Last updated January 20, 2013
Because of the length of this thread we've broken it out into separate threads to make is easier to digest. Please direct any updates or comments to the correct thread. Thanks!
Cambodian visa FAQ
Indonesian visa FAQ
Lao visa FAQ
Malaysian visa FAQ
Singapore visa FAQ
Thai visa FAQ
Vietnamese visa FAQ
Thailand / Laos border crossings
Thailand / Cambodia border crossings
Thailand / Malaysia border crossings
Laos / Cambodia border crossings
Laos / Vietnam border crossings
Laos / China border crossings
Cambodia / Vietnam border crossings
Vietnam / China border crossings
Border map border crossings
This section is oft liable to change -- please use is solely as a general guide -- if you have an update, please make a report in this thread.
Chiang Khong - Huay Xai
Open 08:00-18:00 7 days
A 30 day Lao visa on arrival is available for US$30 or 1,500B -- there's been many reports of the officials refusing to accept US cash (as they pocket the difference on the exchange rate). The Chiang Khong / Huay Xai crossing is one of the most popular crossing for independent travellers entering Laos from Thailand.
It is from Huay Xai that the slow boats to Luang Prabang and land transport to Luang Nam Tha all commence, making this a veritable transport hub. After clearing customs on either side, it is a short five minute boat ride over to the other side.
Thai Li - Nam Hueng
This fairly remote crossing would be a handy one to open up fully due to the fairly good road condition north to Pak Lai and onwards to Luang Prabang. Currently there are conflicting reports on its being open, although it appears it is easier to leave Laos this way than to enter it. There is no Lao visa on arrival available here, nor is there much at all in the way of regular pubic transport. See GT Rider for more information.
Nong Khai / Vientiane
Open 06:00-22:00 7 days
Lao visa on arrival is available at this crossing, the most popular means of entering Laos by land. The crossing is actually around 20km from Vientiane and a few km from the centre of Nong Khai, but regular and affordable transport is available in both directions.
Mukdahan / Savannakhet
With the construction of the Friendship Bridge II over the Mekong, all foreigners planning on travelling between Thailand and Laos at this crossing are required to use the bridge. Coming from Thailand, a minibus from Mukdahan takes you across the bridge itself, where there always tuk tuk drivers waiting to take you into Savannakhet.
Nakhon Phanom / Tha Khaek
This riverine crossing takes travellers from the riverfront of central Nakhon Phanom to the riverfront of central Tha Khaek. Boats run around a half dozen times a day, seven days a week. There is a small fee for the boat. Lao visas on arrival are available.
Chong Mek / Vang Tao
For those planning on visiting Pakse from Thailand, the Chong Mek, Vang Tao crossing is the most convenient. From Thailand a regular bus runs from Ubon Ratchathani to the border town of Chong Mek taking 1-1.5 hours. Sometimes you may be required to change buses as Phibun Mangsahan depending on the bus caught. Once deposited at Chong Mek it is a five minute walk through each crossing and regular songtheaws run from Vang Tao to Pakse, taking about one hour. Visa on arrival is available. There is an ATM in Chong Mek.
Bueng Kan / Paksan
From Laos, follow the sign off the main road, just passed the Manolom Guest House and follow the sign that says Port. A boat across the Mekong River costs 60B when full (seven to ten people). Arrive in the morning to catch the day-tripping Lao crossing to shop in Thailand to be sure of a full boat, otherwise it's 360B per boat to cross. No Lao visa on arrival is available crossing to the Lao side from Thailand, so be sure to get one ahead of time if you plan to use this border.
Ban Huay Kon / Muang Ngoen
This crossing is now open to foreigners, but due to infrequent public transport on both sides of the border, people tend to cross here using a tour (or travelling with their own vehicle).
Aranyaprathet / Poipet
This is, by far the most popular, and the most dysfunctional border crossing between Cambodia and Thailand. Cambodian visas on arrival are available. Crossing times can be in excess of three hours depending on the whims of the border officials.
Hat Lek / Ko Kong
A very straightforward crossing, the Hat Lek / Ko Kong crossing is most convenient for those planing on travelling between Thailand's Ko Chang and the Sihanoukville beach area of Cambodia -- which you can travel to by road or boat depending on the weather conditions. There are numerous reports of the Cambodian officials here being particularly troublesome and asking ridiculous amounts of money for visa on arrival -- the easiest way around this is to arrive with a visa already in hand. If you need to get to an ATM, there is an ATM in the Thai town of Hat Lek. Expect to pay 80B - 100B for a moto from the boat landing to the border -- this should included the bridge toll.
Pauljaymes reports: From Ko Kong to Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville -- heard a story on the boat from a guy who'd been taken for a rough 15 hour ride from Ko Kong to Sihanoukville and had had such a nightmare he'd decided to get the boat straight back. Use the boat until the dry season and/or until the road's finished. Local ex-pats refer to the ferry as the 'Vomit Comet' -- be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Chong Jom / O Smach
We've not crossed here and have no information about it, but jaeng reports from a crossing in July 2005:
Border is open 07.00 - 20.00. There is no problem at all at the crossing gates of both sides. No line, no waiting, no extra fee. We hired a car with driver to Siem Reap for around 2,000 Baht.
Chong Sa Ngam / Anlong Veng
This crossing is very convenient to Anlong Veng but little else. If you are heading to Thailand via this crossing, there is no public transport from the border to any sizeable Thai towns, you will need to hitch a ride from the border for around 20km to a sealed road from where there is then occasional public buses, though you are better off to hitch at least as far as Route 24 along which there are very frequent buses.
Ban Pakard. Chantaburi / Phsa Prum, Pailin
This border allows for the fastest trip from Phnom Penh to Bangkok overland. The border is a thirty minute motorbike ride from Pailin and from the Thai side there are frequent minibuses to Chanthaburi an hour or so away. Cambodian visas on arrival are available.
Ban Laem, Chantaburi / Daun Lem, Battambang
We've not crossed here and have no information about it.
There are at least seven border crossings between Thailand and Malaysia which are open to foreigners. Running east to west they are: Ban Ta Ba (actually at the border village Ban Ta Ba), Sungai Kolok, Betong, Sadao, Pedang Besar, Wang Prajan and Kuala Perlis. The four most popular crossings are the boat crossing at Kuala Perlis, Pedang Besar, Sadao and Sungai Kolok. The border crossings at Sadao and Pedang Besar and open 24 hours, the others, daylight hours only.
Ban Ta Ba / Pengkalan Kulor
This tiny crossing is a few kilometres south of the Thai town of Tak Bai in the far south of Narathiwat province. From Ban Ta Ba it is easy to arrange onwards transport by songthaew to Tak Bai, Sungai Kolok. Narathiwat and further afield. On the Malay side there are regular buses to Kota Bharu. If you're heading to the Perhentian Islands, this crossing is closer to Kota Bharu than Sungai Kolok.
Sungai Kolok / Rantau Panjang
This popular crossing (though less so due to the strife in southern Thailand) is a straightforward "walk over the bridge" style border crossing. There is loads of transport from the Sungai Kolok side to transport throughout Thailand, including the train station, which is a ten minute walk from the border. On the Malay side, there are taxi and bus services to Kota Bharu -- most likely your next stopping off point.
The Malay frontier is around 7km and is easily reached by share-taxi from Betong town. We've never crossed here so can't help on the niceties on the Malay side. If you have crossed here, please leave a message about it.
Sadao / Changlun
This is one of the most popular crossings used for visa runs in southern Thailand, but for onwards travel it isn't a great choice because of lack of transport on the Malay side. From Sadao, in Thailand, it is straightforward to take a bus or songtheaw onwards to Hat Yai. This crossing is open 24-hours.
Better than nearby Sadao, Pedang Besar can be reached by bus, train or taxi from both sides. Like Sadao, this crossing is open 24-hours. If you're crossing on the train, you will need to disembark to clear customs.
A pretty obscure crossing, Wang Prajan is near Thaleban National Park in Satun province -- in fact the park entrance is walking distance from the border. There are irregular songtheaws from Satun to the border, though as we've not crossed here we can't help on transport on the other side. If you have crossed here, please leave a message about it.
This longtail trip takes you south from Thammalang pier (a half dozen km south of Satun) to the Malay town of Kuala Perlis. Boats depart regularly throughout the day and take an hour. Transport to Langkawi is also possible from Thammalang pier.
Veun Kham/ Dom Kralor
This is a very popular crossing amongst travellers heading overland between Cambodia and Laos. Both Cambodian and Lao visa on arrival is available. For more detailed on this crossing, please read our feature story on the Lao Cambodia border crossing.
Na Maew / Nam Xoi
This crossing opened in 2004 and for those coming from Vietnam it offers convenient access into the bookdocks of Laos' Hua Phan province. It is a short ride from the border to Sam Neau.
Chunk79 reports from 13 October 2006: Six of us went through no problems although the Vietnamese check every bag quite thoroughly so it takes some time. To get there, we caught a bus from Sam Neua at 06:20 (although it didn't leave until 07:30) which ran all the way to Thanh Hoa in Vietnam (100,000 kip) arriving there about 16:30. There are lots of local buses north to Hanoi (3 hrs 40,000 dong) from Thanh Hoa. In theory there should be a more direct way to Hanoi but it wasn't evident from the bus. Not sure if the bus runs every day - it is definitely the only bus that goes all the way through.
