Continuing from Part 1 of Southeast Asia border crossing, here are two more popular road routes and the viable motorcycling options under each:
C) The Laos to Cambodia Crossing
There’s just one proper, legal crossing
1) Veun Kham/Dom Kralor
Let us say at the onset of this one, that if you have attempted this passing earlier and it went off without a hitch, it was probably some time ago or then you were pretty lucky. The latest scenario from what we understand is that the Laos to Cambodia crossing, as simple as it may seem, has actually been made a lot more complicated due to corruption in both these countries. International tourists especially can have a helluva time getting into either Laos or Cambodia, by either getting their bikes confiscated or bought at ridiculous costs, or then being scammed into paying huge amounts just to get across.
Hence, we do not recommend this passing for motorcyclists using the road route. There could be a way of getting across by ferry and the like but we are unsure of the legality of those methods.
D) The Cambodia or Vietnam to Thailand Crossing
Our advice for this crossing is mostly about the paperwork. One can ride a Vietnam or Cambodia registered motorcycle into Thailand but we are not sure how long this can take, largely due to the checking and other requirements. Another observation is that Vietnamese vehicles are good to go anywhere in South-east Asia so may be worth investing in one if you travel the area often.
Back to paperwork, you will need:
a) Vehicle registration papers
b) Vehicle insurance papers
c) International Driving Permit
When entering Thailand with your motorcycle, you will be asked to fill out a form that mentions that you have 30 days in the nation to do all your please before exiting via a chosen border pass. You will also be required to mention which one.
Laos to Thailand: Friendship Bridge No. 4 from Huay Xay to Chiang Khong
If you’re planning on making this crossing, remember do not pay more than 1 USD to pass. They may try to get money out of you using excuses which at that time may make sense to you but ignore that voice and refuse to give in.
The paperwork may take about an hour and some photocopies but otherwise is pretty stress-free.
If you have any insights and experiences into the South-east Asia crossings and passes, we’d love to hear from you!