Crossing the Cambodia Laos border

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First published 18th January, 2007

Of all the border crossings in the region, the overland crossing between Cambodia and Laos has been one of the most changeable. In some ways, Dom Kralor has all the ingredients of a pain in the posterior crossing -- corrupt border officials, inconsistent travel advice and of course wildly varying traveller tales. Read on to find out the best way to cross this ever-changing border.

Note: This story has been updated following our research in the region in the first half of 2009 -- the boat crossing between Laos and Cambodia is now CLOSED. read on for further details

For a long time the border between Cambodia and Laos could only be travelled by boat -- from Veun Kham in Laos to the Khmer town of Stung Treng. Now, the only crossing is by land, at Dom Kralor. Occassionally, boats still go to Veun Kham, but because the immigration office has closed there, if you travel to this crossing by boat, you must then transfer to a minibus to take you, while still in Cambodia, the 10-minute drive to the Dom Kralor crossing. Hence, it makes sense to save your boat travel until you're in Laos. A bridge just east of Stung Treng completed in 2008 means the entire trip can be done by land.

There are two ways to cross this border -- as an organised package (Don Dhet or Don Khon to Stung Treng / Kratie / Kompong Cham / Phnom Penh -- and the reverse) or to do it independently. It is FAR easier and less expensive to do the actual border leg as an organised trip. While we're almost always in favour of travelling independently, in this isolated case, it makes a lot more sense to organise your trip through a travel agent.

Lao visa-on-arrival is now available. It is NO LONGER NECESSARY to get a Lao visa in advance. Cambodian visa-on-arrival is available.

You may be expected to pay a small "handling fee" (bribe) to the immigration authorities -- normally $1 to $2 per person at both the Laos and Cambodia checkpoints. A tourist visa into Cambodia costs $23 or 250,000 kip (about $30), so pay in dollars if possible.

The logistics
There used to be two crossings -- one by boat and one by land. Now there is only one. The boat crossing at Veun Kham (also spelt Veunkham and Veung Kham) is now closed, although you can still take a boat up to the border there, than travel to the minibus crossing at Dom Kralor (also spelt Dongkralaw).

An important note
Both Cambodian and Lao visa-on-arrival is available at this crossing. If you are planning on heading south to Stung Treng by boat using the Veun Kham crossing you'll have to cross at Dom Kralor, then return to Veun Kham, and either book a boat ahead or risk that none will be waiting there to catch the occasional tourist when you arrive.

By travel agent
Any travel agent in Pakse, Don Khong, Don Dhet and Don Khon will be able to sell you a through ticket to the Cambodian town of your choice. Prices may seem a little high, but when compared to what it will cost you to cross the border independently, the rates for the border crossing segment are a bargain. Note travel further afield is cheaper if done by booking a ticket to one of these locations -- Stung Treng in particular -- then booking separately from there. Sample tour prices include: Stung Treng $11, Ban Lung $21, Kratie $18 , Kompong Cham $21 , Phnom Penh $23 and Siem Reap $28.

If you're travelling to Siem Reap, it makes sense to book independently, since through tickets usually stop overnight in Phnom Penh first, and the price of a guesthouse is not included. If you book a through ticket to Siem Reap, make sure it stops and transfers that day to a minibus in Kampong Cham. If you want to get to Siem Reap from Laos within a day, a better idea is to buy a ticket to Stung Treng, then find the share taxi station next to the market, and barter a ride to Kampong Cham (about $10 per person), then from there, barter another ride to Siem Reap (about $15 per person).

All the buses from various locales in Cambodia heading to and from the border stop in Stung Treng and usually transfer passengers to a different bus. This often includes a few-hour wait for the bus to show up. Starting in 2010, sources in Stung Treng say, there will be a bus that goes directly from Phnom Penh through to Pakse, without transfers.

Getting to the borders
Transport can be arranged from Nakasang to Dom Kralor for $4. The crossing is about a dozen kilometres from Nakasang. If you book a ticket to the border, you'll be on a minibus with people who booked through tickets. Don't expect to find motorbikes waiting in Nakasang to take people to the border, though by asking around you can probably find someone to take you for about the same price. This is a good option if you go in the afternoon, since you can only get the $4 price for a minibus by booking with a travel agent at least the night before and by leaving the following morning. Travellers trying to get to the border in mid-morning or the afternoon should expect to pay $15.

