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Vientiane Laos for Thai Visa


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You CAN buy a visa at the border, yes (although in hind sight i would next time probably get one in advance to cut on waiting times). The cost is in US Dollars only (to my knowledge) and cost me $45 (at least thats what i recall. I was pretty tired after taking the bus from CM). Just make sure you have a supply of dollars as well as baht as Laos likes both of these currencies as well as kip.

Whilst there i didnt use kip at all. Dollars for hotel, baht for tuk tuk etc.

Thai consulate asks for baht tho.

Cant recommend a cheap place to stay though, as i treated myself to a pricey place after such a long bus trip.

Edited by eek
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Lippy, they have a sliding scale for visa fees based on you nationality. At the

border you can pay in baht or $ for visa-on-arrival but I think the Lao embassy

in Bangkok only accepts Thai baht.(apparently dollars a rare advantage here).

http://www.bkklaoembassy.com/

Resources on accommodation are sketchy, even the travel books are hurting in

this area. This one link below has some of the better information.

http://www.travelfish.org/accommodation/la...e/vientiane/all

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Thanks eek and Cali for your quick responses.

I'm not too worried about the time it'll take,it just takes the pressure off me knowing i can do it that way.

I'm in the South and plan to book both trains in advance and arrive in bkk on a weekend and thought id have to hang around till the embassy opened but now i should have alot more leeway.

The info is much appreciated.

Cheers

Lippy

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You CAN buy a visa at the border, yes (although in hind sight i would next time probably get one in advance to cut on waiting times). The cost is in US Dollars only (to my knowledge) and cost me $45 (at least thats what i recall.

Right, you can buy a visa at the border, just some days ago I bought mine at the Friendship Bridge I (Nong Khai) and it just took a couple of minutes to get the visa issued. I only had to provide one picture, the visa fee (see below) and the address of the hotel where I intended to stay in Laos.

You can pay the fee in Thai Baht as well (what I did), but currently it seems favorable to pay the fee in U.S. Dollars. In my case, being a German citizen, they would have charged $31 and I paid 1,340 Baht.

At least at this particular Friendship Bridge, Lao Immigration also asked for an "entrance fee" from foreign passport holders. It was $1, and when I asked how much it is in Thai Baht (as I didn't hold any U.S. Dollars), they told me it's 10 Baht. Quite a difference!

So I'd say it would be best to pay the visa fee in U.S. Dollars and the entrance fee in Thai Baht. :o

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Chris,

I'll expand. Whilst it is obvious in Penang that agents can be used (and in deed I have used them before), there is a scary sign outside the embassy in Laos saying that every applicant must apply in person or....else? Words to that effect anyway. I'd have used one and sat by the mekong and had a beer rather than go, just was'nt on I was told.You experienced otherwise and good luck to you. Apologies if my wording was a little "strong".

Cheers,

Gas

No worries gas, and it is, horses for course's, people are out there to rip us off, and that is where thai visa forum helps 100% keeps us upto date with scams etc and all this that we write on here will unfortuatly change again in a few months cos we'll all prob be going back to pennang again or cambodia or somewhere else!

if ya ever in Pattaya call in soi 6 corner bar ill get you a beer, wont be beer laos (shame)! :o

chris

Take you up on that one mate - feb perhaps!

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FYI i'm going to Vientiane by bus from bangers tomorrow; i'll post how it goes. i'll probably spend a week or so in Laos so if i don't post right away it doesn't (necessarily) mean i've been kidnapped.

bus ticket is 900 baht one way straight to Vientiane. last time i went to Vientiane i took the train and tuk-tuk'd to the border crossing.

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one girl from the Philippines in line was only charged 1000 even though she'd written '2 Entry' on the form, but I cannot tell you why.

I wonder why she paid 1000. Usually Filipinos and all other ASEAN citizens don't pay for a tourist visa or a Laos visa.

That's obvious, she was getting a tourist visa at the embassy, they don't come free of charge for ASEAN citizens. My Lao partner also had to pay for his 60 day tourist visa back in KL, but it saved a trip to Cambodia, so cheaper then doing a visa run.

Of course most ASEAN citizens can indeed get 30 days free exempt stamp. (Cambodians excluded).

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Hi

If anyone is contemplating driving to Laos, don't expect to see many road signs either in Lao, English or Thai!

