It was slightly after 1pm, finally we were at the Thai-Laos’ border check point at Chong Met. We had been on the road for 18 hours since we left Bangkok the night before. Surprisingly, we wasn’t that exhausted as we thought, in fact, the journey was quite relaxing… as we had been spending most of the time waiting… being transferred from one vehicle to another…

The arrival counter at the Laos Immigration office was very simple. It’s located in the back of its building and only one officer was on duty. As usual, we filled up an arrival form and upon finished, I sent it to the counter with my passport. I was faster than Alex this time.

As a Malaysian, I don’t require any visa to enter the country. When the officer completed stamping my passport, he said, “THB100.” I felt something was wrong, but still took out a hundred Baht note and asked him for a receipt. After taken my money, he replied softly, “No receipt!”. My heart sank at once, “Damn! I am being cheated! This guy corrupts!”. I was then staring blankly at Alex.

Alex’s turn. Again, he did the same to her.

Instead of submitting to his request, Alex snapped, “I have paid US$30 for the visa, and I am not paying more if no receipt given!”.

“THB100, no receipt.” The officer insisted.

“Why no receipt? Then write it on a piece of paper.”

“No paper, no receipt.”

“You have no paper, I have!” Alex took a piece of paper out of her bag, and passed it to the counter.

“Cannot write…”

“You can read, I am sure you can write. You write, I pay! Here! Paper!”

I noticed as her voice got louder, the officer’s head was getting lower and voice became softer, even speechless. He pushed her passport to Alex, signaled her to leave, while Alex was still verbally attacking him like a German Shepherd! Somehow I had to drag her away.

While we were moving away, Alex worried if we would be stopped or arrested. I did a quick scan around and saw all the other officers were still leisuring around in the background. No one seem to notice what had happened at the counter. Phew! With all our senses fully alert, we then picked up our luggage and ran for our life…

For not knowing I do not require a visa, I was charged THB150 by a travel agent in Bangkok for nothing. And now, another THB100. Sigh!

For Laos visa and border crossing, please see latest news update at: http://www.bkklaoembassy.com

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