I read last month in the Vientiane Times that a second Lao/China border crossing had opened up for international tourists in December, between Lan Toui/Lan Tuy in Phongsali province, right in the very northern tip of Laos, and Meuang Kham on the Chinese side.
Has anyone made this crossing, or does anyone know anyone who has? I saw at the tourist office in Phongsali that there is apparently a daily bus from Phongsali to Lan Tuy at 9am, but does anyone know about the journey, the border crossing itself and buses into China the other side?
I'd be grateful for any light anyone can shed.
#1 Ed_Aves has been a member since 13/2/2014. Posts: 1
I don't know anything about the border crossing, but maybe it corresponds with the road being done up. What is the road up to Phongsali like now? When I did it 18months ago, it was a nightmare -- took about 11 hours of non-stop riding from the start of the road to Phongsali.
only been as far north as Ou Neua on that road leading from Boun Neua to Lan Tui. that was in Dec 2009, when the border was open only to Lao & China nationals. so don't know of any non-Lao/China national who has crossed at that border checkpoint. only know of motorbike tourists who got as far as the checkpoint & had to turn back. perhaps you could find out more on the GT Rider forum.
back then, there was one daily bus from Ou Tai (Laos) to Jiangcheng (first major town in China north of the Lan Tui checkpoint) that passed through the checkpoint north of Lan Tui. & one bus in the opposite direction returning to Ou Tai. locals from the Lao side (Nyot Ou district) go to Jiangcheng to sell produce & to buy manufactured goods (anything from electronics to styrofoam food containers) for use/sale in Laos. if this bus still runs, then you should be able to take it from Ou Tai to Jiangcheng, provided you can clear border formalities (no idea about visa issues). Ou Tai has a few basic guesthouses but don't expect much in way of restaurants/food for sale.
the Boun Neua-Ou Tai-Ou Neua road is mountainous & very narrow at some points, so if it rained, the Ou Tai-Jiangcheng bus might not run (too muddy - another guy's experience on that route was that passengers had to get off & help pull the bus out of the mud with rope that was carried on the bus for that purpose). transport might be more regular now that the road has been paved, & that Boun Neua is going to replace Phongsaly town as the capital of the province.
if you do visit the area, please kindly share your experience with us so that i could update this page: http://laomeow.blogspot.sg/2010/01/phongsaly-province-transport.html
thank you lots.
forgot to add - when it comes to online info, there would probably be more about the above border crossing in the Chinese news rather than Lao news. & for online translation programmes, you're more likely to find accurate Chinese-English ones than Lao-English (if any) ones.
here's the names of places in Chinese script to get you started, just paste them into Google:
Lan Tui - å…°å †
Jiangcheng - æ±ŸåŸŽ
Ou Tai - ä¹Œå¾· (Ou-de in Chinese)
Phongsaly - ä¸°æ²™é‡Œ (Feng-sha-li in Chinese)
Meuang Kham border checkpoint - å‹åº·å£å²¸ (Meuang Kham = Meng Kang in Chinese)
& an old post with some bits of info on the region: http://www.travelfish.org/board/post/laos/9453_three-corners-of-north-laos-phongsali--sainyabuli--hua-phan
news on the Jiangcheng county government website about the official opening of the Meng Kang-Lan Tui border checkpoint as an international crossing on 28 Dec 2013: http://www.jcw.gov.cn/info/show.asp?id=6232
unfortunately it doesn't say anything about what 'international crossing' means for third country (non-Lao, non-China) nationals, most of it is about development of cross-border trade/commerce.
once you get to Jiangcheng, should be able to find transport to Pu'er & beyond. according to this site: http://www.jcw.gov.cn/info/show.asp?id=2658
Meng Kang border checkpoint to Jiangcheng = 33 km
Jiangcheng to Pu'er = 145 km
Jiangcheng to Kunming = 520 km