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 several different ways to make the journey.
Vietnam visas on arrival are not available at land borders 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 e-Visas are valid for stays of up to 30 days and the application only takes a few minutes to complete.
It is the best option visas if you’re traveling from Vietnam to Laos.
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)
Sop Hun (Laos) – Tay Trang (Vietnam)
There are 3 buses per week departing from Muang Khua in Laos, arriving at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam. Travelers are advised to get to the departure point 30 minutes before the 7 am departure as seats are allocated on a first come first serve basis. Tickets cannot be purchased in advance.
Na Maew (Laos) – Nam Xoi (Vietnam)
There are buses from Sam Neua in Laos to Thanh Hoa in Vietnam however, as the journey takes up to 12 hours this is not a popular option amongst travelers.
Nam Can (Laos) – Nam Khan (Vietnam)
Bus routes connect the town of Phonsavan in Laos with Vinh in Vietnam. There are several scheduled journeys each week departing first thing in the morning and taking around 12 hours.
Nam Phao (Laos) – Cau Treo (Vietnam)
This is a convenient overland crossing. Travelers can take the bus from Lax Xao to the border and then walk 0.3 miles to the other side. There are then transport connections to the city of Vinh which is located around 60 miles away.
Dansavanh (Laos) – Lau Bao (Vietnam)
Another popular crossing amongst international travelers, this is a good option for anyone wishing to reach Hue in Vietnam.
There are daily buses from Savannakhet to Hue leaving at around 9 am, travelers should get to the departure point with plenty of time to purchase the ticket. The bus gets to Hue between 5 and 6 pm.
Bo Y (Laos) – Ngoc Hoi (Vietnam)
This border crossing can be used to get from Attapeu in Laos to Kontum in Vietnam. The bus calls at Bo Y before continuing its journey to Ngoc Hoi, taking around 3 hours in total. There are plenty of transport connections to other places in Vietnam from Ngoc Hoi.
Although there are various routes which you can take, 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)
Available Transportation from Laos to Vietnam
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 around Vietnam.
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 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 Obtain a Vietnam eVisa from Laos
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 that 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 Laos-Vietnam border.
Can I use VOA for Vietnam-Laos border crossing?
Vietnam visas on arrival are not available at land border crossings. Travelers who require a visa to enter Vietnam must arrange it before crossing the border.
The Vietnam eVisa can be used at the following border checkpoints:
- Bo Y landport
- Cau Treo landport
- Cha Lo landport
- La Lay landport
- Lau Bao landport
- Na Maew landport
- Nam Can landport
- Tay Trang landport
The eVisa is the most convenient option for travelers who can apply online and receive the permit by email, ready to present at the border. If using one of the other land border crossings, a traditional embassy visa must be obtained.