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  1. #1
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    Mukdahan Visa Run

    I'm off to do my 90 day visa run on Saturday 24th. I will take a few photos and make a bit of a thread out of the occasion as there doesnt seem to be much in the way of visa runs to Mukkers on TD. Most (including me) seem to opt for Nong Khai but it seems to be getting busier and busier at that border. Nong Khai normally has long lines at the point where you enter Thailand and a 45-60 minute in the sunshine is not too much fun at all.

    I have a few questions that perhaps could be answered before I go....

    1. Does the Thai immigration office on the Thai side open on Saturdays? (I could do with getting that document that confirms ones address in the Kingdom...need new driving licence, register scooter etc etc)
    2. What are the opening and closing times for that nice new bridge that the have there?
    3. Is it worth a trip to the nearest Laos city, Savannakhet, how does it compare with Vientaine?
    Originally Posted by Smeg
    ... I like to fantasise sometimes, and I lie very occasionally... my superior home, job, wealth, freedom, car, girl, retirement age, appearance, satisfaction with birth country etc etc... Over the past few years I have put together over 100 pages on notes on thaiophilia...

  2. #2
    watterinja
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    Answers: I'm told by 'er indoors

    1. I'm told its closed on Saturday & Sunday.

    2. 09h00 - 21h00 (Weekdays); 09h00 - 22h00 (Weekends)

    3. Come on over to Savannakhet, it's a short stop on a tuktuk. Don't pay more than THB100 for the ride, from the Immigration exit. There are a few very nice restaurants serving western food. Drop in & enjoy a few hours in the town, then head back home.

    The easiest way across the new bridge from Mukdahan, is to take the Savannakhet-Mukdahan bus from the bus terminal - it leaves at least every 30 minutes - cost THB 40. It takes you across the bridge & into the Bus Terminal near the morning market. Takes around 1 hour to complete the crossing. Take a tuktuk from there into the town centre, or the waterfront.

    To travel back, book the same bus at the Savannakhet Bus Terminal you arrived at in the morning.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by watterinja
    1. I'm told its closed on Saturday & Sunday.
    Thats correct, thanks, however the immigration office at the border, is open everyday so that folks can pay any overstay charges. Its located just after passport control on the left hand side.

    Quote Originally Posted by watterinja
    09h00 - 21h00 (Weekdays); 09h00 - 22h00 (Weekends)
    I cannot read Thai, but the times on this timetable are for the Thai side departures, theres some time between the last bus and the closing times you give to allow for people to be processed with passports I'm assuming.

  4. #4
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    A few shots of the approach to "The friendship II" bridge.








  5. #5
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    Theres a nice place to park your car on a hot day to keep it cool. 40 Baht.

    Theres also a free outside parking area for days like this one when its cold and cloudy.

  6. #6
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    So now you've parked you car you can walk towards the bridge itself and where you'll see this office on the left hand side.

    Quote Originally Posted by watterinja
    The easiest way across the new bridge from Mukdahan, is to take the Savannakhet-Mukdahan bus from the bus terminal - it leaves at least every 30 minutes - cost THB 40
    Its 50 Baht now but they do have nice modern air conditioned buses which are much nicer that the non-air old tat they use at Nong Khai

    One thing I will add is that the 50 baht fee from the Thai side is for the full journey from the bus station in Muhkdahan, across the bridge and including the the 8kms to Savannakhet. Hardcore visa-runners who are just going for the visa stamp in Laos and then coming straight back have to pay the 50 baht also. There is no reduced fee for those just wishing only go over the river and then return.
    The same applies to the bus from the Laos side, its 50 baht. That 50 will take you back over the bridge and then back the 8 kms into Muhkdahan bus station.

  7. #7
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    Immigration area Thailand side:



    A rather dirty river:



    An the arrival area at the Laos side.



    I was charged a 40 baht "entry fee" at this point. Also, upon departing I was charged another 40 baht "exit fee". Now I've been and done loads of visa runs to Nong Khai and never had to pay both the entry and exit fees, at the most there its 20 baht on entrance. Mukdahan seem to be taking the piss with this. I dont think I will be going back here. I'll stick with NK in the future.

  8. #8
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    Dont bother going to Muhkdahan for duty free shooping on the Laos side of the bridge, its shite. YOu will need to get back on the bus and go to Savannakhet to do that.
    They have only one store open.....



