Border Crossing Procedures
at Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge#1

Border crossing procedures at the Friendship Bridge between Thailand and Laos are quite straightforward. All vehicles (including shuttle buses) crossing the bridge are required to stop at the two immigration checkpoints.

This section covers in details on:

Departure Procedures on the Thailand side

Departing by bus (either Thai-Lao International Bus Service or shuttle bus)

All buses crossing the bridge stop right next to the immigration windows (the left most channel) everyone needs to get off the bus to get 'stamped-out'.

Proceed to window 3D and present your passport together with completed departure form (or border passes for Vientiane or Nong Khai residents) to get 'stamped-out'. The bus driver (Thai-Lao International Bus Service) usually distributes the Arrival/Departure form at the beginning of the journey.


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Departing by a private cars

Private car arrival channal at Thai side of Thai-Lao Frienship Bridge

If you drive your car, just drive to the right lane marked "Private Car" and proceed (in sequence) to window 5D Errow 6D Errow toll fee booth.

1. Window 5D: Present your passport together with the completed departure form (or border passes for Vientiane or Nong Khai residents) and your car documents to get 'stamped-out', and pay any applicable fee here.

Exit Fee (Thailand Departure)

Type of passengers or Car
Exit fee
Over time fee*
Passport Holders
20 Baht
Border pass holders
20 Baht
200 Baht/car
30 Baht

*Over time fee (usually with no receipt) is charged after normal working hours (8:00 - 16:30, Mon-Fri), weekends, or Thai Public holidays.

Fees are subject to change without notice.

Note: The exit fee of 200 Baht/Car is not applicable for cars that originated in Laos and are returning there.

2. Window 6D: Get custom clearance here. Lao residence on their return from Thailand are asked to sign the custom clearance form given to them when they entered to Thailand, then the custom officer keeps the form here.

3. Toll Fee Booth: Now that all immigration and custom are cleared, one more thing before you do the actual border crossing is to pay the toll fee. Drive your car through and stop at the booth before the bridge and pay (cash) the fee there.

Toll fee:

Traffic change over at Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge #1

Type of Vehicle Fee
Car 20Baht
Pick up truck/minivan 30Baht
Van 50Baht

Traffic Note: Traffic on the bridge drives on the left, as in Thailand, while traffic in Laos drives on the right. The changeover at the Lao end is controlled by traffic lights.



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Arrival Procedures on the Thailand side

Shuttle bus at Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge #1
Shuttle bus at Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge #1

Arriving by bus (either Thai-Lao International Bus Service or shuttle bus)

All buses have to go to the left most arriving channel and stop in front of the immigration (windows 2A and 3A), unload and move to the end of the channel to wait for passengers. All passengers must get off the bus here.

Laos border crossing arrival channel (Thailand)

Proceed to immigration window (2A and 3A), and present your border pass/passport to get immigration stamp.

Over time and Entry Fee on the Thailand side

Type of travel document Entry fee Over time*
Passort holders Nil Nil
Border pass holders Nil 10 Baht

*Fees are subject to change without notice.

Once you get your passport/border pass stamped just walk through the customs channel where customs officer(s) some times briefly check your travel documents and/or your bag(s). That's it, you've gone through all border crossing procedures. Now just get back on the same bus and enjoy a short ride to bus station.

If you arrive by the shuttle bus, it takes you to its station about 500 metres away.


Laos border crossing shuttle bus station in Nong Khai
Shuttle bus station

If you arrive by the Vientiane - Nong Khai bus (Thai-Lao International Bus Service) it will take you to Nong Khai bus station near Phoxai market, about 5-10 minutes ride.

Tip: If you arrive by Vientiane - Nong Khai bus and want to go Tesco Lotus in Nong Khai, you better take a tuk-tuk from the bridge (cost 60 Baht or 30 Baht in a shared tuk-tuk). It's a longer distance from Nong Khai bus station to Tesco Lotus than from the bridge to Tesco Lotus thus it takes longer for a tuk-tuk ride though the cost is about the same.

