Laos/China border crossing
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Sep 15, 2013 1:27 PM Last Post By: westwood
Sep 14, 2013 8:38 AM
Laos/China border crossingHi there
I want to cross over from Laos to china and have a few questions about how to do so. My plan is to cross over at the Boten/Mohan border crossing and make my way up to Hong Kong, where I will have a flight booked home from for two weeks after I cross the border. Is this enough time I get from the border to Hong Kong? And is this the easiest border I cross at?
Also I will be in Chang Mai in Thailand for two weeks before and will need to get my Chinese visa there if possible. Is it possible for an Australian student to arrange a Chinese visa during those two weeks in Chang Mai, Thailand to then cross over to Laos and then the border to china and then fly out of Hong Kong. I won't have a flight in but ill have one out.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Sep 14, 2013 9:41 AM
1I crossed this border (Going in the other direction) last month and it's easy. Your major issue is most likely to be the state of the Laotian roads and the fact that there is virtually nothing to see between Luang Prabang and Mohan (Other than trees, that is). Furthermore, I'd gone to Laos after visiting HK (Got my Laos visa there) and that was all done within a 2 week window. Effectively, once you get to Kunming, you'll be in a position whereby you can get a straight through train to Shenzhen where you can simply walk over the HK border so 2 weeks is ample time depending on what you want to see (Xishuangbanna Kunming, Nanning, Guangzhou. You'd probably even have enough time to nip up to Chengdu if you really wanted to).
As for the questions about Chang Mai and visas for Aussies..... Dunno. Never been to Chang Mai and am not an Aussie.
Sep 14, 2013 11:08 AM
2--Yes it is possible to get a Chinese visa in Chiang Mai, takes maybe 4 days. Latest reports are much easier than Bangkok. Can't recall if a flight in was required as a condition to apply, or if an overland indication was OK. If the former, the old "book then cancel" routine should work.
--Suggest you carve out enough time to stop for 3 days in Luang Prabang and check it out before continuing on to border. You may not pass this way again anytime soon, and LP is the #1 place in Laos worth seeing, before it develops any further than it already has.
--The Boten border crossing is the only one currently open for foreigners going Laos-China so "easiest" is a non-issue.
--Two weeks is plenty to get from border to Hong Kong, but there are a lot of places on the China side you can check out, and you will have to be selective. You don't mention time of year you will doing this trip--that might have some bearing on Best Choices.
Sep 14, 2013 2:28 PM
3From Chiang Mai, get a bus to Chiang Kong then cross over to Huay Xai. You'll have to spend the night here but theres cheap accommodation. You could either get a mini van direct to the border from HX or a bus to Luang Namtha. Worth a couple of days.
If you go direct to the border, you can cross and get a bus to Mengla all in the same day. Then next day, get a bus to Kunming or Jinghong . Last trip we found the bus to Mengla from Kunming was cheaper than going via Jinghong.
Have done this crossing twice now into China and back into Laos once so know a fair bit about options.
Sep 14, 2013 6:46 PM
Sep 14, 2013 6:53 PM
Sep 14, 2013 7:29 PM
6If you're going to have to be in Laos then I'd stop there for a day or two; in Luang Prabang, as Jiejie suggests. It's nice. And Laotian people are some of the nicest you'll meet anywhere (Lots of Vietnamese running many of the Luang Prabang guesthouses but their nice too). True: it'll trim a couple of days off your China time and 2 weeks is only going to allow you to see a fraction of what China has to offer. But, assuming that you don't try to do too much in that time, you'll still be able to get quite a lot done. From the time I got my Laotian visa in HK (July 16th) to the time I entered Laos (July 30th), I spent time in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai (With a trip over to Macau thrown in for good measure), Guangzhou again, Haikou, Guangzhou AGAIN, Nanning and Kunming and was not particularly hurried. Telling us what you intend to do in China would help us to help you.
Sep 14, 2013 7:41 PM
7Thanks again for your help.
I guess during my two weeks in china I want to see as much of a variety of it as possible, from tiny rural towns to big bustling cities like kunming, and most importantly, everything in between.
Does anyone have a suggested itinerary or pathway/list of towns I should follow between Laos and Hong Kong?
Sep 14, 2013 7:47 PM
8chiang mai should be no problem for a tourist visa, you also have the option there of paying
extra for express next day service. (better confirm, tho, my info may be out of date!)
in chiang mai there are travel agents that can arrange package deals with an overnight in huay
xai and bus transport to china. at least to mohan, possibly to jinghong. or just take the bus
to chiang kong, canoe across the river to huay xai. plenty of agents to sort out your bus travel
to mohan or jinghong. roads are good, chinese-built highways.
if you wanna get to china quickly, you can still take a day in luang namtha. luang prabang will be
a bit out of the way (but much more interesting).
if you want to spend some time there, and not waste your visa, from huay xai you can take the
2-day boat trip down the mekong (overnight in pak beng) to luang prabang. altenately, you can
take the more thrilling, but less safe, speedboat in about 8 hours.
in luang prabang you can get a sleeper bus to kunming. agents there can also get you a
chinese tourist visa, i assume express mailing your passport to the embassy in vientienne.
that should only take a few days while you are touring luang prabang.
Sep 14, 2013 8:14 PM
Sep 14, 2013 8:23 PM
10A reasonably easy itinerary for China would be Xishuangbanna for a few days (You're there when you cross the China-Laos border, anyway), bus to Kunming (A SMALL city, by Chinese standards). Train to Nanning (Not much.... Well..... Nothing to see in Nanning. But you could nip up to Guilin/Yangshuo). Train from Guilin (Or Nanning) to Guangzhou (A BIG city). Onward to Shenzhen (An uninteresting, soulless dump. But a BIG uninteresting, soulless dump). HK
Or you could go Xishuangbanna, Kunming, nip up to Chengdu to see the Pandas/Lijiang for the old town(You'll have to double-back to Kunming if you do this)/Somewhere else and thus avoiding Nanning, Guangzhou, Shitzhen, HK (Actually, you can go directly from GZ to HK).
There are Tibetan areas in both Sichuan and Yunnan, if that interests you.
There is a train that links Nanning with Hanoi.... The ONLY real reason to visit the place (You'd need a double-entry Chinese visa and, of course, a Vietnamese one if you wanted to nip down there for a day or two).
Beijing/Shanghai/Xi'an/etc are a long way off. You've probably got enough time to visit either Beijing OR Shanghai along with Xi'an (Easy choice). But you'll then not have much time to do anything else so my advice would be to forget going future north than Chengdu this time and concentrate on the south.
Sep 14, 2013 8:28 PM
Sep 15, 2013 6:31 AM
12There is a train from Kunming to Lijiang. I stayed at a guest house in Old Town last April. Very interesting village. I flew from Lijiang to Chengdu, but there may also be a train route. I also flew from Chengdu back to Kunming, but you could take the train to Guangzhou, then Shenzhen, then HK.
I used http://www.hostelbookers.com to find all of my guest house accommodations. Hostelling International may have cheaper rates for a bunkbed in a dormitory room -- $3 USD/night in Shangri-La Old Town.
Sep 15, 2013 6:59 AM
Sep 15, 2013 10:21 AM
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