How to cross the Thailand-Laos border on a motorcycle?

In this article you will learn where and how to cross the Thailand-Laos border on a motorcycle, what documents are required and on which motorcycle you can do it (not all capacities are allowed).

Traveling around Southeast Asia on a motorcycle, you can enjoy amazing views, feel the taste of adventure and become part of a unique landscape. You can be closer to amazing people and get to know their culture. Among people who travel in this way, questions and doubts often arise as to how one can cross national borders on a motorcycle. One of the most frequently crossed is the Thailand-Laos border. When crossing the border, remember to use only legal and international border crossings. There are local border trading places where local residents can cross the border on either their ID cards or local day passes.

Crossing the Border on Motorcycle

Traveling from Thailand to Laos, it is worth stopping at charming Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai along the way, seeing the White Temple and the Black Temple, and then crossing the border in the popular Chiang Khong or several other places.

Chiang Khong (T) / Huay Xai (L)

Chiang Khong is a small border town in the Chiang Rai Province and a very popular border crossing. In 2013, a bridge over Mekong (called the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge) was built there, connecting Chiang Khong and Huay Xai in Laos. Before the construction of the bridge, the border could be crossed by ferry.

When crossing the border on a motorcycle, you must know that from March 2017 motorcycles smaller than 250 cc cannot enter Laos through bridges of friendship. The bridge is open 7 days a week and the motorcycle fee is usually 500 baths. According to the reports of different people, it happens that the fee is smaller or larger and ranges from 200 to 1000 baths. Laos border crossing rules change from time to time.

What documents are needed to cros Thailand-Laos border on foreign registered motorcycle?

  • 3 photocopies of your passport
  • 1 passport photo for Laos visa
  • your motorcycle ownership documents
  • hand in copies of the Customs & Immigration documents you got on arrival (a document called Information of Conveyance TM2)

If you’re on Thai registered motorcycle, you will have to temporarily export your motorcycle. If the owner of the motorcycle is not crossing with a motorbike – additionally you will need a letter allowing exporting his motorcycle. Moreover, you will need an original green book together with its translation and 3 photocopies of it.

At the border you will need to:

  • pay bridge toll (usually 500 THB)
  • buy the visa on arrival at the border
  • buy motorcycle insurance at the border
  • do the paperwork for exporting motorcycle from Thailand and importing it to Laos and filling passenger list

There are also 3 other Thai-Lao Friendship Bridges, where you can cross the border with Laos:

  • Huay Khon (T) / Muang Ngern (L)
  • Chong Mek (T) / Vang Tao (L)
  • Thai Li (T) / Nam Heuang (L)
  • and Mekong ferry crossing at Bun Kan (T) / Pakxan (L)
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