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There are a lot of low-quality sites if you Google this, and they don't have the same prices. So please don't answer by copying the first Google hit.

Two months ago I crossed from Thailand to Laos at Friendship Bridge #1 from Nong Khai to Vientiane.

For years the price of the visa on arrival had been $30 USD for Australian citizens. It has gone up $40 for almost all countries.

Now even though I had perfect condition USD from before covid in my wallet and even though I'd gone to SuperRich in Khon Kaen on my way north to buy new USD, the Laos immigration people rejected every one of my US banknotes. Apparently perfect condition is not good enough, they must now be 100% mint and uncirculated! (Let me know if the why of this would itself be an on-topic question here.)

As it happens there is at least one bank with moneychangers and at least one ATM right in the immigration area. I was able to change some Euros I forgot I had, though they rejected at least one of my Euro banknotes, they were less fussy than they were with the USD. (The exchange rates seemed fair.)

Now I'll be crossing from Nong Khai back into Vientiane again in another three days. I have some Lao Kip left and I have some Thai baht left, but I'm not sure I have enough of either - maybe. I know I can change one of my currencies in town here before I get to the border.

I was a bit grumpy last time after they rejected my USD so I didn't remember if they had a chart of the prices in each currency or if they only told me the ones I asked about. I do know that they accept Thai Baht but that the price is higher than for USD, but they don't have ridiculous standards for the condition of the Thai banknotes, so it's probably worth it.

So can anyone tell me the true rates in each accepted currency?

Do they accept USD, THB, and LAK? Any others?

If somebody has a link to the official Lao government fees that would be perfect. So would a photo of any chart that might be on display at the border. So will you recent experience.

If not, I will do my best to gather this info and post an answer in three days. But Ideally I'll find out exactly how much money I need to set aside or exchange before then (-:

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Update: I just crossed back into Laos and can confirm the price if you pay in Thai Baht is ฿1,700. About $7.50 more than if you pay in USD.

There were no signs or notices posted at the Nong Khai/Vientiane crossing like I found online from another border crossing and added below.

But I had come up with another plan, that worked out great! When I crossed two months ago I had to change Euro to Kip to US dollars when the dollars I brought were ruled unworthy. So I knew there was a bank that changed money on the Lao side at immigration. They actually offered a slightly better rate for my Kip than I found on the internet! I paid ₭826,000 LAK for $40 USD.

You do have to go around the luggage X-ray and the final passport check but just tell people "bank" or "tah-na-kahn" or "money changer" and they will let you through and point where to go. Bring your filled out immigration form from the visa window and take it and your new USD back there for processing.

The best part is that this bank is 100% guaranteed to give you USD that will be accepted at the visa-on-arrival window, unlike banks and moneychangers elsewhere.


Previous answer I also found some photographic evidence online after lots of searching:

This is from a page about the Chiang Khong To Huay Xai border crossing and says it was updated on August 29, 2023.

Up-to-date list of Prices per nationality in USD. Note that it's now $40 USD for all countries except China and Vietnam, for which it's $20 USD:
photo of pricelist

Accepted currencies: Lao Kip, US Dollar, Euro, Thai Baht, and Chinese RMB. Sadly it does not list the amounts in each currency.
photo of accepted currencies
Notice that this photo also covers how very picky they are about the USD banknotes they accept. When I crossed about two months ago they rejected all of my US money, including the ones I bought specifically at SuperRich in Khon Kaen on my way north. None of the notes I had were marked, torn, dirty, or old to any noticeable degree.


So the answer is still up for grabs on the prices in LAK, EUR, and CNY.

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  • 2
    Could it be that they get kickbacks from that bank?
    – Peter M
    Dec 17, 2023 at 22:04
  • It’s sad that there are still government offices not accepting credit cards for payment.
    – JonathanReez
    Feb 13 at 14:34
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    On 10/03/24 I was charged 2,000THB to cross from Nakhon Phanom to Thakek. Others were charged the same and refused a receipt (which makes me think it was overcharging), and anecdotally other travellers I met reported the same Mar 12 at 2:18
  • @RossMackay Ah interesting. I got the 1700 price by asking a foreigner in the queue near me how much he paid in which currency. I guess it's not officially set and therefore open to corruption adjustments \-: Mar 12 at 18:56

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