As I got the information about this border crossing mainly from the TravelFish site (Visa and border crossing FAQ), I thought I should share this:
I crossed from Laos to Vietnam at Bo Y without any problem. The Vietnamese formalities were even faster than when I entered Vietnam from China at Mong Cai.
My Rough Guide to Laos (from Feb 2007) says that the border was closed to foreigners at the time of writing. However when I checked the Rough Guide to Vietnam (Sep 2006) I found they say that the border opened to foreigners on the beginning of 2006, but I just checked it when I was on the bus from Attapeu to Vietnam.
I took the bus from Savannakhet at 09:00 (it's the only one to Attapeu), it arrived to Pakxe just before 15:00 and left around 15:45, arriving in Attapeu at around 20:00. I think from Pakxe there are a few buses per day to Attapeu.
The bus to Vietnam leaves from a Vietnamese restaurant (you can see its name, or whatever, writen in Vietnamese) near the Thanh Nga Guesthouse, which is located between the bank and the market (about 50m from each). When I arrived at Attapeu the bus driver said there were a few buses per day going to Vietnam, and the first one would leave at 07:00. Then on the morning somebody told me it would leave at 07:30. Then after have bought the ticket at that Vietnamese restaurant, the bus driver said it would leave at 08:00, and finally it left at 08:20.
The bus goes to Kon Tum, in Vietnam, I paid 100.000 kips for the ticket. It got to the border a bit before 12:00 and to Kon Tum around 14:30, and it took around half an hour to cross the border and we made a brake for lunch already in Vietnam.
About the journey from Attapeu to Vietnam, I thought it would be as from Dien Bien Phu to Muang Khua, with nice landscapes trough the forest. You go through the forest, but a destroyed forest, you see lots of Vietnamese trucks for transporting wood, and the road was built using heavy machinery (you can see the land movements made to build the road). However, from some points you can see a vast forest extending for many kilometers.
From Kon Tum I took a bus to Ho Chi Minh (132.000 VND), it left at 16:30 and should have arrived at 05:00, but it did at 08:00. Actually it didn't, we had to change bus, as the initial one broke. But there is at least another bus leaving Kon Tum at 17:30, which is also supposed to arrive at 05:00. I think this one is better, or faster, cause the price is higher (156.000 VND). I think there are still one or two buses leaving latter for Ho Chi Minh (but I'm not sure), and certainly there are some in the morning. There are also buses heading for the costal cities.
Here is a picture of the Vietnamese resaturant in Attapeu where to buy the ticket and catch the bus. That van was the bus.
You're on my Christmas card list for this report -- many thanks!
Hope the rest of the trip went well.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,800
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