Laos & Vietnam

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Laos & Vietnam


 International Border Crossings

There are seven border crossings between Thailand and Laos: Nong Khai-Vientiane; Chiang Khong-Houay Xay; Mukdahan-Savannakhet; Nakhon Phanom-Tha Khaek, Khammouan; Chong Mek-Vang Tao; Bueng Kan-Paksan, Bolikhamxai; Tha Li, Loei-Nam Hueng, Kenethao and Ban Mo, Si Chiang Mai-Vientiane. For the overland travel between Laos and Vietnam the most used border crossings are: Nam Phao-Cau Treo, Dansavanh-Lao Bao and Na Maew-Nam Xoi. Between Laos and Cambodia there is only one option, the border Veun Kham-Dom Kralor.

 Dinamic Map


The First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge is the most used border crossing between Thailand and Laos. It consists in a rail and road bridge which spans the Mekong River and connects Nong Khai with Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Nong Khai is the northernmost province in Northeast Thailand, best known as Isan. The bridge is the completion of the highway AH12, which is in turn part of a huge Asian Highway Project. Nong Khai is located in the vicinity of the bridge, while the Laotian capital is located about 20 km away. The Thai checkpoint is one km before the bridge; the Lao checkpoint is on the bridge, where there is also the change of roadway, because in Thailand the driving direction is on the left while in Laos is on the right. The total length of the bridge is 1,174 meters, the part between the two embankments measuring 665 meters, with a width of 12,70 meters. the bridge includes two lanes for cars, two pedestrian sidewalks and in the middle the rail track of the only active railway in Laos. To reach Nong Khai from Bangkok you can opt for a comfortable train journey. Three night trains with bed berths depart from Hua Lamphong in Bangkok reaching Nong Khai in the morning after an eleven hour trip. The shuttle train that departs from Nong Khai Railaway Station and ends at Thanaleng International Terminal in Laos, 13 km away from Vientiane centre, is the completion of the railway line Bangkok - Nong Khai - Vientiane. Upon arrival at Thanaleng station there is a office for Lao Visa, but only for shuttle's passengers. From Thanaleng you can reach Vientiane with the tuk-tuk, 300 THB, or minivan, 500 THB. Alternatively you can reach Vientiane by bus. Several private companies offer direct lines until the Lao capital from the Mo Chit bus stations in Bangkok, other lines need changing bus in Nong Khai. The bus terminal in the border town is the starting point for many local buses towards Vientiane, they cost 55 THB. The Laos's capital is also connects to other cities in North East Thailand, as Khon Khaen, Nakon Ratchasima and Udonthani. Foreigners and locals reaching border with own car or rented one may continue their journey in Laos, but only if they have the entry permit authenticated, namely the Carnet de Passage.Read More  

 Cross the border

The Visa for Laos is issued at border checkpoint presenting a passport with valid for at least six months, a photocopy, the completed form, two passport photos and paying 30-35 US$, depending on the nationality of the tourist for 14 days stay, renewable by the Department of Immigration of Lao PRD. Path Bangkok - Nong Khai: from the center of Bangkok follow northbound the Highway 1 until Saraburi, about 98 km, then turn left on Highway 2, the Thanon Mittraphap, which leads directly to Vientiane, passing from Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani and Nong Khai. The total distance from Bangkok is 614 km , an eight-hour car trip along a road in excellent condition.


 Vientiane to Hanoi

Vientiane is connected to Hanoi with a redular bus service through the year. The bus trip takes about 23 hours, the road is very long, and not always in good condition, but the scenario that you can admire during the day is fascinating. Buses leave in the late afternoon and most of them are new and comfortable, all have decent or good bunks for sleeping, some have a toilet on board. The price is the same for each type of bus namely 230,000 Kip, which are about US$ 28. Tickets are available at departure terminal, in downtown Vientiane or at Nuoc Ngam Bus Station in Giai Phong Street in Hanoi or any travel agencies. The border crossing between Laos and Vietnam most used is Nam Phao-Cau Treo. Please remember that at all overland border crossings will not be issued the VISA for entry in Vietnam.


