Info on border crossing to China from Phongsaly

by Callum

Hello, I am looking to see if you have any information on the Laos border crossing with China in Phongsaly province at Lantouy. It is very hard to find any information at the moment online about it. We wish to travel from Laos to China, and we already have our Chinese visas. Any information would be very helpful.

Thank you

Comments for Info on border crossing to China from Phongsaly

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 26, 2018
others attempting to cross the border should know this
by: Callum

Hi Duangpy

Yes of course, anything to make sure people don't attempt this again until there's official word that the crossing is open to everyone.

We were incredibly lucky that a man and woman offered to let us sit in the back of their pickup truck all the way to Oudomxay. We made it there in 7 hours so it was much quicker than the bus. We crossed the border at Boten the next day so we are now in Dali in China.

I think if we had taken the bus we may have been forced to spend one night in Boun Neua, and then another night in Oudomxay.

Jan 26, 2018
by: Duangpy

Hi Callum,
Thanks for getting back again. Very appreciate as always.

I'm sure this will help many people.
Oh... by the way, did you continue to China through other border crossing?


Jan 26, 2018
China to Phongsaly maybe the same
by: Callum

Hi Duangpy

They may have tried to let us know, but with the language barrier we had no way of knowing unfortunately. We had the same impression as you
though, on one of the official Laos websites the crossing is listed as open in English, so we assumed we could cross. Even the Luang Prabang
tourist info told us it was possible. We had heard from some people that it was not going to be possible, but with all the mixed reports
we thought we would try anyway.

The problem I guess is that Laos is happy to let people cross, so to them it is open. Of course though as the visa on arrival isn't available they won't let anyone through who isn't Chinese or Lao as then they will be stranded in between.

From what we were told the Chinese checkpoint simply won't process citizens of third countries. Therefore I highly doubt it would be possible to travel in the other direction into Laos from China.

Hopefully this changes one day! It would be a very useful route for overland travel, especially for people like us who visited Phongsaly.

Until then I guess Boten is the only option.

Kind regards

Jan 26, 2018
Thanks for valuable info
by: Duangpy

Hi Callum,

Thanks so much for sharing this info. I really appreciate it.

I'm sorry to hear that you were turned back, what an unfortunate situation.

Didn't the bus driver or anyone tell you that non-Chinese/Lao can't cross this border?

I know that at this border Lao visa on arrival is not available, but didn't know that foreigners (non-Chinese/Lao) can't cross here. I have always believed for all these years that tourists with valid visa can cross the border here. Well...I feel a bit relief that I haven't given wrong info (without knowing that it's wrong) to anyone, that might have caused troubles for them, otherwise I'd feel very guilty.

By the way, if you were to cross the border from China to Laos would you be allowed at this border?

Again, thanks for such valuable info.

Have a smooth and memorable journey,

All the best,

Jan 26, 2018
We were turned back from Phonsaly/China border
by: Callum

Hello Duangpy

Thank you for the reply. Yesterday we attempted to cross this border.
There is a bus which leaves from Ou Tay at approximately 8am and travels right through to Jiangcheng in China. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the border we were turned back as the Chinese checkpoint only allows citizens of Laos and China to pass through, despite the border being a designated international border crossing. According to the Laos officials it doesn't sound like changing any time soon even though they are happy for it to be open to citizens of all countries.

So if anyone else contacts you regarding this crossing this is the latest information.


Jan 26, 2018
No accurate info either
by: Duangpy

Hi Callum,
Thanks for contacting me.
I agree, it's hard to find info on Laos travel. It is also hard for me, I don't have solid info on how to cross the border to China from Phongsaly.
I know that there is at least a bus (local bus) from
Phongsaly crossing that border everyday, but as I said I don't have a proved info.

Sorry for not being able to help you better.
all the best,

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Laos Visa Experience or general questions.

Like This Page?

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.