There are songtheaws to the border from Sam Neua for 21,000 kip but there isn't much on the Vietnamese side to pick you up.
The bus doesn't go into Vieng Xai so if you choose to stay there (not a bad option in my opinion - it makes more sense than doing a day trip if you are heading over the border) you would need to wait for it on the main road outside of town.
Nam Phao / Cau Treo
Convenient to the Lao town of Lak Xao and the large Vietnamese city of Vinh, this border is the crossing of choice for most overland travellers. Coming from Laos, the border is 34 km east of Lak Xao -- you can catch a bus to the border and then walk across to the other side, 500m away, and after entering Vietnam, find a connection to Vinh, about 100km away on the Vietnamese eastern coast, and from there to your city of choice in Vietnam. You'll need to have your Vietnamese visa in advance, of course. The border is open from 08:00 to 18:00 (or later, if the border guards don't feel like going home) and it 'closes' for lunch from 12:00 to 13:00, but they still sometimes process people during lunch just for the heck of it. Stamping out of Laos costs 2,000 kip during regular hours, 12,000 kip after 16:30 and on weekends and holidays. There is an exchange booth on the Laos side open during operating hours where you can pick up some dong at unattractive rates. Best to just pay in dollars on the other side (baht are harder to get rid of) and if you happen to pass through Pakse en-route, check out the Lao-Vietnam bank for a much better rate on dong.
PaulJaymes reports from 4th August, 2006: Vietnam border guards were very thorough with my passport and I nearly didn't get in. Transport is challenging but cross-border traders hanging around the bus station in Lak Sao will run you into Vietnam after filling up the rest of the bus with a lot of random cargo. Agree a price first but don't hand over any money until you're sure you're in Vinh or Hanoi (or wherever you're supposed to be going).
Dansavanh / Lao Bao
This was the first land border between Laos and Vietnam to open for international travellers, it was for a long time the most popular, but many now opt for the more northern crossing near Lak Xao instead. This crossing is convenient for Hue in Vietnam and Savannakhet in Laos.
NamCan / Nam Khan
Convenient to the Lao town of Phonsavan and the large Vietnamese city of Vinh, this border is the crossing of choice for most overland travellers. Coming from Vinh there are buses to Phonsavan departing at 6:00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, costing 142,000 VND (100,000 Laos kip). The trip is 403 km and should take about 12 hours. Through buses to Luang Prabang leave at 06:00 as well, on Wednesdays and Sundays only. The 690 km journey costs 325,000 VND (216,000 Laos kip). Vietnamese passengers pay less (but then again, they pay taxes and you don't!) Lao visas on arrival are available.
dragon reports from 7 January 2007: There is a regular bus from Phonsavan (Laos) to Vinh (Vietnam) which leaves at 06:30 on Tuesday,Thursday, Friday and Sunday and takes about 13 hours to recah Vinh, costing 110,000 kip. It leaves Vinh the next day for the trip back. Expect all your bags to be checked on entering Vietnam.
Travelfish crossed here: 7 February 2007
Despite what you might hear elsewhere (especially from Vietnamese embassy officials) the border at Bo Y is wide open to foreigners, and now provides an interesting, if somewhat challenging, way to enter Vietnam. Of course, as ever, you'll need to have obtained a valid Vietnamese visa before hitting the border.
This entry point makes the most sense if you are winding up your Laos visit in the southeastern provinces of Salavan, Sekong and Attapeu, and you don't fancy making the ridiculously circuitous trip to the Lao Bao border via Savannakhet. You can also get to Attapeu from Pakse -- show up at the Southern Bus Terminal at the 8-kilometre market any time before 09:00 and something will be leaving eventually, usually before 10:30 -- price 30,000 kip. In that case, you probably won't be able to make it to Attapeu and cross the border in the same day, and you'll have to overnight in Attapeu. Better yet, plan several days -- Attapeu is a good little town and there are a number of interesting things to do.
In Attapeu, mini-buses for Bo Y leave in the morning from in front Thi Thi Restaurant -- the Vietnamese place near Thanh Nga Guesthouse, which the locals call "Ban Pak Khun Viet". Makes sense to spend the night there because mini-vans leave in the morning -- the first departure is at 07:00. There should be departures until 10:00, but don't count on it and arrive early. It's all very loosey goosey right now since the service is primarily used by Vietnamese migrant workers and everybody knows the drill. They also leave packed to the gills: there were 15 people in the ten-passenger van when we made the trip.
The price to Bo Y is 80,000 kip. It's 119km from Attapeu to Bo Y -- a nail-biting ride on incredibly twisty mountain roads which the drivers like to take as fast as they can. The scenery is beautiful, but if you're prone to motion sickness, take something for it. Two of the Vietnamese passangers lost their lunch on our trip (out the windows, thankfully!)
The border process is fairly straightforward, and there are no regular fees levied on either side. Once everyone is processed (which can take forever) the vans continue on to the town of Ngoc Hoi, 18km on the other side of the border. The entire process from Attapeu takes about three hours. Transport options are available from in Ngoc Hoi to just about anywhere you want to go, but many morning departures will require another overnight stay. There are plenty of places to stay right near the bus station, with very acceptable double rooms for US$10. Internet is located 300m west of the bus station on the right.
The nearest spot on the tourist trail is Kon Tum, 68km east of Ngoc Hoi -- there's only one bus in the afternoon, and it leaves at 17:00, 30,000 dong, takes 2 hours. It drops off in Kon Tum at the bus terminal 2km from the centre of town. This same bus continues to Saigon (150,000 dong).
Sop Hun / Tay Trang
This border has finally opened to international travellers. Khop chai lai lai to Matam and BruceMoon for updates. A bus travel daily in each direction between Muang Khua in Laos and the Dien Bein Phu in Vietnam, with the journey taking between 5 1/2 to 7 hours depending on road and weather conditions. To leave Laos, the bus departs Muang Khua at 07:00 (or earlier if full). Travellers are advised that due to periodic demand, they should be at the bus (on the opposite side of the Nam Ou [river] to Muang Khua town) at least 1 hour earlier. The price in April 2009 was 50,000kip. To leave Vietnam, the bus leaves at 05:30. Travellers are strongly advised to purchase their ticket on the day prior from the bus station (located on the corner of Hwy 12 and Tran Dang Ninh) and be ready to board the bus at least half an hour before departure. The price in April 2009 was 80,000VN dong. Be aware that the Lao border staff require US$1 to 'stamp' your passport (ie. 8000 kip - or 18,000 dong). You cannot get a Vietnamese visa on arrival - you must get it beforehand. Note that you can get a Lao visa on arrival at the border.
Boten / Mengla
This is the only Lao border that is currently open to independent travellers, Lao visas on arrival are available. The border is around 55km from the popular Lao town of Muang Sing.
Bavet / Moc Bai
This was the first crossing between Cambodia and Vietnam to open to foreign travellers and it remains easily the most popular. Daily buses regularly ply the Saigon - Phnom Penh route and the service is both fast and affordable.
Kaam Samnor / Ving Xuong
This very popular riverine crossing links from Cambodia to the Vietnamese town of Chau Doc. This crossing can be done on an organised deal by boat from Phnom Penh to Saigon, or you can do it piecemeal.
Phnom Den / Tinh Bien
Not far south of Chau Doc, this crossing is open to foreign travellers, though we've not crossed there in person. Luckily, sooeyes reports:
We crossed from Tinh Bien in Vietnam to Phnom Den on March 28th, 2007 and the Cambodian border official informed us that foreigners can now arrange a visa on arrival at this crossing. He didn't say how much it would cost. As far as getting to the crossing, we took mototaxis from Ha Tien (US$10) or you can take the bus, but the bus takes almost twice as long. Transport on the other side to Kampot is a little sparse, may be easier to get to Phnom Pehn. You can take a mototaxi or have one of the officials call a taxi from town. We paid US$55 to get to Kampot, but we had a Khmer speaker with us.
Prek Chak / Xa Xia
Yes, the Cambodia/Vietnam coastal border crossing is open and travellers with a valid Vietnamese visa can enter Vietnam at the Prek Chak / Xa Xia crossing a twenty minute motorbike ride from Kep. A moto to the border from Kep costs around US$7 and onwards transport to Ha Tien in Cambodia is available.
rbakels reports Feb 2011: I was there last month and I saw that there is now a fully fledged bus service from Ha Tien in Vietnam to Sihannoukville and Phnom Penh in Cambodia (and intermediate cities like Kep and Kampong). Visa on arrival for $25 (or 550 k VND, bad rate)+ 1 $ for health declaration. (Have you sneezed and are you honest? Then you are not allowed to enter Cambodia ...)
Le Thanh / O Yadao crossing NEW!
Left Pleiku at 8am, arrived Ban Lung just before 2pm, so this trip is just under six hours door to door. Border crossing on the Vietnamese side is called Le Thanh. The crossing on the Cambodian side is called O Yadao. In the Vietnam to Cambodia direction, the Cambodian Immigration officials insist that a visa for Cambodia is available upon arrival at O Yadao. I did not need to get a visa for Cambodia at their Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. In the Cambodia to Vietnam direction, as usual, a visa for Vietnam must be in your passport before heading for the border crossing.
