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Experience of Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge No.4 (Chiang Khong - Huey Xai)

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Recently went to Laos for a couple of days (primarily to exit and re-enter Thailand for my second entry on a multi Non 0 visa)

There is a car park on the Thai side about 100 metres from the actual immigration checkpoint. Be careful entering and exiting the car park though because you have to weave inbetween large semi-trailers bringing cargo into and out of Thailand. There are no costs to park there. There is a much larger car park closer to the immigration point but its marked for staff only, even though there were way more cars there than staff from what I could tell, so I imagine you can probably use it. Not sure

If you use the actual marked car park, you walk to the immigration checkpoint from there and again, you need to weave in between large trucks. You need to be careful. Once you get to the checkpoint, going through is fairly straight forward. There was only 2 immigration booths open at the time. There are not many people around, so you will not que for long. Nothing unusual to report at the checkpoint, just be aware that the immigration officers mostly deal with Thai's crossing into Laos for business and tourism. They will take a bit longer and probably ask a few more questions if your not Thai. Nothing unusual that you wouldnt expect. 

Once you get through the checkpoint, you will board a bus. Chances are, at this time, you might wait a little while because with the cost of fuel, I think the bus companies try to get the bus at least half full before embarking across the bridge. Fortunately for me there was a large tour group of Thai guys going to Laos so I didnt wait at all. Cost for bus ticket is 40 baht, paid in baht. There is a small booth on the right hand side is you go through the immigration checkpoint to buy your ticket. Driver collects ticket. Easy

Short ride over the Mekong. Have your phone ready for video and pics. Its well worth it. 

As you get off the bus, you need to look right. You should see a big sign "Visa On Arrival" I actually missed it at first. You go to booth number 1 fill out an entry form and another form to apply for Visa On Arrival. Straight forward process. You pick up your passport from Booth 2, once its been stamped with the visa, which is right next to booth 1. You may pay a little admin fee....I paid 40 baht. 

Just 1 booth was open here for Laos immigration. And from them you will need to get another form which is basically like the Thai TM6 card, arrival/departure from. Fill that out. Have your passport opened to the new visa stamp you just got and your entry card ready. Going through is not difficult, just be aware they mostly get Thai's crossing over so they will take a while with your farang passport. 

This is where it gets weird. You would imagine you paid the visa on arrival fee at booth 1 or 2 BEFORE passing immigration, but that actually is not how it works. Once you get through immigration you look at the booth on the left and that is where you pay the fee. You will have gotten a ticket with a QR code from the officer in booth 2, that says $40 USD on it. Hand that to the staff in the booth and they will calculate what you pay based on exchange rates and your citizenship. If you have USD, probably best to use it. I paid 1280 baht as an Australian citizen

You will get a slip from them with a QR code on it which allows you to proceed through the electronic turnstyles and at this point your in Laos proper. You MUST keep this ticket, because you need to re-enter the immigration area when you come back. 

Now you get one of the several Songthaews parked there. I paid 300 baht for me and my wife to ride into town. Seemed quite expensive, but again, fuel is crazy right now so that could be part of the reason. They will drop you off at a guesthouse in town. I paid for 500 baht for 2 nights for 2 people for air conditioned room.

Btw all the prices in Laos are in kip/lak. You need to keep in mind an approximate exchange rate (20000 kip/40 baht) and I would STRONLY advise you use one of the banks on the main road to exchange some currency into the local currency. You will save money. You will likely be overcharged at the food stalls, shops etc, if you use baht or any other currency. 

Coming back into Thailand means you get a Songthaew back to the checkpoint. There are no taxis or tuks tuks from what I could see. Paid 150,000 kip this time.  So it works out the same.

Coming back, get off the Songthaew, use your QR code slip to get through the turnstyle, head right for Laos departure. Just 1 booth open again. Straight forward process. There is a ticket booth to get the bus back right next to wear you wait for it. Again, you might wait a while. Back over the bridge. 

This time its a bit more complicated because there are still some Covid restrictions entering Thailand. Once off the bus you will need to que for Thai authorities to check your Thailand Pass and vaccine certificate statement. They will fill out stuff in a computer regarding your Thailand Pass. You will also get a copy of questionairre that is partially filled out with your details. I dont know what you do with this. I kept mine. The immigration officer didnt need it. Once youve done that, there is a room on the left. You actually through the door and they will give you your TM6. Fill out as per normal. Just 1 thai immigration booth open and they will ask you the same questions you would normally be asked. Take a photo, fingerprint scan.

And now your back in Thailand!

Since the Thailand Pass system ends on July 1 2022, things should be even quicker coming back into Thailand

Overall a good experience and it doesnt take long because I dont think its a checkpoint that gets used a whole lot for tourists. Its mostly a point for the entry and exit of imports and exports. 

Beerlao is good! and Laotian coffee is strong. 


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  • 1 month later...

hello, thank you for share your travel.
I would like to ask you about Visa to enter in Laos: it is possibile to ask Visa On Arrival at Thai - Lao Friendship Bridge No.4? e-visas are not accepted in this frontier right? 
we are 4 guys from EU (Italy, Spain) and we would like to pass Thai-Laos border at  Friendship Bridge No.4. from Chiang Rai.
Thank you in advance


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