With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

2 days of Visa

Posted by Heliocentrism on December 31, 2009

December 28-29, 2009

All Pictures

The Thai Consular Office in Laos

What Visa?

Before Mark and I left Bangkok we made a visit to the HR department of our company. There the lady in charge of helping with work permits told us what to do to get a visa. She made copies of the visas and stamps in our passports, printed out the visa application form for us, and told us that we needed 1,000THB for the visa. She told us to get the non-immigrant visa, but she never gave us a letter saying we were guaranteed jobs.

When we got to the Thai Embassy in Laos, we found out that we needed this letter to get the non-immigrant visa. Since we didn’t have one, we got the 2 month tourist visa instead. I e-mailed the HR lady, explaining what happened. She said that everything was okay and that we can change it to the non-immigrant visa when we get back to Thailand.

Personally I think that she just forgot about the letter.

The visa I have now is a 2 month tourist visa and it says I can’t work. I already have a job and have been working for the past 2 weeks. But in Thailand laws are bendable, so whatcha gonna do about it?

But that’s the crazy thing about working in Thailand. You can’t get a visa to work in Thailand until you have a job. If you have a job, they expect you to work. But you can’t work until you get the visa. But companies don’t want to get visas for workers until they have worked for the company for a few weeks or months.

Laotian Dancing

It’s like a school play

Vientiane is a town with nothing much going on. You can see everything this town has to offer in half a day. So when Mark and I saw a sign for a dinner theater during one of our strolls around town, we were excited.

We went to the show the next day. The food was okay. Laotian food is okay. The show was really bad. Most of the dancers seemed to hate being there. The music wasn’t that good and they were only lip synchingking.

There was a tour group. I’m not sure where they were from, but they were very loud and obnoxious. They would just stand up and yell across the room to each other in the middle of the performance. The show was bad, but I still wanted to see and hear what I paid for in peace.

The tour group left early and once they were gone things got better. Not the performance. The show was still pretty lame, but the actors seemed to be having fun once the group and their antics, were out of there. When the dancer started to have fun, I enjoyed the show more. It was still bad though.

All Pictures

(ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ)
(Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • You can get your visa before your trip to Laos, or you can buy a visa at the border.
  • How much your visa costs depends on your nationality.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Laotian embassy in your country.


  • Tourism Authority +856-21-212251-Ext 103 or 101
  • Emergency Numbers
    • Police 191
    • Fire & Ambulance 190




  • Do not get more kip than you need. No one will buy kip from you whenit’s time to leave Laos.
    • You can use baht here. Just know that your change will be in kip.
  • If you get really sick, try to go to Thailand.


How to get there:

There are buses that take you from the Nong Khai bus station to Vientiane’s bus station.

    1. The first stop is at Thai immigration. Everybody gets off the bus and goes through the passport control. The buses are sometimes packed with people standing in the aisle, so I don’t know how they know when everyone is back on the bus. But, they do.
    2. Then they take you over Friendship Bridge and into Laos.
    3. The next stop is at Laos immigration. Once again everyone gets off and on again after passing through passport control. If you need to get a visa for Laos, bring a passport-sized photo of yourself and head to the “visa at the Border” line. It is the shortest line and it’s not the line where everyone else is standing. There is a sign posted that gives the cost of the visa depending on what country you are from. Once you get your passport back you can skip the other lines and just walk into the country.
    4. Then the bus takes you to the bus terminal in downtown Vientiane.

If you take the train to Nong Khai and take a tuk-tuk to the Thailand Passport control don’t worry. There is a shuttle for about 20THB that goes between the Thai and Laos immigration. So, there is no need to go to the bus station for the shuttle into Laos.

At the Laotian border, there are many cabs, tuk-tuk, and shuttles into Vientiane.


In Vientiane you can use Baht. Your change will be in Laotian KIP, though. Don’t get too much KIP because it’s hard to exchange KIP for anything else when you leave.

Thai Consular Office

How to get there:

  • 17°57’53.8″N 102°37’27.6″E
  • The Thai Embassy is near Patuxai. But for visa you will need the consular office.
  • The best way for me to explain how to get there is for you to first go to the most northeast part Patuxai near the World Peace Gong.
  • From there you will see 3 roads passing Patuxai. Take the most easterly one or the one on the far right one.
  • You can also just go down Lang Xang until it turns into That Laung.
  • Go about one block and turn right at the Vietnam Embassy.
  • You will pass one intersection with a traffic light.
  • Turn left when you pass a building claiming to be a business college.
  • You will see a herd of tuk-tuk drivers and scam artists.
  • Don’t talk to any of them; they can’t help you and will just waste your time.


  • (+856) 21 453916 between 13.30 – 16.30  only


  • 8:30 – 11:30 visa application submission only
  • 13:30 – 15:30 visa/passport pick-up only

What you need: This is what I know for US citizens at this point in time. The law changes quite often.

Tourist Visa (1 month):

  • Just head to the border. There is no charge. And you don’t need to go to the consular office.

Tourist Visa (2 months): There is no fee.

  • 2 passport sized photos of yourself
  • the application form.
  1. Go to the consular office and take a number.
  2. Hand in your stuff then come back at 13:00 the next day.
  3. Take another number; this time for passport pick up.

Non-immigrant Visa:

  • 2 photos,
  • the application form,
  • a photocopy of all the stamps and visas in your passport,
  • a letter from your employer,
  • 2,000Baht (single entry) or 5,000Baht (multiple Entries).
  1. Go to the consular office  and take a number.
  2. Hand in your stuff then come back at 13:00 the next day.
  3. Take another number; this time for passport pick up.

What they have at the consular office:

  • The application forms,
  • scissors,
  • glue,
  • pens (though it would be better if you brought your own)
  • copier (for a fee)


  • When things are busy you could spend a long time waiting. Bring some food, drinks, and a blanket and have a picnic on the lawn. (The lawn there is quite lovely.)
  • You can only turn in your visa application in the morning.
  • All fees must be paid in cash in the form of Thai Baht.

Pha That Luang

How to get there:

  • 17°58’36.7″N 102°38’11.1″E
  • Go down Lang Xang until it turns into That Laung.
  • This leads right into Pha That Luang.


  • 2,000KIP


  • Tue – Sun 8:00-16:00


  • There is a legend that part of Buddha’s breast plate is kept here, though no one has ever proven it.

Phatoke Laoderm (dinner theater)

How to get there:

  • 17°58’01.9″N 102°36’13.8″E

Use this Map.


  • 12USD


  • 19:00 – 21:00 or
  • 19:30 – 21:30


  • +856-21-263 981
  • +856-20-5411 019



  • It’s better that doing nothing and the food is okay.


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