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Motorcycle travel in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India...

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  #1  
Old 28 Apr 2011
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entry to Laos

My carnet lady says officially: "no tourist vehicles allowed in Laos"
I know people drive thru Laos (she does also), I have a Unimog U500 camper and will be entering from Thailand about March 15 2012.
Can someone give me some knowledgeable experienced advice?

Charlie
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  #2  
Old 28 Apr 2011
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I was in Laos last year, with a bicycle so no problem getting in with that, but did see a few European registered vehicles including a German BMW and Brit Landrover so you should be able to get in with your Unimog.
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  #3  
Old 28 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
I was in Laos last year, with a bicycle so no problem getting in with that, but did see a few European registered vehicles including a German BMW and Brit Landrover so you should be able to get in with your Unimog.
+1

We saw an Austrian campervan in Laos when we were there on our motorcycle in 2009. I don't think you'll see any problem with your vehicle, keeping in mind that Laos isn't overly strict with the Carnet, you could do temporary import and you wouldn't even need your Carnet.
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  #4  
Old 28 Apr 2011
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My carnet is officially only for Australia and Malaysia.
Anyone take a 4-wheeled vehicle themselves through Laos?

Charlie
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  #5  
Old 29 Apr 2011
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No carnet used in Laos, Thailand or Cambodia. That not withstanding, some people have been asked for carnets and had them stamped.

Your "carnet lady" doesn't know what she's talking about.

Officially, you need insurance and a "Laissez Passer". I strongly recommend you get insurance in all of these countries, except Cambodia (perhaps, never got in). The latter can cause problems, as you only get a week or so and then you have to somehow extend it. I rode into Laos twice without it and when i left pretended ignorance. No problemo.

For Thailand you must get a temporary import permit or you will run into big problems when leaving.
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  #6  
Old 29 Apr 2011
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Laos without Carnet

We entered Laos Oct 2010 from China (2 x 4wd - Land Rover Defender 110's). We had carnet but officials said they never saw one before (and we checked a couple of times). On exit to Cambodia, we were asked to present our carnet which we didn't have an entry stamp for. The official eventually let us exit but he didn't seem happy about it. Cambodia, we were not required to submit our carnet at any time.
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Old 29 Apr 2011
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got into lao from thai, chiang kong, on march 7 this year with my bike (harley)
they've asked me carnet and insurance too. also in cambodia i had to get the carnet stamped, in and out, as they've requested me.

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  #8  
Old 29 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beddhist View Post
No carnet used in Laos, Thailand or Cambodia. That not withstanding, some people have been asked for carnets and had them stamped.

Your "carnet lady" doesn't know what she's talking about.

Officially, you need insurance and a "Laissez Passer". I strongly recommend you get insurance in all of these countries, except Cambodia (perhaps, never got in). The latter can cause problems, as you only get a week or so and then you have to somehow extend it. I rode into Laos twice without it and when i left pretended ignorance. No problemo.

For Thailand you must get a temporary import permit or you will run into big problems when leaving.

I think she does know what she's talking about. She agrees, no carnet necessary in Laos.
I always buy insurance when I enter a country if not before.
I know about the temporary import permit thing for Thailand, but I gather it is a border thing? Requiring handover of some quantity of cash, hopefully to be returned upon departure? For a large expensive vehicle, can it be put on a credit card? I will be entering from Malaysia.

Charlie
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Old 29 Apr 2011
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To be honest, I don't know the situation for cars & trucks. Officially, you have to put down a deposit at the border, but I have never heard of anybody actually having to do that. (Bikes are exempt anyway.)

The validity of the temp import varies. I always got 30 days, except on one occasion. This means that you need to have the validity extended before it expires. It can't be valid beyond your tourist visa. You should ask to get one valid for the length of your visa (60 days). (You do know to get the visa beforehand, don't you?) Any customs office or intl. customs border office should be able to provide the extension, which is free.

When you do your border run for a double-entry visa you don't need to take your truck with you, meaning you can do this at a Burma border on foot. Just get an extension when you have your new entry stamp. However, in Mae Sai this didn't work, as the officers didn't understand what I wanted and in the end just issued a new permit. It doesn't matter, except they forgot to enter it into the computer system, which caused a long delay when I came back from Laos the next time...

The vehicle must leave after 6 months, or else...
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Old 30 Apr 2011
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I got stung at at Laos border for a deposit when riding a bike. they attached a sticker saying I'd be reimbursed when leaving ( snort, chuckle )
heres a photo of it on the tank
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Old 30 Apr 2011
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Temporary Import Procedure for Vehicles and Bikes Thailand

We had no vehicle insurance, experienced no tolls and no carnet was required during our time in Thailand. On entry at the Thailand border, customs did provide us with a Simplified Customs Declaration Form for temporary importation of our vehicle with a fixed duration of 30 days. The form is a signed agreement, provided free of charge, to agree to export within the time limit provided else be liable in our case, to pay a sum of 900,000 Baht (45K GBP) if breached. Realising that we would probably want to spend longer we found the following information.
A) Should a vehicle exceed the fixed date, a fixed fine per day of 100-200 Baht is payable (but not exceeding a total of 5,000 Baht), up to a maximum period of 6 months. This is subject to the vehicle owner’s passport still holding a valid visa for the duration of stay.
B) Extensions are possible and can be granted for a further period of 30 days per application, up to a maximum of 6 months. Usually available at local customs or border customs office.
As each of us were holding a 60 day Thai passport visas with only 30 days import allowance on our vehicle, we decided to go for option b) and obtain an extension at Customs for a further 30 days. To do this, we visited Customs House based in Prachuap Khiri Khan (120km south of Cha-am) - the nearest customs point to where we were based. Vehicle, driver, driver passport and all vehicle paperwork were required and checked. The process took only 5-10 minutes, was free of charge, very professional and no hassle - the officials were lovely and we even brought us coffee and water while waiting. We weren’t sure about option A), as we had no-one to ask so decided not to take the risk and instead get our paperwork in order. However, in theory there should be nothing wrong in opting for A) if you are prepared to pay the daily fine which isn’t very much. On exiting Thailand, the TVI form was a standard customs handover process (we could see tons of these forms for foreign vehicles piled high) and while we couldn’t guarantee it, we reckon option A) would not have been a problem.
Other options to consider
C) It would have been easier on arrival to the Thailand border if we had asked for temporary importation to equal our passport duration in the first place i.e. 60 days vehicle import allowance to equal the 60 day visa in our passports. We believe 30 days is the standard grant - but that it would be worth asking for more on arrival (saving any customs hassle or exit concerns later). To support this, a motorbike has the same consideration as a motorcar and we met a guy who managed to get 60 days at the border on entry for his motorbike. He said he had to make a bit of a fuss as the border customs were not keen but they did grant him the 60 day period he wanted before entering Thailand proper.
D) You can take your vehicle to an exit border (without actually exiting) as long as you have a valid passport visa and arrange the vehicle extension at customs there.
E) All else fails, you can exit Thailand and re-enter again from scratch with a new temporary import document.
For latest Thai Customs information, please click here. (if this link doesn't work, try this [url=http://www.overlandwithkids.com/2011/01/in-and-around-ch-am-temporary-vehicle-import-procedures-thailand/]Overland With Kids |
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