Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Crossing Vietnam to Laos

Crossing Vietnam to Laos

I woke up late on my last day in Kontum, nothing surprising, missing the proper timing for that direct bus coming from Pleiku and onto the town of Pakse in Laos.

I was actually thinking of taking another attempt the next day, but I did not want to extend another day in Kontum as my visa is closing expiry, and I thought there'll be more pressure on the last coming days, thus decided to try and see at the bus station anyway.

At the bus station, asking around for the bus/van to Laos, with no english, i was told to wait at the other side of the road, which I obediently did.

A van came after 20 mins, and the guy who told me to wait was calling my attention. I could not see any sign saying Ngoc Hoi, so I confirmed with the guy if it goes to Ngoc Hoi.

I told him earlier that I am going to Laos, and he kept nodding and saying Lao. I rode it anyway.

About 1 hour, i could see in the map that we're approaching Ngoc Hoi. Passengers are getting off one by one too, from point to another

Then, he spoke to the driver, and we stopped. He pointed the stall for the bus going to Lao.

I walked onto the counter and asked if it is the bus to attapeu indeed, and i got a confirmation. I also asked how much, and was told, 100K dong; The bus leaves 2:30.

Meantime, I was kind of worried as it is a Sunday and i'm not sure if immigration is open for international travellers.

We left right on schedule, but had way too many stops, and some even quite long, even before reaching the Vietnam border; I kept looking at my watch hoping we'd make the crossing before 5pm.
 At the vietnam checkoint, I was inforrmed ahead by Thang, the CS traveller I met in Pleiku, that the checkpoints will normally ask for some fee.
We walked onto the passport control, and saw the passengers having 20k dong inserted in their passports; I did the same.
I also saw a currency exchange shop in the hall so exchanged some of my dong to kip (as I am expectingg to pay some money to that check point too).

We arrived in the Lao checkpoint, and again, all green passports and one maroon one. The immigration officer was kind of puzzled, and looked at me. He looked at a chart (which I supposed was a visa rules for each country) and he was saying Visa, walked out of his seat, and asked me to follow. 

I walked to his direction, and we were heading to a Visa on Arrival window; I told him we are on Visa Free as we are part of Asean; He then walked onto another door, and came out a little after. He walked back to his seat, looked at his chart again, and swiped my passport too his machine. He then asked me to fill up the arrivall card. Whoof! I thought i'll be be scammed out by 35$ there.

In the Lao checkpoint, people inserted 20,000 kip. Then, on the last way out, there was another booth that charged 10,000 kip for overtime fee (though they have a pink receipt to give).

We reached Attapu at around 7pm and there was no more bus to Pakse.. great! I ended up sleeping at the bus staff guesthouse in the town proper

This post is part of the #limbonisASIA tripSee link for more stories, detailed expenses and itinerary

For more detailed info about Laos, visit
Laos Guide 999 : or Laos Tourism for information about public transpo, destinations, etc

No comments :

Post a Comment

Popular Posts