We'r currently in Cambodia and would like to go to Laos from the border crossing at Southern Laos. Should we take a straight bus from Phomn Penh to Kratie or Stung Treng? We've also heard that the Southern Laos Border crossing is not quite a official border crossing and would have to go through numerous scams and bribes. Is the border open at this point of time?
We've checked with the Laos embassy in our own country and was informed that we do not need a Laos Visa for up to 30days visit.
However, do we really need to get a Laos visa so that we can avoid all the "local scams"?
Assuming we have sucessfully cleared the Laos side, our ultimate destination would be Luang Prabang, how should we get from the Laos border to Luang Prabang? We understand its a pretty long journey....with a few transit stops in between.
#1 airfaze has been a member since 27/3/2006. Posts: 11
I'd say Kratie at least is worth an overnight stop to see the dolphins -- Kompong Cham (between Phnom Penh and Kratie is also ok if you like boat-trips).
The border with Laos is a full international border, and is open... however you need your Lao visa in advance -- you can get it easily enough in Phnom Penh.
People often complain about this border, however in our experience it is very straightforward -- we're yet to have someone cross there and report serious issues.
Without knowing your nationality, it is difficult to advise, but I've not heard of any western tourists not requiring a visa for Laos... I would definetly re-check that info.
The border of Laos to Luang Prabang is indeed a long way!!
I'd suggest breaking the trip at all the following -- though it depends on how long you have of course.
Don Khon & Don Dhet (both in 4,000 islands)
We are both from Singapore, which is also in South East Asia. The Laos embassy in Singapore advised us that we do not need any visa for our stay in Laos.
Reading much report about the border, we thought we might encounter some problems, especially with a passport without visa.
We are looking to visit Don Khon and Don Dhet...Do we get there from the border by ferry? how much does it cost?
#3 airfaze has been a member since 27/3/2006. Posts: 11
I can't really give any advice about aproaching that border crossing without a visa -- it is my understanding that it is a full international crossing so you shouldn't have a problem -- perhaps pop into the Lao embassy in Phnom Penh and check before heading north to the crossing.
The trip from the border to Don Khon is by tuk tuk (about 5km) then boat (15 minutes) the costs are nominal. On Don Khon, check out Salaphae Resort -- if you're looking for a splurge it is excellent.