Crossing the borders
From Veun Kham to Stung Treng by boat, Mr. Thea at Riverside is your only option, and even he says he goes there by boat very rarely now.

A longtail takes two and a half hours and costs $50 for the boat or $5 per person (if you have a group of ten or more).

The speedboat takes just an hour, but costs $140 for a maximum of six people.

There are rumours of a slow boat, but they're just rumours as far as we were able to divine.

Bear in mind that you still have to cross at Dom Kralor then get a ride to the river at Veun Kham. Since this route is now so inconvenient, if you're planning to do it, you'll have to book ahead.

Just about all the boats running from Veun Kham are run by Mr. Thea (T: (012) 447 775) in Stung Treng. If you've got a bunch of people together it may be worthwhile calling him directly to organise a boat trip south to Stung Treng. If you don't have a telephone ask a travel agent to assist.

From Dom Kralor to Stung Treng, minibuses leave the Cambodian side of the border when full (around 12 people qualifies it as full) and costs $5 per person. When you arrive in Stung Treng, try and transfer to a big bus and not another minibus if possible. Minibuses along this route are impossibly crowded (it's unlikely you'll have your own seat) and for such a long journey, you'll be acutely aware that you've left the smooth, paved roads and efficient transport of Laos.

See it's easy!
It's a short crossing -- just a few hours from Si Phan Don to Stung Treng, yet this crossing between Cambodia and Laos has generated more than its fair share of heartache and confusion. Pop into a travel agent, take the minibus and save yourself the frustrations (and cost) of doing it solo.

About the author:
Stuart McDonald co-founded with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.

Read 52 comment(s)

  • We crossed this border independently on 15.03.2009.

    We hitch-hiked from Stung Treng to the border for free. We didn't pay 1/2$ to the Cambodian officer nor to Lao officers!

    In Cambodia you just have to tell them that you don't have 1 $.

    In Lao is harder but possible. It took us 10-15 minutes and we didn't pay to them. We told them that we walked 2 days from Stung Treng (it seemed possible because there was no car nor bus with us) and we were pretending that we are speaking with our embassy in Vientiane (although it was Saturday 4 pm and no office is open at this time!!!).

    So they had no other way. They gave us a stamps for free!

    Posted by on 17th March, 2009

  • Where in Cambodia can I pick up a Laos Visa? I assume Phnom Penh but where and how long does it take?


    Posted by Kirstin on 13th April, 2009

  • Getting Laos visas takes 24 hours and cost around $30-40 (different for different nationalities). There is also the same day option that cost $20 more. You need 2 filled forms (to get at the embassy) and 3 passport photos. The Laos embassy in PP in on Mao Tse Toung Blv, open 8-11.30am & 14.00-1700pm.

    Posted by Anula on 7th September, 2009

  • Anybody who has experience to travel from southern Laos to Pnohm Penh? Border crossing in that direction and time it takes? We will be travelling there early December.


    Posted by Hans on 22nd November, 2009

  • Does anyone know if there is a Laos embassy in Siem Reap or at least somewhere to get a visa relatively quickly?


    Posted by Veranocampo on 1st December, 2009

  • Does anyone know if there is a Laos embassy in Siem Reap or at least somewhere to get a visa relatively quickly?


    Posted by Veranocampo on 1st December, 2009

  • Hello,
    I will be travelling from Thailand to Cambodia to Laos in February and March of 2010 and wonder if anyone has recent news of the Cambodia to Laos border crossing along the Mekong. It seems one must get a visa in Phnom Penh before entering Laos by land. Any new tales, please?

    Posted by Dennis on 3rd January, 2010

  • Dennis, I am taking the same route starting later this month, and all the3 research i've done so far points to there still being no visa on arrival availible when going from cambodia to laos.

    best of luck, and if you hear anything different let me know.

    Posted by Cary on 8th January, 2010

  • Dennis and Cary,
    Visa are available on arrival at Dom Krakor.