  Train Schedules from Hua Lamphong Railway Station Bangkok

TrainHua LamphongNong KhaiDistanceFare Berth 1st A/C Up/LowFare Berth 2nd A/C Up/LowFare Berth 2nd Fan Up/Low
Exp. 7718:3005:05624n.a.778 - 708 Baht538 - 488 Baht
Exp. 6920:0006:456241,317 - 1,117 Baht778 - 708 Baht538 - 488 Baht
TrainNong KhaiHua LamphongDistanceFare Berth 1st A/C Up/LowFare Berth 2nd A/C Up/LowFare Berth 2nd Fan Up/Low
Exp. 7606:0017:10624n.a.778 - 708 Baht538 - 488 Baht
Exp. 7019:1006:006241,317 - 1,117 Baht778 - 708 Baht538 - 488 Baht

  Shuttle Schedules from Nong Khai Railway Station

TrainNong KhaiVientianeDistanceFare Seat 2ndFare Seat 3rd
Shuttle09:0009:151020 Baht30 Bath
Shuttle14.4515:001020 Baht30 Bath
TrainVientianeNong KhaiDistanceFare Seat 2ndFare Seat 3rd
Shuttle11:1511:301020 Baht30 Bath
Shuttle17:0017:151020 Baht30 Bath

  Bus Schedules from Mo Chit Teminal Bangkok

RouteBus ClassDepartureRate THBDistanceTime Hr
To Vientiane1° Class18:0090064011.00
From Vientiane1° Class20:0090064011.00
To Nong Khai1° Class20:3070061411.00
From Nong Khai1° Class19:30 - 20:0070061411.00
To Nong Khai2° Class20:30 - 21:4545061411.00
From Nong Khai2° Class18:30 - 19:3045061411.00

  Bus Schedules from Vientiane Bus Terminal

RouteBus ClassDepartureRate KipDistanceTime Hr
To Nong Khai2° Class07:30 - 09:30 - 12.40 - 14:30 - 15:30 - 18:0015,000271.00
To Khon Khaen2°Class07:45 - 14:0050,0001944.00
To Nakhon Ratchasima2°Class9:0086,0003846.30
To Udonthani2°Class08:00 - 09:00 - 10:30 - 11:30 - 14:00 - 16:30 - 18:0022,0001943.00

  Bus Schedules to Vietnam from Vientiane Bus Terminal

RouteBus ClassDepartureRate KipDistanceTime Hr
Vientiane - HanoiSleeper Bus18:30 - 17:00230,00078723.30
Hanoi - VientianeSleeper Bus19:00 - 18:30230,00078723.30


The last Friendship Bridge built connects the Chiang Rai Province to Bokeo in Laos. The bridge is 630 meters long, 480 meters between the two banks, and is the complement of the Asian Highway AH3 running from Chiang Rai through Jinghong in Yunnan Province and ends in Shanghai. The new connection between Thailand and Laos allows tourists to visit the provinces in northern Laos, like Luang Namtha or Luan Prabang, but also reaching Hanoi in Vietnam and the Southern Chinese Provinces. The Fourth Friendship Bridge was built a few kilometers away from Chiang Khong in Thailand and Ban Houay Xay in Laos. The Thai and Laotian border checkpoints are located on the motorway leading to the bridge. The change of direction for vehicle is on the Thai connection, due in Thailand the drive direction is on the left while in Laos is on the right. The bridge no has quayside pedestrian and so you cannot pass through on foot or with bicycle. Shuttle buses ensure the transfer of local or tourists without means of locomotion, it costs 25 THB on weekdays and 40 THB during the weekend. The service operates from 07:30 till 18:00 for those who are on Chiang Khong side, and from 07:30 till 19:30 for those stay on Laotian territory. Local buses connect constantly throughout the day Chiang Rai and Chiang Khong. There is also a VIP Bus service that depart from Chiang Rai reaching the Phetaloun International Bus Station in Bokeo. At Thai border checkpoint buses stop to allow tourists to process the application for a Visa. At the international terminal leave the buses to reach Luang Namtha, fare 600 THB, Luan Prabang, 960 THB, Udomxai, 700 THB, or to Southern China. Buses to other provinces leave from Keo Laotian Champa Bus Station, located at a short distance from the international station. The border crossing between Laos and Vietnam most used from this area of Laos is Na Maew - Nam Xoi, which is 462 km away from Bokeo and allow to reach Hanoi. Please remember that at all overland border crossings will not be issued the VISA for entry in Vietnam. If you wish to continue your journey to China the closest border crossing is Mohan - Boten, which allows access to the Yunnan Province. Laotian companies offer bus service untill Yunnan. Buses depart from Bokeo and Luan Prabang, a journey of 220 or 290 km. Laotian companies offer bus service untill Yunnan Province. Buses depart from Bokeo and Luan Prabang, a journey of 220 or 290 km. The Visa for China is also issued at Chinese Consulate in Chiang Mai. Address: 111, Changloh Road, Tambon Haiya, Amphoe MuangChiang Never. Buses to Chiang Khong and Chiang Rai depart from Mo Chit bus station in Bangkok early in the morning or late in the afternoon, an eleven-hour trip that costs between 650 and 900 THB. Foreigners and locals reaching border with own car or rented one may continue their journey in Laos, but only if they have the entry permit authenticated, namely the Carnet de Passage.Read More  

