I've read of many ways to get a Visa for Laos, but which is the best way and is it restricted to just 60 days before entry? I will be in Borneo then Vietnam and Cambodia all before laos, and around the 70 day mark I'll enter Laos.
So which is the best way to get a visa?
What condition are the roads in? I want to ride a bike through the country.
How safe is it for bikes?
Any issues crossing borders with rented bikes?
"Any issues crossing borders with rented bikes?"
You can't take a rental over any border.
"I'm travelling into Laos from Cambodia so I really do need a visa in advance"
Laos visa on arrival (30 days) is available at the Cambodia/Laos border. Bring $USD for best price. Usually $30-42 depending on your nationality.
You can rent a motorbike in Pakse and other main towns in Laos.
It is possible to enter Laos with a rented motorbike, for 2 weeks only. We did it with the car of my wife's sister. You need to organise the necessary papers in advance in the Road Traffic Office in Thailand, which means you need a permit to bring the vehicle outside Thailand. When leaving Thailand, your vehicle has to be registered at the Thai border, presenting the exit permit. The same applies when reentering Thailand. If you bring a motorbike with registration in another country then Thailand, this step is not necessary.
Furthermore, you have to make an insurance for 2 weeks at the border, when entering Laos. Some motorbike rentals in Chiang Mai do this service. Generally it is much cheaper to rent a motorbike in Thailand then in Laos. You can also buy one in Thailand.
Getting a Visa on arrival is very easy.
We brought a motorbike in Vietnam and didn't have a problem crossing the border with it (we did have registration papers with it though).
The roads the length of Laos except for between Vang Vien and Vientiane are great!better than most in Australia anyway, and the traffic is much quieter and more thoughtful in Laos than anywhere else in asia.
"The roads the length of Laos except for between Vang Vien and Vientiane are great!better than most in Australia anyway, and the traffic is much quieter and more thoughtful in Laos than anywhere else in asia."
Well this is crap! Even between VV and Luang Prabang the roads are very hilly and windy. Oncoming traffic can be very dangerous. Traffic more thoughtful than anywhere else in Asia? You are kidding, and I have driven here for many years.
Sorry, my mistake, i forgot to mention, i came in from Vietnam at the Nam Can border, so through Phonsavan and heading south from Phu Khoun (about 130 km south of Luang Prabang).
Each to their own, but i was pleasently supprised with the quality of the roads. They are very hilly and windy, but thats one thing that made the ride so beautiful and unforgettable and one of the greatest things about doing the trip on a motorbike!
And yes, you have to dodge the buffalo's and dogs laying on the road soaking up the sun, and bigger vehicles, but that is to be expected, and you ride accordingly.
But after spending time riding in Vietnam, surviving the chaos of HCMC and spending my share of time on the notorious A1 and dodging Cambodia's suicidal bus drivers on a motorbike, the traffic throughout Laos was a delight, well for us any way!