Border Crossing Bonus for Lao Holidays
Laos shares borders with Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, China and Myanmar. As a landlocked country, border crossings are essential for the survival of Laos’ economy. Hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists enter Laos via overland border crossings every year. Also, lacking access to the sea means all international trade has to happen via overland border crossings.
One of the most popular crossings on the border with Thailand is Nong Khai to Vientiane on the Laos side of the Mekong, a popular gate of entry for budget travelers arriving by train from Bangkok. Another important Thai border crossing is Chiang Khong to Houay Xay in the far north of Laos. This crossing services travelers coming from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in Thailand who then can continue to Laos’ Luang Namtha Province, famous for trekking and Hill Tribe villages or take the 2-day riverboat passage down the mighty Mekong to Luang Prabang, the UNESCO World Heritage town. In total, Laos and Thailand share eight border crossings and visa on arrival is available at each crossing for both Thailand and Laos.
Laos shares six international borders with Vietnam allowing for fluid travel between these two Indochina neighbors. While the most popular border is Nam Phao/Cau Treo in central Laos, Khiri Travel recommends continuing northeast past Luang Prabang for spectacular sights that await such as the mysterious Plain of Jars, the Lao wartime revolutionary hideout, Viengxay Caves, and the award-winning ecotourism hotspot, Nam Ngern Night Safari. After this interesting cross section of northeastern Laos travelers can then continue on into Vietnam at the Nam Soy/Na Meo border point into one of the least explored provinces of Vietnam. Overland travel into Vietnam is now easier than ever with recent changes in Vietnam visa requirements.
Traveling south is the busiest and only border crossing with Cambodia. It is always bustling with buses, minivans and tuk tuks. Many travelers relaxing at the Bolaven Plateau or Khone Phrapeng waterfalls of the 4000 Islands choose this border to continue directly to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap or to explore the east of Cambodia such as Kratie, Mondulkiri or Ratanakiri.
In the north of Laos, the remote border with China is not a popular crossing point except for Chinese travelers. Only a few foreigners make their way up to visit Laos’ beautiful Phongsaly Province. The travel takes time but stunning viewpoints through rugged mountain landscapes are the reward. Khiri Travel Laos is keen on promoting this area as it gives travelers a unique insight into the life of the ethnic minorities in Laos.
Laos’ newest border crossing links Laos with Myanmar at the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia. Opened in 2015, this crossing point allows travelers to connect between two exciting Khiri countries.
For more information about overland travel linking Laos with any and all of its border countries, please contact to [email protected]