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How to get a Thai ED Visa in Vientiane Laos

Laos is between Cambodia and Thailand on the economic scale and while it’s a very safe place to visit. Loas was once the brothel capital asia but these days you’ll find that Thailand has way more action and cheaper. You’ll see what I mean when you arrive in Laos that it’s not exactly a tourist destination especially Laos. It’s incredibly hot there’s really not that much to do except for eat and drink. The monger is definately nothing to talk about but there is massive opportunities for those with enough Thai to find yourself a thin Laos girl while you wait around for your Thai Visa.

What to bring to Laos

You will need the following items:

  • 1 passport photo for the border checkpoint
  • Paperwork from the language school you signed up to in Thailand
  • 30-40USD for the Laos Visa, Australians are 30, UK nationals are 35 and americans are 40 USD. Bring 40USD in crisp $5 bills to be sure.
  • 2000 baht for your visa
  • 2 passport photos for your visa
  • Your address in Thailand

Optional

  • 100 baht for tout to fill out your form
  • 2000 baht for tout to do the ED visa for you (1500 baht for tourist Visa)

In Vientiane they prettty much accept any currency but Thai Baht and Kip are more widely accepted, in fact if you pay in Thai baht you’re more likely to get a better deal. Don’t be surpised if you pay in USD and get back a combination of Thai baht and Kip especially if paying by a high denomination bill.

How to get to Vientiane Laos

Getting to Laos by bus or minivan is worth mentioning but havn’t done it, mini-bus from Bangkok or Chiang Mai is 1000 baht Going by bus is cheaper still but will require you to catch a few different busses.Be warned that to drive from Chiang Mai or Bangkok it’s roughly a 14hour trip. If you’re like me you just want to get it all over and done with as soon as possible which is what I recommond especially if you’re coming from Bangkok is to fly in. You can fly to Vientiane with Laos Airlines for as little as $118 which includes all necessary taxes. You guys know I hate to fly but I hate Immigration more which is why I chose to do my Visa Run as quick as possible and flying in directly was the fastest way. I must have got a good deal on the ticket to Laos because when I went back to check costs I couldn’t find the deal I got. Now it’s $183 including taxes but you might get lucky like I did.

Flight from Bangkok to Vientiane LaosAnother quick but cheaper alternative is to get a flight from Bangkok to Udon Thani, From there you can get a taxi to the bus stop then to the border, another bus to the Laos border than another bus into Vientiane and a taxi to your hotel. mmmm You see why I recommend flying in because the bus option just takes too long. You can also get a taxi from Udon Thai to the border for 500 baht then another taxi from the border into town for another 200 baht, alternatively wait for the bus.

Flying from Bangkok to Vientiane takes approx 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Flight from Bangkok to Udon Thani

When you arrive in Laos either by plane or by land you’ll need to fill out the white Visa form attach your photo (don’t worry if you can’t stick the photo on) and hand them the USD amount for your nationality. Once you’re through immigration you’ll need to get a taxi to your hotel, this cost me 66,000 kip. If you change your money all before you arrive you’ll get a better deal on the exchange rate, I didn’t and changed 4000 baht for 262 kip per baht. If you concider 25,000 kip as roughly 100 baht the taxi costs roughly 220 baht from the airport, it’s a 15minute drive.

You can get promo tickets on Air Asia from Bangkok Don Muang Airport to Udon Thani for 790 baht which if you include transfers is only 100 baht more than getting a minibus so if you’re trying to save money fly to Udon but save yourself the hassle of getting a bus all the way there.

Where to stay in Vientiane

I honestly recommend that you plan to get into Vientiane in the evening this way you just go to you’re hotel and sleep. The whole reason you’re going there is to get your Visa so you can’t do that until 8:30 in the morning when the gates at the consular open. You’ll want to be there at 7am if you wait in the line! Arrive at 8am if you want a tout to do it for you.

Having said that I recommend you stay at the Doungpraseuth hotel (pronounced as Dooung Pra Sard) This hotel is out of the city, hard to get a tuk tuk at night and honestly I wouldn’t stay here except for one simple reason, it’s right accross the road from the Thai Consular. There is a Thai Embassy but you don’t go to that place, I’ve marked the places on the map below.

Stay at the Doungpraseuth hotel your first night so that you can wake up pack your bag and go do the Visa. Once you’ve done with the Visa you’ll want to get a Tuk Tuk down to a different hotel down by the river. This is where you can spend the next day and night exploring the city.

I recommend the Inter City Boutique Hotel it’s not super flash but it’s not backpacker style either, very comfortable and right next to the night market and the river, get a tuk tuk here from the consular for about 30,000 kip or 100 baht. Once you’re here you won’t really need another tuk tuk just walking around going to cafes to waste the rest of the day away. If you want Jacuzzi bath tubs then stay at the Salana and backpackers again just ask to go to the Inter City and there are cheap accomodations around that area get there and just start wandering around.

