Crossing the Laos-Vietnam Land Border with the Vietnam e-Visa

laos vietnam border crossing

When traveling around Southeast Asia it is common to cross the Laos-Vietnam border. There are a number of land border crossings which you can use and there are a number of different ways to make the journey.

If you’re traveling from Vietnam into Laos it’s simple to obtain a visa on arrival when you cross the border (most nationalities are eligible and a few can even enter visa-free).

There is no visa on arrival for Vietnam and there are only 24 visa-exempt nationalities which mainly consist of European and Southeast Asian countries. However, 46 nationalities can obtain a Vietnam e-Visa online.

Travelers from the US, China, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, and many more countries can quickly apply. The eVisas are valid for stays of 30 days and the application only takes a few minutes to complete.

How to Get from Laos to Vietnam: Crossings and Routes

There are 6 different land border crossings between Laos and Vietnam:

  • Sop Hun (Laos) – Tay Trang (Vietnam)
  • Na Maew (Laos) – Nam Xoi (Vietnam)
  • Nam Can (Laos) – Nam Khan (Vietnam)
  • Nam Phao (Laos) – Cau Treo (Vietnam)
  • Dansavanh (Laos) – Lau Bao (Vietnam)
  • Bo Y (Laos) – Ngoc Hoi (Vietnam)

There are various routes which you can take but the three most common (and most convenient) are the following:

  • Highway No.279 (Sop Hun – Tay Trang)
  • Highway No.8 (Nam Phao – Cau Treo)
  • Highway No.9A (Dansavanh – Lau Bao)

Transportation

Traveling to Vietnam from Laos by bus is the most typical option. It’s cheap, convenient and there are many tourism agencies who provide daily trips. There is also the option of hiring a car for the journey but most travelers prefer to go by bus.

From Luang Prabang, you can catch a sleeper bus to Hanoi. It takes around 27 hours and costs roughly 45USD (37,000Kip). The bus departs at 18:00 and crosses the border at around 6:00 in the morning.

You need to show your passport, your departure card, and your tourist visa (if you need one) when you enter Vietnam. You will also need to place your luggage on the x-ray machine. Once you’re through the passport control you’ll continue to Hanoi.

There are no toilets on most buses though there are a few stops along the way. Passengers should also remember to take plenty of snacks to keep them going.

How to apply for a Vietnam eVisa

The Vietnam online visa application only takes a few minutes to complete and it means you don’t need to go to an embassy or consulate to apply. To complete the online form, you just need to enter some basic information such as your name, address, date of birth, passport details, and travel plans.

Inaccuracies and incomplete sections can lead to delays and complications. Make sure you carefully revise all the information before submitting the form. To finalize the application there is a fee which is payable by credit or debit card.

Applications normally take around 3 business days to process though you should complete the form at least 7 days before to allow plenty of time. Approved visas are sent by email, travelers can print a copy to present at the Vietnamese border.