Crossing the border Thailand to Laos

Yesterday I had my first real issue while crossing the border into Laos – after having done it more than 10 times. Usually – you fill in the two large forms (you need to list where you are staying – but can leave the bit where it asks you for a local contact person blank), you pay the fee (they ask for it in usd – you can pay in other currencies but it will cost you more) which is about $30 per person (it varies a little by nationality), you are supposed to have a passport photo but if you don’t they will charge you $1 to photo copy your passport, and sometimes there will also be a ‘service’ fee of a $1.

Yesterday I got pulled up and taken to a little room for questioning as I didn’t have an exit stamp from my departure point in Thailand – I have a very full passport so it may be there but not be readable – either way this was apparently my fault and they were going to deport me – or funnily enough i could pay an instant fine of $200 to be allowed in. I argued for a stew minutes then said that I only had $100 – which surprisingly was now enough. I saw him put it in his pocket as I left. This photo is of the sign outside the room.

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5 Comment

  1. Rob says: Reply

    Hi Neil, Would this problem be encountered by one of your travelers on at Stray Asia trip?

    1. Neil geddes says: Reply

      Good question rob. I told one of our guides the story last night and he told me that they quite frequently have to sort out little ‘issues’ like this for clients – a girl on his current trip had pages missing in her passport and he was able to get her through by saying it had been through the washing machine (amazing hey). So while things like this do happen from time to time in Laos our guides are there to sort things out so it rarely ever impacts on clients.

  2. Rob says: Reply

    Nice stuff Neil, I guess its inevitable in such countries to come across such occurrences and its great that your Laos guides are on to the job and there to make for a safe passage for clients. Enjoying your almost ‘undercover’ boss trip blog experiences!

    1. Neil geddes says: Reply

      There really is nothing like first hand experiences to really ensure that we are delivering the best trips we can

  3. Rob says: Reply

    Wholeheartedly agree, hence why I enjoy reading your blog to see it from your perspective. I hope to get over to try the Stray Laos experience myself as quite a few Kiwi mates of mine are wanting to explore that area but are not wanting to be fully intrepid wing it travelers, hence where Stray would fit the bill.

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