Map of Vientiane Laos

 

Thai consular Vientiane

Checklist for getting Thai ED Visa

Thai ED Visa Vientiane

If you have applied for an ED Visa at a school in Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai immigration will not allow you to study on the same Visa for more than 3 years, you must leave the country after 3 years. This is why I had to go to Laos to get a new ED Visa. In fact I’ve been on an ED Visa for the past 3 years, so I decided to renew it in Vientiane Laos. Every province is different Pattaya for example you don’t have to leave the country for 8-9 years. However you will have to pay the 1900 baht every 3 months. In Chiang Mai You’ll get 3 months on the initial visa, extend for another 3 months, then you can extend for 6 months, then for 1 year and then another year before you must leave the country again, that’s every 3 years. Each extention costs another 1900 baht. It can add up. Check with your local language school for the rules associated to your province BEFORE applying.

Thai Consular for Thai Visa in Laos

The Line In The Morning

As you can see in the picture above the line is very long at the Thai consulate in Vientiane so make sure you get there at about 7am, doors open at 8:30. If you come late however you could be waiting around for 4 hours and your passport will get served later the next day, pays to show up early.

If you’re lazy (like me) you don’t have to line up at all. When you arrive hire a tout for 100 baht to fill the forms for you and glue your photos, sure you can do it yourself if you want. Don’t forget you will need an address in Thailand! The form is super confusing especially the part about a local sponsor save yourself the headache and have the guy do it for you.

Another headache saver is the tout who will fill the form out for you can also get the visa done for you as well! You don’t have to wait in any lines and it’s hot! No aircon! For an ED Visa he’ll charge 2000 baht and you must also pay 2000 baht for the Visa. That’s what I decided to do because I couldn’t be assed waiting around. So I handed the tout my Passport, the paperwork from the school and 4000 baht. I went back the next day at approx 12 noon and he had my passport all fixed up. Was it worth it? Sure if you have the money why not it frees up the entire day! If you’d rather stand in line it’s only 2000 baht inside the immigration.

What you need for the Visa

  • Form Filled out correctly (download from here)
  • 2000 baht for the ED Visa
  • 2 passport photos pasted to the form
  • Paperwork from your language school in Thailand

Getting out of Vientianne

You can get a Tuk Tuk to the border for 200 baht if you want, then you get a bus over the friendship bridge and another bus to the bus station or a 200 baht taxi to the bus station or 500 baht for a taxi to the Udon Thani airport. Sounds confusing isn’t it, it won’t be when you’re there but I honestly just recommend getting a Taxi at least to the bus station in Nong Khai or the airport in Udon Thani, the bus is not airconditioned and looks cramped like hell. If you’re on a tight budget be prepared for some uncomfortable driving. There are always farang hanging around you can hit up and split the costs of the taxis if you don’t want to pay full fare. The taxi drivers will also help you do this as well.

Girls in Vientiane

Having just come back from Vientiane Laos let me put the rumours to rest. Firstly you won’t get thrown in jail if you sleep with a Laos girl. There is a law stating that any Farang must be married to the girl he is living with and that can mean simply one night in a hotel. Now that’s what the law says but the reality is if you’re just passing through town and you have some casual sex with a girl noones going to care. If you start living with her for weeks on end this can get you the local henchman to knock on your door and are likely to demand anywhere from 500-5000USD and force you to marry. Like I said though you don’t need to worry about all that on a 2 day stay.

Although I was way to busy to hook anything up ahead of time my good friend assures me there are plenty of Laos girls on Thai Friendly in Vientiane looking for comapny with a Foreigner I’m definately going back to Vientiane at some stage to complete the nightlife map but since I was there for only 2 nights I honestly didn’t get a chance to explore that much.


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About Chris

Chris founded Living Thai and author of the books Learn the The Thai Alphabet and How to make money in Thailand also the Blueprint for Living in Thailand. Chris started this blog with the aim of educating westerners on how to have the best time in Thailand, to make new friends and to vent his frustrations Chris is also fluent in both written and spoken Thai.

8 Responses to How to get a Thai ED Visa in Vientiane Laos

  1. Chris Williams March 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    Let’s get straight to the point. Getting a ED visa in Laos. Yes if you have the right letters from the school you MIGHT get a Non ‘O’ visa but only for the period of time that the school in Thailand has included in their Ed course description, But beware, the RTIP now has begun to carefully scrutinize the course description that any Thai school submits and the period of time for the course to run, and if it smells, bad luck Donald Duck you get nothing.
    ALL Thai Consulates and Embassies around the world have VERY recently be given a new set of guidlines to follow and one of them is to STOP ALL Non ‘O’ Visa of 12 months duration. This doesn’t mean some 12 month visas can’t sneak through. There are various reasons why this happens and I’m sure you know what I’m referring to.

