Many people are talking about scams.
Anyone lately crossed the border in north Vietnam (Tay Trang or Nam Xoi) to go into Laos? We heard stories about backpackers getting dropped in front of the Loas border and not been taken to the destination in Loas that they paid for e.g. Sam Neua in Loas.
Some one know a bus company that is reliable?
Roel Reply to this
I dont know if the scam you mention happens or not, because I havent yet heard anyone complain about it.
But, I would be ultra careful at the Laos borders. If you leave your things unattended, or dont stay alert you have a real chance of being robbed. And, I heard the border is distracting enough, to cause some careless moments. Have your passport and a reasonable amount of cash separate to all your other valuables.
My friend got robbed, while attending to the passport and visa stuff when exiting Laos. She took out her passport and some money and turned away briefly from the rest of her stuff. She was robbed during that short time, so likely thieves know that tourists will be distracted at that point, making them easy prey. I get the impression from what my friend said, that no police or anybody are watching out for stuff like this happening, so it is completely up to you to be extremely careful.
Mel Reply to this
It's worth looking into Flights as well. A few years ago I managed to nab a cheap flight from Hanoi into Vientien a day prior to departure, I think it was under $50 cnd for two people. not too bad, and it saved us a great deal of trouble and time.
I've never actually traveled by land between Vietnam and Laos, but from Thailand to Laos we had no problems, it was less hassle and scams then crossing from Thailand into Cambodia Reply to this
Where is Loas? I can imagine they were not happy if they were dropped at the Loas border instead of the Laos border, that would piss me off too. You ask to go to Laos and you end up in Loas :)
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I crossed the border and didn't have any major problems but we did have to pay a litle 'extra fine' which was basically a bribe. we could probably have caused a fuss but it was easier to just pay it and get through without any problems. Reply to this
I was just wondering whether it is advisable to sort out visas for Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos before you get to the boarders? My friend and I are going out there at the end of January and we aren't really sure whether we should sort out visas before getting to the boarder? We have spoken to a few friends that have been there and they have told us that it's really quite easy to get visas at the boarder of each country.
Any help/advice would be really appreciated!
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For most countries you will get a free visa on arrival in Thailand, 30 days if you fly in and 15 if you come in by land. Laos and Cambodia can be sorted out at the border. Both cost to get in, it varies depending on where yor passport is from.
Just watch out for scams if your crossing from Thailand to Cambodia (we have a blog about our trip into Cambodia if your interested) Vietnam has to be arranged before hand but is easy enough to do while overseas.
We went to the Vietnamese embassy in Sihanoukville, in southern Cambodia, and were able to have our visas processed in about 5 minutes.
It isn't that difficult at all for these four countries, just keep your eyes open and watch out for people telling you things like the price of the visa has gone up or that they can process it for you faster. Check your countries foreign affairs website, I know for Canada they usually list information and sometimes prices for the different visas. Good luck! Reply to this
Yes, Vietnam has to be arranged in advance. You can get them from the Embassy whereever you are, or get an agent to arrange a visa on arrival letter for you.
It's quick in Cambodia to get a Vietnamese visa at the Embassy, but in other countries it takes longer. In Malaysia for example, it takes 3 working days. If you're going to get it from an Embassy, check the website to see how long it will take so it doesn't scupper your plans. Reply to this
Thank you! All of that info helps a lot!
Did you use the train to get over the boarders or would you advise flying? Reply to this
There isn't a train service in Cambodia or Laos. There are trains in Vietnam and Thailand, but of course, since you can't get trains in Cambodia or Laos, you can't get one over the borders. Buses are the easiest form of transport, but if you are in a hurry flying is good too. Check out the budget airlines like Air Asia, Jetstar and Tiger.
You can get the train to the border in some situations, e.g. from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet in Thailand to then cross by tuk-tuk and foot into Cambodia. However, the bus is more convenient in my opinion.
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Okay thats great thank you very much!
I shall look into buses and flying! Reply to this
I am new in this discussion so from now i also be sharing my views. Reply to this
Hi Roel, Laos and Vietnam or Cambodia, and Thailand now for travel so easy, But border between Laos and Vietnam it has two gate convinience for travel those called, ,Lao Bao Border, and Cau Treo border, if you departure form Hanoi by bus the time it leaves at 18:00 Pm and arrive Vinh city change the other bus and go by Cau treo border crossing for go to Vientiane or Pakse, OTHER way, if you leaving from Hue city the bus leave at 06:00 Am then arrive in Lao Bao border, <snip> Reply to this
no problem when you crossing border in Tay Trang
. but have to find out vehicle to join Muong Khua villaga in laos sida . 80 km far away from border..i never seen publix car or taxi over there. Reply to this