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.