    Before heading out to Cambodia, I read all the forum and guides saying that you could NOT get a visa on arrival at Dom Krakor crossing. So when I was in Siem Reap, I paid and extra $25 to get my visa processed in Phnom Penh (I didn't have enough time to hang out in PP). When I got to Dom Krakor a few weeks ago (Dec 23rd, 2009), they were offering VISAS ON ARRIVAL! They charged an extra $1 because they were working "overtime" (we hit the border at 6pm, and they "closed at 4pm). So there you go!

    Posted by gene on 16th January, 2010

  • Dennis and Cary,
    Visa are available on arrival at Dom Krakor.

    Before heading out to Cambodia, I read all the forum and guides saying that you could NOT get a visa on arrival at Dom Krakor crossing. So when I was in Siem Reap, I paid and extra $25 to get my visa processed in Phnom Penh (I didn't have enough time to hang out in PP). When I got to Dom Krakor a few weeks ago (Dec 23rd, 2009), they were offering VISAS ON ARRIVAL! They charged an extra $1 because they were working "overtime" (we hit the border at 6pm, and they "closed at 4pm). A couple that was on the bus with us, got their visa without a problem.

    Posted by gene on 16th January, 2010

  • Hey, im wanting to get from Luang Prabang to Phnom Penh quickely and cheaply in May. can anyone tell me the best transport to take? cheeers

    Posted by emma on 20th January, 2010

  • Thanks a lot, Gene!

    We've been planning to cross Cambodia-Laos border with UK passport and thought we had to get it in PP.

    Can you clarify that it was for all nationals, please?

    I heard that for some ASEAN countries it was aggreed to have their citizens for visa on arrival at that point.

    Posted by E Chung on 5th February, 2010

  • Emma,
    Luang Prabang to Phnom Penh is a long way! I did the trip from VV. You can get a sleeper bus (yes they really do have beds, but only beds, not seats) to Paske. This is a 18 hour trip, longer from LP. From Paske you can probably get a bus, or a mini bus to PP. However, I would break the trip up as we did, so why not stay a few days on 4,000 islands and the are trips to PP every day from there.

    Posted by mikethediver on 5th February, 2010

  • hi Dennis and Carrie,

    Is Dom Krakor and Veun Kham border passing?
    Cannot find Dom Krakor on a map.

    Posted by marc on 14th February, 2010

  • I have it on good authority from the Expat community in Kratchie Cambodia that a visa on arrival is now being issued at Dom Kralor for Laos as of December 2009. I will let you know in a few days if I was successful lol

    Posted by Gareth on 6th March, 2010

  • Thanks Gareth.

    Posted by E Chung on 6th March, 2010

  • just to reconfirm what gene said, we were issued visas to Laos on arrival in Dom Kralor on Feb 2010

    Posted by idoia on 14th March, 2010

  • Hello,
    Does anyone know the best option of travelling between Vietiane and Siem Reap? We will be there in May.
    Many thanks.

    Posted by Debby on 3rd April, 2010

  • Hello,
    I have the same question as Debby.
    We want to travel from vientiane to pakse and then to siem reap, also in May.
    does anyone know the best travellingoption to get from pakse to siem reap?

    Posted by Annelies on 14th April, 2010

  • Hi Debby & Annelies,
    I just backed from Vietnam and Cambodia on 16th April. There is no bus directly from Vietnam(Ho Chi Min) to Siem Reap but I've no idea for Vietnam to Pakse. The first you should go to Phnom Penh by bus and then transfer another bus to Siem Reap ( Angko Wart)( Note: you can buy tickets at the same bus agent and there are many bus agents in Vietnam and Cambodia too). The bus fair are 12$ for HCM to PP and 11$ for PP to Siem Reap. You can get visa
    easily at border and fee is 20$ for visa and 5$ for service which is need to pay to bus tour guide that's why you need to pay 25$ per one. Please be careful about taxi drivers in Vietnam most are dishonest. I'd like to recommend about taxi which is you should be hired in there are Vinasun and Mai Linh.
    Good luck.

    Posted by Khin on 19th April, 2010

  • Hi,am travelling from Cambodia to Laos overland in May is it DEFINATELY possible to get a visa at the border?

