Visa Requirements and Border Crossing from Laos to Vietnam (vice versa)

By Lyza Paloma November 18th, 2020 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Destination, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 32 Comments

Are you planning to backpack in South East Asia? Well, you might visit Laos and Vietnam. You can travel to and from by land or air; while land travel may be cheap, it can cost time. Read our guide on visa and border crossing Laos to Vietnam and vice versa.

10 Best Things to do in Luang Prabang, LaoS
Photo by note thanun on Unsplash

Backpackers usually travel by land from Laos to Vietnam. Not only is it cheap, but you can see different spots as well. However, there are cons like it would even take a day of travel rather than a 2-hour flight. Our guide will help you on crossing borders as well as visa requirements.

Laos – Vietnam Borders

Land Borders

  • Sop Hun – TayTrang
  • Na Maew– NậmXôi
  • Nam Can – Nam Khan
  • Nam Phao – Cau Treo
  • Dansavanh – Lao Bảo
  • Bo Y – Ngoc Hoi
  • Cha Lo – Napao

Laos Airports allowing Foreigners to enter

  • Luang Prabang International Airport – Luang Prabang
  • Pakse International Airport – Champasak
  • Savan International Airport – Savannakhet
  • Wattay International Airport – Vientiane

Vietnam Airports allowing Foreigners to enter

  • Cat Bi Int Airport – Hai Phong
  • Cam RanhInt Airport – Khanh Hoa
  • Can Tho International Airport – Can Tho
  • Da Nang International Airport – Da Nang
  • Noi Bai International Airport – Ha Noi
  • Phu Bai International Airport – Phu Bai
  • Phu Quoc International Airport – Phu Quoc
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport – Ho Chi Minh City

12go Asia

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Crossing the Border to Laos

DIY Itinerary in South East Asia

You will need to have a valid travel document to cross borders from Vietnam to Laos. Check out if you are visa-free, can get a visa-on-arrival, or eligible for an E-visa.

Laos Visa-Free

Here are the nationalities that do not require a visa when entering Laos, as well as the corresponding number of visa-free days:

Visa and Border Crossing Laos to Vietnam (and vice versa)

Laos Visa on Arrival

Other nationalities can get a Visa on Arrival in Laos. It would cost about USD 20 – 42, depending on your nationality. Visa on Arrival is good for 30 days only. You can use the borders mentioned above.

However, those nationalities in this list need to get an official letter of guarantee from the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Laos to get a Visa on Arrival.

Visa and Border Crossing Laos to Vietnam (and vice versa) 01

Laos E-Visa

If you want to enter smoothly (no more queuing at the visa-on-arrival line), then you can get an E-Visa in advance. Usually, a passport and a 4×6 photo are needed. It’s usually given within 3 working days after paying the fee. You can check the corresponding fees here.

These are the nationalities that can avail an EVisa for Laos:

Visa and Border Crossing Laos to Vietnam (and vice versa) 03

Available at the following borders (you can check updates here):

  • Wattay International Airport
  • Luang Prabang International Airport
  • Pakse International Airport

Apply Here!

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Crossing the Border to Vietnam

DIY Itinerary in South East Asia

You will need to have a valid travel document to cross borders from Laos to Vietnam. Check out if you are visa-free or need an EVisa.

Vietnam Visa-Free

Here are the nationalities that do not require a visa when entering Vietnam, as well as the corresponding number of visa-free days:

Visa and Border Crossing Laos to Vietnam (and vice versa) 04

Vietnam E-Visa

If you are not eligible to enter Vietnam visa-free, you will need an EVisa. It’s good for 30 days with a single entry, just like the Laos EVisa. You can enter the visa borders stated above. All nationalities can enter. Just prepare your passport, a 4×6 photo, and pay a visa fee of USD 25. The processing time is 3 days.

Apply Here!

Land Trips

Vientiane, Laos to Hanoi, Vietnam

  • You can ride at Vientiane Southern Station and arrive at Hanoi Nuo Ngam Station
  • Cau Treo will be the border you will be passing at
  • Travel time is 22 to 24 hours costing you USD 30-40

Vientiane, Laos to Vinh, Vietnam

  • You can ride a bus to Vinh, Vietnam that will take 10 – 12 hours, costing USD 20 – 25

Luang Prabang, Laos to Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Sleeper buses are available, costing USD 45 – 60
  • Travel time is between 24 to 27 hours

Attapeu, Laos to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

  • Crossing the Bo Y border, ride a bus from Attapeu to Ngoc Hoi (3 hours for USD 20 – 30)
  • Then from Ngoc Hoi, ride a bus to Ho Chi Minh; it would take about 13 – 15 hours
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Transportation Tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to book the Trains, Buses, Ferries, Transfers on this route, we use 12Go.Asia to compare the prices!

