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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
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    Nong Khai to Vientiane, the idiots guide

    Right so you have got to Nong Khai, the odds are you will either be at the bus station or the train station, if your at the train station you can walk to friendship bridge, just go to the main road, maybe 100meters, turn left over the tracks and walk another 100meters to the real big road, then turn right and walk another couple of hundred meters, if you get a Tuk Tuk then 20baht is a normal price.

    If you are at Nong Khai coach station you got a bit further to go and will be ripped off by the lovely tuk tuk drivers, 60baht would be a good and fair price to pay to get to Friendship Bridge but I doubt you will get it from these thieves, if you already have a visa for getting into Laos then you can get the bus from Nong Khai direct to Vientiane for 55baht, more info on that here.

    Nong Khai Bus Station.



    Pretty dreary but has plenty of restaurants and food places around the bus station, although why the only crisps they sell are Nori seaweed flavour I have no idea, I mean does anybody actually eat them through choice?



    If you have just come back from Laos and want to go to Pattaya or Rayong then this is the office you need to go to to buy your ticket, 506 baht to Pattaya.



    Get your visa to go into Laos here, 35$ for English people, when they issue your visa they will also stamp you into Lao so no need to queue up for your entry stamp.



    Cross the bridge on the 10baht bus.



    Now time to visit the duty free and buy cheap wines, cheeses and cigarettes.



    They charge i think 20baht to go into and out of Laos, could be 10baht, I have to admit I never bothered paying this before, just never noticed it before, assumed it was for Asians only, the Laos immigration don't seem to worried if you don't bother paying it.

    Now you got to get to Vientiane, the prices are all listed at the Laos immigration or you can walk to the end of the road and get a cheaper tuk tuk that is passing by.

    If you take a tuk tuk from Friendship Bridge they will take you to the Thai embassy in Vientiane and wait for you, a tourist visa costs 1,000baht and non immigrant 2,000baht, passport, application, fees, and photo have to be at the embassy before 12am, you can then pick your passport up with your new visa after 1pm the next working day.

    In Nong Khai itself and near Friendship Bridge you will find agents that will do just about everything for you, they charge from 1,800baht depending on nationality, Lao visa prices vary for different nationalities, drive you to he bridge, get you through immigration and take you to where ever you want to go in Vientiane.

    If you are on over stay in Thailand when you get to the Thai immigration either climb over the barrier or walk down the road to get to the offices beyond the immigration booths, this is where you have to pay your overstay fine, it is 500baht perday up to a maximum of 20,000baht.

  2. #2
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    Get your visa to go into Laos here, 35$ for English people.
    Only 30 Dollar for Kiwi's, some advantage being the white trash of the Pacific.

    I went on a Visa run yesterday, while waiting for my Lao visa the couple next to me ( A Brit and his Thai GF) were in discussion about a Lao Visa for him. He asked me are you waiting for a visa? (bloody obvious I would have thought) when I replied politely, Yes,
    He said, I don't need one.
    Fair enough I replied.
    He then went on to tell me.
    I am just coming over here for some Duty free and so don't need a enter Lao.
    My curiosity was piqued as they say.
    How do you manage that I asked?
    Someone ( at a pub I bet) told me you can just leave Thailand, buy up as much Duty free as you want and go back into Thailand without having to enter Lao.

    I don't think so I said, you have to do the full tour, into Lao and turn back again. NO he said,you don't need to do all that.
    Not willing to argue I left him to it

  3. #3
    Tiger Bay CharleyFarley's Avatar
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    The arrogance of the ignorant. If what he says was true don't you think the place would be ckokka blok with duty free runners with white vans.

  4. #4
    I am in Jail

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    You can cross the border and come back without a visa, this is true. But you are still subject to customs regulation, i.e. standard quantities of duty free.