At the bus station in Pleiku, two of the moto drivers who hang around out front speak English and are aware that this crossing is now open to foreigners. However, they want about 300,000 dong for a ride to Le Thanh from Pleiku. Alternatively, take a yellow local bus to Duc Co from the central market in Pleiku for about 15,000 dong and then a moto from Duc Co to Le Thanh. It is about 60km from Pleiku to Duc Co and then about 20 KM from Duc Co to Le Thanh. The road is paved and smooth all the way -- on the Vietnamese side. There is a huge new immigration building under construction at Le Thanh but for now, the old shack is still in use. It is just behind the new building. Vietnamese moto drivers hang around in the market just in front of the border station for a ride to Duc Co or Pleiku respectively.
Once past the Vietnamese Immigration officials, walk about 100 meters to the Cambodian Immigration station, where you will need to wait until someone offers a ride to Ban Lung. The front seat in a share taxi all to yourself is US$15 one way, which is the luxury way to go. A ride on the back of a moto is US$10, but be advised that the road on the Cambodian side is under reconstruction and is really dusty and bumpy all the way to Banlung. It is about 70km on this road so a ride in a share taxi really is the only way to go. In my case, one of the friendly Cambodian Immigration guys just happened to be going to Ban Lung in his car so he drove after stamping my passport. Four wheel drive trucks also do this run from time to time and a ride in the back would be cheaper but very miserable given the state of the road on the Cambodian side.
In Ban Lung, for the trip to Pleiku, there are a number of options. Firstly, simply visit the bus station / share taxi stand just in front of the main market to ask if anyone is going to O Yadao. A visa for Vietnam must be in your passport beforehand. Alternatively, stay at Nordic Guest House, just up the road from Yeak Laom Lake, where the management is up to date about how to get to O Yadao. Or contact Mr Lim, a tour guide in Banlung who takes people to the border crossing after showing them the countryside around Banlung. Contact him from inside Cambodia on either (012) 237 462 or (011) 578 458. When calling from overseas, drop the first 0 and add 855, the country code for Cambodia.
For a bit of fun at the Cambodian Immigration Station, ask to speak with Sokun. He is an Immigration official who used to work as a tour guide in Cambodia. His English is excellent, and his sense of humour even better. He knows all about the O Yadao area, including the jungle woman. Enjoy your visit.
Some pictures from the roads used on this trip are on http://picasaweb.google.com/sfogm9/PleikuBanlungOverland
Major hat-tip and thankyou to George for the report
Mong Cai / Dong Hung
Mong Cai Border Gate is in the northeast of Quang Ninh Province, 176km from Halong City, 327km from Hanoi. From Halong City, along the highway 18 to Mong Cai Town, and then across the Mong Cai Border Gate to China.
Open till at least 18:00
Pauljaymes reports from 13th August 2006: The guy at the Vietnamese side didn't seem too bothered about anything, particularly details like taking my departure form and even stamping the forms of new arrivals. Make sure you get all the stamps you need. The Chinese side of the border is a building site and the huge immigration building with X-Rays and escalators looked brand new, but deserted and again no-one seemed particularly bothered about much. No visa on arrival was available.
Touts change Dong into RMB at reasonable rates once you pass through the arch on the Chinese side. I'm guessing when you're coming the other way you need to do this before you cross. As far as I could see there were no ATMs or banks anywhere so the touts may be your only option (and Dong and RMB are both unexchangeable so you'll be pushed to find any before you get there). A taxi to Pingxiang cost me 30RMB and a bus to Nanning was 50. Once in Nanning you can get a local bus for 2RMB into the city and there are plenty of ATMs/banks/moneychangers etc. So get a minimum of 100RMB per person at the border if you're heading for Nanning.
Coming the other way getting to Hanoi is likely to cost you about 100,000 dong. Shared taxis run from the border to Lang Son where you can pick up a variety of buses or the train to Hanoi. You'll probably need at least another 40,000 dong to get from the bus station in Hanoi to wherever you're staying in Hanoi, though taxis/motos will happily detour to ATMs if you need them to.
Lao Cai / Hekou border
Open daily 07:00 to 22:00
The closest border crossing to Sapa and Kunming, some nationalities, including Australians and some Europeans, can buy one-month Chinese visas on the spot on the Vietnamese side of the Lao Cai / Hekou border for US$45 -- processing takes an hour. But Brits, Americans and a list of others have to get visa'ed up in Hanoi. Be sure to check with the Chinese embassy before you arrive at the border, and it probably makes sense to arrive with a visa in your passport in any case. Going the other way, of course, no visa on arrival is available. The number for the visa office at the border is: (0913) 388 890.
Please find below a map of all the main international crossings.
If you'd like to add an update to one of the crossings above, please use the following format -- if you don't have all the information, that's ok, we'll forgive you!
Visa on arrival available:
Your nationality (this is useful as not all nationalities get the same treatment):
For example (This is an example - not an update!):
Border name: Hat Lek / Ko Kong
Date used: March 2006
Opening hours: 8am-8pm
Visa on arrival available: Yes, $20, though the Cambodian officials ask for $30
Your nationality: New Zealander
Comments: Very smooth crossing. The officials hassled us for some "overtime" but settled for $2. Took ten minutes to get to the crossing by motorbike from Ko Kong town. There are minibuses from the Thai side to Trat.
Hue to Savannakhet overland border crossing
My friend and I recently travelled overland from Hue in Veitnam to Svannakhet in Laos. We bought our bus tickets in Hoi An and paid $25 with a promise that there would only be one bus for the whole journey (we had a lot of luggage and didn't want to have to lug it between vehicles). The agent got the tickets through An Phu Tourist Service. When we arrived in Hue the night before we saw many other agencies advertising the same service for between $11 and $15. We were picked up at our hotel at 6am the following morning. We changed from a bus to a stinky old mini van at Dong Ha, had to lug all our luggage between the border posts and were put on another different bus from the border to Savannakhet. The whole trip took around 10 hours.
I would recommend that travellers don't use the An Phu service and don't pay any more than $15 for your ticket. My friend and I already had visas, but other travellers were conned into paying $35 when the actual cost should only be $30. You don't need an 'agent' to get you a visa at the border post, you can to go to the Immigration window and get the forms yourself from staff.
#3 silverwood has been a member since 19/5/2006. Posts: 11
If you're after a visa for Vietnam in Jakarta,Indonesia here's the lowdown:
25 Teuku Umar, Menteng. Consular Tel: (021) 321 8537. The staffer I dealt with spoke great English but not a bar of Indonesian...
Open 09:00-16:00 Monday to Friday
Note they are closed for lunch from 11:30-13:30, but they don't volunteer that info on the phone (I found out the hard way ;-)
Tourist Visa costs:
One month single entry USD 25
One month multiple entry USD 40
Upto six months multiple entry USD 70
One year multiple entry USD 100
All visas take three working days.
Express (same day) service has a 30% surcharge
2 day service, 20% surcharge.
Theoretically you need to apply in the morning (before the long lunch) and pick up between 15:00 and 16:00 -- I applied in the afternoon no problems.
You can pay in Rupiah if you want, but they'll use a crappy exchange rate (10,000).
Getting a Vietnamese visa in Sydney, Australia
Go to the Consulate on the 2nd floor, Edgecliff Centre, 489 New South Head Rd, Double Bay. Office is open Mon-Fri 09.30-12.30 and 1.30-4.30.
Standard 1 month tourist visa costs a whopping A$70 for the 5-working-day service A$100 for next day and $150 for a same day service, though a same day service cannot always be guaranteed to be available.
You need one passport photo, the form filled out and the fee. While I was asked to bring an itinerary on the phone, I didn't need it.
We've just incorporated the past comments into the main post above -- please keep the border reports coming -- they're much appreciated! Thanks again to pauljaymes, chunk79, dragon and ReneHanoi for taking the time to make past reports.
Border name: Chong Jom / O Smach
Date used: july 2005
Opening hours: 07.00 - 20.00
Visa on arrival available: not sure
Your nationality : USA (husband), Thai (me)
Comments: Got Lao visa from Khonkaen in 10 mins. Forgot something at
the consulate. Later on a guy from consulate found us at the Vietnam Consulate. What's a service!
There is no problem at all at the crossing gates of both sides. No line. no wait. No extra fee. We hired a car with driver to SiemReap around 2000 Baht.
#7 jaeng has been a member since 6/2/2007. Posts: 2
i see this report: "Chunk79 reports from 13 October 2006: Six of us went through no problems although the Vietnamese check every bag quite thoroughly so it takes some time. To get there, we caught a bus from Sam Neua at 06:20 (although it didn't leave until 07:30) which ran all the way to Thanh Hoa in Vietnam (100,000 kip) arriving there about 16:30"
I would like to find out on which day of the week Chunk79 managed to get a bus to Thanh Hoa? I read many sites about this and found differing information on this..
Thanks to anyone who could help with this.
#8 krisztinita has been a member since 15/2/2007. Posts: 3
HA TIEN...FINALLY OPEN
Border name: Ha Tien, Vietnam
Date used: wish I had
Opening hours: probably the same as Tihn Bien/Phnom Den (8 am to 4pm)
Visa on arrival available: don't think so
Your nationality (this is useful as not all nationalities get the same treatment): American
Comments: According to the Cambodia border official at the Phnom Den crossing, the Ha Tien crossing opened to foreigners on March 26. We crossed on the 28th and he said it had been open for two days. This is the most convenient crossing if you are in Ha Tien, literally a 10 minute moto ride from the market and another 45 or so minutes to Kampot in Cambodia. You do need to have a prearranged visa to use this crossing. A moto will definitely take you to the border for around 10,000 Dong, probably less, and they may even agree to take you all the way to Kampot, if you cough up some coffee money for the border officials.
