Entering Laos at Chiang Khong / Huayxai

In our totally commercialized global society is everything for money. Laos is one of the countries where money is sucked up like with a sponge. It start’s at the border paying a high visa fee to unfriendly functionaries. From then on you pay for everything extra, every waterfall, cave, many bridges…

In March 2013 I had to leave Thailand and entered Laos at Huayxai. It was Sunday and seemed to be a quiet morning. First I had to wait in Chiang Khong on one of the small passenger boats, a long-tail boat, for more passengers. Took a while, until two Thai’s appeared and we went off. In Huayxai I ran into a group of Austrian tourists who were all before me waiting for their visas. Together with a number of other, young tourists from different countries they blocked the counters waiting there instead of clearing the place for new arrivals. Made the scene quite unclear. Well, I found soon out that the visa application became more complicated than it was before. The authorities invented some new forms to fill in – now they have three instead of one before. Basically you fill in all the different forms the same useless information, but now it takes longer. Where was your passport issued? How long is it still valid? Passport number? Where have you been born…

After handing them the application forms with the mandatory and as well completely useless passport photo (they can make their own photos at borders, that’s standard meanwhile) I had to wait for an hour in the crowd to get the passport back with the visa. And additionally to the thirty dollars the visa oppression cost, everybody had to pay one dollar extra. Weekend surcharge, they say. I call it ‘slowly overhead’. For being extra slow on weekends. That’s by the way the only thing these officials are good in. There is only one species on earth which has an unlimited amount of time – it’s the buerocrat.

I was just in time then to get the slowboat to Luang Prabang.

Read the whole article on Laos

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s