KTMphil

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Monica from the Jumbo GH in Hongsa, Laos contacted me today. She's just returned from the Huay Khon, Thailand - Muan Nguen, Laos border crossing. She was told yesterday that Foreign motorcycles can now enter Laos at Muan Nguen, Laos.

This is currently untested, but hopefully now possible with this update from the Laos border officials.
 

bsacbob

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Great news no need to pay the ferry man no more.

Sent from my iPhone using Forum Runner
 

NanGuestHouse

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Just got back from the Huay Khon - Muan Nguen border crossing to check and asked if crossing by bike is possible, the answer is yes! We were not able to try it with a bike of our own, but in the last few weeks several bikes have crossed succesfully. However......the customer officer at the Thai side mentioned that the Laos side tend to make some (irragular) acceptions. Large groups are usually denied and they often deny entry during high season. This "policy" from the Laos side is not fixed (they can't give us any dates) and they tend to change it without prior notice. So still a bit of gamble (keep a backup plan in mind), but at the moment the odds are good.... (Please note that also the Visa fee's for entry have gone up with 5 USD, entry for most EU countries and US is now 35USD or 1400THB). If your going, good luck and hope to hear how it went so we can inform any of our guests!
 

bsacbob

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Just had reports from Mr Deeks this morning of a group of five riders on various types of motorcycles had trouble on the Laos side crossing from Chiang Khong, apparently they had used an agent and on the Laos side officials believed they were in a group and needed a guide. After assurances by the female agent they could proceed without further problems.


So be warned guy's, pays to break your group into smaller numbers when crossing.
 

KTMphil

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Pretty stupid to go 5 bikes together, with no tour license, with the current sensitivities at the border.


Just had reports from Mr Deeks this morning of a group of five riders on various types of motorcycles had trouble on the Laos side crossing from Chiang Khong, apparently they had used an agent and on the Laos side officials believed they were in a group and needed a guide. After assurances by the female agent they could proceed without further problems.


So be warned guy's, pays to break your group into smaller numbers when crossing.
 

skeedary

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The crossing charges as at yesterday via the Chiang Khong ferry were:
Bike exit fee at ramp 200 baht
Ferry Fee 500 baht
Laos Temporary Import 1 month 100 baht
Laos Insurance 2 weeks 160 baht
Laos Visa Fee 1 month Aussie 30USD, USA 35USD, England 35USD. or if using baht they will convert at 40 baht to the dollar
 

skeedary

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Bikes will be allowed to cross at new Chiang Khong bridge

Spoke to the Lao Customs Officer yesterday at Houy Sai. Informed me that although the bridge opens formally on 11/12/13 (they have been waiting for the numbers to fall together), that bikes will be allowed after one month. So that is good news as i had been hearing that passage by pickup was to be the norm.:DD
 

bsacbob

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Thanks for the updates Gary, thats great news for bikes, we had earlier stories of bikes not being allowed for months after opening.
 

skeedary

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I probably will be crossing back to Thailand tomorrow via the Nan border so will keep all informed.
 

skeedary

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Thanks for the updates Gary, thats great news for bikes, we had earlier stories of bikes not being allowed for months after opening.
Yes Bob she was forthcoming with the news. They are moving to a new facility at the new bridge so presume that the Laos ramp Customs will still be attended meanwhile. The ramp on the Laos side is in good condition but the Thai side is in dangerous condition to approach the ferry. looks like they are not bothering anymore because of the pending bridge opening.
 

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Laos-China International checkpoint opens in Phongsaly

International tourists can now move between Laos and China through Phongsaly province as the cross-border checkpoint between Lan Toui in the Lao province and Meuang Kham in the Chinese province of Yunnan was opened late last month. “The tourists holding passports can enter and exit Laos through this border checkpoint as it has been upgraded to the international standard,” an official from the Phongsaly provincial Department of Public Works and Transport said in an interview with Vientiane Times yesterday.

The border checkpoint is on the road linking Gnot-ou, and Bounneua districts in Phongsaly province with Pu' Er City in Yunnan province. The official said the road in China was asphalt surfaced which facilitated a smooth flow of traffic, while the Lao authority was currently upgrading the sections on its side. He said the upgrade of the cross-border checkpoint would facilitate the tourism and trade exchange between Laos and China, especially as Yunnan province's city is one of China's growing communities.

This is the second international border checkpoint now operational in Phongsaly. The first, linking the province's Sobhoun-Tay Trang and the Vietnamese province of Dien Bien, has been open for several years. The official said the opening would also boost the flow of foreign tourists, including Europeans, and noted that the link with Vietnam had already seen more tourism along Road 2E where the checkpoint is situated. As of May last year, there were 23 international checkpoints, including four at the international airports in Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Savannakhet, and Pakxe. Of those 23, 21 have the capacity to issue visas.

New Lao China International Border Crossing.jpg

Vientiane Times

Note: Will update the map of Laos border crossings once I have info if there is Visa-on-Arrival at this new border crossing
 

KTMphil

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Trying to find out if there is immigration visa-on-arrival available on the Lan Toui, Laos side of this international border crossing with China.




Laos-China International checkpoint opens in Phongsaly

International tourists can now move between Laos and China through Phongsaly province as the cross-border checkpoint between Lan Toui in the Lao province and Meuang Kham in the Chinese province of Yunnan was opened late last month. "The tourists holding passports can enter and exit Laos through this border checkpoint as it has been upgraded to the international standard," an official from the Phongsaly provincial Department of Public Works and Transport said in an interview with Vientiane Times yesterday.

The border checkpoint is on the road linking Gnot-ou, and Bounneua districts in Phongsaly province with Pu' Er City in Yunnan province. The official said the road in China was asphalt surfaced which facilitated a smooth flow of traffic, while the Lao authority was currently upgrading the sections on its side. He said the upgrade of the cross-border checkpoint would facilitate the tourism and trade exchange between Laos and China, especially as Yunnan province's city is one of China's growing communities.

This is the second international border checkpoint now operational in Phongsaly. The first, linking the province's Sobhoun-Tay Trang and the Vietnamese province of Dien Bien, has been open for several years. The official said the opening would also boost the flow of foreign tourists, including Europeans, and noted that the link with Vietnam had already seen more tourism along Road 2E where the checkpoint is situated. As of May last year, there were 23 international checkpoints, including four at the international airports in Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Savannakhet, and Pakxe. Of those 23, 21 have the capacity to issue visas.

View attachment 25223

Vientiane Times

Note: Will update the map of Laos border crossings once I have info if there is Visa-on-Arrival at this new border crossing
 
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