Visas and border crossings forum

Bo Y border opened for international border crossings?

  • millionilla

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd November, 2006
    Posts: 2

    Hello there,

    just read from Rough Guide Vietnam that Bo Y border (Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam border, near Vietnamese Kon Tum) should be now opened for international border crossings. But when checking Vietnam's Tourism website, I found no information about this border...

    Does anybody happen to know how things are at Bo Y?

    thanks,
    Milla

    #1 Posted: 11/12/2006 - 15:31

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  • somtam2000

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    Hi Milla,

    Welcome to Travelfish!

    One of our researchers is writing up his Attapeu notes at the moment so should be online inside the week.

    The border is open to foreigners, but transport details are a little sketchy -- I'll post more info when I get his notes in.

    #2 Posted: 12/12/2006 - 13:38

  • millionilla

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd November, 2006
    Posts: 2

    OK, good to hear! I'm leaving the day after tomorrow, but won't be trying to cross the Bo Y border until I've seen all the best of Southern Laos. Which could be a while ;-)

    So I'll just wait until I hear from you again. Thanks a lot!

    Milla

    #3 Posted: 14/12/2006 - 04:06

  • Munkychump

    Joined Travelfish
    28th December, 2006
    Posts: 7

    Hi Everyone,

    I was also wondering about the border crossing at Bo Y and after searching the site I haven't seen any updates about it.

    My girlfriend and I are leaving for Vietnam in 6 days and the border crossing at Bo Y is kinda crucial for our itinerary. I really love some information on this crossing, especially when it comes to transport and the how difficult it may be to deal with immigration there.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Gav

    #4 Posted: 3/1/2007 - 17:18

  • somtam2000

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    Hi Gav,

    Welcome to Travelfish!

    You mustn't have been looking in the right place ;-)

    "Buses to Vietnam
    Buses to Vietnam now leave daily at 09:00 and 10:00 -- there's no fixed bus station for them yet, but they pick up from in front of the Thanh Nha Guesthouse, or thereabouts, so you'll want to stop in there to purchase a ticket and arrange to get on the bus -- the fare is 80,000 kip. They travel via road 18 B and terminates in Kontum, Vietnam. This is a relatively new service and buses may eventually depart from the main bus station, once the wheels of Laos-Vietnam cooperation are properly greased."

    Above is from the Attapeu travel section.

    I'll update the Visa and border crossing thrad with this info shortly, but if you're planning on crossing that border soon, a border report would be much appreciated!

    Hope that helps

    #5 Posted: 4/1/2007 - 08:37

  • Munkychump

    Joined Travelfish
    28th December, 2006
    Posts: 7

    Hi Somtam,

    I think I may have read that but I was actually looking for information on getting across the border going from Vietnam into Laos, I don't think I made that very clear in my message. Do you know if the bus goes in the other direction, from Kontum to Laos? I would assume that if the bus terminates in Kontum it must go back into Laos at some point, but I'd like some confirmation of this if I can get it!

    Thanks for your help, I will be trying that border crossing and I'll give you a report as soon as I can!

    #6 Posted: 8/1/2007 - 19:40

  • somtam2000

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    Hi again,

    Did a bit more searching and found the following (this time on the Travelfish blog) -- the bus starts in Qui Nhon then passes through Pleiku and Kon Tum:

    "Vietnam and Laos have opened a bus link between Qui Nhon in Binh Dinh province and Pakse in Champasak, Laos . The route is intended to draw overland tourist across border between Thailand and Vietnam . The new service launched on July 4th takes about 12 hours and costs US$16. The buses currently run four weekly trips on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

    The trip runs through Pleiku and Kontum provinces in Vietnam and Attapeu, Sekong and Champasak in Laos. "

    From the above it is my understanding the bus leaves Qui Nhon on Mon, Tue, Thu and Sun.

    Hope that helps -- and look forward to hearing how you go!

    #7 Posted: 8/1/2007 - 21:02

  • somtam2000

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    Ok, our man on the ground crossed using this crossing yesterday -- here's the skinny:

    Despite what you might hear elsewhere (especially from Vietnamese embassy officials) the border at Bo Y is wide open to foreigners, and now provides an interesting, if somewhat challenging, way to enter Vietnam. Of course, as ever, you'll need to have obtained a valid Vietnamese visa before hitting the border.