Only recall seeing 1 sign in english in Vientiane pointing in direction of Friendship bridge. The bridge itself is not exactly well signposted!

I think they really need to tidy up their act especially as they have the SEA games in 2009. Thai roads and signage are spectacularly good in comparison.

But still worth a visit.

TBWG :o

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You CAN buy a visa at the border, yes (although in hind sight i would next time probably get one in advance to cut on waiting times). The cost is in US Dollars only (to my knowledge) and cost me $45 (at least thats what i recall.

Right, you can buy a visa at the border, just some days ago I bought mine at the Friendship Bridge I (Nong Khai) and it just took a couple of minutes to get the visa issued. I only had to provide one picture, the visa fee (see below) and the address of the hotel where I intended to stay in Laos.

You can pay the fee in Thai Baht as well (what I did), but currently it seems favorable to pay the fee in U.S. Dollars. In my case, being a German citizen, they would have charged $31 and I paid 1,340 Baht.

At least at this particular Friendship Bridge, Lao Immigration also asked for an "entrance fee" from foreign passport holders. It was $1, and when I asked how much it is in Thai Baht (as I didn't hold any U.S. Dollars), they told me it's 10 Baht. Quite a difference!

So I'd say it would be best to pay the visa fee in U.S. Dollars and the entrance fee in Thai Baht. :o

Do you know if they give change for US dollars, for example if you paid with a $50 bill? In Cambodia they try their hardest not to accept US dollars to take advantage of the higher baht price.

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one girl from the Philippines in line was only charged 1000 even though she'd written '2 Entry' on the form, but I cannot tell you why.

I wonder why she paid 1000. Usually Filipinos and all other ASEAN citizens don't pay for a tourist visa or a Laos visa.

That's obvious, she was getting a tourist visa at the embassy, they don't come free of charge for ASEAN citizens. My Lao partner also had to pay for his 60 day tourist visa back in KL, but it saved a trip to Cambodia, so cheaper then doing a visa run.

Of course most ASEAN citizens can indeed get 30 days free exempt stamp. (Cambodians excluded).

There absolutely nothing obvious about anything. Filipinos can and do get free tourist visas at embassies. My girl got FREE single and double-entry tourist visas from the embassy in Penang.

Filipinos only get 21 day visa exempt entry stamps in Cambodia. As I said, don't use "that's obvious" terminology when it comes to visas etc.

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^ Let's put it this way, it's not very logical that your girlfriend received a free tourist visa, as they are providing a service to her. Ie. in stamping that visa into her passport. This has nothing to do with any visa exempt status whatsoever. I have heard other people stating that they indeed got a free tourist visa, but it's highly likely that most people have to pay, including ASEAN citizens. (as I pointed out with the above example in KL, and Lao citizens have mutual visa exempt, and aren't even limited to 90 days in 6 months, but they have to pay for their tourist visa as everyone else).

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You CAN buy a visa at the border, yes (although in hind sight i would next time probably get one in advance to cut on waiting times). The cost is in US Dollars only (to my knowledge) and cost me $45 (at least thats what i recall.

Right, you can buy a visa at the border, just some days ago I bought mine at the Friendship Bridge I (Nong Khai) and it just took a couple of minutes to get the visa issued. I only had to provide one picture, the visa fee (see below) and the address of the hotel where I intended to stay in Laos.

You can pay the fee in Thai Baht as well (what I did), but currently it seems favorable to pay the fee in U.S. Dollars. In my case, being a German citizen, they would have charged $31 and I paid 1,340 Baht.

At least at this particular Friendship Bridge, Lao Immigration also asked for an "entrance fee" from foreign passport holders. It was $1, and when I asked how much it is in Thai Baht (as I didn't hold any U.S. Dollars), they told me it's 10 Baht. Quite a difference!

So I'd say it would be best to pay the visa fee in U.S. Dollars and the entrance fee in Thai Baht. :o

Do you know if they give change for US dollars, for example if you paid with a $50 bill? In Cambodia they try their hardest not to accept US dollars to take advantage of the higher baht price.

Yes they give change for 50 USD, sometimes you even get lucky (like I was at Nakhom Phanom/Thaek Khaek) where they didn't have exact change, so I got in for 30 USD, as opposed to 35 which is the normal visa fee for NL citizens. This was also listed on that particular border crossing, but they are not that scam happy as the border officials at some cambodian borders.

