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Everything posted by BritTim

  1. It will not usually matter whether you ask to go to the Khlong Yai border crossing or to Hat Lek. The only danger is that someone who does not know English very well might direct you to Khlong Yai town (about half an hour from the border). If you ask for Hat Lek, there is no possibility of misunderstanding. On the other hand, if searching for information about the border crossing online, it is advisable to try all the different ways the crossing is sometimes referred to.
  2. There are several points that need to be made: As others have stated, Canadian citizens need a visa to enter Laos. This is most easily achieved with a visa on arrival. Make sure you have US currency to pay for the visa as otherwise you pay more. If you have spent several months almost unbroken already in Thailand recently as a tourist, you will likely not be granted a tourist visa in Vientiane. To apply for a visa in Vientiane, you need a prior appointment which you request through the website https://thaivisavientiane.com/. If you are unsuccessful with a visa application, you can still enter visa exempt via the Friendship Bridge to Nong Khai is you do not yet have two visa exempt entries by land in 2019.
  3. Yes, it is Cham Yeam (Koh Kong province) on the Cambodian side, and Hat Lek (Khlong Yai district of Trad province) on the Thai side.
  4. If using taxis, you would likely be able to make the connection. Will you have checked baggage? If not, your chances would be even better as you will not need to handle the bags, and can use online check-in (so arriving at Udon Thani airport 25 minutes before the flight would be just about OK). All this assumes that your flight into Vientiane is on time. It is reassuring that past history suggests an on time arrival.
  5. When it comes to blacklisting, the presence of absence of biometrics at the border crossing is mostly irrelevant. The system will make a tentative match on name/gender/date of birth, and the immigration official will confirm the connection. Once this is done, the blacklisting will be enforced unless, possibly, you are willing to pay a big bribe for the official to fail to link the passports as the system recommends.
  6. If willing to pay the police, that might work. However, beware. The agent may well be able to outbid you, and you could end up in a world of hurt. Recognise that agents often have very good connections.
  7. The route via Koh Kong is quite OK, but long. There is a bus from Phnom Penh to Koh Kong. After crossing the border to Hat Lek, you get a reasonably comfortable minibus (about an hour) to Trad. From there, good aircon buses to Ekamai bus station in Bangkok are available (about 5-6 hours). To do this in one day, you must leave Phnom Penh early in the morning. The border crossings to Chanthaburi province are both OK, but the trip is a little complicated. You take the bus from Phnom Penh to Battambang. From there (at least in the past) the best option was a share taxi to the border (cheap, but uncomfortable). In Thailand, if you are lucky, you may find a minibus going to Pattaya, but more likely, you must travel nearly an hour in the wrong direction to Chanthaburi itself before getting a good aircon bus to Bangkok. It is a long time since I did this journey.
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