    Posted by Karen Richardson on 22nd April, 2010

  • Hello, should i start my trip in cambodia and travel north up to laos or other way round.

    Posted by Cherie on 1st May, 2010

  • You can definitely get a visa for Laos at the Cambodian/Laos boarder. I travelled across during late March 2010 and from memory it was US$30 + 'processing fees' so have your US$1 bills ready. Shouldn't be anymore than $2-$3. Also try to have the exact amount of money as they wont give you the correct change either. If they give you change at all! You will also need a passport sized photo. Enjoy your holidays!
    In regards to your query Cherie - it's up to you. When I was over there generally most people coming across the border were going from Laos to Cambodia. I started in Cambodia as relaxing in Laos was a nice way to finish up the holiday.

    Posted by Julia on 10th May, 2010

  • Am confused about some of info provided for getting Laos visa from Cambodia. What are options? Time, Cost? Was thinking of traveling from Voen Kham into Laos but by self-- so expensive, difficult to get cheap transport accros?? and now time is of the essence. Prefer not to have to enter Thailand first to go to Laos. Other suggestions for crossing over---will be in Siem Reap then heading up--- presently in Saigon-- will be in P=Penh by end of this week --- May 25.

    Posted by Deborah Smith-Davis on 18th May, 2010

  • i'm planning to travel into Laos and then travel through laos into cambodia. is it possible to cross the laos-cambodia border? or do i have to enter through thailand or vietnam?

    Posted by Tom on 2nd June, 2010

  • Is it definitely possible to cross the border from Cambodia into Laos and get a Visa On Arrival there? I've read some other forums (lonely planet etc.) and some of the posts are contradictory... Could someone please confirm that it is still possible, as the last positive reactions date back to march! I'm leaving soon, so please let me know!

    Posted by Anke on 4th June, 2010

  • Anke, i did some research too about that border crossing into Laos from Cambodia (will do it in 2 weeks) and I got the information that it's officially open since March 2010, however not everyone is up to date about this yet. However, should definitely be possible!

    Posted by Amanda on 12th June, 2010

  • Hi, I'm in Laos now but planning to cross de laos cambodia border in two weeks by the Land crossing at voeng kham, and Just heard from another traveller that visas ate not available anymore at this point.
    Is it true? Because everything i've read in the guides and Internet say yes, but i don't want to have problems there.
    Thanks for any information!

    Posted by Meli on 24th July, 2010

  • Its crazy how there's no decent info on the internet about the Laos visa, and the costs, especially coming from Cambodia into Laos. We've decided to get ours done in Phnom Penh via the guest house we're staying at. Its costing us $43 each...I'm not sure how this compares to the cost of a Visa On Arrival at the Cambodian/Laos border? If anyone can shed some light on a) if they do VAO and b) how much it costs for a UK citizen


    Posted by Kal on 2nd August, 2010

  • Any updates on if visas are available on arrival at the land crossing from Cambodia to Laos? If not, are they available at Pakse airport? Leaving PP today so hoping I don't have to backtrack and arrange it here...

    Posted by yukata on 8th August, 2010

  • hi yukata, tom, kal, amanda and any other traveler who has cross the border!!! planning to do the crossing from cambodia into laos in 10 days, were you able to get the visa on arrival when you got there? thanks a million!!!

    Posted by azahara on 23rd August, 2010

  • If you are going by bus with an organized tour from Phnom Penh to Laos, avoid a company called The Big Bus. Maybe we were very unlucky but we had a very bad experience with them.
    We paid 19$ for a trip to Don Dhet in a VIP Bus with toilet.
    The bus was an old local bus,very dirty,and with no toilet of course. When we arrived to Stung Treng they told us we had to spend the night there because we were only 3 peple and wasn't worthed for them to do the whole trip that day. The other opcion they gave us, was doing the trip the same day, paying 4$ extra each. After nearly 2 hours of discussions with them and calls to the agency, we decided to pay 2$ each to get a minibus till the crossing, then a jumbo and finally the boat to Don Dhet. Next time I would get Sorya buses insted...
    I'd also do the visa directly at the boarder, it's easyer and a lot cheaper!