#9 sooeyes has been a member since 29/3/2007. Posts: 2
TIHN BIEN/PHNOM DEN
We crossed from Tihn Bien in Vietnam to Phnom Den on March 28th and the Cambodian border official informed us that foreigners can now arrange a visa on arrival at this crossing. He didn't say how much it would cost.
As far as getting to the crossing, we took mototaxis from Ha Tien ($10) or you can take the bus, but the bus takes almost twice as long. Transport on the other side to Kampot is a little sparse, may be easier to get to Phnom Pehn. You can take a mototaxi or have one of the officials call a taxi from town. We paid $55 USD to get to Kampot, but we had a Khmer speaker with us.
#10 sooeyes has been a member since 29/3/2007. Posts: 2
Ha Tien border crossing open -- OFFICIAL
According to this post on the Lonely Planet Thorntree, the much anticipated coastal border crossing between Cambodia and Vietnam is now officially open for foreigners.
The crossing, close to Kep in Cambodia and Ha Tien in Vietnam, will allow travellers to head from Ko Chang in Thailand to Phu Quoc in Vietnam without passing through central Cambodia.
According to the report, neither Cambodian, nor Vietnamese visas are available at the crossing. You must have your visa beforehand.
The poster goes on to say:
"The Ha Tien destination is so new that the tour operators and motodops in Kampot haven't settled on a standard price for a moto to the border for foreigners yet. I talked to four different people and was quoted US$5-$15 for a motodop and $10-$25 for a tuk-tuk. The real price will probably settle around $8-$10 for a motodop and $15 or more for a tuk tuk.
There is not much at the crossing point. Checkpoint shacks and the new immigration building. No foreigner services. Nobody except one of the immigration cops seemed to speak English. No obvious waiting onward transportation. Maybe it's there but I didn't see it.
A guy in a coffee shop on the Cambodian side of the border told me that once you are on the Vietnamese side, a motodop to Ha Tien costs about $2-$3 and to Ba Hon a bit more. He said you can catch a boat to Phu Quoc from either town but that Ba Hon was better."
Savannakhet to Mukdahan Feb/2007
Farang are no longer permitted to cross river via boat. All travel must be done by bus. No walking or cycling across either. Ran into 2 cyclists that were stopped from riding across and had to have themselves and their bicycles driven over by someone with a truck. In addition to the cost of the bus in either direction, there is also a bridge toll to help pay for the cost of the bridge I suppose. I can't recall the cost, but 80 baht seems to ring a bell.
These are two GREAT places! The people in Savannakhet were the warmest I had met during my entire 6 months in SE Asia. Do yourself a favour and spend sometime here before the Thai Casino gets built and the Highway from Thailand to Vietnam is completely filled with honking trucks.
#12 wigboy has been a member since 12/12/2006. Posts: 14
Vietnam to Laos - Lao Bao/Dansavanh Jan/2007
Visas for Laos at the crossing. Very fast into Laos. Into Vietnam... not so much. The highway from the border into Savannakhet, Laos is brand new and very fast in prepartion for trading from Thailand through to Vietnam.
I got my Laos Visa in Da Nang at the Consulate. Mine was a 30 day Visa, but a British couple I was always running into ended up with a 60 day Visa for the same price. I didn't actually see their stamp, but they were told by the office that they may as well get the 60 considering it was the same price.
Also, I took a bus from Hue to Savannakhet. After being picked up in a sketchy looking mini bus, we transfered at Dong Ha into a "real" bus which was pretty crowded already, but at least it was a bus. This bus took us all the way to the border and through to Savannakhet, Laos. From what I gathered at the time, Sinh Cafe Tours was the only company that "truly"(no matter what they tell you!)continues on past the border. I saw hoards of people stranded on the Laos side after walking across(which you have to do), and left to catch local buses after paying fares to go all the way. I imagine that with the ASEAN trade, there will more companies able to provide this as well.
Try to exchange all of your Dong before the border as rates get worse and worse the closer you get. Money traders actually hop on and exchange, and it is impossible to spend once you're more than 30 min past the border. If you plan to stay a few days, keep in mind you'll need to have a fair bit of cash on hand. The next and only Laos bank machine is in Vientiane, unless you go right through to Mukdahan, Thailand which voids your "single entry" visa for Laos. Not too sure about credit cards in Savannakhet either.
#13 wigboy has been a member since 12/12/2006. Posts: 14
Border name: Bo Y (from Vietnam to Laos)
Date used: 19.10.2007
Opening hours: no idea
Visa on arrival available: no idea
Your nationality (this is useful as not all nationalities get the same treatment): Finland
Comments: Took a bus from Kontum to Ngoc Hoi. Several busses leave daily and cost 15000 dongs. From Ngoc Hoi it is about 20 km to Bo Y border crossing, took a moto ride for this.
On Vietnamese side it was dead silent. I actually had to look and search a little bit before I found an official who seemed to be rather surprised to see me there all alone. He took his time going thru my passport and obviously was a bit dazzled as I didn't have a Vietnamese visa (as a Finnish citizen, don't need one when staying under 14 days in Vietnam).
It was about 1 km walk on a silent road to Laos side of this border. On Laos side, there were a few officials who just put stamp on my passport and the whole process took a minute or two. There was a small shop where you could pick up water or soda etc.
I tried asking about how I could get a ride to Attapeu but no one seemed to have an idea. I decided I just start walking away from the border and maybe I could hitch a ride or something. It's about 115 km to Attapeu.
After walking for one hour on a small road in middle of jungle and no vehicle had passed me I thought that maybe this wouldn't turn up to be as easy as I thought.
Then heard a car coming, raised my thumb but the driver just waved his hands and I continued walking.
Half hour later, I finally got a ride from moto for about lenght of 5 km to a small shop/restaurant where some (apparently) road construction workers were hangin out. One of them spoke a few words of english but not enough for me to know how to get a ride to Attapeu. So, I bought some noodles, hanged out with these workers and just waited for a vehicle to pass by...
Two hours later, a Vietnamese bus was coming along the road from the border. I stopped the bus and got a ride to Attapeu for 100000 dongs. Left Kontum at 8.00 in morning, arrived Attapeu at about 16.00.
So, my advice is that... if you want to do this crossing "independently", leave Vietnam on morning as early as possible. There are not many people using this road and there certainly isn't public transport leaving on either Vietnam or Laotian side of this border crossing.
#14 od has been a member since 22/10/2007. Posts: 2
Vietnam to Laos, Tay Trang/Sobhoun crossing. Dec 18th 2007.
Visa on arrival is available, I paid something around 30-40 USD with a Finnish passport.
Travelling alone, I arrived from Sapa to Dien Bien Phu on a long and eventful bus ride, which was supposed to be 6 hours but ended up being 10 hrs. Great scenery on the way, but the Vietnamese uncle trying to pimp me one of the girls in the bus for half of the ride with sign language, was a bit annoying after a while.
I stayed over night in Dien Bien Phu. I managed to find a few fellow travellers who were trying to get to Lao, and we hired a taxi to take us to the border as there were no buses that day. The buses go only every second day very early (around 5-6 am i think) in the morning towards Lao and Muang Khua. The taxi dropped us at the border, and there were no problems for any of us (the others were belgian and japanese). We walked over the border along a dirt road for around 1-2km and reached the Lao border, where we got our visas issued and passports stamped. The border guards were in no hurry, so we had to wait until they finish their game of petanque while chicken and pigs were running around.
It is good to check your visa to see if they issued you the correct amount of days, which in my case was 30, but they initially gave me only 14. A bit of skillful stamp forgery and they got it to look like 30. Some of the Lao border guards speak surprisingly good english compared to anyone in Vietnam, so communication shouldn't be a problem.
They were building a much fancier border crossing station at the Vietnamese side now that the border is more open, that should be ready by now. If you don't take the morning bus, transport away from the Lao border station to Muang Khua (70km, 4 hrs) can be a problem, as there was no regular transport at the time, and the're is almost no traffic on the road. Some luck, patience and maybe negotiating with the border guards should get you results, but remember, this is Lao, and in Lao, everything happens at a slower pace. We managed to hitch hike a ride with a lorry coming from Vietnam for 7USD each. It was one of the scariest but most exciting rides of my life, as there was 8 of us stuffed in the cockpit of the lorry and the driver was nuts/high and driving like crazy on the narrow mountain roads. I'm sure we killed at least a few chicken and pigs in the tiny villages we passed by, and injured a motorcyclist. The driver just laughed and went on with his horn honking.
The bus over the border shouldn't be too hard to find, just ask around in the guesthouses in either Muang Khua or DBP depending on which direction you're going.
I cannot remember which days the buses go in which direction, but it works so that if for example from Lao to VNam they leave mon, wed, fri, then from VNam to Lao they come back on tue,thu,sat. If you trust in pure luck, be ready to getting stuck for a day or two waiting for the bus. If you're in a hurry you can figure out private transport like a motorbike ride or a taxi if there's more of you.
I dont know how it works into Vietnam, to be sure you should probably get a Visa in advance. Finnish (and other Scandinavian) citizens get a free 14 day visa to Vietnam upon arrival, but I'm not sure if they issue it at Tay Trang.
