Vietnam Country Guide

Getting In

 
 

By Road

From Laos
There are at least six border crossings between Laos and Vietnam that can be used by foreigners but be wary of catching local buses travelling between the two countries. Not only are they often crammed with cargo (coal, live chickens, etc. and often placed underfoot) but many buses run in the middle of the night, stopping for several hours in order to wait for the border to open at 07:00 a.m.
 
 
 
 
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While waiting in Laos, you will be herded off the bus (for several hours) where you may be approached by pushy locals offering assistance in getting a Laos exit stamp in exchange for money and usually around USD5. If you bargain hard you could probably get it down to about USD2. The men will take your passports, which can be incredibly disconcerting, but will actually provide the service they promise.

The major border crossings between Vietnam and Laos are:

  • Donsavanh (Laos)/Lao Bao (Vietnam)
  • Kaew Neua (Laos)/Treo (Laos)
  • Xieng Khuang (Laos)/Nam Can (Vietnam)
  • Phong Sa Ly (Laos)/Tay Trang (Vietnam)

Lao Bao by Le Tan Loc

From Cambodia
The main land crossing from Cambodia into Vietnam is the Bavet (Cambodia)/Moc Bai (Vietnam) checkpoint, on the Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and
Ho Chi Minh City route. Buses between the two cities cost USD8-12 and take around 6 hours - passengers vacate the vehicle at both countries' checkpoints. Though tickets from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Ho Chi Minh City are available (USD18), it is cheaper to buy a ticket to Phnom Penh and then arrange onward transport on one of the many connecting buses.

Other major border crossings from Cambodia to Vietnam include:
  • The Trapeang Phlong (Cambodia)/Xa Mat (Vietnam) crossing - On the route from Kampong Cham (Cambodia) to Ho Chi Minh City. However, it is not well served by public transport.
  • Xa Xia (Cambodia)/Prek Chak (Vietnam) crossing - Close to the coast with buses running from Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh to Ha Tien in Vietnam. The Vietnamese consulate in Sihanoukville issues 30-day tourist visas on a same-day basis.
  • O Yadaw (Cambodia)/Le Thanh (Vietnam) crossing - Connects Banlung in North Eastern Cambodia with Pleiku in Vietnam. Visas are available on arrival and need to change buses at Le Tanh.

Market in Banlung, Cambodia, by Jensre

From China
There are three border crossings between China and Vietnam that can be used by foreigners:

  • Dongxing (China)/Mong Cai Vietnam)
  • Hekou (China)/Lao Cai (Vietnam)
  • Youyi Guan (China)/Huu Nghi Quan (Vietnam)
 
Vietnam
Country Guide
 
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