How To Do A Visa Run From Danang to Lao Bao Border

vietnam visa run Lao bao border
Entering the Vietnam immigration building

Are you thinking of doing a Vietnam visa run? If it’s your first time, it can seem a bit intimidating, or like you are doing something wrong and immigration will deny you entry! That is how I felt, but it is actually quite an easygoing experience.

As of August 15th, 2023, citizens from all countries and territories are eligible for a 90 day Vietnam e-visa! Prior to this, it was 30 days, I had to do two 8-hour visa runs to the Lao Bao border.

Apply for your e-visa on the official Vietnam immigration website, I would apply about 2 or 3 weeks before your trip because it can take 3 – 15 working days to process.

What Is The Point Of A Visa Run?

So why do you have to do a visa run when in Vietnam? A visa run allows you extend your time in Vietnam by a further 90 days. And who wouldn’t want to spend more time in beautiful Vietnam! Basically, you are required to leave Vietnam in order to validate your new e-visa. Leaving Vietnam gives you an exit stamp on your old e-visa, crossing to Laos (or another country) allows you to activate you new e-visa and get that new entry stamp!

You can do a visa run one of two ways:

1. Flying to another country and flying back to Vietnam; however this can work out expensive with the cost of return flights, or;

2. Doing a land visa run at an EVISA approved border (not all land borders accept EVISAs). It’s a little loophole that gives a bit more freedom to tourists.

If you are in Danang and need to do a visa run I highly recommend Lynn Visa, a local visa agent.

I never completed a border run before and was a bit apprehensive on whether I would actually be granted another e-visa for Vietnam. I was also worried because I did not have an onward flight, or a large bank balance. To be honest, I just felt like a red flag! Therefore, it felt safer going with a trusted company like Lynn Visa who would maybe help if we ran into any issues with immigration.

It costs a total of 2,200,000 VND to use Lynn Visa plus the cost of the Vietnam E-VISA. Here is my experience crossing the Lao Bao border.

The Complete Vietnam Visa Run Process

I contacted Lynn via WhatsApp on the number provided on her Facebook page. She sent me a detailed google document of everything I would need to know about her service, and what I needed to bring.

What Do You Need For Vietnam Visa Run

  1. Prior to completing the border run you need to have your new EVISA, you then send the pdf of this new visa to Lynn and pay her the fee.
  2. Current (old) e-visa
  3. Valid passport
  4. Passport sized photo for the LAOS border or; If you do not have a passport sized photo you need to pay 50,000 VND to Loas immigration.

Journey to the Border

vietnam visa run
After passport is checked for the 1st time

We were told the bus leaves at 6am but we got there early and left on another bus at 5:30am.

The seats were leather recliners with a leg rest and was fitted with a USB. They were incredibly spacious and comfortable.

The bus stops twice, 90 minutes into the journey and then another 90 minutes so you have a few opportunities to go to the toilet.

We arrived at the border at 10am.

vietnam visa run
Entering Laos

What Happens At The Border

Honestly this whole process was seamless, I was expecting it to takes hours but it was very quick. It went like this:

  1. Passport stamp checked by guard outside the Vietnamese border
  2. Handed passport to Lynn Visa Employee
  3. Walked into the building at the Vietnamese border, name called and passport handed back
  4. Walked to the Lao border and has passport checked
  5. Went inside a building in the Lao immigration office, handed passport and 50,000 VND over. Waited about 20 minutes for the newly stamped passport
  6. Walked back to the Vietnam border, on the way had pass port checked leaving Lao
  7. When in the building at Vietnam border we handed passport over to Lynn Visa employee and waited for our name to be called.
  8. Passport handed back with new stamp and checked one last time at the front of the Vietnamese border

The whole process took 1 hour and we had to wait 30 minutes for everyone else on the bus to get through.

There is not much to do at the border, but there is a coffee shop and a few stalls. I recommend Bun Coffee.

We were back on the bus by 11:30am. We were then taken Quán c?m Dung Tài for lunch, personally I did not enjoy the food so if I was to do it again I would just stay on the bus as it was just a hectic experience.

The bus stopped every 90 minutes on the way back and I slept for most of the return journey. We were in Danang by 4:30pm.

Final Thoughts – Should You Use Lynn Visa?

I found this service amazing value for money, the comfortable bus made the long journey tolerable, I usually do not fall asleep on buses but I slept like a baby on this!

Additionally, the best part of Lynn Visas service is not having to deal with immigration officers, or answering any questions about our plans, and return flights.

Finally, the staff were all so friendly and so efficient. I was somewhat worried about a long bus journey, due to the roads, but the bus driver drove so safely, and 75% of the journey is on an expressway.

If you are looking to renew your Vietnam e-visa, I would 100% recommend Lynn Visa in Danang!

However, you can totally do this yourself if you are comfortable on a bike! Immigration on both sides were kind, asked no questions, and were very quick! One downside to this is that you will not be allowed to use the expressway on a motorbike!

vietnam visa run - what to do at the border
Waiting for the bus to let us on

Related Posts