    Posted by Marta on 4th September, 2010

  • Hi there,
    has anyone reliable information if it's possible to get Laos visa when crossing from Cambodia?
    Any news will be appreciated.

    Posted by cela on 5th September, 2010

  • really confused at the moment as info seems to differ from day to day at the moment.
    I am planning to travel from siam reap to PP tomorrow (7th sept). Do I need the extra hassle of getting a visa in PP before heading to Stung Treng and crossing boarder into Laos from there. Or can I get the visa at the boarder for sure, don't want to have to back-track and loose time. Please anyone? Ducth Paul

    Posted by paul on 6th September, 2010

  • Sorya bus company in Phnom Penh (near Psar Tmey) now offers a daily bus from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to Pakse and Vientiane. Pakse takes about 12 hours, Vientiane about 24 hours.

    I did it yesterday (7 September 2010) and went without a visa. Was able to get one at Nong Nok Khien immigration office at the border. The biggest hassle was standing in the hot sun on the verandah while they processed it.

    Posted by John Shield on 8th September, 2010

  • I'm planning on doing the crossing from Laos into Cambodia in a couple of months and just wondering what the best way to do it is? We are planning on going from the 1000 Islands to Kratie and I have read on some other forums that this border crossing can be a real hassle. Any suggestions for how to make it as seamless as possible would be greatly appreciated!

    Posted by Katy on 15th September, 2010

  • Thanks Jhon,after getting the visa in pnohm Penh anyhow just to be sure and safe at THE lao embassy; 40 dollar and pick up NeXT day we indeed cross THE boarder and saw that You could buy your visa there. Everything was pretty straightforward. You pay 1 dollar of pocket money on THE cambodian side and 2 dollars on THE Lao Side;i geuss THE money Goes to the civil servants saturday beer and poker night,but hey who cares!!just smile get your stamp and think of THE beautifull 4000 Islands ahead!!good luck

    Posted by Paul on 16th September, 2010

  • Just crossed the border Lao -> Cambodia via land pretty much as described. Booked the trip the night before in Don Khon and picked Kampong Cham as an endpoint as didn't want to do the whole journey to Siem Reap in one go. LAK 123,000 got a boat to Nakasong, minibus to the junction with 13, a reasonable, but not POSH coach all the way thru to Kampong Cham (originating in Pakse), including the border crossing. At the border the bus captain collected the passports, completed immigration forms he had distributed and USD 28 (USD 23 for the Cambodian visa, 2xUSD 2 for handling and USD 1 for his services), trudged off to the border guards with them and returned with visas for all in about 30 minutes. (USA and DK passports in my group - don't know about the 30-odd others.) They didn't need to even see us for processing. Exit from Cambodia via Poipet went without a hitch.

    Visa on arrival entering Lao via Chong Mek also worked without a hitch. Just have your USD ready.

    Did get stung in Thailand tho. Visa exemptions are for 30 days arriving by air - they are only for 14 arriving by land. Looks like I will have to do a visa run....

    Posted by Likk'mm on 10th November, 2010

  • Info on Bribes between Cambodia and Laos:

    I traveled from Cambodia to Laos and back again in August 2010. I got a visa on arrival. It cost $43 (USA passport) plus $5 in bribes ($2 to stamp out of Cambodia, $3 to stamp into Laos). Coming back 5 days later, the bribes were a bit more:

    $1 for quarantine check (this silly measure consists of taking your temperature on your forehead)
    $2 to stamp out of Laos
    $2 to stamp into Cambodia, and the visa cost an extra $3 more than it should have been.

    A lot of people get pissed about paying bribes as a rule of principle. My take on it is I'm a lot richer than the man stamping my passport. If he wants an extra buck to help his family, whatever. One gentleman on our bus screamed and called his embassy, and made a huge fuss and made the entire bus wait an extra 45 minutes for him to get through immigration. When he finally jumped back on our bus he proudly announced with a triumphant smirk that he had saved himself a grand total of $4. He also bought himself the ire of the entire bus with that $4. My recommendation is to cheerfully pay your bribe and get over it. In the scheme of things, $4 is really not even a cup of coffee at Starbucks, which I'm sure many people gladly pay everyday.

