Caravans for bicycles and motorbikes are now prohibited from entry at all border checkpoints between Laos and Thailand in Xayaboury province.
Last month, it was only the Nam Ngeun international border in Xayaboury province which was refusing entry to tour groups into Laos but now its other two border crossings are also prohibiting the groups.
Deputy Director of the Xayaboury Information, Culture and Tourism Department Mr. Khampiew Phommahane confirmed to Vientiane Times on Wednesday that all of the borders in Xayaboury now prohibit touring motorcycle caravans.
“The tourist police unit does not prohibit the caravans of bicycles and motorcycles, but they are banned by the immigration police at the borders,” he said.
The reason why the immigration police are now refusing such groups entry into Laos through the three border checkpoints in Xayaboury remains unclear.
Mr. Khampiew added that some police officers at the immigration police told him that they have a signed agreements with Vietnam or China but did elaborate.
Xayaboury has three borders with Thailand, namely the Nam Ngeun-Houai Kon International border, the Nam Heuang-Nakaxeng International border and the Phoudou border.
The provincial Department of Information, Culture and Tourism in company with the provincial Tourist Police Unit have made a proposal to the provincial governor to address this problem but the governor has yet to reply.
It is only the borders in the province of Xayaboury that are refusing these caravans with others provinces and Vientiane still allowing them to pass.
So caravans of motorcycles from Thailand wanting to tour in Laos via tour companies still have other border crossing options.
Previously, group tours of bicycles and motorcycles could pass these borders in the prefecture but now border officials have stopped allowing them to pass.
Last month, the immigration police at Nam Ngeun border checkpoint initially refused entry of a tour group to Laos, which was later extended to the other two borders.
The owner of one tour company in LuangPrabang province, said on Wednesday he will bring a tour group of motorcyclists from Europe to Luang Prabang via the border between Laos and Thailand in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.
The Thai or European groups of riders normally organise to tour in Laos through a local tour company. Now there are a number of such companies, especially in Luang Prabang province.
Source: Vientiane Times