If you use the Vientiane - Udonthani bus service, it will take you direct (express) to its station near the Central Plaza shopping complex in Udonthani.

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Arriving by private cars


Driving the car yourself? Just drive to the "private car" arriving channel on the right (notice direction signs when you exit the bridge). Park your car at parking lots in front of immigration windows and proceed to the immigration windows in sequent as following:

4A Errow 5A Errow 6A Errow 6D

1. Window 4A: Present your travel documents (passport or border pass of all passengers traveling in your car and the car documents). The officer usually asks for driver's name, then fills in a form listing all passengers in your car, and gives you arrival/departure form to fill out (according to passports/border passes you presented). S/he then gives this form to you to take to window 5A together with your travel and car documents.

Thai immigration window 5a

2. Window 5A: Present your travel documents together with a completed arrival/departure form, car documents and the form given to you at window 4A. The officer in this window keeps the form, stamps your passport/border pass and your car document and collects entry fee of 200 Baht per car (this entry fee is not applicable for Thai cars returning from Laos).

3. Window 6A: The officer here asks for the driver's name then fills out a custom form and gives it to you. You must sign this then leave one copy in the tray provided, and take another copy with you.

4. Window 6D: Present the form you got and signed at window 6A to the customs officer at this window. He signs the form and gives it back to you to keep till you return.

On your return, you will sign the form again and then the officer will keep it.

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Departure Procedures on the Laos side

Departure procedures at Lao side are similar to those of Thailand's, simple and straightforward. All vehicles crossing at the bridge are required to stop at the immigration check point at the Lao border to get immigration clearance before crossing to Thailand.

This section will explain in details border crossing procedures at Laos side.

The departing area is divided into five lanes/channels as following (from left to right).

Laos-Thai bridge channels

  1. For Buses such as Thai Lao International Buses, and tour buses.
  2. For Diplomatic vehicles (registered under government offices, international organisations in Laos, foreign embassies in Laos, and foreigners working in Laos)
  3. For trucks (goods transportation trucks)
  4. For private vehicles (general public)
  5. Motorbikes and bicycles

Note: For the time being, I'll cover 1 and 4 as those are the most common ones.

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Departing by bus (either Thai-Lao International Bus Service or shuttle bus)

The Thai-Lao International buses drop off all passengers at the left most departing channel then move forward to wait at the end of the channel.

Proceed to one of the immigration windows (D5, D6, D7), present your passport/border pass with the completed Arrival/Departure form to get 'stamped-out' on your passport. Once you have got the exit stamp, walk through to the next window where you pay an exit fee plus overtime fee if you travel outside normal working hours 8:00-16:30 Monday to Friday (you get receipts for all the fees). That's it, you're now ready to get back on the bus for your border crossing.

Laos border crossing immigration window Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge#1

This process takes around 5-10 minutes, unless you run into an extremely long queue.

Overtime and Exit fees

Type of passengers
Exit fee
Over time fee*
Passport Holders
10,000 Kip
Border pass holders
10,000 Kip
10,000 Kip

*Over time fee is charged after normal working hours (8:00 - 16:30, Mon-Fri), weekends, or Lao Public holidays.

If you are departing by SHUTTLE bus follow the same procedures (above). The only difference is that you have to buy a ticket for the bus.

Border pass holders (local residents of Vientiane or Nong Khai) don't need to fill out an Arrival/Departure form, just present their border passes to get 'stamped out' and pay fees.

Note: Lao border pass holders need to get a barcode on their border pass prior to getting immigration clearance. The barcode processing booth is right in front of the immigration windows, it costs 1,000kip per trip. Getting multi-trip barcode will save a great deal of time if you do the border crossing frequently.

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Departing by private cars

Here are simplified steps you need to take (in sequential order):

Window D2 Errow D1.1 Errow Customs officer and Police Errow Toll fee booth.

1. Window D2: Present your passport together with the completed arrival/departure form, (or border pass for border pass holders), your vehicle documents and passports/border passes of all passengers in your vehicle (if any) to get 'stamped out'.

