From Thailand to Laos by land border

I went to Laos via the land border in northern Thailand, from Chiang Rai. I tell you the bus, the landscape, how it goes. A simple passage, a border more than easy to cross!


From Chiang Rai, I took a bus to go to Bokeo, the last Thai border town with Laos. 220 baht (5.50 €).


There are two buses in the day. One at 10 am and the other at 4 pm. It takes about 3:30 hours to get to Huay Xai on the other side of the border, the city where we embark on boat down the Mekong to Luang Prabang.

The road taken bordering rice fields, rock formations that remind Sugarloaf of Halong Bay in Vietnam. It also passes in the middle of the forest and villages with wooden houses, the scenery in all of ancient East Asia!

Then we arrive at the Thai border crossing to stamp its exit. You are asked if you have what it takes for your input in Laos such as photos or dollars… If you don’t have what it takes, they will be happy to earn some money from you to do it!!



Know that you can exchange your currency against the Kiats (Laossienne currency) on arrival at the border.

Then everyone goes back on the bus. Laos border management about 3 kilometers. We go on an ultra-modern bridge. In the middle, you move from one country to another. “Welcome in Laos!” there we are.

Everyone goes out from the bus to the immigration office dedicated to “visa on arrival”. It is very easy. You are asked to complete two forms, visa and the immigration in and out (same as you do at the airport!), to give a single photo and the $ 30 cost of the visa. Best of all, it will cost $ 1 more if you pass the border a weekend or a holiday !!



And now it’s over. Everybody go back on the bus for the remaining few kilometers to the town of Huay Xai. The bus drops you at the bus station. Take a tuk-tuk then to go to the center about 5 or 6 kilometers.

Crossing the border by yourself, you will come to Huay Xai too late to board the Slow Boat towards Luang Prabang, departure time at 11 am. You will spend the night there. Don’t worry, many guesthouses and hotels are located near the pier.

Another alternative: In Chiang Rai (and Chiang Mai), travel agencies offer tours combined bus + boat to Luang Pragang for about 1,500 bahts, but that’s racing at 6 am. However, this prevents you from spending the night in Huay Xai. Much less authentic but it may be interesting for tourists who don’t have much time!


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