Muang Khua is nice and relaxing after hectic and noisy Vietnam, and I highly recommend taking the slow boat down Nam Ou to Muang Ngoi Neua, its a beautiful trip (6-8 hours, 100,000 kip). If youre on a budget and dont mind bumpy rides, you can take a bus, its cheaper.
I highly recommend this border crossing for those who like a bit of adventure, IMO the surroundings are amongst the most beautiful in Vietnam/Laos.
#15 johnes has been a member since 18/4/2008. Posts: 1
An update on somtam's post above on getting a Vietnamese visa in Sydney.
The Consulate is still at Level 2, Edgecliff Centre (although strangely the address is now noted differently):
Suite 205, level 2, Edgecliff Centre
203 - 233 New South Head Road,
Edgecliff, NSW, 2027
Tel: 02 93271912 / 02 93272539
Fax: 02 93281653
Opening hours have changed:
Mon-Fri 09.30-12.30 and 1.30-4.30.
Standard 1 month tourist visa is still a whopping A$70. Takes 4 working-days.
If you go in person, they accept cash, bank cheque or money order...but not credit cards.
And most importantly - the visa starts run out from the date of arrival as indicated by you on the application form, NOT from the date issue.
Hope that helps.
#16 liquefiedstars has been a member since 25/4/2008. Posts: 15
Hi to all :)
My initial stay will be in Hanoi. can anyone tell me what is the best way to go from Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu? Also, was wondering if the Boarder crossing at Dien Bien Phu is open for tourist? From that border what can i take going to Luang Prabang? Please help. Thanks much.
If the border at Dien Bien Phu is not open, what is the next best border crossing to take going to Luang Prabang?
My itinerary would consist of Hanoi to Luang Prabang to Chang Mai then back to Hanoi. Is this possible? Would appreciate any suggestions. Again, thanks.
#17 maggiebsfc929 has been a member since 4/6/2008. Posts: 2
sorry in addition to the above i am canadian (as i think that makes a difference in the price).
i did read the above thread but wanted the most recent info.
also, is there any bus that takes you right in to Laos or do you have to find your way to your hotel once you get to the border?
#19 kosta has been a member since 16/7/2008. Posts: 2
Hello fellow travellers,
i'll be heading across the Laos Border from Vinh, via Nam Can this week .. seeing as there is little information on logistics , i endevour to write a post here. if anyone else is heading to Laos, via this route , please let us all know how you went.
#20 calamityjane has been a member since 22/11/2008. Posts: 1
Very interesting to find out that it would be possible to cross CAMBODIA-VIETNAM border at Le Thanh / O Yadao (between Ban Lung in C. and Pleiku in V.) as information provided by "George" tells in the above list of different border crossings! Even though this is not official bc-place as it is not mentioned (at all) for ex. at http://cambodia-immigration.com
Like are all those 3 other C-V bc´s mentioned at the list of this page.
So I would be very interested to hear from others too confirmations of this Le Thanh/O Yadao crossing possibility, Please! As if it´s not possible after all, I will probably not travel to Cambodia´s Ratnakiri area at all (as it makes too long detour for my travel plans if not possible to cross from there to Vietnam).
Another question of mine is that has anybody crossed him-/herself (or heard/read True story of..) any other point from Cambodia to Vietnam which is more norther than Bavet - Moc Bai b.c.? For example there seems to be a (relatively) good road between Dak Dam in C. and Tuy Duc in V. or Snuol in C. and Loc Ninh in V. (if neather of those possible, then I wouldn´t be interested to go Mondulkiri district in C.)
#21 justme has been a member since 23/11/2008. Posts: 1
Alot of confusing and conflicting info about new Thai visa regs! And official Govt Thai website's database not accessible ... anyone know if it's possible to get a 30 or 60 day tourist visa at the Huay Xai/Chiang Khong crossing from Laos? I know the new 15 day exemption is possible, but I need to be in Bangkok at the end of December and don't want to keep coming in and out.
TheSnowQueen: Not sure if you saw my reply on the original thread here, but in case you didn't:
"No, you will not be able to get a tourist visa in Huay Xai. Closest place will be either Vientiane , where there is a Thai embassy, or Savannakhet, where there is a consular office. Note not all Thai embassies issue the dual entry tourist visa -- you may have to get individual visas for each entry."
You could opt to try and get an extension at an immigration office to the 15day entry that will be granted when you cross from Huay Xai. In the past, a 15-day extension to the 30-day stay was straightforward, but it's not clear (yet) what will be available with the 15-day entry.
If you're passing through Vientiane earlier in your trip, I'd suggest you get a Thai tourist visa there.
Just a quick post to point out that the laos/china border crossing at Boten is actually 55km from Muang Sing, not 10km as stated above.
#24 rsj has been a member since 28/6/2007. Posts: 2
me and my husband are going to Thailand soon, staying for 26 days. During that journey we are thinking about taking a trip to Laos. What is not clear to me is the following:
We get the 30 day tourist-visa when arriving in Bangkok by air. If we will leave Thailand to visit a neighboring country and want to reenter Thailand, will that 30 day visa then become immaterial and we would be "downgraded" to a 15 day visa?
Hope I could make myself clear here...
Thanks a lot!
#25 dburgess has been a member since 14/12/2006. Posts: 1
Hi there i was just enquiring to see if you knew of any cheap flights over the border from malaysia to Thailand, as we were planning to cross over land, however we need a visa for longer than 15 days. As we heard about only getting a 30 day visa if you fly into Thailand, do you think it would be possible to get a flight from Northern Malaysia into Thailand, maybe somewhere like Penang?
Thanks a lot
#26 alexthetraveller16 has been a member since 3/2/2009. Posts: 2
Border name: Hat Lek / Ko Kong (entering Thailand)
Date used: January 2009
Opening hours: 8am-8pm
Visa on arrival available: Yes
Your nationality: South Africa
Comments: Be very careful when trusting any official in Thailand. I had no problem entering Thailand from Cambodia. Unfortunately, the Thais didn't allow my girlfriend to enter, saying that they do not issue visas to Chinese citizens at the border. However, we have asked officials at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok and at the Nong Kai crossing to Laos which visa she needed. On both occasions we were told that she would not need to apply for a visa. The official at Nong Kai even said that she only needed a ticket back to China and she would automatically get a transit visa. We spent a lot of time in Vientiane and Phnom Penh and getting the visa would not have been an issue. All we needed was correct information from Thai officials. It was also very interesting to see Thai and Cambodian citizens entering an exiting without showing their passports. One woman entering into Cambodia had a visa stamped on a blank sheet of paper. So if you are travelling with someone from a country apart from major (rich) countries, be very aware of what you believe from Thai officials or you may also run into extreme difficulties.
#27 jacswart has been a member since 8/4/2008. Posts: 2
Border name: Prek Chak / Xa Xia (between Kep and Ha Tien , entering Vietnam)
Date used: February 28, 2009
Opening hours: not sure
Visa on arrival available: Not sure, but it didn't look like it. Even though we had Vietnamese visas in our passports, processing was very very slow.
Your nationality: Canadian
We just did the crossing from Kep to Ha Tien and onto Chau Doc in a single day. It was fairly straight-forward, but time-consuming. The section from Kep to Ha Tien was very slow but quite scenic. We arranged a tuk-tuk from Kep to the Vietnamese border, which was $15 USD. (Motorcycle taxis still about $7 USD each at the moment. Tuk-tuks from Kampot are charging in the range of $25-30 USD.) The last few kilometres of the road were very, very rough and our tuk-tuk could not or would not go any farther, although we were still a few kilometres from the border. Our driver called two xe om (motorbike taxis) to come pick us up and take us (and our obscene quantity of luggage) to Ha Tien. We paid $5 USD each ($10 in total) for two motorbike taxis from there, through the Vietnamese border, and onto Ha Tien. I think the going rate is about $4 (or maybe even less, as it's only 8km) but our drivers waited while we went through customs and immigration at both checkpoints, took us to the ATM in Ha Tien, then onto the bus station. It's a long walk, hot walk in between the Cambodian and Vietnamese checkpoints, so if your tuk-tuk or xe-om driver offers to call someone in Vietnam to come and pick you up, it's worth it, even if you pay a dollar or two extra.
Mini-buses appear to run fairly regularly from Ha Tien to Chau Doc (and vice versa) and cost 45,000 dong, but this is not a tourist-class service. Be prepared for a jam packed bus and a slow, bumpy, noisy ride. In all, it took us 3 hours to get from Kep, across the border, and into Ha Tien -- even though that's only about 35-40km. The trip from Ha Tien to Chau Doc was just over 3 hours, not counting waiting time at the bus station.
#28 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116
I'm going to be flying into bangkok with a tourist visa and from bkk i will be flying to phnom phen 3 days later. I'm going to spending a couple of weeks in cambodia and coming back into thailand by land via the poipet border crossing. My question is would i still have the remainder of my thai tourist visa when i've entered or will i lose it and be given just the 15 days. Thankful for reply's.
#29 peader76 has been a member since 17/3/2009. Posts: 3
Does anyone know how long the wait for the visa on arrival takes (on average) at the Kaam Samor/Vinh Xuong crossing?
#30 aalsup has been a member since 3/5/2009. Posts: 1
Border name: Dom Kralor / Veun Kham (Cambodia-Laos)
Date used: May 10 2009
Visa on arrival available: No entering Laos, Yes entering Cambodia,
Your nationality: Canada & US
Comments: Quick crossing. The officials on both sides asked for $1 for a stamp fee, easier to pay than argue as transport is non-existent and your minibus isn't going to wait while you argue the merits of a dollar.
