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Where next after Laos?

Laos is a landlocked country with land borders with 5 countries, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. There are two international airports in Laos at Vientiane and at Luang Prabang, offering regular flights to most of the neighbouring countries.

The two longest borders running along the east and west side of Laos offer the most border crossings, with several options for travellers to go to Vietnam to the east. The Mekong river marks much of the border with Thailand to the west, but there are several bridges and boat services between the two countries.



Map of Laos

To Thailand

The main crossing to Thailand is over the Thai-Lao Friendship bridge near to Vientiane. A short taxi ride from Vientiane takes you to the bridge which crosses to Nong Khai, from where onward travel to Bangkok is easy. Also popular is the Huay Xai - Chiang Khong crossing, which is normally reached by boat (overnight) from Luang Prabang. To the south the recently opened second Thai-Lao friendship bridge connects between Savannakhet and Mukdahan.

To Vietnam

To the east the main border crossings are the Keo Nua Pass, which leads on towards Hanoi and from Donsavanh to Lao Bao. Crossing are also popular at Tay Trang and Nam Can.

To China

Heading north from Laos, you can get to Boten where there is a border to Mengla in Yunnan province. Another days bus travel from here will take you to Kunming.

To Cambodia

The land border to Cambodia does allow travellers to pass, but often not without some difficulties. It is easier to travel from Laos to Cambodia as a visa on arrival for Laos isn't available. Heading South from Laos, a 90 minute speed boat ride will take you to Stung Treng in Cambodia. This isolated border outpost does actually have an airport connecting further into Cambodia.

To Myanmar

Currently foreigners are not legally allowed to pass directly from Laos to Myanmar. The best route is via Thailand, and back into Myanmar at Mae Sai.


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