    Everything is priced in U$D, they did have a rather nice collection of poofy wines available



    I was much more interested in



    They also had loads of coffee in there, no idea if it was any good though.



    This shop has some crappy exchange rates so you could calculate back to Baht and Kip. I left without buying anything and headed to the border control area where some guy had loads of beer and ciggies and Lao whisky for sale. Everything was at least 20% more expensive than the same item the last time I bought it border crossing at Nong Khai.

  9. #9
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    A view of "The Friendship Bridge II" looking back towards Thailand.


  10. #10
    Member Aquaman's Avatar
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    Nice, wonder if i can ride my motorbike back and forth now?

  11. #11
    watterinja
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    Spin, judging from your very nice pics, seems like you missed Savannakhet town, other than the bus terminal.

    The Lao coffee, called Dao is actually a very nice mild, smooth coffee - easy on the palate.

  12. #12
    watterinja
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    I was charged a 40 baht "entry fee" at this point. Also, upon departing I was charged another 40 baht "exit fee". Now I've been and done loads of visa runs to Nong Khai and never had to pay both the entry and exit fees, at the most there its 20 baht on entrance.
    I understand this fee to go towards paying for the new terminal complex on the Laos side. Everyone gets charged - local, or visitor.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat
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    So is Savannakhet worth a couple of days visit watterinja?

  14. #14
    watterinja
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    DD, I like the place - & am happy here.

    It seems like it was stuck in a time-warp during the 1970's due to the civil war. There are a lot of French-style houses - many recently upgraded. I'd actually been visiting over the past 7-odd years before coming to live.

    Come over & judge for yourself. It's actually a nice, small town. There's a new American-run Casino somewhere - never been. Can get a few very nice western meals - pizzas, salads, french bread, cheese etc.

    Let me know closer to the time you're coming up & I'll post some information regarding Guest-houses & Hotels in the town.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by watterinja View Post
    Let me know closer to the time you're coming up & I'll post some information regarding Guest-houses & Hotels in the town.
    I'm coming tomorrow (February 4th). Got any dining tips? Lao food on the river with beer would be nice....

  16. #16
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    casino (American?)

    Anyone have any information on the casino across border from Mukdahan ? Seen report that it was American-run ? Interested in good blackjack game. THANKS !

  17. #17
    Newbie chrissamui's Avatar
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    Is it easy to get a Thai visa at the Thai consulate in Savanaketh?

  18. #18
    Member Aquaman's Avatar
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    I got a Non-O there a few years back.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrissamui View Post
    Is it easy to get a Thai visa at the Thai consulate in Savanaketh?
    Yes. Go in 1 morning, pick it up next day afternoon. A lot less applicants than in Vientianne but avoid Mondays if possible.

  20. #20
    Newbie gudtymchuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikem View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chrissamui View Post
    Is it easy to get a Thai visa at the Thai consulate in Savanaketh?
    Yes. Go in 1 morning, pick it up next day afternoon. A lot less applicants than in Vientianne but avoid Mondays if possible.
    Anyone have any new info on obtaining Non-O for retirement at the Thai consulate in Savanaketh? Much prefer not to go to Vientiane if Savanaketh is another option.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    Any new info on this? One question I have is about parking the car there. What would the overnight charge be? Second, this might sound stupid but leaving the car there they don't expect you to leave the keys with it, do they?

  22. #22
    Member IceSpike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hampsha View Post
    Any new info on this? One question I have is about parking the car there. What would the overnight charge be? Second, this might sound stupid but leaving the car there they don't expect you to leave the keys with it, do they?
    I paid 200 baht for two nights, the cute little girl records your time entered on a ticket. Another 100 Baht if you are a few hours late. 50 Baht for a quick trip to Savannakhet.(Half day)
    No! Park the Car where you want too. Do not leave the Keys.. Not a stupid question. And set the parking brake. Not like parking garages in Bangkok.
    They do offer car wash too, I never tried it. A lot of Thais do tho.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, Ice. Sounds cheap. I don't think I'll use the car wash service but I guess for Thais who do business over the border on a dily basis its a good deal.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    Here's a link to the Thai consolate in Savannakhet with some info and a simple map of where the embassy is. Most is in Thai.

    ส–า™ก‡สุลƒหญˆ “ แ‚ว‡สะหวั™™ะ€‚• :: Royal Thai Consulate-General, Savannakhet

  25. #25
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    If you are going straight from the bus to the consulate there is a shower in the wc. Near the bus exit.

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