I'm considering going to Laos at the start of February on a tour which crosses from Thailand into Laos at Chiang Khong. Does this mean I won't be able to get a Laos visa at the border and if so how long does it take to process a Laos visa in Bangkok?
We crossed to Huay Xai (Laos) at Chiang Khong last January and got visas for $US30 at the crossing. No fuss at all.
By the way we were told at Huay Xai that there there were no more fast boats to Luang Prabang cos the river was too low hence dangerous. I went to the fast boat dock and the first driver was eager to take us. We found the trip a highlight of our whole holiday with no danger I could see. People were still coming up from Luang prabang in fast boats incidentally. If you do go DO NOT TAKE MORE THAN 4 PEOPLE IN THE BOAT unless you are Laos size. You will definitely regret it.
I suspect the whole thing was a scam by the tour operators in Huay Xai to sell far too many tickets on the slow boats & hence earn more commission
Thanks for the advice on the visa and also for the info on the fast boats.
What about getting a Laos visa on arrival at the Nam Xoi/Na Maew boarder on foot from Vietnam? Anyone know about time? cost? if this is even possible? if been reading a lot of different things and some say yes, some no - very confusing. Need help thanx
My wife and I were in Laos in Nov/Dec 2005. We crossed the Mekong by ferry (really a canoe with an outboard) from Chiang Khong (Thailand) to Huay Xai (Laos). In about five minutes we got our Lao visa at the immigration booth when we landed in Huay Xai, paying US$30 and presenting the completed form with two passport-size photos. A few year earlier we did the sime thing crossing from Thailand at Cjhiang Khong and going over the Friendship Bridge in the Vientiane area. For details see the "Thailand & Laos" section of Our Travel Journals: www.evcal.org
A passport and visa are required. Visas are issued upon arrival in Laos to foreign tourists and business persons at most border crossings.
You will need two passport size photographs and $30 at Wattay Airport, Vientiane; Friendship Bridge,
Vientiane; and Luang Prabang Airport. Visas on Arrival are not available at the Chong Mek border crossing.
Foreign tourists are generally admitted to Laos for 15 days with a visa on arrival or for 30 days with a visa issued at a Lao
embassy. The Department of Immigration in Vientiane will only extend tourist visas for one day. It is sometimes possible
to get an extension for an additional 15 days by submitting an application through a tour agency. Foreigners who
overstay in Laos risk arrest, and they will be fined $5 for each day upon departure.
Foreign tourists planning on entering Laos at any international checkpoint where Visas on Arrival are not available must
obtain a visa in advance. Check with your nearest Lao Embassy as these are subject to change at short notice.
Immigration offices at some of the less used border-crossing points are net well marked. Travelers should make sure that
they complete immigration and customs formalities when they enter Laos. Travelers who enter Laos without completing
these formalities may be subject to fine, detention, imprisonment, and/or deportation.