 Cross the border

The Visa for Laos is issued at border checkpoint presenting a passport with valid for at least six months, a photocopy, the completed form, two passport photos and paying 30-35 US$, depending on the nationality of the tourist for 14 days stay, renewable by the Department of Immigration of Lao PRD. Path Bangkok - Chiang Khong: from Bangkok follow one of the many Expressways or Tollways northbound, all converge into Highway 32, the Phaholyothin Road, which reaches Ayutthaya and then continues up to Chiang Rai, signaled as AH2, passing through Nakhon Sawan, Tak, Lampang, 810 km in total from Bangkok. From Chiang Rai the AH3 leads to Chiang Khong in 97 km.


  Bus Schedules from Mo Chit Teminal Bangkok

RouteBus ClassDepartureRate THBDistanceTime Hr
To Chiang KhongSombat Tour08:00 - 19:00 - 20:1563487512.00
From Chiang KhongSombat Tour09:00 - 16:00 - 17:0063487512.00
To Chiang RaiVip 24 Seats20:0090480111.00
From Chiang RaiVip 24 Seats19:0090480111.00
To Chiang RaiAir Con 40 Seats07:50 - 21:2063480113.00
From Chiang RaiAir Con 40 Seats07:30 - 18:2063480113.00

  Bus Schedules from Chiang Rai Teminal

RouteBus ClassDepartureRate THBDistanceTime Hr
To Chiang KhongLocal BusHourly 06:00 to 17:0065971.30
From Chiang KhongLocal BusHourly 07:00 to 16:0065971.30

  Bus Schedules to Laos from Chiang Rai Terminal

RouteBus ClassDepartureRate THBDistanceTime Hr
To Bokeo Bus St.Gov. 999 VIP10:00 - 16:302251302.30
From Bokeo Bus St.Gov. 999 VIP09:00 - 16:302251302.30


The Second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge connects Mukdahan in Thailand to Savannakhet in Laos. Mukdahan is a border province in the Northeastern Thailand. The bridge it’s the completion of highway AH16 connecting Đông Hà in Vietnam to Tak in the Eastern Thailand. The Second Friendship Bridge has a length of 2,702 meters; the distance between the two banks is 1,600 meters. The width is 12 meters and comprises two roadways for cars. The Thai border checkpoint is located in Bang Sai Yai close to the bridge, the Laotian is in Savannakhet about one km away. Please note that in Thailand the drive direction is on the left while in Laos is on the right. The change of carriageway is near the Thai border. From Savannakhet you can visit the southern part of Laos or even reaching Vietnam by bus. The border crossing between Laos and Vietnam usually used is Dansavanh - Lao Bao. Please remember that at all overland border crossings will not be issued the VISA for entry in Vietnam. You can get to Mukdahan from Bangkok by bus, the distance from the capital is 674 km, an eleven-hour trip from the Mo Chit bus station. From Mukdahan the local buses connect the town with Savannakhet, the departures are from 7.30 till 19.30. The fare is 45 THB, one-hour trip on a discrete road. Foreigners and locals reaching border with own car or rented one may continue their journey in Laos, but only if they have the entry permit authenticated, namely the Carnet de Passage.

 Cross the border

The Visa for Laos is issued at border checkpoint presenting a passport with valid for at least six months, a photocopy, the completed form, two passport photos and paying 30-35 US$, depending on the nationality of the tourist for 14 days stay, renewable by the Department of Immigration of Lao PRD. Path Bangkok - Mukdahan: from the center of Bangkok follow northbound the Highway 1 until Saraburi, about 98 km, then turn left on Highway 2, the Thanon Mittraphap, towards Nakhon Ratchasima - Udon Thani, 90 km after Nakhon Ratchasima turn right and follow the Highway 202 until Amnat Charoen where you take the Highway 212 that in 147 km leads to Mukdahan.


