Visa Run To Cau Treo and Lao Bao Border

Last update: 09/09/2022

Things to prepare before leaving the border

Here is the checklist of documents and things you need to prepare:

⋅ You original passport which is valid at least 6 months from your entry date to Vietnam

⋅ Your e-visa or visa approval letter or 5 year visa exemption if you are not eligible for Vietnam visa exemption

⋅ 35 USD in cash for Laos visa on arrival if it is available on your nationality. In case you wish to have a Cambodia visa on your passport before getting to the border, you can apply it directly at the Embassy of Laos in Hanoi – 40 Quang Trung, Hai Ba Trung District.

⋅ Vaccination certificate to enter Laos

⋅ 25 USD in cash for Vietnam visa stamping fee for single entry or 50usd in cash for multiple entry valid up 3 months if you acquire a business visa on arrival.

⋅ Two passport sized photos if you are getting Vietnam visa on arrival

To re-enter Vietnam, proof of vaccination and covid test are no longer required.

There are two land borders you can do visa run to Laos: Cau Treo and Lao Bao Border

How to do visa run to Cau Treo Border

Step 1: Get all documents for visa run ready

As mentioned above, visa runners have to prepare all necessary documents before leaving for Cau Treo Border, especially visa to enter Laos and re-enter Vietnam. If you are not on the list of Vietnam visa exemption, you are required to have a visa approval letter or e-visa or 5 year visa exemption to get back Vietnam

Step 2: Go to Cau Treo Border

In this section, we will guide you how to get Cau Treo Border from Hanoi as the easiest and most comfortable place for your visa run’s journey to set off. 

Company bus is considered as the most common transportation to get to Cau Treo Border due to its availability and affordability. Visa run expats can choose some reliable bus companies such as Camel, Trekking or No.14 Bus Company. These companies arrange a small minivan to pick up their passengers around the Old Quarter. They normally departure from 7:30pm and reach the border by 5.30am in the following day. 

You can take a bus at the Nuoc Ngam Bus Station, No.1, Ngoi Hoi, Van Dien, Dong Da, Hanoi. Or, you can buy a bus ticket with one of these ticket officers at 35B Nguyen Huy Tuong and 3A Nguyen Gia Thieu.

The ticket fare is ranged from 250,000vnd (12usd) to 500,000vnd (22usd) per way, depending on bus service company and travelling time.

Step 3: Exit Vietnam 

You just walk to the Vietnam Immigration Counter when you reach up to Cau Treo land checkpoint. You then present your passport to get an exit stamp on it.

Next, take a minivan to get to the checkpoint of Laos. In order to complete the Laos visa and entry procedure, if you get Lao visa beforehand at the Lao Embassy or you are exempted from Lao visa, you just need to show your passport to the Immigration Officer to get through the check in counter. 

In case, you are eligible for Laos visa on arrival, you will fill out a form, then submit it along 1 passport sized photo, passport, visa fee 

Step 4: Re-enter to Vietnam

You will take a minus bus to get back Cau Treo checkpoint, then go to Vietnam immigration counter to complete the re-entry procedure. Now, you need to present your passport, a copy of e-visa/an original visa approval letter, 02 passport sized photo and stamping fee to get visa stamped on your passport. If you do not need visa to enter Vietnam, you just simply show your passport at the check in counter. 

Please keep in mind that you are not allowed to get through Vietnam immigration if there is no Laos exit stamp on your passport.

How to do visa run to Lao Bao Border

If you are living in Da Nang or any other place nearby, visa run to Lao Bao border is a good option to go for. Here are 4 steps to follow to get visa run to Laos through Lao Bao checkpoint.

Step 1: Prepare all required documents (the same documents as mentioned above as you do visa run for Cau Treo border)

Step 2: Get to Lao Bao Border

There are three main types of transportation that you can choose to get to the border

⋅ By motorbike:

If you start off from Da Nang, it takes a minimum 8 hours of riding on your motorbike (550km round trip), thought it’s still good option for those having car-sickness or want to enjoy stunning nature and experience local life along the way. It’s the best to check the body of your motorbike thoroughly before starting your visa run journey. 

This option is not recommended for anyone who is not comfortable with Vietnamese traffic. 

⋅ Private car:

The option of hiring a private car is always more expensive, especially without going with any other one or group. It costs around 2.5 million VND for a round trip. Hiring a private car and driver is definitely costly, but the service saves a lot of time and bring you more comfort and ease than any other options.

⋅ Public bus

Step 3: Exit Vietnam

When you arrive in Lao Bao Border, you just go to the small booth where you present your passport and all documents to the Vietnam immigration Officer to get a stamp out of Vietnam. 

Step 4: Enter and exit Laos 

Walk up to the next house on the left side of the Vietnam Immigration booth where you will get and full in the application of Laos VISA ON ARRIVAL. After completing the form, you will submit it with your passport, a passport sized photo and 35USD for Laos visa fee in order to get a sticker and stamp. The fee should be paid in USD to avoid a bad exchange rate if you pay it in Vietnamese Dong.

To exit Laos immediately, you just go to LAOS EXIT STAMP and give your passport to the officer. If you are required to visa to Vietnam, they will ask you to show an original visa approval letter or a copy of Vietnam E-visa.

Step 5: Re-enter Vietnam

To get through Vietnam Immigration, you get a Vietnamese visa application form provided by the next officer, then fill in the form. After the form is completed, you pay the fee of Vietnam visa to have visa sticker on your passport. Be sure to check out your information to avoid any unwanted mistakes before leaving.

You continue to go the next officer to get a Vietnam entry stamp. Congratulations! Your Vietnamese visa is done and get ready to get back Vietnam. 

 Some handy tips to make your visa run at ease and comfort

⋅ Prepare an exact amount of USD in cash to pay for visa fee

⋅ Be sure that you are stuck with the border shown on your e-visa letter/visa approval letter for visa run. If you have to shift your entry port, you have to apply a new visa.

⋅ Not all citizens are eligible for Laos visa on arrival. If your countries are not yet on the list , you need to apply for Cambodia visa in advance at Laos Embassy in Hanoi


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