Currently in Luang Namtha and looking to make a trip into China through the Boten border crossing. Does anyone know if this is possible without prior arrangement? In other words, will I be able to obtain a Chinese visa on arrival through Boten, Laos? Really appreciate the quick response, happy travels to all!
#1 Lamar has been a member since 16/12/2007. Posts: 3
As far as I know, you need a visa in advance for that crossing -- would suggest asking around in Luang Nam tha for a definitive answer though.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,800
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There is no such thing as Visa On Arrival for China. You must always arrange your visa before you arrived at the border. But the possibility of a one day border town pass is sometimes available (depends on location)
As far as I am concerned, in the entire SEA region, there is only Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Burma that offered some sort of VOA.
Thanks to you both! I've since sorted it out and, sure enough, China requires advance visa arrangements. Note to any future reader, if you're in Luang Namtha and looking to arrange a Chinese visa, Chiang Mai is an accessible option.
Happy travels to all!
#4 Lamar has been a member since 16/12/2007. Posts: 3
Well a friend of mine (Canadian) did get a 2 week visa on arrival a few months before the Olympics.
Does anyone have any recent info? Apparently travel agents in Luang Namtha told him it was possible and it worked! Just musing about my next trip which will probably involve N Laos and I haven't been to China yet....I wouldn't mind a quick look see if it's possible but haven't got time for a big trip as I want to go back to Burma too.
SBE you might want to check with your freind and see what the visa itself actually says. I suspect the travel agency got a visa (Vientiane or Chang Mai)and your freind was simply stamped in at the border. VOA to China would be kind of a big deal.
LP Thorn Tree NE Asia used to have some expat contributers from Jihong, might be worth a post there.
Thanks Somsai. When you said a VOA to China would be a big deal I rechecked what my friend actually said in his emails. I'm pretty sure he didn't have a Chinese visa beforehand. He hadn't even planned to go to Luang Nam Tha ... he only went there because he found LP to be a "tourist anthill"
I got an email from him in April saying he was in Dali which surprised me somewhat, so I asked him how on earth he'd managed to get into China without a pre-arranged visa.
He answered saying that two travel agents in Nam Tha told him that as a Canadian he could get a 30 day visa on arrival so he decided to try it. According to him the request did "catch the Chinese immigration people by surprise" and once the dust settled all he got was 2 weeks. He also mentions the stress of the bus driver trying to give him his fare back (6 times) and that the processing of his VOA held everyone up for an extra 15 minutes. It sounds like the bus driver didn't believe he'd get a VOA either!
I did a bit more searching just now and found this:
No Chinese VOA anywhere except ...Boten? But who knows how reliable that is and maybe it only applies to certain nationals (like Canadians)?
Someone also said this on TT recently.
"At some points of entry under some conditions China does issue visas on arrival.
Last year, for example, Mohan issued 5155 visas to travellers from 24 countries, including 147 "L" visas, 36 "F" visas, 10 transit visas, and 396 group visas covering a total of 4962 travellers. And they've issued 2948 visas in the first half of 2009."
Sounds like VOA to me SBE. Maybe other nationals could just paste a maple leaf patch on the old backpack and wing it. Sometimes new visa rules take forever to filter down to general knowledge.
I heard it first from you. ;-)
In Huay Xai there's a specialist travel agency for Xishuangbanna which claims that Boten is indeed a special case and that unlike anywhere else in China, one can get a visa on arrival there. Friends at Udomxai tourist department have since double checked with Chinese officials in Vientiane who suggest that it is 'better' to have a visa beforehand but that in principle it should be possible. Whether the Chinese border guards realise that they have this possibility is another question - sounds like the ideal time for someone to just go up and give it a go!
Would love to hear any concrete examples of anyone who had made it or actually failed to...
#9 markbek has been a member since 7/1/2010. Posts: 5
A couple months ago I sent an email to SBE's second link at #7, it's some kind of official tourism site. I got a swift response to await another response after research, then after 3 weeks got a kind of uncommiting response saying maybe yes maybe no.
Has anybody traveled from Laos to China by land lately ?
And is the border area near Laos but in China side nice or do you need to go to Kunming in Yunnan to find nice landscape ? (mountains, weed, etc..)
#11 stickmansucks has been a member since 10/6/2011. Posts: 22
In my opinion nobody needs a travel agency especially since Internet exists..
Should I select a group tour also ? :-)
#13 stickmansucks has been a member since 10/6/2011. Posts: 22
You have to consistently align your acceptance adore you accustomed at the border. But the believability of a one day bound boondocks canyon is sometimes available
#14 mariajames has been a member since 29/9/2012. Posts: 57