Border Crossing Cambodia to Laos:

Position and Times:

There is only one border crossing between these two countries, from Dom Kralorin in Cambodia to Voeung Kam in Laos. In Cambodia the main road follows the mighty Mekong River all the way north to this border and then it is possible to follow the river all the way to  the Laotian Capital of Vientiane.

The border is in an isolated  and open dry forested part of Cambodia and one comes upon the actual border more by surprise.

Visas are not issued at this post and all paperwork should be completed before arrival. It is a daylight hours crossing only.

As with Cambodia we used Diethelm Travel although their Laos office.

Diethelm Travel can be contacted at:

Our Contact was Khampa Thepvongsa  E-mail:

You will need to provide the following information:

  1. Copy of Vehicle Registration

  2. Copy of Drivers Passport

  3. Copy of International Driving Permit

  4. Photograph of Vehicle

  5. An Itinerary of your time in Cambodia. ( Does not have to be accurate other than arrival and departure point and date)

  6. Vehicle Details as outlined in the ‘How to Explore Section.../ Vehicle import,export

The cost for them to obtain the revenant permissions was US$150 per vehicle.

The compulsory 3rd Party Insurance was a further US$25 per vehicle.

Unlike Cambodia, these charges included a representative who would meet us at the border and handle the paperwork on our behalf.

Leaving Cambodia- Immigration and Customs:

As at July 2010 Cambodia was building a new border processing post as was also Laos on the other side of the barrier. Must be something like keeping up with the Joneses! The old one at Dom Kralorin is no longer operational and the new one is 400metre up the road.

With the new one under construction, it was in the centre of the road the officials handled both the personal immigration and the vehicle export.  We simply handed in our Temporary Vehicle Imports for Cambodia and had our passports stamped. Both were done very efficiently and everybody very friendly.

This is the new Lao border post being built in the background.

The night before our crossing into Laos, we were camped in a field south of the border post, when a border guard came on his motor bike and talked of  being concerned for our safety. “There are snakes in the area” was his code for undesirables. We took his advice and moved camp to outside of the Border Guards House opposite the old border post of Dom Kralorin. I would suggest in future overlanders go directly here and ask.

Arriving Laos - Immigration, Customs and 3rd Party Insurance:

With the red and white single boom lifted we drove into Laos.  On the right is a blue building where the Immigration paperwork and passport check is done.  Costs of the immigration documents was US$2/person. As we were doing this our man from Diethelm Travel arrived with our original vehicle temporary import paperwork and the 3rd Party Insurance Documents.

You can also buy 3rd Party Insurance here, if not previously arranged, but I am not sure at what cost.

With the agent accompanying us we drove perhaps another 2kms further up the road to the Nongnokkhein International Customs Check Point. Our man disappeared inside for perhaps an hour, then reappeared with a smile on his face that indicated everything was in order.   We were at the border at 8am and departed this Customs post at 9.20 so very efficient.

The Diethelm Travel man said that only 3 to 4 Overland vehicles per year pass this border and are mostly Germans. So we feel part of an elite group.

After visiting the largest waterfall in South East Asia waterfall and the largest on the Mekong River we took out Diethelm man to the next village where he caught a bus back to the office in Pakse. We then headed into the mountains. 

If you are thinking of travel further into Viet Nam it is IMPOSSIBLE to take your own right hand drive vehicle.

Travel in Laos:

The main roads are mostly bitumen but country roads are red clay, and become very muddy in the monsoon season.

Some lesser roads like this are impassable in the rain.

Sign posts on major roads are in English and Lao language.

There are tolls on the major roads of Kip5,000 which equated to only about US0.80 however before Pakse there are no money changes so had the just give US$1.00 per vehicle.

In Lao we averaged about 200km per day.

Driving some of the Ho Chi Min Trails is eerie but at the same time they pass spectacular water falls  like this, and rugged mountains.

In the country areas we find it surprising the number of people we see walking along the road with AK47’s over the shoulder.

In Laos the locals do not need a licence to ride a motor cycle, and we must bip our horn constantly to let them know we are behind. They can not hear above the noise of the two stroke motor revving loudly. The riders also do not look left or right and just blast out onto the careful.

Do be careful after dusk as many people, and domestic animals walk the road. We even found someone sleeping on the road.

We found everybody very friendly. What is great: mountain villages


Accommodation is very cheap and whilst one of our party was suffering food poisoning we stayed in a very clean air-conditioned hotel for US$7 to 10/night. However the capital of Vientiane will be up around US$50/night. In the country we also shared the facilities of a room occasionally to have shower and wash cloths, as the Monsoon rain season had started. The vehicles were parked up in the hotel car park and we slept in them there.

Camping spots were easy to find, quiet and beautiful.

Our blog posts here lists our camp GPS Co-ordinates: Travel in Laos.


Road side stalls sell a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, although the nice looking yellow corn is more like maze. As for fresh meat, you can only buy this at the markets very early in the day because there is no refrigeration, and at that time it is still warn from the early morning kill.

Meals in restaurants are of great quality and very reasonably priced. For eight of us, 7 different courses  plus beers for US$4.50 each.

Being an ex French territory, Bread and French bakery items are available in good quality.  Lao Coffee was the best but buy it from the stalls in the Bolaven Plateau. Also if you are into honey the quality is excellent.

Be prepared for stomach problems in any foreign country.


Available in all major towns and larger villages. Price was Kip 7,140 to 7340 per litre about US$0.90 per litre.


When we refuelled we also took on water and from the mountain streams where they were high in the mountains it was also OK.

For our actual Travel Diary through Laos see: GoannaTracks Across Laos

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Overland Laos and

Border Crossing from Cambodia