I am currently in Sapa and was planning in a fewdays to travel to Laos via Dien Bien Phu and Muang Khua. The booking agents in Sapa are saying visas are not available on arrival, however I have many reports from 2009 and previously saying they are.
Can anyone who knows if it is possible to get Laos visa on arrival (Australian passports) please respond asap as otherwise need to book train back to Hanoi and alternative transport and visa!!
Thanks muchly for help!
#1 smellel has been a member since 16/12/2009. Posts: 9
Yes Australians can get VOA when entering Laos at the Tay Trang border. Met & travelled with 2 Australians who'd entered Laos via that crossing in Dec 2009. They'd crossed together with Italians, French, Romanians & Japanese by the bus from DBP (one daily, arrives in Muang Khua in the evening).
Personally i would take what travel agents in Vietnam say with the contents of an entire saltshaker...
the surprisingly helpful TIC in Sapa also confirmed this. Not sure why the tourist shops aren't clear on this as they likely loose business when people don't use their services...Maybe they make more sending people back to Hanoi?
Btw, do you know offhand if it's feasible to go northwest loopwise around Laos to Bokeo and the Gibbon Experience thing from Muang Khua or best to go via LP and up river?
#3 smellel has been a member since 16/12/2009. Posts: 9
There are buses from Sapa to Laos. And Visa On arrival available for major countries. I have recently traveled from SaPa to Luang Prabang, just 10 days ago.
You may want to refer to my blog on an account of this trip. Include pricing, money exchange, and accommodation.
#4 rollerband has been a member since 4/4/2010. Posts: 1
do you know offhand if it's feasible to go northwest loopwise around Laos to Bokeo and the Gibbon Experience thing from Muang Khua or best to go via LP and up river?
where are you planning to exit Laos from, & how much time do you have before/after GibbonX?
& what are you interested in seeing in Laos?
most direct way = Muang Khua > Oudomxay > Luang Namtha > Ban Don Chai/Huay Xai (depending on where you've arranged to meet the GibbonX people) by bus.
MK > ODX = 3+h
ODX > LNT = 4.5+h
LNT > Ban Don Chai = ~3h
tricky part = bus timings. should be able to make it from MK to LNT in one day if you leave MK by the first AM bus, overnight in LNT, then continue to Ban Don Chai the next AM. or you can leave MK by the last aftn bus to ODX, overnight in ODX, then get the ODX > Bokeo bus the next day.
or you can do a loop to Phongsaly (Muang Khua > Hat Sa > Phongsaly > ODX. or travel from MK to Nong Khiaw by boat (more scenic than the Huay Xai-LPB boat journey), then from Nong Khiaw to ODX. or other options...really depends on how you wish to experience Laos.
some transport details here (contributions/updates welcome :P):