• Experience in road travel to Laos from China

    China's Yunnan province is bordered by several Southeast Asian countries and among these, Laos is one of the most accessible. Here are the travel experiences overland to Laos from China for those who intend to explore the land of Million Elephants in their own way. 

    Road to the border

    You have several options for getting to the border. The fastest route is to take a long-distance bus from Kunming, departing from the southern bus station, to Vientiane or Luang Prabang. Fares will fall around RMB 500 ($ 73) but this will be a long, tiring and uncomfortable ride for those not used to walking. After exploring Con Minh , you can go to Laos at any time.

    If you have plenty of time, the road travel experience to Laos has a much more enjoyable option of a more leisurely travel to get to and across the border, while enjoying a number of attractions and landscapes. From Kunming take a bus to Mengla, a city about 40km from the border. 
    From Mengla, you can take the departure bus to Mohan, and there are also buses departing from Mengla to Luong Namtha in the interior of Laos and is the first stop in your journey to discover the land of Million Elephants. 
    If you have your own vehicle, or rent a vehicle from China into Laos and the vehicle does not need to be registered in your name to cross the border.


    Across the border 

    Boten border gate, if you are traveling without your own vehicle, then things will be a lot simpler. 
    At the border gate you will have to fill in documents to enter and wait for hours. This is the hottest area in China so the best way to experience road travel to Laos is to dress lightly. Also, keep in mind that you will be walking with your luggage to cross the border, so it's best to bring a backpack or pack lightly so you don't have to mess with porters and make it easier for the road. 
    One thing when traveling overland to Laos you should keep in mind that just before crossing the border, you will find many money changers and in fact, these money changers will give you the right price. 
    When you are ready to cross the border, the first step is to leave China. You will reach the border and the China exit will be a gray building on your right hand side. Enter, book your baggage through check-in, fill out the exit card, and get stamped out of China.
    Now you have officially left China, but you have not entered Laos yet. The Lao border is about 500 meters ahead, and there are very few trams that can be hired to carry tourists between the two points. Upon entering the Laos entry point, if you have purchased a Laos visa at the consulate in Kunming, you just need to proceed through, stamp your visa and enter Laos.

    Visa on arrival in the land of Million elephants

    If you haven't applied for a Laos tourist visa yet, don't worry, the border crossing will provide the visa on arrival. Your first step is to give your passport to a man at a window inside the building, the first window on your right. He will look at your passport and then give you a visa application form. Fill out the form completely, and if you have an image with you, attach it to the form. If you don't have a photo, don't worry, the visa officer will accept your form without an image. The cost for most passports is around 242 RMB ($ 35), although there is a fee schedule posted by the window.  
    Depending on how many people are lining up, your visa can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes to process. An employee at the second window will call your name, and then you have a Laos visa. The whole process is very simple and easy, and, perhaps in the end, less hassle than making a trip to the embassy in Kunming and then coming back to receive your visa two days later. Whether you are traveling overland or by air, according to your experience of traveling overland to Laos , the on-arrival visa is definitely more recommended than the visa applied before.


    To Laos 

    Upon receiving your visa, remember to pick up a white arrival card and fill it in before queuing for entry to Laos. When stamping your visa and leaving the building, you'll see a minibus available to take passengers on and off. It's possible to take a bus to Udom Xai and to Luong Namtha, both of which are good for stopping. Luong Namtha is the starting point of many trips to ethnic minority villages and has all the infrastructure to make these trips - local rental guides, as well as motorbikes and cars. Udom Xai is a provincial capital with buses to many different destinations across Laos.

    experience-travel-duong-bo-to-lao-tu-quoc-9Walking to Laos is an enjoyable experience

    Lao roads from Luong Namtha and Udom Xai to Luang Prabang discovery are windy and narrow, but paved and not dangerous. Some parts of the road have recently been reworked, and so they are not nearly as bumpy and hot pot as they used to be, but how long they stay like this depends on how overloaded trucks are under strict scrutiny. Travelers are prone to motion sickness so be sure to plan ahead, however, bumpy or not, a winding transition across the Lao mountains in a hot bus can be uncomfortable.

    What to prepare when traveling overland to Laos?

    • You should have a backpack for clothes, toiletries, choose light clothes, experience traveling by road to Laos should preview the weather at the time you go.
    • Bag of important documents such as passport, ID card, driver's license, bank card. Photo ID paper made 2 copies, the first copy is in the backpack and the second copy is always carried in a cross bag.
    • Hats and masks, rain umbrella, sunscreen, insect repellent, cold medicine, stomach medicine
    • Reserved food and water (pillow bread, sandwiches, canned noodles, sausages, snacks, ...)
    • Due to the road, the baggage is not limited in weight like an airplane, but it should be carried out enough to avoid wearing the long walking distance will be very tiring, range 4-5 kg ​​is reasonable.

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