  Bus Schedules from Mo Chit Teminal Bangkok

RouteBus ClassDepartureRate THBDistanceTime Hr
To MukdahanVIP 32 Seats08:00 - 20:30 - 21:3082967111.00
From MukdahanVIP 32 Seats08:30 - 20:00 - 20:1582967111.00

  Bus Schedules to Laos from Mukdahan Terminal

RouteBus ClassDepartureRateDistanceTime Hr
To SavannakhetLocal BusEvery hour or half hour 07:30 to 19:0045 Baht171.00
From SavannakhetLocal BusEvery hour or half hour 07:30 to 19:0013,000 Kip171.00


The Third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge connects Nakhon Phanom to Khammouan Province in Laos. Nakhon Phanom is a border province in Northeastern Thailand. The total length of the bridge is 1,423 meters. The width is 12 meters and comprises two roadways for cars and two pedestrian sidewalks. The toll for crossing the bridge is 50 THB for vehicles up to 6 people, 200 THB for buses. The crosswalk is free, is no allowed crossing on bicycles, which must be transported in vehicles. Buses to Nakhon Phanom depart from Mo Chit Northern Terminal in Bangkok, an eleven-hour journey to travel 714 km. From the bus station in Nakhon Phanom start the local buses that reach Tha Khaek, the small Laotian boerder town, one hour and a half trip including customs procedures. The bus ticket costs 70 THB. Foreigners and locals reaching border with own car or rented one may continue their journey in Laos, but only if they have the entry permit authenticated, namely the Carnet de Passage. From Khammouan Province you can reach the border crossing between Laos and Vietnam located up the mountains Đèo Mu Gia, 151 km away from Tha Khaek. The pass was the main entry point of the Path of Ho Chi Minh through Laos during the war in Vietnam. The bumpy road is fascinating, carved into the rock of the steep hill with a narrow track next to a precipice that ends in the creek below. The border crossing is still open, but at border points are not granted entry Visas to Vietnam.

 Cross the border

The Visa for Laos is issued at border checkpoint presenting a passport with valid for at least six months, a photocopy, the completed form, two passport photos and paying 30-35 US$, depending on the nationality of the tourist for 14 days stay, renewable by the Department of Immigration of Lao PRD. Path Bangkok - Nakhon Phanom: from the center of Bangkok follow northbound the Highway 1 until Saraburi, about 98 km, then turn left on Highway 2, the Thanon Mittraphap, towards Khon Kaen, about 338 km. Reached Khon Kaen continue on Highway 12 for 83 km until Kalasin, then turn on Highway 223 that leads to Sakhon Nakhon, 128 km further away. From Sakhon Nakhon follow Highway 22 which leads directly to Nakhon Phanom in 90 km.


  Bus Schedules from Mo Chit Teminal Bangkok

RouteBus ClassDepartureRate THBDistanceTime Hr
To Nakhon PhanomSombat Tour20:10 - 20:30 - 21:0082372711.00
From Nakhon PhanomSombat Tour08:30 - 20:00 - 20:1582372711.00

  Bus Schedules to Laos from Nakhon Phanom Terminal

RouteBus ClassDepartureRateDistanceTime Hr
To Tha KhaekLocal BusEvery hour or half hour 08:30 to 17:3070 Baht171.30
From Tha KhaekLocal BusEvery hour or half hour 08:30 to 17:3020,000 Kip171.30


Chong Mek - Vang Tao is border crossing most convenient for tourists planning to visit the Southern Laos. Chong Mek is the small Thai border town in Ubon Ratchathani Province the easternmost in Northeast Thailand. From the bus station in Ubon Ratchathani depart buses that reach directly Pakse, the Laotian town of some importance far 137 km. At the border crossing in Vang Tao completed the formalities to get Visa the journey continues for the other 46 km needed to reach the Laotian city. Buses to Ubon Ratchathani leaves from Mo Chit bus station in Bangkok, an eight-hour trip along 649 km of excellent road. There is also a bus line that connects directly Bangkok to Pakse, stopping at the border crossing allowing tourists to get the Visa. Foreigners and locals reaching border with own car or rented one may continue their journey in Laos, but only if they have the entry permit authenticated, namely the Carnet de Passage. From Pakse tourists can also reach the Cambodia, including Siem Reap with its wonderful Angkor Archaeological Park. The only border crossing between Laos and Cambodia is Veun Kham - Dong Kralor located 150 km from Pakse in Champasak Province. The neighboring Cambodian province is Stung Treng, from which you can reach Siem Reap distant 350 km. Visa for Cambodia is issued on arrival at Dong Kralor checkpoint presenting a valid passport, a copy, one or two photographs, the completed form, and paying US$ 40 of fee for thirty days stay. Remember that you can not enter Cambodia with its own vehicle, thus you'll have to continue your journey with the Cambodians transportations.