2. Window D1.1: Once all documents are checked and stamped, they're passed over here. The officer will call out your car number plate when your documents are ready. Here you pay all exit fees including, exit fee for your car (table below), exit fee for all passengers in your car if any (see exit fee for passengers above), plus overtime fee if you depart on weekends, public holidays or non-office hours.

Over time and Exit Fees for private vehicles:

Type of vehicle
Exit fee
Over time fee*
Jeeps, Pickup trucks
25,000 Kip
10,000 Kip
Cars (7 seats or less)
50,000 Kip
10,000 Kip
Vans (8-25 seats)
80,000 Kip
10,000 Kip
Trucks (10-12 wheels)
80,000 Kip
10,000 Kip

*Over time fee is charged after normal working hours (8:00 - 16:30, Mon-Fri), weekends, or Lao Public holidays.

Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge's Toll

3. Customs officers and Police: After all documents are cleared, you need to show them to the police and customs officers at the left side of the channel. The police checks all passports/border passes to make sure they get 'stamped out' and the customs officer checks your vehicle documents. They then ask to see your car and all passengers in the car.

4. Toll fee booth: The booth is about 50 metres from the immigration channel. Drive your car through and pay the toll fee. That's it, enjoy your Laos border crossing to Thailand.

The toll fee can be paid by smart cards or in cash.
Smart card system has been in use for a long while now, it helps speed up the process of toll fee payment a great deal. Car owners need to buy the cards (around 40,000kip if I remember it correctly, and top it up at the booth near the immigration booths).

Toll fee:

Type of Vehicle Fee
Car 5,000Kip
Pick up truck, Jeep 8,000Kip
Minivan, Van (<=15 seats) 13,000Kip
Bus (>15 seats) 27,000Kip
Truck (6 wheels) 41,000Kip
Truck (10 wheels) 54,000Kip
Truck (>10 wheels) 81,000Kip

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Arrival Procedures on the Laos side

If you DO need to get Visa on Arrival
The Visa on Arrival window opens from 6am to 10pm, and is just a few steps from the shuttle bus (or Thai Lao International Bus) terminal just before the immigration windows. Check out visa on arrival page for procedures.

Note: There is a $1 surcharge on public holidays, weekends or after normal working hours on week days.

If you DO NOT need to get Lao Visa on arrival

If you already have the Lao entry visa in your passport prior to arriving or do not need one (e.g. you're a citizen of Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia or one of the ASEAN member countries). Just take a normal arrival procedures below.

Arriving by buses

Proceed to the immigration window and present your passport together with completed Arrival/Departure form (the bus drivers usually give out the form before arriving at the border). Once you get 'stamped-in' on your passport, proceed to the customs where you maybe stopped to have your bags checked briefly (they rarely check). Then walk through to the 'Entry Fee' booth where you pay a fee. At the last desk is a police officer who briefly checks your passport and welcomes you to Laos.

Arriving by private car

If you arrive by car get your car documents stamped-in at the immigration window and at the customs window. Once that is done, present your car documents to the customs officer and passports (of yours and other passengers in your car if any) to the police officer at the desk outside of the booth. The customs officer inspects your car before he signs it off and the police officer checks your passport to ensure it's stamped in.

For info on all Laos Border Crossing points


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Key Facts

The 1st Lao - Thai Friendship Bridge officially opened on April 8, 2004

The bridge connects Vientiane Capital, central Laos and Nong Khai province, Thailand. It was funded by the Australian government as development aid for Laos.

The 2nd Lao - Thai Friendship Bridge officailly opened on December 20, 2006

The 2nd Lao - Thai Friendship Bridge linking Savannaket province, southern Laos and Mukdahan province, Thailand.

The bridge was funded by Japanese loan

The First Laos train service officailly opened on March 5, 2009

The train runs, across the Mekong river via the 1st Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, between Thanaleng station in Vientiane Capital and Bangkok via Nong Khai province, Thailand.


Related Laos Guide

» Laos border crossing points

» Laos Visa on arrival