Laos to Vietnam Border Crossing -Adventures of Border Crossing

Laos to Vietnam Border Crossing -Adventures of Border Crossingvietnam-laos-border-gate

The next morning I set out to find transport to the Vietnam border for my Laos to Vietnam Border Crossing.

Yet, again, communication is not happening and I end up sitting down in complete frustration more than once.

After getting sent around the entire town I finally find the bus station but my troubles are not over – communication still somehow lost I come to an understanding that the next bus to the boarder is not until 1:30pm… maybe and it is quite expensive.

Finally I find a songthaew  (a taxi-truck) for only 20,000 leaving immediately!

Laos to Vietnam Border Crossing

Stamped out of Laos, I head up no-man’s land in search of Vietnam. I was pointed up this road but only mountains are in front of me. Finally I reach the top of the hill and see buildings farther down the road.

I am the only tourist – my Laos to Vietnam Border Crossing is not a common border crossing and I am soon to discover why…

It seems that Vietnam has over-trained border control personnel – they are everywhere! I am told I need to pay a 2 dollar “stamp fee”… this infuriates me! This border crossing is notorious for “fees” aka money pocket-ers. I put up a massive complaint – which I am not proud of – I am exhausted and completely spent from the morning – my patience is gone.

After heated words, I observe that everyone is paying the “stamp fee,” so although I have already paid $50 for the visa I give and pay the 2 dollars – it is funny how important a few dollars can be when principle is at hand.

My second problem is the discovery that there is no transportation from the border into Vietnam. There are no taxis or buses – except those going straight through, which are already full.

How will I get to Hanoi?

I enter the café at the bottom of the hill, which seems to be the center of activity. I find another 20 or so border control police sitting around a table. I approach them but there is no acknowledgement of my presence, there is a refusal of attention as if pretending I am not there.

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But my presence remains and finally it cannot be denied – I get some side-glances as I ask:

“Bus to Hanoi?”

“No, no bus.”

“How can I get to the next town?”

“No, no bus.”

“ So I sleep here at the border?”

“No, no bus”

“Sir, I need something; car, tuktuk, something to take me to the next town where I can catch a bus.”

“No, no bus.”

“OK, never mind…”

Finally one man motions for me to follow him – I have no idea why, but I do.

He walks ahead of me back up the hill toward the stamp office – I follow with hesitancy, fearful of the wrath of the stamp people. The man points to a van, then saying nothing disappears.

I assume that I am supposed to ask the driver for a ride. On questioning, however, the driver looks at me like I am crazy, gets in the van and drives off.

I am alone again and totally frustrated.

I walk back down the hill and see the one guard, who actually had smiled at me earlier, friendly talking to a man in a silver car.

The man had just crossed over the border from Laos and I inquired as to where he is heading.laos to vietnam border crossing, laos to Vietnam, laos vietnam border crossing, Crossing the Border from Laos to Vietnam

You just never Know Who You’ll Meet…

Before I know it my baggage and I are stuffed in the back of the silver car, headed…

-I am not quite sure.

The man seems nice – not overly-friendly and, of course, speaks no English.


Well he has decently nice eyes and the guard seems to know him well…no bad feelings…we shall see…

It beats sitting at the border in hostile territory.

We descend down the mountain – gorgeous misty mountainous terrain, deep gorges with rumbling rivers and tumbling waterfalls. He puts on some rather beautifully soothing music. Besides the bursting of bladder, it is actually quite idyllic.

My driver hands me a phone – it is his “English speaking” friend asking me where I want to go.

I tell his friend, “Hanoi”, which I had already told the driver earlier…?

Some things just do not get communicated. He says he is going to Vinh; I have no idea where that is – but fine, anywhere will do.

I need to pee…

I desperately need to pee…


“Me Vinh”

“No, no, TOILET? Pee pee?

“You Hanoi, me Vinh.”

“OK, never mind”

He holds up his phone, “friend, you?” I shake my head not wanting to phone his friend with a special pee request.

After a while, however, the bumps in the road get worse and my bladder feels as though it is going to explode! I flash toilet paper in his face, grab my belly and say “TOILET PLEASE”

He nods but keeps driving – although slower as if he is searching for something. I have no idea if he understood anything.

I see a million perfect pee spots, but he keeps driving.

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Finally he stops in the middle of nowhere and points to a couple of bushes on the other side of the street – not at all the best place for a pee, but at this point I could pee in the middle of the street and not care!

I seize the opportunity, hoping he does not take off with my stuff…

Oh! The beauty of an empty bladder!!!

We stop for lunch – which, I insist on buying, and then drive on to Vinh.

Off to Hanoi!

He takes me directly to a bus leaving immediately for Hanoi and after helping me get my ticket and putting my luggage on the bus we part ways –no payment accepted!

What a wonderfully nice man!

Who would’ve thought the Laos to Vietnam Border Crossing could be such an adventure!

If you have more questions about details about Laos to Vietnam Border Crossing you can check out this site with a lot of other info about Laos.

Laos to Vietnam Border Crossing RELATED LINKS:

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Laos to Vietnam Border Crossing Travel tip: pay more and take the bus… or you can try the way I did it -if you want a little more adventure and to try to save more money -but not necessarily time on the Laos to Vietnam Border Crossing!  (:

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