 Cross the border

The Visa for Laos is issued at border checkpoint presenting a passport with valid for at least six months, a photocopy, the completed form, two passport photos and paying 30-35 US$, depending on the nationality of the tourist for 14 days stay, renewable by the Department of Immigration of Lao PRD. Path Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani - Chong Mek: from the center of Bangkok follow northbound the Highway 1 until Saraburi, about 98 km, then turn left on Highway 2, the Thanon Mittraphap, towards Nakhon Ratchasima, at Amphoe Si Khew just 40 km before Nakhon Ratchasima turn right into Highway 24 leading to Ubon Ratchathani, about 500 km from Saraburi. From the provincial capital follow the Highway 217, which in 90 km leads to Chong Mek.


  Bus Schedules from Mo Chit Teminal Bangkok

RouteBus ClassDepartureRateDistanceTime Hr
To Ubon RatchathaniVIP 32 Seats21:00736 Baht6498.00
From Ubon RatchathaniVIP 32 Seats19:30736 Baht6498.00
To Ubon RatchathaniNakhonchai T.08:15 - 09:30 - 13:00 - 19:30 - 21:30552 Baht6498.30
From Ubon RatchathaniNakhonchai T.08:15 - 09:30 - 13:00 - 19:30 - 21:30552 Baht6498.30
To Pakse, LaosGov. 999 Bus20:10 - 20:30 - 21:00900 Baht79012.00
From Pakse, LaosGov. 999 Bus08:30 - 20:00 - 20:15250,000 Kip79012.00

  Bus Schedules to Laos from Ubon Ratchathani

RouteBus ClassDepartureRateDistanceTime Hr
To PakseLocal Bus09:30 - 15:30200 Baht1383.00
From PakseLocal Bus08:30 - 15.3054,000 Kip1383.00


 Visa for Laos: the Visa on Arrival, V.O.A., is issued at all overland border crossings between Laos and Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia, presenting the passport, with valid for at least six months, a photocopy and two passport photos. V.O.A. costs from 30 to 35 US$, depending on the nationality of the tourist, for only 14 days stay, but renewable by the Department of Immigration of Lao.

 Visa for Vietnam: if your overland journey continues into Vietnam the Visa is required. Visa for a 30 days stay can be obtained to any Embassies or Consulates of Vietnam, presenting the passport with valid for at least six months, a photocopy of photo page, the application form in duplicate and two passport photos, the cost is 45 US$.

 Note : remember that tourists who return into Thailand's territory from a Cambobia's land border get V.O.A. for only 15 days, unless they are already in possession of a Double Entry Visa or Re-Entry Permit.

 Currency, Exchange and Credit Card: currency in Laos is the Lao Kip, LAK. Currently the exchange rate is 8,000 Kip for 1 US $, and 9,000 Kip for 1 Euro. All major credit cards are accepted, VISA, MasterCard, Diners, American Express, but only in large hotels. US dollars and Euro are accepted, Baht are accepted in the border areas with Thailand. The withdrawals at ATMs are available in limited way, in the larger cities, and in areas of tourist interest. Vietnam's currency is the Dong, VND. Currently the exchange rate is 22,000 Dong for 1 US $, and 25,000 Dong for 1 Euro. All major credit cards are accepted, VISA, MasterCard, Diners, American Express. US dollars and Euro are well accepted. The withdrawals at ATMs are available in limited way, in the larger cities, and in areas of tourist interest.

 Driving licenses, rentals and import vehicles: in Laos the International Driving Permit is recognized as valid to drive vehicles, owned or rented. Import vehicles: the Friendship Bridges allow entering into Laos at Thai, and tourists, with its own vehicle. To enter in Laos by car are requested the Carnet de Passage, in addition to the vehicle documents. If the vehicle is registered to someone who is not traveling with you need written permission authenticated. If the vehicle is rented in Thailand, the agencies will issue the necessary documents. It 'important to have international insurance, although the Laotian border authorities often do not bother to request it. It is in fact your responsibility to protect yourself from any problems in case there should happen an accident. If you want to go to Vietnam, please note that the International Driving Permit is valid from August 2015, but cannot import owned vehicle, or rented. Driving rules. the driving direction is to the right, overtake on the left, Thailand is reverse, therefore make sure to look in the left before crossing a street, both sides even better. Driving rules: the driving direction is to the right, overtake on the left, Thailand is reverse, therefore make sure to look in the left before crossing a street, both sides even better.

 

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