14 Jun 2006
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bordernews Thailand to Laos (Vientaine)
We write this, because the famous Friendship Bridge was temporary closed for motorbikes.
At the 22.05., we crossed the Friendship-Bridge (near Vientaine) from Thailand to Laos. We don't have real trouble! Everything was pretty easy, cheap und fast as well. We entered into Laos in less than a hour!!!
We travelling on one german registered bike, a Honda Africa Twin.When we come to the border of Thailand we don't have any import papers, because at the border from Malaysia to Thailand (near Penang), they forgot to give the import papers to us. And we don't have any idea that we would need it!
First we tried to go "around" the thailand customs, but that doesn't work. No way! The immigration man will advice you directly to the customs, before they look for your passports.
So we go there with a lot of nervousity! He asked directly for our import paper, we play "stupid farangs". We show him our german register papers and an old insurance paper. He give that all back. Then he asked for a carnet. We show him this, but we know that isn't stamped. The last and finished stamps are from Malaysia. Then he give it all back to us and asked where we crossed the border. We told him, from Malaysia near Penang. He looks tired then and give us back all the paper and say: "Ahhaaaa, okay! Bye-bye!"
Thai-Immigration: No questions, some stamps in the passports. Nothing to pay. GO!!
On the other side of the Bridge: The staff at the information desk adviced us directly through to room Nr. 8 (1. floor, left hand building), get some stamps on our Carnet. (It is not necessary to have a Carnet, but we heard that it makes bordercrossing faster. So we used this.) No questions, friendly Customs Man. "Enjoy your stay!"
At the immigration: We have had a visa in our passports for Laos. So, no questions about this. The only trouble we had: One of the immigration staff took all our paperwork, brought it to an office and the friendly staff there wants to see some money!!! They told us to pay 1000Baht "Entrance Fee" for the bike and 200Baht each per person! We really get angry and we tried hard to go through without paying money. But they have the papers. They don't give it back to us! In the end we dropped the price down to 200Baht the bike and 10Baht each. 220Baht all together. We get some papers for the "entrance fee", but still not sure that this was the official way. But,.....anyway! It was cheap and easy.
There wasn't any sign, that is forbitten to cross particularly this border by bike! Nobody looks very interested or so. Everything very normal.
Safe trips to everybody
Tanja & Christian - the german "Enduroreisende".