Took minibus from Stung Treng to border, met by Lao minibus on the other side, followed by boat to Don Khone. 3 hours end to end, seemed a bit chaotic bus to bus to boat but everything went smooth.
When you get off the bus in Stung Treng you'll be met by several guys asking you if you want to book for Laos. Go to the Riverside guest house to book, avoid "Mr. James" from the Sekong Star hotel as he is a scammer and will try and overcharge you greatly.
Border name: Tay Trang/Sop Hun (linking Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam with Muang Khua
Date used: May 2009
Opening hours: 7am (not sure when it shuts)
Visa on arrival available: Yes for Laos but not for Vietnam
Your nationality: British
Comments: We travelled from Dien Bien Phu to Muang Khua. The bus from Dien Bien Phu leaves at 5.30am EVERYDAY and costs 79,000 dong. It arrives at the border just as it opens and it takes about an hour and a half to get through both border posts. You have to pay various admin fees at the border which are advertised (weekends you pay an overtime fee). Cost us in total $1 but with visas in advance. Visa cost was $35 for UK citizens (same as Hanoi). It is practically impossible to do this any other way without your own wheels because the border is literally in the middle of nowhere amongst the hills and we passed very little traffic. The road on the Vietnam side is good and on the Laos side is a dirt track in pretty good condition (dry season at least). We arrived in Muang Khua at 11.30am (not sure if this is usual) but it was a good journey and no hassle. You get dropped off on the other side of the river and have to take a barge to make the final 10 metres to the town. There is no ATM in Muang Khua and the bank isn't near the river so bring small dollar notes, make sure you know the exchange rates and be ready to barter for the rate! There are a few guest houses in Muang Khua and the bus station is 3km out of town (5000 kip per person) and a couple of buses leave to Udomoxai (28,000 kip) at approximately 1pm and 3.30pm, 3 hours on a good road. Going the other way the bus leaves from Muang Khua at 7am but goes from the other side of the river NOT the bus station so I presume you have to overnight in Muang Khua.
It was very easy for us to do and a fantastic journy through the hills passing only very few tiny villages. Bring water and snacks as the bus doesn't stop for food and there is nothing at the border except the checkpoints. I'd recommend this trip to anyone as it was by far and a way our easiest crossing to date and extremely beautiful.
#32 tomgee1981 has been a member since 18/5/2009. Posts: 1
Great post above.
A couple of points. I also did the journey (other way) in April (last).
The Laos officials at the border are eager to exchange money. I used the days before to know the best exchange rate. The officials weren't too far off.
The bus from DBP sells tickets from the booking office outside the bus station. Passengers are well advised to buy a ticket the day before (sometimes the bus is full and refuses pax).
At times, pax arriving Muang Khua can use the boat to travel downstream to Nong Khia, and beyond to Luang Prabang. But, don't count on it. Pax can also go further upstream if they wish.
For the reverse journey, cost in April was 40,000 kip. Though the bus leaves (supposedly) at 7am, if reasonably full and no pax waiting, it will leave earlier. To ensure a seat, be there at least by 6:30am. There appears no pre-booking.
Is it possible to get a visa-on-arrival at the border crossing in Dong Dang? This is taking the train from Nanning, China on its way to Hanoi.
#34 Rockten80 has been a member since 20/10/2009. Posts: 1
Hi I need Assistance ASAP.
I'm Indian (from India) currently in Malaysia. My social visa is valid for 1 yr with 30days stay and I need to make exit for this month. I'm planing to exit to Thailand for couple of days (3days) and come back to Malaysia. But the Border crossing is only for 40 countries where in India is not in the list. What would be the best option to exit without having to apply for a visa. (Could be any neighboring countries to Malaysia).
Thanks in advance.
#35 rf_1238 has been a member since 17/9/2009. Posts: 2
Hey, I checked & Verified with Thai Embassy as well as their website. I can exit to Thailand Visa on Arrival from selected check post. More details http://www.mfa.go.th/web/2482.php?id=2491
In http://wikitravel.org/en/Bukit_Kayu_Hitam its says:
For details on visa requirements for Malaysia, please see the Malaysia | Get in section. Bukit Kayu Hitam is not a visa on arrival entry point. (This is wrong).
SOMTAM2000 for Singapore i need to apply for visa.
#37 rf_1238 has been a member since 17/9/2009. Posts: 2
two concrete VISA-questions:
1) flying from bangkok into siem reap (arrival time 8 pm !!or later): still possible to take up visa on arrival ???
2) flying from siem reap into pakse (laos): is it possible to take up lao-visa on arrival at pakse airpost anyhow ?
thanks for info
#38 wilfried has been a member since 22/10/2008. Posts: 5
Just an update on the Nam Xoi/Na Maew border crossing.
I went through in a group of 4 just two days ago and had no real problems with the crossing. We caught a Songthaew from Sam Neua to the border for 20,000 Kip and were lucky enough to meet the bus heading to Thanh Hoa just as we crossed through.
We paid to guy's running that bus $30 USD each and that got is to Thanh Hoa and onto a connecting bus to Ha Noi.
We didn't experience any extortion/bribes at the border but we did exchange a bit of kip at a bad rate with the Immigration guys, you have to pay 2000 dong for a health check as well.
As soon as Customs had finished having a rummage through our bags we were being waved off by Immigration and on our way
Border name: Wang Prajan (Thale Ban)
Date used: 2010-01-27
Opening hours: till 18:00
Visa on arrival available: not inquired (one year N-I visa run)
Your nationality (this is useful as not all nationalities get the same treatment): Belgian
Arrived at 16:30 I was told I still had the time to get my stamp. With good information and efficient handling by friendly officials, I got in-and-out of Malaysia just walking around the small immigration post: the Malaysian side has nothing in view to spend time at. It took little more than the time to fill in the departure and arrival forms - it might be busier at other moments. Driving back I could just slip in at Yaroi Falls with last admittance at 17:00 [outside the Thale Ban Nature Reserve], for a short walk up to the falls and a bath in a refreshing lower pool (too small to swim though). My trip costed me nothing but the petrol for my long-term rental car.
#40 Jef has been a member since 28/1/2010. Posts: 1
Hi I am an Australian citizen and made the land border crossing into Thailand and only have the 15 day visa. I'm currently staying an koh chang and want to stay on for another month. I'm thinking i might have to do 2 border crossings to camobodia and back to get 30 more days. Is this possible or is there an easier option. Thanks
#41 andrewbrannen has been a member since 1/3/2010. Posts: 1
I wanted to post this in case anyone else had a similar experience arranging their Cambodia visa in Thailand. I have a feeling I may have been scammed but I am not sure so any feedback is appreciated.
Basically I went to the Tourist Association of Thailand (TAT)and after speaking with the rep there, she told me she could arrange my visa. I opted to get it express (200B) but I was charged 1700B, which is about $55 US. I questioned the price several times because I had read on here and in LP that the visa is only $20US. She claimed that border rules had changed and that you can only get a 2-week visa in Cambodia, not one-month. The one I purchased is for one month, which was arranged with the help of a woman working at the border. Mind you this was done over the phone in Thai, but the lady at TAT seemed genuine. Have I totally been 'robbed' on this one? The funny thing is I wanted to arrange the visa in Thailand to avoid troubles and bribes at the borders, but now I am wondering if I would have been better off that way....
-Confused in Thailand
#42 yukata has been a member since 2/6/2010. Posts: 8
Border name: Chong Sa Ngam / Anlong Veng
Date used: 20/8/2010
Opening hours: not sure, daylight at least.
Visa on arrival available: yes, into Cambo.
Your nationality: Australian and Thai (gf)
Comments: took about an hour to get from the Thai side out into Cambodia. Bureaucrats in uniform hit us up for 100b each in extra processing costs, not an outrageous amount. Took a taxi from Surin to the crossing 1500b. A taxi from the crossing to Siem Reap was 1700b. I did not book the taxi in advance, there are always guys there ready to drive you to SR. I could have gotten the price down to 1500b, but I wanted to stop along the way and take a few snaps. Very quiet crossing. A Cambo market just outside the checkpoint.
@yukata Late answer, but yes, you've been scammed. TAT does not, and has never, arranged Cambodian visas. You dealt with a dodgy travel agent masquerading as a TAT office.
@ianintheworld That made for a pretty pricey crossing all told! Did you take a look at Pol Pot's grave by the crossing?
@somtam2000. Yes, more than I would normally be willing to pay, but heavy rain, and gf in tow, so I decided to splurge and get the job done. I did not stop at pps grave, but I did at the landmine museum further from the border.
Siem Reap is quiet now, low season, but still bustling. The Angkor national museum is now open, and worth the wait.
In Siem Reap I have discovered that it is possible to visit Khao Phra Wihan from the Cambo side in an organised tour, this tour also includes a visit to the grave (not totally necessary imo).
Border name: Prek Chak / Xa Xia
Nothing special to report about crossing itself.
Don't know if it was mentioned already but one is asked to fill out a health form when entering either Vietnam or Cambodia. This costs you $1.
My main point is the special economic zone that has been created between Ha Tien and Cambodia.
The creation of this special economic zone means that a person (both locals and foreigners) can travel between Ha Tien and Kep for a duration of 2 week without needing a visa.