  5. #5
    better looking than Ned
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiff
    You can cross the border and come back without a visa, this is true. But you are still subject to customs regulation, i.e. standard quantities of duty free.
    Yes but if you use the visa service with car supplied they drive you across and back and you can fill the whole car up no one cares

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiff View Post
    You can cross the border and come back without a visa, this is true. But you are still subject to customs regulation, i.e. standard quantities of duty free.
    What are you saying spiiffy? you can check out of Thailand, cross into No mans land and then return to Thailand and they will give you a new visa, don't think so. When I do it they always check the for Lao departure stamp.

  7. #7
    Newbie Dick Rangerous's Avatar
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    Good question on the duty free front for all the Beerlao fans in Thailand. Seeing as the Thais beverage economy would be F**ked if such a great beer was ever sold in Thailand (aside from the opportunistic expat bars) I wonder how much you can take back with you back across the border?

    Another thing I noticed in Laos is that it ain't really Marlboro country.. the ciggies were really poor copies over there and I ended up on the blues for a while cos the MLights were little better than cowdung.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Rangerous View Post
    Good question on the duty free front for all the Beerlao fans in Thailand. Seeing as the Thais beverage economy would be F**ked if such a great beer was ever sold in Thailand (aside from the opportunistic expat bars) I wonder how much you can take back with you back across the border?

    Another thing I noticed in Laos is that it ain't really Marlboro country.. the ciggies were really poor copies over there and I ended up on the blues for a while cos the MLights were little better than cowdung.
    Have experienced Laos Malboro bought 200 gave them to a night porter in Chaing Mai,only smoked 3,truley carsanagenic

  9. #9
    I am in Jail
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    The duty free stores are beyond the immigration check point.

    You are in Laos if you go into the store.

  10. #10
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    Sooooooooooooooooooo useful thanks see my earlier request for advice in Sakhon Nakhon on 29/10 wanting to take old mum and dad to Laos, never been out of village

  11. #11
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    How about the new Train from Nong kai to Vientiane??
    Did anyone used this Train already?
    what time they leave Nong Kai?

  12. #12
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    I used one of the many agencies in Nong Khai in February when I had to get a Non B Visa for my work permit. Primarily because I had never had to do a visa run before having previously had a retirement extension.
    They charged 2000 baht including 1 night in a very pleasant hotel close to the centre of Vientianne.
    The advantages were such that I would always use them again even though you can do it cheaper independently.
    Firstly, their driver is well known to the immigration officers on both sides and apart from getting the Lao entry visa we didn't have to leave the minibus when leaving and re entering Thailand. The driver just took all passports for stamping in and out of Thailand.
    The big advantage was that had I wanted to bring in loads of duty free, which I would have had I known this, there was no hint of the minibus being checked and we were waved through when the passports were stamped.
    Also I noticed a que of about 100 "do it yourself" people waiting in line in full sun at Thai immigration coming back in as we were being waved through. that alone was worth the extra money for my part.

  13. #13
    better looking than Ned
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    Quote Originally Posted by racefan
    Firstly, their driver is well known to the immigration officers on both sides and apart from getting the Lao entry visa we didn't have to leave the minibus when leaving and re entering Thailand. The driver just took all passports for stamping in and out of Thailand. The big advantage was that had I wanted to bring in loads of duty free, which I would have had I known this, there was no hint of the minibus being checked and we were waved through when the passports were stamped
    I use the same type of service but just go over and straight back. Done it many times and never once did they search the car. But they will now that we told everyone on the net

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Rangerous
    Good question on the duty free front for all the Beerlao fans in Thailand. Seeing as the Thais beverage economy would be F**ked if such a great beer was ever sold in Thailand (aside from the opportunistic expat bars) I wonder how much you can take back with you back across the border?
    It's actually the Laoatians who are holding back on that one as their don't want their market ruined by lots of Thai beer. Most Thais wouldn't know a good beer if they drowned in it, so ....

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by onuk
    Did anyone used this Train already?
    It's still being tested and not open to the public yet.

  16. #16
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    Post Laos drink run

    I am amazed at how many people manage to impart so little information.

    Here are a few questions from someone who doesn't know what you are all talking about.

    Is the Laos visa for UK nat $35 or Baht 1,000 or either~?

    Does a UK passport with retirement extension for Thailand have to pay the same?