    Also, another couple on the bus didn't know what they were going to do because they had to spend every extra dollar they had on bribes. Do yourself a favor and be prepared. Just in case you need it.

    Posted by dluckydog on 28th February, 2011

  • Travelled from Pakse to Phnom Penh in late August 2011. No problems (apart from a tyre blowout just past the border, a one hour delay, which gave us time to chat to the locals). No hassles crossing. Drove past the Laos immig people, stopped for an hour on the Cambo side while the paper shuffling was done. Usual 'tariffs'. Bunch of young folk on the Cambo side, waiting for ongoing transportation.

    Posted by IanR on 28th August, 2011

  • We're planning to bus from Pakse to Phnom Penh tomorrow night, and am currently wading through the oodles of conflicting info online!
    As far as the cost of visas is concerned, I emailed the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (address found on this page: I promptly got a reply confirming that the cost for a visa should be $20, with no additional fees. I wrote back and asked them to confirm again that there were really no fees for medical exams, stamping, etc. - the reply came back that it was really just $20. I plan to print that email and have it handy when we cross. I know it's just a couple of bucks but my feeling is that it's wrong to extort money from travellers and that indulging the extortionist reinforces the notion that all Westerners should be treated as walking ATMs. I prefer to help people out in other ways!

    Posted by carolinamoon on 16th February, 2012

  • Crossed successfully from Cambodia to Laos in early February 2012. No hassle. Was on a bus from Siem Reap, and the bus took all passports and $$ and got visas for everyone. Extra charges for the service - but we were going through after 6pm. Extra $2 exit for Cambodia and extra $2 entry for Laos, plus a mysterious extra $1. Didn't mind as I didn't even need to get off the bus. Just remember to bring a passport photo.

    Posted by Duncan on 19th February, 2012

  • Dear IanR, to give 4 $ to border officers without complaints and argue is a very stupid thing, if you know the real visa price. Not only that you're improving the impression that the foreigners should be ripped off but you're also giving them the idea to charge you even more next time. And yes, they do have the impression that we are stupid walking ATM. Food, clouth, enrances to museums, temples, bus fares are much more (2, 3 or 5 times) expensive for foreigners than for locals. I'm now in SI Asia for 4 months, and as far as I'm concerned it's a pure racism. Try to do it in your country and you'll see the consequences. Right?

    Posted by Mmike on 17th March, 2012

  • We completed this border crossing yesterday and thought I would give our account as we got through paying no bribes, $20 all up. You see the immigration workers flashy rings and watches and know that they don't need an extra few dollars to help their families..your money is better spent elsewhere in cambodia to people that actually need it.

    We took an organized boat and bus from don det to the border for $6 (we thought the ticket to kratie was way to expensive). There were a lot of other foreigners crossing over. We were the first to depart and refused to pay the $2. The immigration people kept shutting the window on us. Other foreigners joined us but sooner or later everyone gave up and paid the $2. As we were the last of the group and they finally gave us our exit stamps after we told them that we had rung Laos immigration to confirm there was no fee so we didn't have $2. Next was the 'health check' in cambodia which was $1, again we refused and they refused to give us some yellow piece of paper..hopefully we didnt need it. Next up was $23 for the visa, we stood our ground and as they thought we had a bus to catch they kept saying it was $23 because they had to go to phenom penh themselves to collect the forms. Finally after both immigration people had smoked and I guess chilled out a bit they came back and said they would do it for $20 fo us. Last was the entry stamp which I hear they usually charge $2 for, I think by this time they had given up on us so didn't even ask. After we got on a tourist bus for $12 to kratie.

    Long story short if you only book to the border and have a little time to spare then you will get there in the end with no bribes. We kept telling them that Laos and Cambodian immigration had told us there were no additional fees so why do we have to pay them...if they gave us a good reason then we would pay but they couldn't.

    Posted by Abbz on 23rd March, 2012

  • Yeah right easy, but if you go to agent they just give you ticket issued by Sorya bus company. What's the point in that? I can go to bus company myself. Name an agent/s that actually do the run.

