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Obtain your visa on arrival $US30 or baht equivalent around 1500 baht-1800 Thai baht. Lao Embassy in Bangkok (66-2) 536-3696, 538-3735, fax 539-678, or at the Lao Consulate in Khonkaen (66-43) 223-473, 223-698 & you may save a little in Chiangmai. Non immigrant visas take 2 full working days. 

Visa on arrival at the Laos side of the Friendship Bridge near Nong Khai. The normal cost is $30.00 US or B1500. On Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays, and between the hours of 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM the cost is $31.00.

A 15 day visa costs 800 baht from an agent like B.I.S. Travel in Loi Kroh Rd & takes 3 days. Don't buy your visa in Nong Khai as you will be ripped off.

Miscellaneous costs: be prepared to pay entry fee and administration fees totaling about B50 on the Laos side. This Communist country is starting to get the hang of Capitalism.

Transport across the bridge. Buses go by every 10-15 minutes and cost B10 each way.Transport from the Laos Border to Vientiane. Best to take the vehicles that are a cross between a tuk-tuk and Baht bus into town. Takes 40 minutes to an hour and should not cost more than B50 per person unless you hire one privately, then it should run anywhere between B100 and B150 each way. They will gleefully haggle with you.

Hotel: the Asian Pavilion Hotel for B800 per night Breakfast included. Nice place, good size room, big bed, and hot water. Good location, 10-minute walk to the Thai visa building. Phone: 856 21 213430. There are many other hotels of all price ranges in the same area and I have a list of 7 or 8 if you would like them.

The visa: 2 pix and B300 for a 2 month Tourist visa. The visa will take 2 days to process (the day you apply, ready the next afternoon). There are those that will promise “Express Service”…The Embassy is adamant that they will not speed up anyone’s visa. They even have a sign up in the lobby stating that very fact. Be warned and prepared to spend at least one night in town.

The visa section is not at the Thai Embassy. It is along the main street on the way to the Victory Monument across from the big market. It is in a little strip shop area on the end opposite of the Bank of Ayudhya.

The visa section accepts applications (available there) from 8:30 – 12:00. The visa can be picked up between 1:00 and 4:00 PM the following afternoon. The visa will not be ready for pick up in the AM.

Currency: national currency is the Kip. I was unable to locate any ATM machines although the banks will cash advance on Visa and Master Charge Cards.

While we were there the Kip was trading at 191 Kip/Baht and 8550 Kip to the U$D. Beer Lao (big ones) was trading at about 120 Kip to one bottle. Good beer.

Recommended: the National Museum, walking distance from the area hotels and a real reminder as to how things are on the Communist side of town. The Scandinavian Bakery near the Fountain has excellent pastries, sandwiches and snacks. Open from 7 –7 daily. Nice little Italian restaurant next door.

The only people that came up and bothered me were a few beggars (who sure as Hell looked able to work to me) and a couple of Katoeys who were quite persistent.

The mighty Mekong River is an easy walk from the hotel areas and with all the food stalls and the cold beer worth the trek. What are you going to do, sit in your room while your visa is being processed?

On the Nong Khai side of the river there are a couple of good deals; the one we chose was the Mekong Royal Nongkhai Hotel. Business was slow, slow, slow so we were able to get a great room overlooking the Mekong for B700/night including breakfast. They are also very helpful in providing Laos visa service, rides to Thai Immigration, Vientiane Hotels and Nong Khai information. Phone: (042) 420024.Mittraphap Tour (042 467880, 467359) in Nong Khai will process your Laos visa for you but it is about B1000 more than just getting visa on arrival. Do it yourself is highly recommended.

( Thanks to Butch Colvin for this info )

Chang Khong  in (Laos) can process your visas but to obtain a Visa on the border will cost you 1800 baht & the boat across 20 baht each way. 

VIENTIANE LAOS:  The consulate has a notice up on the board stating that only single entry "O" visas are given on non immigrant visas and then before it expires you take it up with the next immigration point where you are residing. But it now takes 48 hours to process your non immigrant visas not 3 days as before. Only one entry allowed still & they are only really interested in tourist visas!!.

[ Laos Travel & Info ] [ Thai Visas



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