Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

Traveling Visa for Land Travelers!!

Posted by MarkusArails on 28/7/2014 at 08:08

Hey guys and gals.
First time posting here as well as first time soon to be traveller.Woop!
I just have a quick question which I am hoping someone couldhelp me out with and it would be great to get some feedback for it.
I and my girlfriend are planning to travel around SEA inJanuary 2015 to visit Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (Maybe Philippines).We have the available funds, as well a set plan for where we want to go and tosee.
The only problem we have is that as we are hoping to travel viatrain or other local transport to get to each country. Thailand and Vietnam arenot an issue as you can apply for the visa online in advance, but we seem to behaving issues with Cambodia and Laos, where from what I have been researchingits best to get it as soon as you arrive in the country via plane, as statedabove we are not landing there but traveling by train/sleeper bus to get therefrom each destination.
So in short, could anyone tell me more information aboutVisa’s for Cambodia and Laos, and if there is a way to obtain a visa when goingacross land? Or am I being silly and you can book online for these?
Thanks a bunch guys and gals!
P.S ( any links for me to look in would be great as well )

#1 MarkusArails has been a member since 18/7/2014. Posts: 3

Posted by captainbkk on 29/7/2014 at 05:16

`1.USE BRAINS! VIsa are always dependent on which passpt you hold. Senseless to ask without stating. that guidebook-it lists all, if needed split up between nations. it will also tell you that there are hardly nay trains going over borders-only TH-MY-SI. Take a lok at the airasia site.
Its also daft simple- the usual nations that post here, take US$ cash with them, the odd foto too-or make it before bordering, then pay at border-amounts may again differ per nation.
To the utter mayhem and surprise of many a youth, it may even be the case that its not online-the way all people did it before 2000. Maybe you can even wane yourself from that electronic devices sometimes.

#2 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472

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Posted by MarkusArails on 29/7/2014 at 06:38

1. Thank you lol I am simply asking a question andhoping for a nice reply which would have been awesome ;). You could of simplyreplied with “ahh where are your passports from?” and perhaps we could of gottensomewhere. As you can tell from my clearly brainless behaviour, I am from theUK with dual passports UK/Filipino (yes for me being a Filipino Citizen as wellmakes it easier for me to travel around South East Asia), but this is more formy girlfriend who only has a UK passport.
2. I have done my research and still researchinghence why I am here, and have even been asking around friends who havetravelled as well as yes I have the books… thanks. But as books are not 100% upto date with current events, I thought best to ask people on this forum andmaybe get some helpful advice.
Please can I have a respectful answer rather than you being condescending,I was only asking a question. Apologies for any mistakes in the generalisedinformation above... I did say I was new to this lol.

#3 MarkusArails has been a member since 18/7/2014. Posts: 3

Posted by GattinaRosa on 29/7/2014 at 15:08

Hi MarkusArails,

My husband and I are also doing SEA, mainly by land, in September! So, we have been researching visa options (if I remember, I'll come back on here in December when we come back and tell you how everything worked out!!). We are also from the UK.

This is some of the research I've put together around land visas - mostly taken from 'Southeast Asia on a Shoestring' book which we have been using and seems pretty good:

To Cambodia: available on the border for $20. Some borders may charge 1200B so make sure you have both. Also ensure you have a passport photo.
To Laos: can be obtained on arrival for $30 to $42. Need a passport photo.
If you arrive by land, I think you only get a 15 day visa... rather than the 30 day if you arrive by air.

30 day tourist visas are available at several (but not all) international checkpoints. - that looks like a good link at seeing which of the borders you can get visas from.

To Cambodia: visas can be issued at all crossings for $20 (but overcharging is common except at Bavat). Border crossings open between 8am and 8pm/
To Laos: 30 day visas are now available at all borders.

One month visas ($20) are available at all land border crossings. However, overcharging is a big problem.

Basically, the only visa I think you need to get before travelling is for Vietnam. You should be able to visas at land crossings in all other countries (but double check the ones from Laos).

Hope this helps a bit.

#4 GattinaRosa has been a member since 28/7/2014. Posts: 18

Posted by exacto on 29/7/2014 at 15:43

Hi Markus!

I see you've met captainbkk. For some reason he gets offended when people ask questions on the forum, which as you and I know is exactly its intended purpose. But if you don't take him too seriously (he seems to do that enough for all of us) and can wade through the questionable syntax and grammar, he sometimes has decent information.

In any case, the post from friendly Gattina tracks pretty much with my experience for Laos and Cambodia too, although I remember paying a bit more for a visa on arrival in Cambodia. ;-) Either way, I remember that having US$ to pay the visa-on-arrival fee was helpful for speeding the process in both places and it helped to have a passport photo for each application. You can pick those up before you leave home or get them at camera shops and other places in Thailand or elsewhere once you arrive.

There is a visa section here on Travelfish which will be worth a look for you, and lots of other threads on similar topics.

Are you really planning to visit all those places in just one month? Cheers.

#5 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
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Posted by bernadetteelms3 on 30/7/2014 at 00:32

Wow! Visiting those places with the one you love would be great. Advance congrats with your journey. :)

#6 bernadetteelms3 has been a member since 30/7/2014. Posts: 2

Posted by Captain_Bob on 30/7/2014 at 08:03

Great post from GattinaRosa. Some minor clarifications/additions:

- UK (and many other) citizens can enter Thailand visa-exempt (not a visa per se) and as of last November G7 nationals (UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan) get visa-exempt entry of 30 days regardless if by land or air. See

- Laos visa on arrival (30 days) costs $35 for UK citizens and is available at virtually all entry points (even at some of the more obscure crossings not mentioned in some guidebooks and travel websites).

- True that land crossings into Cambodia often try to overcharge, especially coming in from Thailand where they may try to sting you for over 1000 baht. Best just to present a crisp tidy $20 note and politely insist they take it, but this can become something of a game. There are also sometimes ridiculous $1 fees for "health check", "stamping fee", or "overtime".

- If flying into Vietnam you can use a pre-arranged visa on websites like www.vietnamvisapro. This is the cheapest option, costing $10+45. If entering by land you need a tourist visa obtained in advance from a Vietnamese embassy or consulate (Bangkok, Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville).

All of the above visas are charged in US dollars so keep a sufficient stash in reserve, and carry extra passport-size photos. Happy travels.

#7 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,950

Posted by MarkusArails on 31/7/2014 at 07:02

Thats great stuff guys/gals I will definitely take thisinformation on-board and make some alterations to my travel plan! Granted it is still 5months away until my trip but always best to plan ahead aha!
GattinaRosa – That would be amazing, would definitely like toknow how things went with having an across land venture and the pros and consof it aha! If you could give me some feedback when you get back that would begreat! Enjoy your trip!!
Exacto – Aha thanks, I guess best to ignore it. But inregards to your question, we are actually hoping for a 6 months travel ( well till the money runs out lol ) I think if we did it in 1 month it would be wayto hectic and I would feel majority of that month would be just travelling on local transport :(

Captain Bobb – Thanks a bunch, I am currently editing mytravel plans right now, so I have changed a lot of due to some of yourfeedback. Thanks a bunch!

#8 MarkusArails has been a member since 18/7/2014. Posts: 3

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