This is especially for people wanting to visit Ha Tien from Cambodia.
At the border on Cambodian side they will check your passport and remark that you don't have a visa for Vietnam. If you just mention that you go to Ha Tien you will be "stamped out" and on to Vietnam border.
Here you repeat the same story and you will get a special stamp that says only 14 days.
Now, be aware that you are not entitled to travel further (than Ha Tien) into Vietnam. And thinking of leaving Vietnam at another border is out of the question.
Why do I tell this? It;s quite easy for someone to take a ferry to Phu Quoc for a few days or visit the Mekong delta and then return to Ha Tien and Cambodian without anyone knowing. JUST BE AWARE THAT IT IS NOT LEGAL TO DO SO.
I'm not sure whether it's wise to give this information. And especially not to "normal" tourists/backpackers (who might abuse or misinterpret this) but I'm of the free-minded type and everyone should choose for themselves. I just present the options.
I would perfectly well understand it if somtam/TF would remove this post though
I was aware of this new development,I spoke to some people who had come to Ha Tien from Kampot,using this new visa-less entry.Apparently the Vietnamese border police explained to them that this entry stamp did not allow further travel,in fact they were specifically told not to cross the big bridge over the Dong Ho sea inlet,or to go to Phu Quoc Island ,so if people choose to ignore this,they can't say they were not warned.There has been no official announcement of this by the Vietnamese Government as far as I am aware,perhaps they will trial it and see how it works.Once you are in Vietnam though,apart from when staying in hotels,I have never had my visa or passport checked. Phu Quoc Island was,(up until now),the only place in Vietnam where you didn't need a visa (for up to 15 days) although you could only fly in,but there aren't any international flights to Phu Quoc,so I can't see how it worked in practice.Perhaps in the future they will allow people to transit to Phu Quoc from Ha Tien? This new system might be useful to people in Cambodia who come here for shopping,there is a huge market here,and it's certainly closer than Sihanoukville for people in Kep,and possibly even Kampot
Last year I used eVisa to enter Cambodia, but I noted it can be used to enter Cambodia only at a few crossings (indicated on the eVisa website). Not at Ha Tien.
What is the latest status of Ha Tien? Can I get a Cambodian visa there now? Arranging a visa in my home country The Netherlands is a problem because the nearest consulate is in Brussels (Belgium).
I will be in Hanoi earlier on my itinerary. How long would it take me to arrange a visa at the Cambodian embassy/consulate in Hanoi?
#48 rbakels has been a member since 17/11/2010. Posts: 16
Re post #49 ,yes you can get a visa on arrival at the Prek Chak border of Cambodia when exiting Vietnam.Costs 20USD(may be a small amount of "tea money",but not much) You CAN NOT use the e-visa here,but you don't need to get the Cambodian visa in advance.
This is most helpful! I gather that "posted from within Vietnam" is added as a warning, but in this case it makes the information definitely more trustworthy.
#50 rbakels has been a member since 17/11/2010. Posts: 16
Rocketen80, asked a question in post #34, , ,
Is it possible to get a visa-on-arrival at the border crossing in DongDang? This is taking the train from Nanning, China on its way to Hanoi.
I will also be doing this route.
I am UK, and on 6 month visa in China.
Please any update??
#51 uk_vette has been a member since 26/12/2010. Posts: 2
NO you cannot get a visa on arrival for Vietnam at any land border (the only exception being,as I previously posted,here in Ha Tien ,where you can get a 15 day visa,but only for the Ha Tien area) The only other people that can get a VOA are certain other Asian nationalities who have reciprocal arrangements with Vietnam,and for some strange reason,holders of Scandinavian passports
Border name: Le Thanh (VN) -> O'Yadaw (Cambo)
Date used: Mid-November, 2010
Opening hours: ????
Visa on arrival available: Yes
Your nationality (this is useful as not all nationalities get the same treatment): USA
Comments: I got to Pleiku at 830am and wanted to zip to Banlung, Ratanakiri. Somehow (using bad vietnamese) got a motodop to a place just outta town where a minibus grabbed me up and took me to the border ($5, I thinks I got jacked). At the border (VN side I found a mini-bus carrying supplies and a few passengers to Banlung ($5). Zipped me to my desired location in Banlung with a few stops to drop off goods and passengers.
Border name: O'Yadaw (Cambo) -> Le Thanh (VN)
Date used: 12/30/2010 (sent guests)
Opening hours: ????
Visa on arrival available: No
Your nationality (this is useful as not all nationalities get the same treatment): USA
Comments: The road to the VN border from Banlung is now smooth and fast. I took a couple guests who wanted to get to Pleiku to the taxi stop in Banlung at a bit before 7am. We asked around and found a minibus going to the border. He said that for passengers going to Pleiku he organized transport on the other side as well. $5 each leg ($10 total per person). Don't know yet if they got there smoothly, but wanted to post before I forgot.
We found out this info speaking Khmer. If you want to make this trip, bring someone from your guesthouse to help you out. Or you can ask me to help I guess.
One more question on obtaining a Cambodian visa when coming from Vietnam at the Prek Chak border post: can I pay in Vietnamese dong? I am currently in Vietnam and spent all my US dollars for my Vietnamese visa. Of course, I could go to a bank and buy some US$ for dong, but that is rather cumbersome. Or is there perhaps a Cambodian(!) ATM at the border??
#55 rbakels has been a member since 17/11/2010. Posts: 16
No there isn't an ATM at the border,I'm pretty sure you could pay in VND if you don't have any USD,because they can change it there anyway with their friends,but you might get an exchange rate that isn't very favourable.I doubt that you will be able to buy USD at a bank in Vietnam,if you can,again it will be at a rate that is not in your favour,If you can't get USD before getting to the border,I'm sure it will cost you a liitle bit more than if you had USD,but it won't be much
Border name: Tay Trang (VN) / Sop Hun (Laos)
Date used: 20/02/2011
Opening hours: ????
Visa on arrival available: Yes
Your nationality (this is useful as not all nationalities get the same treatment): Estonia
Comments: The bus from Dien Bien Phu goes every day I guess, we went on Saturday. It was not possible to buy the bus ticket on the day before, though, the ladies at the bus station told us to buy the ticket before departure.
Lao border officials wanted total 9000 kip for various things (weekend work etc). It was possible to change dong into kip at the border. The rate wasn't much, of course, but you can get rid of your remaining dong (it requires a lot of fantasy to spend them in DBP) and get some starter-kip. For the fee, they accept as well kip as usd as dong.
#57 nipitiri has been a member since 30/10/2010. Posts: 6
Update on Thai visa: if you present a flight ticket, you can get a free Thai visa at the Thai consulate in The Netherlands (and other European countries, I suppose), maximum 2 entries, 120 days. So you can escape from the restrictions for people entering Thailand over land (that are really aimed at preventing people settling in Thailand forever by extending tourist visa indefinitely by "visa extending trips" to neighbouring countries - which becomes a hassle if one has to make such a trip every two weeks.)
I am not sure whether you can stay for 120 contiguous days. When I was at the Thai consulate in The Hague late 2009 someone was told that it really is 2 x 60 days - then there is still an obligation to make a (short) trip to a neighbouring country if you want to say over 60 days. (I suppose that you do not really have to enter e.g. Cambodia: I suppose you can simply turn around in the no-mansland between border posts).
#58 rbakels has been a member since 17/11/2010. Posts: 16
I have crossed the Chong Chom / O'Smach border from Thailand into Cambodia and vice versa for the past seven years and can say its the easiest and quickest ways to get across but it is difficult to get transport from the border to both Cambodia and Thailand after 4pm.
Its best to pay in British Pound Sterling as it works out cheaper than paying in Dollars or Baht, but if you havent got Pounds use Baht (£20) put it in the passport ready with one passport photograph).You will need to fill out a small form and thats it all done.The Cambodian border guards will try to get you to pay in US Dollars (they actually get a cut out of it and get more for US Dollars!) but refuse and give Sterling or Baht!
Also if you are coming into Thailand by land although officially your meant to only get 15 days, the last time i did this crossing the Thai border officials werent aware of this and were still giving out 30 day visas.
Border crossing used: Chian Khong-Huai Xai
Date : 6th November 2010
Opening Hours ?
We made the mistake to cross at about 9 am, even though we planned to stay one night in Huai Xai. So we got stuck in the rush hour at the visa counters which ends about 11.00 am, when everybody hoping to catch the slow has left. Since nothing is organised you have to fight your way to two different counters to get the papers necessary for your visa application.
Fortunately, you can change THB to US $ on a counter opposite of the application counter, otherwise you'd clearly use money. Attention - the exchange counter closes before noon, not sure if it opens again afterwards.
Most nationalities will pay 30 $ as mentioned somewhere before. However, for EU countries only French and German citizens pay that amount, if you are Swedish the fee is 31 $, for all other Euroeans it seems to be 35 $. By the way, for Canadians it was 40 $, if I remember right. On top of the visa fee, the officials will keep 2 or 3 $ p.p. as a surcharge ( for their own pockets, I guess).
#60 penthesilea has been a member since 23/8/2009. Posts: 4
Border name: Aranyaprathet --> Poipet
Date used: June 2011
Visa on arrival available: Yes.
