Visas and border crossings forum

¿i Necessary to stay over in Chiang Khong for VISA?!

  • Setkun

    Joined Travelfish
    21st August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    I have read many people's blog.... And most of them had to stay over night at Chiang Khong for apply "Laos Visa" with Agency.

    " Is it Necessary?! "

    My plan is...
    -Take a Green bus service leaves 8.30AM from Chiang Mai-- Arrive Chiang Khong abt 3PM-- I guess there will be another taxi to get to the border (Which I don't know how long does it take)
    - Once we arrive at the Border-immigration/ I guess that I may have to apply VISA and do everything 'BY MYSELF' (Let's say, i have all paper, photo, money ready)
    By the time I arrive to the border, "Do you think that will be enough time for all process to across the border? And arrive Laos in that evening???"
    - Because, That would be GREAT, as May be the next day I don't need to worry about timing and I may can go directly to 'Gibbon experience' for the next day.... and JUST travel and arrange everything to be done, to be tired of journey for a day.

    ....................... I guess that Many people would have the same question, We would like to avoid the "SCAM" thing- 'you have to stay over at Chiang Khong to do the visa .. bla bla bla..' which make our travel shorter unnecessary.

    #1 Posted: 21/8/2009 - 16:45

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  • Setkun

    Joined Travelfish
    21st August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    More Info:

    My passport is " Spanish "
    and My bf, he is "Thai"

    #2 Posted: 21/8/2009 - 16:49

  • Setkun

    Joined Travelfish
    21st August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    For thai Visa .... I don't think he would have to apply for VISA, wouldn't he??

    #3 Posted: 21/8/2009 - 16:50

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 730
    Total reviews: 4
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    At least 67

    No need to stay overnight in Chiang Khong.

    I guess there will be another taxi to get to the border (Which I don't know how long does it take)

    Samlor, less than 10min. Then Thai immigration. Then boat across the river, less than 5min. Then Lao immigration, obtain your visa on arrival on the spot. Think it shouldn't be crowded at that time of the day (late afternoon). Best to have USD for your visa fee. Lao immigration closes at 6PM.

    #4 Posted: 21/8/2009 - 17:47

  • Setkun

    Joined Travelfish
    21st August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    That is a Great news. Thanks so much, Wanderingcat.....

    #5 Posted: 21/8/2009 - 18:01

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    Setkun

    From Chian Mai, there are 2 'direct' transport options, the green bus and the VIP mini-bus (it departs about 10am).

    Both appear to get to Chiang Khong about 3pm. The VIP mini-bus stops about 5km from the Thai immigration. As 'cat writes, Samlor, less than 10min.

    - Once we arrive at the Border-immigration/ I guess that I may have to apply VISA and do everything 'BY MYSELF' (Let's say, i have all paper, photo, money ready)

    First you have to depart Thailand (no big deal, hand your pp over with the paperwork, they stamp), and you are then ready to get boat across Mekong.

    Once on the Laos side, yes, if you haven't already obtained a visa from a Laos embassy, fill out the paperwork and pay money WITH pp sized photo of you (looking nice, please!!!).

    As 'cat says, from Chiang Khong bus stop to departure (Thailand), boat crossing, Laos visa issuance should take about 1 hour (so, now its about 4pm).

    When you get past the Laos immigration, walk up the road (150m), turn left, and about 500m along is the Gibbon Experience office. Do go there first and make yourself known.

    Definitely, you do NOT have to stay overnight at Chiang Khong. And, because the Gibbon Experience people want you at their office at 8am, its actually best to stay overnight at Huay Xai (the Laos side).

    The only scam is that the Laos immigration people put a little sign in the window of their office saying something like 'after hours extra fee US$1'. Which, sadly, you must pay. It goes straight into their pocket. But, look on it as a donation to the wellbeing of poor Lao people.

    Cheers

    #6 Posted: 21/8/2009 - 19:02

  • Setkun

    Joined Travelfish
    21st August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    Hey BruceMoon

    Thanks so much for all details, It is very useful..... That would help me heaps.

    Cheers, mate!!

    #7 Posted: 24/8/2009 - 00:38

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 564

    A couple years ago I saw three minivans empty people from Chang Mai into the guest house closest to Thai immigration, about 100 meters, from the mini vans there and lined up with big signs by immigration I'd think many go all day long as needed, and they go all the way from Tah Pae Gate (however it's spelled) to the border crossing. I was there for 3 hours only but that's what I saw.

    I'd go slow to accuse Lao immigration of bribery, they do have many extra charges according to time of day but I've never heard of anyone taking the money. They also charge if you don't have a photo, also a small charge last thing as you are leaving immigration, all those charges have turned out to be legit. Not all officials are corrupt. Blanket acusations such as this promote distrust between tourists and officials.

    There's a poster "Captain Bob" on the TT and sometimes here who passes through that crossing often, might be worth a search on the subject and read his posts carefully.

    #8 Posted: 24/8/2009 - 01:01

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