    Posted by dave on 25th May, 2012

  • So can you please confirm that a Lao visa from Cambodia into Laos IS AVAILABLE now (November'12)? I was gonna get it at BKK's Lao Embassy before heading to Cambodia/Laos as I've read all sorts of contradictory info on the www.


    Posted by Ari on 15th October, 2012

  • I am also reading contradictory info on other sites regarding this crossing from Cambodia to Laos. Can anyone point to up to date info on the crossing. Will be crossing in May/June 2013.

    Posted by Lost_Vagabond on 31st October, 2012

  • Seems it is possible to get a Lao visa crossing from Cambodia. This is the most updated info I found on web:

    Gonna cross it on Jan 2013 :)

    Posted by tt on 22nd November, 2012

  • We did the Cambodia - Laos border crossing on January 6, 2013. It was a Sunday. We bought a bus ticket from Phnom Penh to Nakasang (drop-off point for Si Phan Don) for USD24 at the Sorya Transportation Company near the Central Market.

    The bus left at 6:45 a.m. and arrived at the border around 5:30 p.m. Before reaching the border, a guy from the bus company made the announcement that we will have to pay USD5 plus whichever amount is required for visa. The USD5 consists of USD2 for Cambodia departure stamp on the passport, USD2 for Laos arrival stamp on the passport, and USD1 service charge, presumably for the guy who is making the speech right now, as he will be collecting the passports, bring them to the Cambodian officials, and then the Laotian officers, and to get the visas processed.

    My friend and i are Malaysians, so we do not need a visa to enter Laos. However, just for curiosity sake, we would like to know if we can save that USD5 each. So upon reaching the border, we did not submit our passports to the bus company guy.

    Instead, we walked over to the Cambodian checkpoint, and submitted our passports. The man inside said, "USD2 each". We asked, "Can we get a receipt for that?" Well, of course we know there won't be any. He replied, "No receipt. Sunday work. Overtime pay." Fine, since it is overtime pay, we will consider that as a voluntary contribution. And since it is not an official collection, we negotiated on the price on account of us being South-East Asians too, and got away by paying USD1.

    After that, we walked across to the Laos checkpoint, and repeated the whole exercise. However, this time the officer wasn't open to negotiations, and closed his ink pad and kept the stamps. After hanging around there for a while, and making it obvious we are not going to pay USD2 each after so much trouble (just for the fun of it), he eventually settled on USD3 for two of us.

    After that we waited for the bus to cross the border and boarded it, reaching Nakasang about 30 minutes later.

    So in the end, we didn't really save much, but was an interesting experience. Of course we would have preferred to not having to resort to bribery, but if that is the way it goes over there, it probably is a necessary evil.

    Of course, the above might not apply to non-South East Asians, but we thought it might be an interesting story to share. Hopefully you all will have a safe and pleasant trip across the border!

    Posted by abellim on 13th January, 2013

  • I crossed the border from Laos to Cambodia in January 2013. Both the lao and the Cambodians charge a US $ 2 "stamp fee", presumably because this border post is mostly used by ("rich") tourists, because elsewhere this fee is not always charged. Including the Cambodian "health declaration" the total cost (except the visa cost) is US $ 5. Bus personnel handle everything if you want for US $ 6, so they include an uplift of US $ 1 for their help, which is well worth it. The "stamp fee" may be somehow illegal, but there is no way to escape it.

    In my case, the onward bus into Cambodia departed only after a long wait. Unfortunately that was not announced before, otherwise I would have enjoyed a good meal after the border.

    Posted by rbakels on 26th January, 2013

  • Hye,

    we gonna cross the border this weekend from Vientiane to Phnom Penh. Can the fellow travellers can suggest the reliable/trusted travel agent or bus service that provide bus trip, preferable the direct bus service if it's available. We are Malaysian passport holder, so no issue with visa.

    One of the reliable bus company is Sorya Transportation Company but i only aware that they have trip pfrom PP to Vientiane. Do they also have Vientiane to PP and is it directly bus (any transits anywhere if any)?

    Thanks everyone for the help

    Posted by nikramyz on 12th March, 2013

  • Thanks for this useful post. Is it possible to change Lao kip at the border before crossing into Cambodia.

    Posted by Mini on 16th June, 2013

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