The situation at this crossing has changed quite a bit in the last year. The scam for paying extra for visas is all but gone finally, and you get it for the actual price of $20 plus possibly 100B extra, but nothing like the 1000 or 1100 B that was demanded before. On the Cambodian some semi-official dudes will try to push you into a free shuttle bus to the new bus/share taxi station quite a bit away from the center of Poipet. This is not a scam as such, as it's a government scheme, but if you're looking for a taxi (or want to eat or stay in Poipet), you can just as well keep walking and organize one in Poipet yourself. The "officials" will be a bit annoyed but there's no legal/moral reason to care.
For example, you can get a whole taxi or seats in one to Phnom Penh for slightly but not terribly more cheaply than the $25/seat charged at the new bus station. We got a whole taxi for $70 - I speak Khmer, which might have helped a bit in bargaining.
The road is all sealed now to both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, so it's pretty quick to get to SR (around 2 h?). Phnom Penh takes 5-6 hours by taxi depending on traffic, more by bus.
Just wondering if I was to apply for a double entry 60 day tourist visa whether or not I would still need to provide proof of onward travel to board the flight from uk to bkk or at any of the border crossings from neighbouring countries into Thailand? Or does the visa exempt you from the proof of onward travel rule?
#62 cjb86 has been a member since 25/7/2011. Posts: 6
As a Dutch citizen I got a free visa at the consultate in The Hague free of charge without any such questions asked two years ago. The only reason to obtain beforehand is that you only get a 14 day visa at the border if you enter Thailand over land. (This regulation is intended to discourage people to stay indefinitely in Thailand by making periodical "visa extension trips" to neighbouring countries.)
For Cambodia, at the time it was possible to obtain an "eVisa" via internet. But it is not valid for all border crossings.
I also applied for a Vietnamse visa via Internet, but I think it is just a rip-off which does not help at all at the border. I only did it because I had reason to believe that the Vietnamese government might not give me a visa. Anyway, EVERYTHING is a rip-off in Vietnam! When you travel from Vietnam to Cambodia, you have to get used again to the fact that Cambodians do NOT always try to cheat you!
#63 rbakels has been a member since 17/11/2010. Posts: 16
Chinese visa in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). April 2012.
I used the services of Lac Hong Tours, 305 Pham Ngu Lao (centre of the backpacker area). $85, 2 photos, 7 days. No other paperwork required. I checked with one other nearby tourist agency, same deal. I suggest using a tour service such as this, saves a lot of hassle. Australian passport holder.
INTERNATIONA BORDER Ban Huay Kon / Muang Ngoen (Thailand-Laos)
I live in Thung Chang (Nan Province), 45 km. away from the NEWLY OPENED INTERNATIONA BORDER Ban Huay Kon / Muang Ngoen.
The border is OPEN for foreign tourist and it is possible to get a Lao visa on arrival.
Hi letmeinplz, I am wondering is there any e-visa for Vietnam. I plan to apply that before reach Hanoi. Do you find your way to get it?
#67 hkk79 has been a member since 30/4/2006. Posts: 6
Correction to my previous post: Thai visa obtained at a consulate abroad are no longer free of charge. At least, as of 01-04-2011 a Thai visa at a Dutch consulate costs € 30.
It would be helpful if the introductory text would be updated with the information given in the reactions. For instance, I am highly surprised that the information on the Prek Chak-Xa Xia crossing still reflects the situation from many years ago, despite my post above. This is very confusing.
#68 rbakels has been a member since 17/11/2010. Posts: 16
Crossing Chong Mek / Vang Tao (April2013) : extra charge of 2 usd $ before they hand you over your password after visa approval ; explanation of the official : ment to compensate the low value of the USD.....no further comment needed i guess.
#69 narong has been a member since 8/1/2005. Posts: 30
Crossing from Chiang Khong -Houey Xay January 14, 2014 (Canadian passport)
We crossed over January 14th over a month after the new bridge was opened. The new bridge's location makes the crossing a little silly to be honest given it is 10kms south of both towns, and generally, if you're heading downstream on the Mekong to Luang Prabang as most people will be doing you end up travelling 3 hours only to end up close to where you started, just on the Laos side.
We decided to overnight in Chiang Khong on the Thai side, and cross over on the bridge the following morning, given we had booked a two-day cruise to Luang Prabang with Shompoo Cruise, and were asked to meet to the guide at Laos immigration at 08:30am.
In order to cross over on the bridge, you have to buy a 25 Baht ticket on the shuttlebus that starts at Thai Immigration, crosses the bridget, and drops you off at Lao Immigration 10 minutes later.
The first bus starts to sell tickets and board around 8:00am, so if you're staying in town (we stayed at the Day Waterfront Inn, which was excellent: clean rooms, friendly owners, great view of the river from the rooms), you will likely have to get a tuk tuk to get to the Thai immigration point (a 15 km ride away) and leave around 07:30. Tuk tuks will charge less per person if you have more people, and we were lucky enough to have four in total (including ourselves) from our hotel heading to the border, so we paid 50 Baht/person. If it was just the two of us, it would have been 100 Baht/person, for example.
When your tuk tuk arrives at Thai immigration, buy your ticket for the shuttlebus. Then head to Thai immigration and pay your 5 Baht processing fee. Then make your way to the bus, drop off your big luggage, and wait until the bus is full enough to move. If you sit closer to the front, you'll be able to get your application for a visa to Lao immigration quicket. We left around 8:30 or so and were at Laos immigration at 8:40.
When you arrive, you will need to grab two forms: 1) the entry-departure cards; and 2) the application for a Laos visa form. Fill out the 2 forms and provide a passport sized photo and give them to the window on the left side (facing the immigration windows). They will process your application, and when it is ready, you will need to pay at the right window (we were quoted, as Canadians, 3400 Baht for two people for a 30-day visa which seems expensive but we didn't question the official), and then you'll get your passport back. Make sure you check to see if your passport has been stamped properly.
Outside, there is a bank to exchange currency on the left side. In our case, we had a Shompoo representative meet us and other clients inside at immigration, and after we found him, we told him we'd meet him outside as he had quite a few other clients to wait for. When everyone was ready, we got in a big tuk tuk, and headed north to where the boats take off. The funny thing was, after we took off from the dock heading downstream, we realized we were taking off just around 300 yards from where we had spent the night, just this time we were on the Laos side of the border. The whole process took us almost 3 hours (07:30-10:15) to go 30 yards, but that's life in Southeast Asia at times! Good luck with crossing over!
#71 chiny has been a member since 28/12/2013. Posts: 1
Yes, these bridges always are located far from city centers, I wonder why ?
#72 stickmansucks has been a member since 10/6/2011. Posts: 22
Update: Sadao (Dannok) border crossing (Thailand/Malaysia). It is not open 24 hrs. The border, Passport Control, Immigration Office are closed from 11pm to 5am Thailand Time.
#73 zoom has been a member since 8/11/2014. Posts: 5
The Sadao boundary post actually is located in the small border town of Dan Nok (Thailand), about 15km south of Sadao on the main road 4 (AH2). Across the border to the south is the small town of Bukit Kayu Hitam where the Malaysian Immigration is located. Malaysian time is 1 hour ahead of Thailand time. The border crossing is open 5am-11pm. At 11pm the gates to the 800m road between Thailand & Malaysia Immigrations are closed, and reopened at 5am (see above post). There is a large duty-free shopping store, on the west side of the 800m road, open during peak border crossing hours.
This webpage has info on Sadao and Padang Besar border runs: http://backdoorpath.com/visa-run-from-krabi-to-malaysian-border/
It was posted over 2 years ago and needs some updating.
#74 zoom has been a member since 8/11/2014. Posts: 5
From Sadao bus station white mini vans to the border leave when full from platform 26. Purchase ticket (57B) from desk outside on platform 26. Ride to the Dan Nok border (last stop) takes less than an hour.
To return to Sadao bus station, white mini vans leave when full from 7-Eleven store located 200m north of the border on the main road. Purchase ticket (57B) from desk outside 7-Eleven on west side of the road. See google map: https://www.google.com/maps/search/dannok,+firstname.lastname@example.org,100.4175758,17z
Buses for Phuket and Krabi (186B) depart approximately every 90 minutes during morning & afternoon from Sadao bus station. Check several ticket sales windows for best prices & times.
#75 zoom has been a member since 8/11/2014. Posts: 5
Border name: Sadao boundary post, Dan Nok, Thailand
A month prior to my solo border run to Dan Nok, I had received a visa-exempt 30-day stamp on my U.S. passport at BKK airport. At the border, after exiting Thailand, and entering/exiting Malaysia, I returned to Thailand but was told to go to the Immigration Office meters away where I was informed that "going out/in" on the same day was not permitted. I was very surprised because that was not what I'd read on the internet. The Immigration Officer explained that the policy had changed since the coup d'etat. Then how do they explain the organized same-day border runs that continue daily. The Officer claimed that they don't anymore and questioned if I was challenging the Officer's word and authority. Since I didn't want to jeopardize my chance of returning to Thailand (all my luggage was still at my Thailand hotel room & didn't want to miss my flight out of BKK) I left without arguing further, forced to spend a night in Malaysia. Next day I returned to the border and received the visa-exempt 30-day stamp.
Has anyone read or heard of the "new policy" of having to stay out of Thailand for a day? Or was it another veiled attempt at extortion? ( http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/Breaking-News-Army-probe-Phuket-visa-run/36046 ). Thailand was my first stop in southeast Asia of a 16-month RTW trip. It is a great relief to be out of Thailand now.
#76 zoom has been a member since 8/11/2014. Posts: 5