Hi, Can anyone tell me if I can cross on land from Thailand to Laos without proof of an onward flight? More and more we meet up against check in desk officials who will not let us board unless we have "onward flights". When we are travelling without long term plans and definite dates this is becoming a real pain.
We want to cross land borders from Thailand to Laos, Laos to Vietnam, Vietnam to Cambodia and Cambodia to Thailand before returning to the UK. Do we need the trouble of fully refundable flights just to get into another country?
Immigration officers can deny whoever they want for any reason they want, but generally speaking, you shouldn't need proof of onward travel if entering any of those countries by land. At least that's always been my experience. If coming to Thailand by air, there's a good chance that the airline will want to see proof of onward travel before allowing you to board.
"Thailand to Laos, Laos to Vietnam, Vietnam to Cambodia and Cambodia to Thailand"
No required proof of onward flights for any of these crossings, by land or air.
As mentioned above, you're only potential hangup is when departing home country to Thailand, airlines often want to see onward/return flight ticket at check-in. Once you have your boarding pass it's a green light. And don't worry about Thai Immigration on arrival either. They just want to see your passport + arrival card and stamp you in.
P.S. don't know what passport you're travelling on, but many countries get 30 days visa-free for Thailand. If you need more a tourist visa obtained in advance is required.
Thanks for the feedback. We have understood that land crossing of borders is reasonably ok and stress free in this region but the most up to date information is usually the best.
We are travelling on a UK passport but even so our recent visit to Australia and New Zealand have been a real pain immigration wise. We will not be going back.
As stated above from what I've read there should be no required proof of onward travel if arriving by land in these counties. BUT Thailand is where is gets tricky especially because it is double entry (also how long is the whole trip) not sure how the UK visa would work but I am Canadian and doing almost the same interary as you but backwards I'm going thailand Cambodia Vietnam Laos thailand and found out last minute that basically I needed a double entry visa for thailand to ensure entry into thailand when I leave canada this week. This is because I am travelling for about 4 months in SEA and I don't have proof of onward travel from Thailand to Cambodia because I am going by ground (and even if you have proof of on ward ground travel they can not assure you they will let you leave to thailand unless it is proof by flight ticket). And even though both entry's im staying less than 30 days I still need the visa just because I do not have proof of onward travel in my first days from Thailand to Cambodia.
This is so confusing. But therefore if you do have proof of onward travel from Thailand to Laos by flight then you should be ok! And just get the free 30 day visa each entry into thailand (but when returning to thailand from Cambodia if it is by ground, this is what I understand from my research, is that you only have 15 or so days instead of 30 to leave thailand)
I hope this helped! Super confusing... I hope my rambling made sense :)