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Border cossings in & out of Laos

Travel Forums Asia Border cossings in & out of Laos

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Laos
1. Posted by dar egan (Budding Member 67 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Guys,

I'm looking for some info on border crossings into laos please

We plan on going into Laos from northern thailand (Chiang Mai), into Vientiane, up to Vang Vieng, & up to Luang Prabang. We then plan on going from Luang Prabang into Vietnam.

We just need help on how to do it!!!

Can anybody help with how to get into laos from chiang mai, and more importantly getting from luang prabang into vietnam.

Thanks in advance!

2. Posted by Helena224 (Budding Member 54 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Right. Well firstly, as I have not yet been, it would probs be best to get a back up answer from someone slightly more experienced.

Any way, border crossing wise, from Chiang Mai, you have a couple of options.


Travel to your closest border crossing at Chiang Khong which is slightly further north. The only problem would be that I don't think that you cant get Visas from this border crossing. This would be the most practical border though if you could get your visa before hand as you could firstly go to Luang Prabang, then down to Vang Vieng and then to Vientiane and you be close to your next border crossing to Vietnam.


Travel to the crossing which is slightly further south at Nong Khai. This is the more commonly used border crossing from what I have heard and you can get a Lao visa from here. This border crossing is really close to Vientiane (1 1/2 hours ish) and then you could go up to Vang Vieng and then even further north to Luang Prabang.

Crossing into Vietnam
, there are quite a few choices of border crossing that you could use, but im unsure of which ones are open. It would be best to get advice from others on this one as i'm really unsure.
The one which would probably the easiest would be at Nam Khan. The only problem with this crossing is that it will apparently be a bit dodge until public transport improves. One that I know is open is at Cau Treo but that is quite a bit further south if you decide to end in Luang Prabang.

I hope that this all helps in some way. As I say, I may have made mistakes as I'm going on what I have been told and guide books.


[ Edit: Edited on Jul 1, 2007, at 12:52 PM by Helena224 ]

3. Posted by clarife (Respected Member 294 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Helena,

The border crossing at Nong Khai - do you know if this is easily accessible from Chiang Mai? We want to travel south to North in Laos but it seems we have to do a lot of backtracking from chiang mai to enter here

Any help would be great!


4. Posted by Helena224 (Budding Member 54 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


Right, well by the looks of it, you could get a train from Chiang Mai to Phitsanulok and then a bus onwards.


You could also get a bus to Udon Thani which takes aprox. 12 / 13 hours and then get the aircon bus that goes from there to Ventiene.


Fly! It looks pretty cheap and easy to do. You could fly to Udon Thani and then cross the friendship bridge (about an hour from the airport). The flights with NOK Air are roughly 3 times a week. Alternatively you could fly with Lao Air directly to Vientiane.

Hope that this helps in some way. Please correct me anyone for any mistakes.


5. Posted by clarife (Respected Member 294 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Helena,

I hadn't even thought of flying, Nok air has flights to Udan Thani on the dates we would like for roughly €30 each! well worth the drastically reduced travelling time!

Thanks for your help!

6. Posted by Kees5 (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

If you're in Chiang Mai, Nong Kai is NOT really very close at all, but something like 8 or 9 hours by bus. The sensible thing is to cross at Chiang Kong, across the river to Huay Xai. Bus from CM to Chiang Rai, then bus to Chiang Khong, cross border by ferry, Visa on arrival in Laos is available (only since a year or two).(bring pp photos)
Then you have variuos options to get East:
1. By boat to Luang Prabang, Fastboat, expensive, noisy, a bit dangerous, but a must for adrenaline junkies. Or slow boat, two days, interesting scenic and cultural experience.
2. by road (bus or 'song thaew' (pick-up truck)) to Lunag Namtha (stay a few days, good trekking, interesting cultural diversity (See my weblink below), then on by road to Luang Prabang, maybe via Nong Khiaw, which allows you a short scenic boat trip to LP.
3. From HuayXai to Luang Namtha by boat, via the Mekong and the Nam Tha. 2 day boat trip, stop off overnight in Ban Khonkham, where most of the boatmen live. You are lodged there in the family house of your boatman, at modest cost. This is one of the best boat trips I've ever made.
4. By fast boat up the Mekong, to Xieng Khok, on the border between Myanmar and Laos. Then by road to Muang Sing (Trekking, ethnic villages), south to Luang Namtha.

Enjoy yourself, there is lots to see and do in NW Laos

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