    This entry point makes the most sense if you are winding up your Laos visit in the southeastern provinces of Salavan, Sekong and Attapeu, and you don't fancy making the ridiculously circuitous trip to the Lao Bao border via Savannakhet. You can also get to Attapeu from Pakse -- show up at the Southern Bus Terminal at the 8-kilometre market any time before 09:00 and something will be leaving eventually, usually before 10:30 -- price 30,000 kip. In that case, you probably won't be able to make it to Attapeu and cross the border in the same day, and you'll have to overnight in Attapeu. Better yet, plan several days -- Attapeu is a good little town and there are a number of interesting things to do.

    In Attapeu, mini-buses for Bo Y leave in the morning from in front Thi Thi Restaurant -- the Vietnamese place near Thanh Nga Guesthouse, which the locals call "Ban Pak Khun Viet". Makes sense to spend the night there because mini-vans leave in the morning -- the first departure is at 07:00. There should be departures until 10:00, but don't count on it and arrive early. It's all very loosey goosey right now since the service is primarily used by Vietnamese migrant workers and everybody knows the drill. They also leave packed to the gills: there were 15 people in the ten-passenger van when we made the trip.

    The price to Bo Y is 80,000 kip. It's 119km from Attapeu to Bo Y -- a nail-biting ride on incredibly twisty mountain roads which the drivers like to take as fast as they can. The scenery is beautiful, but if you're prone to motion sickness, take something for it. Two of the Vietnamese passangers lost their lunch on our trip (out the windows, thankfully!)

    The border process is fairly straightforward, and there are no regular fees levied on either side. Once everyone is processed (which can take forever) the vans continue on to the town of Ngoc Hoi, 18km on the other side of the border. The entire process from Attapeu takes about three hours. Transport options are available from in Ngoc Hoi to just about anywhere you want to go, but many morning departures will require another overnight stay. There are plenty of places to stay right near the bus station, with very acceptable double rooms for US$10. Internet is located 300m west of the bus station on the right.

    The nearest spot on the tourist trail is Kon Tum, 68km east of Ngoc Hoi -- there's only one bus in the afternoon, and it leaves at 17:00, 30,000 dong, takes 2 hours. It drops off in Kon Tum at the bus terminal 2km from the centre of town. This same bus continues to Saigon (150,000 dong).

    #8 Posted: 8/2/2007 - 18:19

  • Munkychump

    Joined Travelfish
    28th December, 2006
    Posts: 7

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Hi Somtam,

    Unfortunately we had been told by everyone we met including 'Easy Riders' from Dalat that go up to Kon Tum regularly that the border crossing was only for locals and military and that if we went there we would risk having our photos deleted from our cameras. So we made the choice to skip going into Laos this journey and used the spare days to see Vietnam at a more leisurely pace.

    Thanks for letting me know what was going on with the crossing, it seems that maybe the not-so Easy Riders may have steered us wrong to get another couple of days out of us riding to Hoi An.

    Thanks again!

    Gav

    #9 Posted: 8/2/2007 - 20:22

  • dayak

    Joined Travelfish
    16th October, 2007
    Posts: 2

    I've been following this thread with interest. I intend to drive from Laos to Vietnam via the Lao Bao crossing and return through Bo Y.

    However, I've noticed that your thread mentions buses, but not cars. Do you know if private cars are allowed to cross (specifically from Vietnam-Kontum to Laos-Attapeu.

    #10 Posted: 16/10/2007 - 08:07

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  • rayc101

    Joined Travelfish
    19th February, 2006
    Posts: 50
    Total reviews: 5

    Hi Somtam

    Good info on the Attapau – Bo Y border crossing. It'll come in handy for sure.

    After spending some time in Champasak and Cambodia in June this year, I regret not seeing the Attapau district, and onwards to Vietnam.

    Its definitely on the agenda for August 2009. Its wet season I know, but I managed to get free AirAsia SYD-KLL-HKT flights, which made it irresistable. Its pretty dry where I live, so warmth and rain are sooooooooo good.

    Cheers
    Rayc

    #11 Posted: 29/11/2008 - 11:40

  • dayak

    Joined Travelfish
    16th October, 2007
    Posts: 2

    Since my post of last year, I have taken my car out of Laos and into Bietnam via the Lao Bao crossing, returning via Bo Y.

    No problems at all! Assumes valid Viet/Lao visas.

    Cheers

    #12 Posted: 1/12/2008 - 10:53

  • somtam2000

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    Thanks for the report back dayak -- appreciated.

    #13 Posted: 1/12/2008 - 13:50

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