Powered by 12Go Asia system
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Visa and Border Crossing Laos to Vietnam tips

10 Tips for Moving to Vietnam and Living an Expat Life in Hanoi

  • Search if you need a visa at least 5 days before your planned crossing; some may require eVisas while there are a few nationalities that need to apply at a Consulate or Embassy, so make sure you will have one before you cross
  • Check the schedule of the buses, too. You can book through a travel agent or get online like 12Go.Asia. It’s better if you arrive at the border during the early morning as others may be closed if you arrive at night
  • Read reviews of the buses or transportation there so that you know what to expect
  • Beware of taxis with tampered meters
  • If you are traveling by land, ready yourself for a long trip (you could spend half a day or a whole day on the bus)
  • Bring cash as you might need to pay through local currency or in USD; there also might be people who will ask for bribes

DIY Itinerary in South East Asia

That’s our visa and border crossing guide – Laos to Vietnam. I hope this will be helpful in your future journey there; it might be long, but it will be worth it. Land travel is recommended for backpackers or budget travelers; however, please note that flights may be expensive and save you time. Happy trip!

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About the Writer

Lyza Paloma

Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I’m aiming to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, taking pictures, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.

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32 thoughts on “Visa Requirements and Border Crossing from Laos to Vietnam (vice versa)

  1. I have enjoyed travelling but never been to Asia before. This article has given me some information about Vietnam. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks.. This is an interesting post because it looks like you really did a ton of research here. I love Vietnam especially its food. I also love Laos. Just the other day, we had somebody from work who had a mission trip in Laos. He said people were nice and the surrounding/environment was too.

  3. That’s interesting about the taxi drivers. It shows that it’s a global thing that they want to try and eek a few extra pennies out of you!

  4. so much information for anyone wishing to travel there. Its not somewhere I would choose to go but it looks amazing

  5. That’s a very informative post 🙂 Your pictures show that it worth going ! I know I will visit some day 🙂 Will remember your tips! Thanks

  6. Very informative post. I must say Vietnam isn’t on my list of places to travel, however I do want to see it one day. I will remember your advice and tips! A lot of work and effort went into this post and it shows.

  7. I love how you broke everything down, very detailed! If I were to go there, I’d feel prepared! great thoughts!

  8. vietnam is such a fascinating place, i always wanted to visist; thank you for sharing all those trips and tricks! Very helpful

  9. Some fantastic information here for those travelling to Vietnam. I have to admit it wasn’t on my bucket list until I saw your pics

  10. Such a useful post for those going travelling. I wish that I had of visited more of the world before having children x

  11. Gret to see you got very detailed! Great for those who are traveling by land so they don’t forget a thing.

  12. It looks like such a fascinating place. I love the sleeper buses, how cool, and cramped, do they look.

  13. I have never had to cross borders before but it does seem like a stressful process. When I plan to go to America I will pin your post for future reference.

  14. I don’t need a visa for either of these countries but my partner does, and when we went to Vietnam, he decided to do visa on arrival… BAD IDEA! It took him over an hour in the line and all the while I was waiting on the other side. :/

  15. Now I long to be in any of the aforementioned places!! Having lived in BKK it brought me back….. and I long for more travel. Thanks for a lovely post

  16. I have never travelled outside of Europe but this is really interesting and informative and I am sure a great help to anyone in a similar situation. When the children are older I am hoping we can travel more, first I need to get over my fear of flying!!

  17. This is super interesting! I’ve never traveled outside Europe, but hopefully one day! 🙂

  18. I’m planning to travel South-East Asia during this vacation. Your blog post has answered many of my queries. Thanks for sharing

  19. I have never travelled outside of the United States. I don’t even have a passport. To a total non-international traveller, such as myself, this all sounds very confusing, time-consuming and expensive! lol

  20. This post brought back great memories of my trip to Vietnam in 2010. I’d love to go back and visit Laos and Cambodia too.

  21. Awesome advice and tips, especially with the taxi. It is good to know those types of traveling tips. Thanks for the details on how to obtain a Visa to cross the border, very helpful. 😉

  22. I wish I new this before ! I didn’t know the ride would be that long … I thought I was going to sleep and when I wake up it would be done but hell no ! about the visa I actually did do it in advance I never knew you could have one at the border !

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Written by Lyza Paloma

Lyza is a native of Leyte who spent 10 years studying and working in Cebu before working for Two Monkeys Travel. She decided to stop daydreaming and started to pursue her dreams of traveling to the Philippines and the world. She has already been to 4 countries in Asia and 18 provinces in the Philippines. She’s flexible and can travel solo, with friends, or family. Besides traveling, she loves organizing trips, taking pictures, reading, and making new friends.

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