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.
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.
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Table of Contents
Laos – Vietnam 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
Crossing the Border to Laos
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.
Here are the nationalities that do not require a visa when entering Laos, as well as the corresponding number of visa-free days:
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.
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:
Available at the following borders (you can check updates here):
- Wattay International Airport
- Luang Prabang International Airport
- Pakse International Airport
Crossing the Border to Vietnam
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.
Here are the nationalities that do not require a visa when entering Vietnam, as well as the corresponding number of visa-free days:
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.
- 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
Visa and Border Crossing Laos to Vietnam tips
- 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
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!
About the Writer
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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