About Thai-Lao International border crossing in Ban Huai Kon

The International Border Crossing is about 2 km from the village Huai Kon, so the border is sometimes also called Chaloem Phra Kiat (name of the district). On the Lao side the nearest village is Muang Ngeun. The border crossing is about 130 km north of Nan town. This is the gate-way to Luang Prabang, Laos. For more information about Nan province have a look at Destination Travel Guide Nan.

Transport Hubs in Nan province, North Thailand
Huai Kon Thai Lao International Border in Nan province, North Thailand

Crossing the border from Thailand to Laos

The border is open from 9:00 - 12:00 and from 13:00 - 17:00. You will first have to go to the Thai Immigration to exit Thailand. If your Thai visa is not multi-entry then your visa will expire the moment you exit Thailand. Then you will have to cross a part of no-man'ss land in between Laos and Thailand. If you are not with your own transport you can walk or take a motorbike-taxi.

To enter Laos you will need a visa. If you do not have a visa you can apply for one (Visa On Arrival) valid for 30 days. You will need 2 recent passport photos. Costs depends on your nationality and best to be paid in US$. After getting you Lao visa you will have to go to Lao immigration to enter Laos.

Update 28 October 2019 : There has been an official announcement by the Lao government that at 6 borders there will be no more Visa On Arrival (VOA). The border to Laos in Nan seems to be one of that 6 borders. So check before you are going if this is indeed enforced!

Once on the Laos side there are Song-Theauws to Muang Ngeun, the first village after the border. From here you can continue traveling to Hongsa, Sayaboury and Luang Prabang. Or to Pak Beng to take the boat to Luang Prabang.

Crossing the border from Laos to Thailand

Crossing the border from Laos to Thailand is about the same. If you do not have a visa for Thailand already then you will get an Visa Free entry-stamp. Depending on your nationality you will get 15 or 30 days. There are also some nationalities who will have to apply voor Visa On Arrival, not sure how that works.

Crossing the border with a motorbike

Although in the past it was no problem to cross the border by motorbike (both in & out), for about more as 1 year all borders from Sayaboury province (Laos) were closed for motorbikes.

Update November 2017 : It is possible again to cross the border by motorbike, but you will need a Lao Travel Agency booking. Conveniently it seems that at the border there is a office where you can book that.

Update 26 January 2018 : The current status is that all motorbike that want to cross the border at Huai Kon to Laos will need to buy a Tour booking and that is NOT cheap. Does not matter 1 motorbike or 10 motorbikes, you will need a Tour booking. This booking needs to be pre-arranged and it takes 2 or 3 days to get it (but money might speed up this process). Crossing the border from Laos to Thailand is no problem. This new rules is valid for all border crossings in Sayaboury province of Laos (3 international border crossings).

Update 28 June 2019 : The previous situation in regards to motorbikes crossing the border seems still be valid.

Opening times of Huai Kon International Border Crossing

The border & immigration is open 7 days a week from from 9:00 - 17:00, with a lunch break between 12:00 and 13:00. Not that the border is then really closed but you will have to pay some extra fee.

How to get to Huai Kon International Border Crossing?

  • With private car from Nan, just follow route 101 to Tha Wang Pha, Pua, Chiang Klang, Thung Chang and then into the mountains. You will see signs for Huai Kon International Border. It takes about 90-min to 2-hours.
  • From Nan bus-station take the mini-van to the border. They only leave in the morning, starting very early. You can not make reservations for it, and times and schedules changes. So better go a day before to the bus-station and check it. Then come back the next day very early. O yes, the joy of traveling off the beaten track! It seems to take about 3 to 4 hours.
  • From Den Chai there are mini-van's going to Nan and to Huai Kon International Border.
  • Starting as of November 2017 there will be a bus going from Nan town to Luang Prabang in Laos (leaving Nan or Luang Prabang daily at 8:00am).

Location of Huai Kon International Border Crossing


One night in Bangkok and the world is your oyster

The journey of Traveling 2 Thailand did begin with One Night in Bangkok in 1985 and since 2009 it became a personal non-commercial travel blog as inspiration for traveling & motorbike riding in Thailand. Made just for the sheer love of traveling and sharing experience about traveling in South-East Asia. To travel beyond the beaten track & highlights. Enjoy!