Following our Cambodian adventure we packed our bags and headed for the next stop on our travels, the beautiful country of Laos.
Getting to Laos from Siem Reap can be done in a number of ways. Some people fly, we decided to take a van transfer over land to the town of Pakse as it was much cheaper. We carried out some research online and through our hotel and they recommended Asia Van Transfer.
They picked us up from our hotel around 7.00am and brought us to their HQ. That day there were two vans leaving Siem Reap headed for Laos. We were given a quick briefing on how the day would go and what to expect at the border crossing.
We loaded up into a comfortable and thankfully air conditioned van and headed off.
The journey was supposed to take around 8 hours but as with any overland border crossings this is just an estimate. We had a number of pit stops along the way and we arrived at Krong Stung Treng, a city situated on the Mekong river after about 4 hours of travel. We had lunch here and were advised to get some of our money changed to Laos Kip. The US dollar is widely accepted in Cambodia but in Laos it not used as much.
After lunch we got back onto our bus again and headed for the border. It was about another 2 hour journey and the roads got slightly more bumpy. We arrived at the Cambodian side of the boarder. We unloaded the bus and were ushered into a small local shop by the driver. We were given forms to fill out before walking the 100 meters to the border crossing.
We entered the Cambodia immigration control and were stamped out without any issues. Quick and easy process!
We queued for about 5 minutes to hand in our passports and a processing fee of 2USD. wait for them to give everything back. The whole process took around 10 minutes. Once we received our passports we the walked out the opposite door and head for the Laos immigration.
Depending on your nationality there are different visa fees. For us as Irish passport holders it cost us 39 USD in total.
Again we approached a single file handed in our paperwork and waited. The wait here was slightly longer here but went smoothly. Some people were asked for passport photos here. We did not have any with us and it was not an issue. This may not be the case at all border crossing points so we recommend bring passport photos with you to be safe.
Once we were approved we walked over to our bus waiting for us on the other side and began the final leg of the journey to Pakse.
After the boarder crossing we had a three hour drive to Pakse. The landscape and views were beautiful and we arrived in Pakse around 7.00pm. Our total journey took around 12 hours. The total journey including visa cost us 69 USD per person.
Pakse was our base for the next few days as we journey out and explore the beautiful Bolaven Plateau. Keep an eye out for our next blog detailing our adventures on its small loop.
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