I started the day hopeful about entering Thailand with my Vietnamese registered motorbike, had everything prepared that I could prepare. Managed to check out of Laos just fine, looking good, checked my passport into Thailand and then it all hit the fan. The rule changes that I heard rumors about were not favorable to my situation (it seems that only ASEAN nations can now bring vehicles into Thailand, this is what customs told me, so still needs to be confirmed). To make things worse it is some holiday and many offices are closed. I’m not saying it’s not possible to cross with your motorbike, I just couldn’t get it done today. Options I was given included to enter Thailand without the bike and try again tomorrow, probably with the same results, call an office that would be open the next day, probably with the same results. One I didn’t totally understand was to wait 10 days for possible entry. Or option x, check back into Laos, get my Vietnam visa there and drive back to Vietnam from there. I ended up choosing option x, it was actually the most secure choice and I could start it in motion today.
So at the end of the day I’m worse off than I started. I spent the bulk of the day in lines at the border it cost me $35 us for another Laos visa and another roughly 230 baht in various fees, plus accumulated losses of changing money. But it gets worse, the import form here makes me choose a border station to exit and an estimated date. I have to get my Vietnam visa here which is only 30 days vs 90 I was going to get in Cambodia. I have to spend 2 more nights in Vientaine waiting for said visa. I did learn that you can supposedly get a 90 day Vietnam visa out of Luang Prabang.
Anyhow, when I found out about the 30 day visa situation in Bangkok I should have just got on a bus and gone to Cambodia to get the 90 days I originally wanted. Lesson learned.
I did get to drive across the friendship bridge, twice, but I never got that warm, fuzzy, friendshipy feeling…