During your travels in Thailand, you might want to venture beyond the borders of this country and visit the neighbouring countries of Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos or Malaysia. There are several options for border crossings where you can exit Thailand and enter these other nations.
Most of the borders of Thailand follow the natural features of the region, such as the Mekong River. These boundaries were demarcated in the late 19th treaties that were forced on Thailand by France and the UK. In fact, these days some of the borders (especially those with Laos and Cambodia) are still in dispute.
There are two different types of border crossings in Thailand, the international crossings and the local crossings. International crossings are for foreign travellers who have passports and visas, while the local crossings are designed so that locals can pass with ease using a border pass. As a traveller, you will be exclusively using international crossings.
There are over 20 different international border crossings in Thailand – seven for Malaysia, three for Myanmar, six for Laos and six for Cambodia.
What are the Border Crossings in Thailand?
Border Crossings between Thailand and Laos
• Chong Mek to Vang Tao – The most convenient option.
• Mukdahan to Savannnakhet – Uses the Friendship Bridge II over the Mekong.
• Nakhon Phanom to Tha Khaek – A river crossing with boats running half a dozen times per day.
• Bueng to Kan Paksan – Make sure you get your Laos visa ahead of time, as visa on arrival is not available here.
• Nong Khai to Vientiane – Only 20km from Vientiane, lots of transport options.
• Ban Mo to Vientiane – Not as popular with tourists and no Laos visa on arrival available.
• Thai Li to Nam Hueng – A very remote crossing, not much public transport and no Laos visa on arrival available here.
• Chiang Khong to Huay Xai – Laos visas available here. One of the most popular options. Border Crossings between Thailand and Cambodia
• Aranyaprathat to Poipet – Most popular, but can be dysfunctional with crossing times lasting more than three hours.
• Hat Lek to Ko Kong – Very convenient and close to Sihanoukville.
• Chong Jom to O Smach – Close to Siem Reap and several buses available.
• Chong Sa Ngam to Anlong Veng – No public transport options from this border crossing, but convenient to Anlong Veng.
• Ban Pakard to Phsa Prum – Not often used, but Cambodian visas available on arrival here.
• Ban Laem to Daun Lem – Not very often used and difficult to get to.
Border Crossings between Thailand and Malaysia
• Ban Ta Ba to Pengkalan Kulor – Easy to arrange transport to and there are regular buses on the Malaysian side.
• Sungai Kolok to Rantau Panjang – Very easy border crossing where you simply walk over the bridge.
• Sadao to Changlun – One of the most popular border crossings for visa runs.
• Pedang Besar – Open 24 hours and can be reached by train, bus and taxi.
• Wang Prajan – Somewhat obscure, although there are songtheaws from Satun to the border.
• Kuala Perlis – A longtail boat departs throughout the day and takes an hour to cross.
Have you crossed at any of these Thailand borders? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.