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Recently I had to do the dreaded border run.Chose Lao this time as am getting bit sick of Cambodia plus thought to make a bit of a holiday of it this time.Thankfully I did a bit of research prior to going as there are many scams going here some of which I didn't even know of. Thought I'd share the experience with fellow folk out there, if one thing reading this will keep some of your hard earned cash in your pocket to enjoy as you wish.

Well...I don't know if this is a good thing or not cause it always seems to get me into hot situations but I want to do it Cheapest Charlie Style,not that I,m hard up for cash but it gives me the control to direct my cash to areas I want it to go.. even if its the hungry Isaarn Girl.... Ha Ha.

Firstly go and exchange some Thai Baht into U.S Dollar notes $1 denominations get about !,400 baht worth, you'll need this later.

Heres what I did Got the bus Standard seat to Nong Khai 800Bht. Seat quite roomy and went well back it was going to be a night trip and I actually slept not that I normally sleep in the seated position. I was Impressed.

Arrived Nong Khai 8am as I got off the bus ...careful here ,we're are gullable FARANG.& stand out like dogs balls particularly if you are just standing in one place holding your bag. Could see nothing but Tuk Tuks and the drivers kept "TUK TUK TUK TUK ..Where you go! Sir Tuk Tuk. I ignored them firstly because I didn't know the local thai rate of them and remember the worst thing you can say is "How much To the Border" You are more or less opening your wallet that way saying take what you want.Couldn't see a taxi meter or any other so had to succumbe to the tuk tuk who then proceeded to the Border about 5min drive.

For some reason then he pulled off the road along with another tuk tuk with farang in it following behind me ,the border was still not in sight and pulls up outside a little shop marked THAI-LAO Border Office or something similar. SCAM HIGH ALERT!! "Need to fill form out here Sir we take you!" Luckily I'd done my research" NO" I replied , you should of seen the faces on the other farang looked at me like I was out of my mind. "You go border sir need to do fill form 2000bht!"

"NO I do at Lao Immigration Office at the border" I replied . "Lao Immigration Office Closed its Sunday" . Now for a moment I nearly gave way but quick thinking surely the Lao immigration office can't close, its the border people coming and going all the time... but it was Sunday! "OK I go see, if closed, you bring me back ".Now be careful because they will stand their ground and argue ,remember they want your money.Not wanting to waste more time I pretended to phone a friend who I said was waiting for me at the border ,"take me to him." That more or less killed the topic and begrudgingly the tuk tuk driver continued to just around the corner to the border 100baht total from bus station. Make note travellers the border is out of sight at the scam office but the border is not far ahead if you have to walk it.

Checking out through the Thai Immigration is no problem but when you go to the Lao Office you have to fill out a simple form similar to your departure arrival card on a plane. The same one the scam office would have filled out on your behalf for 1000bht clear profit to them.Now the same window you present that form to you have to pay money about $1300 or 1400 baht. Heres where you ask Can I pay in U.S Dollars? The fee was $30 ,another little bit saved!!!.....and continue on your merry way. I went to Vientiane and coming back the bus from there to BBK 800bht .........To Easy....Good Luck!

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Dont forget you will also need a passport photo or they will charge you to photo copy your passport.



Big C

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what kinda visa did you get for that $30 and do thais also need to pay for going into Laos if i bring my TGF with me?

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