Border Crossing: From Thailand to Laos

I’ve heard of Laos a couple of times when I was still in school. I didn’t remember much information though. It used to be a forgotten land in Southeast Asia. But times have changed and it’s now full of backpackers coming from all corners of the world. My adventure started with crossing the Thai and Laos border up north. A lot of agencies offer cheap overland package but I decided to do it on my own thinking that it would be cheaper.

So here’s my experience on Border Crossing: From Thailand to Laos.

I went to Chiang Khong (Thailand) and then down to the Mekong River so I can cross over to Huay Xai (Laos). This is just one of the overland crossings that you may take. I’ve heard the easiest one is Nong Khai (Thailand) to Laos (just cross the Friendship Bridge to get to Laos immigration).

Border Crossing: From Thailand to Laos
(Golden Triangle


The fun started on a songthaew (local Thai traspo, slightly bigger than a tuktuk) to Chiang Khong, it was supposed to go there but then the nicest driver in the world dropped me in the middle of nowhere. So I talked to him and insisted that he bring me to Chiang Khong (as per our previous agreement), but I lost the “pushed him ‘til he stand by his word game” and opted to wait for another transpo to pass by.

I didn’t bother myself much with aggravation and tried to maintain my calm. Luckily I was with two other people. I’m not sure though if they’re from Thailand or Laos. I just asked “Chiang Khong?” and they nodded so I waited with them under the roof of an empty market. It was a very hot day so I decided to keep a cool temper. The place was like a small village and the only people that I could see were only the three of us. If it happened at night it would definitely scare the sh*t out of me.

The guy started walking around to look for other people that could take us to Chiang Khong. And after an hour he came back and found a songthaew (thanks to him or I’d be stuck there for a long time!). We split the cost and continued on with the journey.

chiang khong
(on my way to the boat station)

After a couple of hours, I finally found the river pier and bought my boat ticket to Huay Xai which was around 40baht. However I paid another extra because they told me that my backpack was big, so I paid an extra for the bag. The river crossing didn’t take more than 15 minutes and I finally reached Laos.

mekong river boats
(Mekong River boats)

Upon presenting my passport to the immigration officer, he said I needed to fill up a visa application form before he could stamp my passport. I said, I’m from the Philippines and we don’t need a visa to enter Laos. He didn’t accept my info and refused to stamp it. But I insisted and he asked his fellow officers and they corrected him.

huay xai
(Huay Xai, nice view of the Mekong River)

I got the entry stamp.

Welcome to Laos!!!


  1. i’m stalking your blog. here in Bangkok now. crossing to SR for an event but will be back in Thailand hoping to get to Laos. 🙂


  1. […] was once denied entry in Huay Xai because I don’t have a Laos visa but I insisted that I don’t need one since I’m from the […]

  2. […] After crossing the border, I decided to take a rest in Huay Xai. I went to the bank and changed Thai Baht to Lao Kip and then on to a small streets side vendor and ordered noodles. It was ok, not bad for a meal of less than a dollar. The main street of Huay Xai (near the border) is pretty small and easy to navigate. I walked up and down the street looking for the cheapest hostel that I could find […]

  3. […] in high school. They’ve said that it’s one of the most dangerous places in Asia. As I was traveling from Mae Sai to Huay Xai last April 2009, I accidentally saw a songthaew going to the Golden Triangle. Curious as I was, I […]

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