    THis character ( me) doesnt need to go on a visa run. Therefore it would be a booze run. So the Thai immigration arent interested in whether I got a Laos stamp. Right?

    If I'm shopping in No mans land surely I dont need a Laos visa. Right?

    Is the booze cheap in no mans land?

    How much drink can you legally bring into Thailand from Laos?

    Can you take your own car easily. (It sounds like this would be a bad idea if doing a booze run as has been pointed out the guide vans get through immigration without any checks)

    Finally I have seen at Thai border posts a window for people only going to no mans land. What is that all about?

    I reckon if I had the answers to all these qestions I would find that all the options alternatives in previous posts would seem to be true... including the one about not needing a visa..






    If the

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by lounger
    Does a UK passport with retirement extension for Thailand have to pay the same?
    Why would that make any difference to the Laos immigration, or Russian immigration or Spanish immigration?

    Quote Originally Posted by lounger
    If I'm shopping in No mans land surely I dont need a Laos visa. Right?
    No mans land is just a big long bridge that they don't let you walk on, duty free is after you enter Laos.

    Quote Originally Posted by lounger
    Thai border posts a window for people only going to no mans land. What is that all about?
    It is just another immigration booth that farangs think only Asians are allowed to use, anybody can use it though.



    Quote Originally Posted by lounger
    I am amazed at how many people manage to impart so little information.
    I am amazed at some of the dumb questions asked by some people.

  18. #18
    Member Sparky's Avatar
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    ^ Lounger Did you go to school with Tony Blair ???

  19. #19
    I am in Jail
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    How much from BKK > Nong Khai return via train or bus? Can I come in on a free tourist 30 day entry stamp?

    thanks in advance

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat
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    Train time tables and prices here.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    No mans land is just a big long bridge that they don't let you walk on,
    you're allowed to run across it when you compete in the Nong Khai to Vientienne marathon...

    no visa required !

  22. #22
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    you can actually walk across it without a problem, I have done so a more than one occasion.

  23. #23
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    Well as I live in Udon 60 kms away, I have done this trip many many times. 2 items I disagree with.

    1. If you go over the top with wines, spirits, and ciggies you are Watched "big time". on the road back you will be stopped 90% of the time as they have your reg number. Did nobody see a checkpoint I.E. 3 lanes cordoned off to 1 lane on the way back????????? surprise the hell out of me if you didnt, the purpose of which is to slow down the motorway traffic, pick out the bold boys as they have been radiod ahead. Next step take all your goodies including your allowed duty free, fine you 500 to 1000 and off on your way.

    This happened to me 3 times in a Udon reg car, only 600 cigs and usually 6 bottles of wine, so be careful.

    2. The Thai immigration hate anybody filling in the forms for you and giving them to you to forward on to customs. These are the little immigration shops that are situated on the left 1/4 of a mile before the bridge, that charge you for the service. There is always a chap at the Thai immigration initial hatch. he will sit down beside you at the hatch and help you fill in the form 50 Baht. hand in docs to hatch on left and receive them from hatch on right, (Same Guy).

    They put my name on computer for using the companies that help with visa on the left before the bridge.

    He said "who fill out form? I said I did, not my writing........... Who give you US dollars?? You from Europe!!!!!!!!!! Shit name on computer. I dont Know what his beef was. He said people at company rob your money, not let them rob your money.


    The above happened to a few of my mates from Udon as well. Even some who managed to buy cigs from touts at the Laos border opened up the 200 cig packs to find, foam filled empty boxes (same weight).


    Hope the above helps.

  24. #24
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    good advice., cheers for the info mate.

  25. #25
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    Ive just been through the Nong Khai crossing and theres been a change




    If you get your visa on arrival i.e you fill out your forms and pay at the window you now just walk straight through the immigration channels as they stamp you in at the same time when processing the visa.
    Hand over your cash and your passport comes back with visa and stamp ready to enter Laos.
    Last edited by melvbot; 16-10-2008 at 11:48 PM. Reason: Thanks Props, just couldnt be arsed earlier.
    The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth

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