Wednesday, Feb. 17th (Somewhere 100km East of Na Meo border crossing to Vieng Xai, Laos!)

  • We woke up just before 10am and managed to buy a bag of peanuts for breakfast at the local market with the very last of our Vietnamese cash.
  • Spent the next hour packing up and getting ready for the day before taking a picture with the kind guesthouse owner and hitting the road.
  • Two hours of beautiful (but chilly!) mountain driving later through some very rough sections of road and we arrived at the Na Meo border crossing.
  • The passport and visa check went off without a hitch, but then we were sent to Customs for motorbike processing.
  • They asked for our papers… All we have are two “blue cards” that show the serial number of our engines and steering columns as well as our license plate numbers. The names on the cards aren’t ours, presumably one of the previous owners.
  • We weren’t sure if this was what the Customs agent meant, but it was all we had, so we handed the cards over. Surprisingly, it seemed to do the trick. We were charged a $10 USD export fee and sent into No Man’s Land.
  • At the Laos checkpoint, we handed over our passports, and after a short wait, received our Laos arrival visas for $46 USD per person. They refused one of our $50 bills because it had a small blue stamp on it, but luckily we still had some USD left over from Cambodia and were still able to cover the fee.
  • Next was Laos Customs to process our motorbike imports. We filled out a green form with all of our information and were told to hand it over to any police officers we encountered on the road. We paid the 25K LAK ($3 USD) import fee, then retrieved our bikes and walked them across the border.
  • We are now in Laos.  
  • When the process was over, we were both a bit shocked to have made it through without any major issues. Before arriving, we thought there was a 50/50 chance of being turned away.
  • We gassed up our motorbikes at the first of many PetroLaos gas stations then continued on our way.
  • Three hours later we arrived in Viengxai.
  • We followed a sign to a guesthouse and promptly checked in and ordered a hot meal. We were both starving after a breakfast of only a few handfuls of peanuts.
  • After, we took a quick walk around the town and set my phone up with a 30 day, 5 Gigabyte SIM card.
  • We returned to the hostel and spent the rest of the night reading and writing under the sheets, trying desperately to fight off the mountain cold and lack of central heating.

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