| dogeater wrote:|
Were you able to pay in $, cause it's cheaper than THB.
No, you can't and yes, it is. You'll save around 300 baht paying for your Laos visa at the border in US dollars. This is easy to do as there has been a couple currency exchange booths there for several months now that will exchange Baht for greenbacks. However, will you really save 300 Baht? No, you won't.
If you're going all the way to Vientiane, you'll have the added cost (20B) of the cramped, non-AC shuttle across The Mekong, then you'll also have to pay to get to the capital. Although it can be done for as little as 100B, you'll be asked for more. As Frank mentioned, getting the Laos visa takes minimal time. I've done that 4 times and the longest it has ever taken was 15 minutes. Getting the visa at the border takes a minimum of 20 minutes, up to an hour, depending on how many people are ahead of you.
Of course, if you're just going over and back (not to Vientiane), you'll only have the added 20B fee to cross the river. Another thing to consider is if you're not taking the KK to Vientiane bus, how will you get to the border on the Thai side? If you're taking a "normal" bus to Nong Khai, the bus stops at the bus station which is a good 3km from the Friendship Bridge.
The cheapest way to do this trip (and the most inconvenient) is to do the following:
1. Take the train (economy) from KK to NK. I think it leaves around 10am and costs as little as 50 Baht (I'm not entirely sure of the cost, but 50B should be close).
2. Walk from the train station to the border (about 20 minutes).
3. Take the 20 Baht shuttle across the river.
4. Exchange Thai Baht for US Dollars & pay for the visa.
5. After having your PP stamped, walk right past the booth where you're supposed to pay a 40 Baht entry fee. In the unlikely event you're directed back to the booth, smile sheepishly and innocently and pay the fee (I've only had to do this once!).
6. Though it may take some persistence, insist on not paying more than 100 Baht for a ride to Vientiane...you'll get that price if you stand firm.
Here's the most convenient way to do the trip if you're not worried too much about cost-it's what our family does when we want or need to go to Vientiane:
1. Drive yourself to Nong Khai in the morning and proceed directly to the day market on the river. Hang out for a while, strolling through the various booths...happy wife...me happy she's happy...otherwise indifferent.
2. Go to The Mutmee Resort for lunch. A bit pricy, but worth it and the view of the river is great (Western staff, too). Wife AND me happy happy.
3. Park the car for free by the 7-11 if t's just a day trip, or park around back and pay the fee to have it "looked after" for longer stays.
4. While exiting Thailand, call our AC minivan contact to be sure he's ready in an hour. We pay him 250 Baht for a private ride to Vientiane.
5. Pay for the visa in US Dollars at the border if we didn't have time to get my visa in KK. Katt goes in free as she has a Thai PP...for Thais without a PP, they'll need to fill out a form and pay, I think 150 Baht. Be sure all parties have PP photos!
5. Walk to meet the driver and get transported to the Riverside Hotel.