If you’re thinking about doing your visa run to Nong Khai in Northeast Thailand, you will probably want to know – the border isn’t open 24 hours per day – 7 days per week. When is it open – that’s anyone’s guess – LITERALLY. My wife called the Nong Khai Immigration – who promptly told her they were too busy to answer her question about “When are the hours the friendship bridge is open so my husband can do his visa run?”
The woman hung up on her after telling her that she was too busy to answer that question. Nice, right? No lie – she hung right the fuck up on her.
Government workers in Thailand are like this sometimes – and there was even a call center initiated to run as a go-between for the public and dealing with government offices because the government workers gave such shit for service. Well, she called there first – and this call center gave her the direct number – instead of answer the question.
Anyway – back to the point. The first point being – if you can’t answer a goddamned question that pertains to immigration – what are you doing there? Who is paying your dumb ass?
The second point is – when does the Friendship bridge open? The taxi guy on the way to it told us it’s open until 9pm. On the internet it says in 2 places it’s open until 10pm. I saw it listed on an official Thailand government site as open until 6 pm.
I was there at 8pm and it was open – and I did the in-out, and was on my way in about 40 minutes from the time I arrived at the immigration checkpoint on the Thai side.
Note – there is now a currency exchange beside the Laos immigration window where you apply for your $35 visa – which costs you about $9 more if you pay in Thai Baht – 1500. I missed it until after I’d already paid the 1,500 THB. Yes, I knew the deal – but didn’t make a run to a bank before I went up there – we were rushed.
So – what time is the Nong Khai Frienship Bridge open until? What are the hours it opens in the morning? No idea. Some say it’s open all the time – just pay some extra cash to people as you go through. I don’t know about that because some report sleeping there overnight until the place opened at 6am in the morning.
Good luck – is all I can offer.