    To continue, okay, let’s say you’re lucky, you are given an ED Non ‘O’ visa, but it might be one year then again it might be for only 6 months, more or less. because it’s up to your school’s course description . These days it is most likely going to be only 3 months regardless of the course, and its duration, you want to attend.

    By the way there are also other reasons why you might not get anything as there are certain countries on the Thai ‘shit’ list that are getting the bum’s rush. Sorry I can’t mention those countries.

    Okay again let’s say you get a an Non ‘O’ ED visa for one year in Laos, great, however this will mean you have to leave Thailand every 90 days or be here illegally.

    No, you cannot extend a Non ‘O’ visa issued outside Thailand after 90 days unless it’s an emergency and then only for 7 days which generally is to arrange flight or bus tickets out of the country.

    Note carefully, to be here illegally means risking arrest if you’re involved in an accident and gaol until the court case comes up regardless of the blame.

    Let’s assume you only get a three month ED visa; now what you can do to extend it when you arrive back in Thailand is to take another set of School papers (up to date) and apply to extend the ED visa for the entire course period. It used to be relatively easy before but now the RTIP also want to see your attendence record e.g. how many times since the course began have you attended school and your progress etc?

    The reason for this change is that the Thai authorities have become aware of certain countries citizens abusing the visa system in order to exploit the huge Tourist revenue here and of course at the expense of Thai people. I won’t go into the arguments for and against what is happening but suffice to say, Thailand is a great place to live and if people outside try to take advantage of Thai ‘generosity’ for their own greed or financial gain we’ll all lose. I hope the above sheds some light on recent changes. A word of caution, don’t always believe what you hear from ‘others’ as nothing is set in concrete, even what I have written above.

    Kind Regards to all

    Chris

    • Chris March 8, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      I agree with you Chris, you should be vigilant about the language school you apply for, in the Blueprint for living in Thailand I suggest which school to go with, and there is a reason for that, it has the best record. I was here when Chiang Mai University had it’s language school shut down and everyone lost their money, it can happen, but that’s the rules, it’s all about paperwork, you have the paperwork you have the visa. Stick to the most trusted school as long as people are in school have attendence for the minimum hours you’ll always get the extention and am unaware of anyone who has been refused based on what the school provided. But again be vigilant as you said.

  2. TylerB March 8, 2013 at 5:38 am #

    Been to Loas 3 times. 2-3 weeks each time. Always take my motorcycle there. Been all over the country and just about every town( not much in villages)has P4P. I love Loas. People there are great. Lots of good bike riding there

    • Krypton March 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      It’s Laos not Loas, mate.

  3. KEN WILLIAMS March 8, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    Upon your recommendation, Mr. Chris, I WAS UP IN NIMMANHAEMEN RD YESERDAY, 7th MARCH 2013 ,LOOKING INTO THE ALLEGED 3 BROTHELS IN SOI 13 AND 2 IN SOI 15.
    WELL, in soi 13, 1 is closed, another only does customers on the premises at 750 for 40 minutes , and the other one only opens in the daytime….also ugly girls.
    The ones in Soi 15 are closed.
    SO, MR. CHRIS, WHERE DO WE GET LAID NOW?
    Went down to LOY KROH…….what a dump! NO CUSTOMERS OR GIRLS IN MOST BARS AND THE BARS WITH CUSTOMERS HAD ONLY UGLY, CIGARATTE SMOKING SLUTS.
    I’ve lived in Thailand for 30 years, speak better Thai than you though I’ve never even met you and think that you should start updating the whore finding issue. You know very well that things here can change overnight.

    9

    • Chris March 8, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      There is only one brothel around nimmanhaemen as shown on the chiangmai mongers map, the map is still up to date on where to get everything. I noticed you arn’t a VIP member you should definately check it out.

  4. kevin March 17, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Sorry but I lived in Laos for 5 years and this article is definitely wrong about the cost of Laos girls. Laos girls are cheaper than Thai girls, hands down. And in general you can find young ones more easily. The problem with this article is that, like Chris said, he never spent much time exploring Vientiane. Like anywhere it takes time to find the good stuff. If I went to a ‘beer girl’ restaurant to have a beer with a lovely young Laos girl, I always paid 60 baht for a big bottle of BeerLao. And I always chose a restaurant with tables situated in such a way that I exposed myself and she fondled me, right there in the restaurant. I’ve cum probably 20 times in different bar girl restaurants. Not sure if that flies here in Thailand or not. Haven’t tried it yet.

    And I personally would never trust handing over my passport and 4000 baht to a random tout on the street. That is just asking for your shit to be stolen… Maybe I don’t know where to find these touts, but I have only ever seen the guys hanging around the tuktuks outside the embassy asking to fill out the forms for me. No way am I giving them my money and passport.

    • Chris March 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

      I’m definitely going to go back to check out the monger scene. But as for getting the ED visa which is what this article is about sounds like i’m pretty much on the money.

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