The entrance fee is something Friendship bridge specific, and started with this nonsense about a year ago. Of course you could also be charged for overtime, the fee is 15.000 kip for foreigners and 5000 for Lao citizens (yes they do pay !) In fact at Thak Khaek, all visa free citizens (like Vietnamese, Thai) have to pay an new entrance fee of 15.000 baht and guess what, even Lao citizens have to pay this :D

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^ Let's put it this way, it's not very logical that your girlfriend received a free tourist visa, as they are providing a service to her. Ie. in stamping that visa into her passport. This has nothing to do with any visa exempt status whatsoever. I have heard other people stating that they indeed got a free tourist visa, but it's highly likely that most people have to pay, including ASEAN citizens. (as I pointed out with the above example in KL, and Lao citizens have mutual visa exempt, and aren't even limited to 90 days in 6 months, but they have to pay for their tourist visa as everyone else).

It has nothing to with logic, or what might seem obvious. It's a fact, and that fact is that Filipinos DON'T pay for tourist visas in Penang. I can show you 3 different tourist visas obtained there, one is a double from August 06, and the other two are singles from May and October this year....all for free.

This is the reason why I was curious about Tod-Daniels comment earlier. I'm particularly interested in this because she will be heading there next month to get a tourist visa.

Obviously there is a tit-for-tat thing going on amongst ASEAN countries. I know a Filipino gets 21 days visa free in Cambodia and 30 days in Malaysia. I did see on the Laos Embassy site that they charge Filipinos 600 baht for a visa to enter Laos.

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FYI i'm going to Vientiane by bus from bangers tomorrow; i'll post how it goes. i'll probably spend a week or so in Laos so if i don't post right away it doesn't (necessarily) mean i've been kidnapped.

bus ticket is 900 baht one way straight to Vientiane. last time i went to Vientiane i took the train and tuk-tuk'd to the border crossing.

Is this out of Morchit with the ticket purchased there. Do know the departures time(s) and stops?
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^ Let's put it this way, it's not very logical that your girlfriend received a free tourist visa, as they are providing a service to her. Ie. in stamping that visa into her passport. This has nothing to do with any visa exempt status whatsoever. I have heard other people stating that they indeed got a free tourist visa, but it's highly likely that most people have to pay, including ASEAN citizens. (as I pointed out with the above example in KL, and Lao citizens have mutual visa exempt, and aren't even limited to 90 days in 6 months, but they have to pay for their tourist visa as everyone else).

It has nothing to with logic, or what might seem obvious. It's a fact, and that fact is that Filipinos DON'T pay for tourist visas in Penang. I can show you 3 different tourist visas obtained there, one is a double from August 06, and the other two are singles from May and October this year....all for free.

This is the reason why I was curious about Tod-Daniels comment earlier. I'm particularly interested in this because she will be heading there next month to get a tourist visa.

Obviously there is a tit-for-tat thing going on amongst ASEAN countries. I know a Filipino gets 21 days visa free in Cambodia and 30 days in Malaysia. I did see on the Laos Embassy site that they charge Filipinos 600 baht for a visa to enter Laos.

Yep, at the Laos embassy your girlfriend will pay for her visa, as it is a service, but if she just shows up at the Lao border, she will get in for free, just as citizens from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia and some others.

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Yep, at the Laos embassy your girlfriend will pay for her visa, as it is a service, but if she just shows up at the Lao border, she will get in for free, just as citizens from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia and some others.

I hope so. I've seen various reports that a Filipino needs to pay for a visa to enter Laos...600 baht is indicated on the Laos Embassy (BKK) site.

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You CAN buy a visa at the border, yes (although in hind sight i would next time probably get one in advance to cut on waiting times). The cost is in US Dollars only (to my knowledge) and cost me $45 (at least thats what i recall.

Right, you can buy a visa at the border, just some days ago I bought mine at the Friendship Bridge I (Nong Khai) and it just took a couple of minutes to get the visa issued. I only had to provide one picture, the visa fee (see below) and the address of the hotel where I intended to stay in Laos.

You can pay the fee in Thai Baht as well (what I did), but currently it seems favorable to pay the fee in U.S. Dollars. In my case, being a German citizen, they would have charged $31 and I paid 1,340 Baht.

At least at this particular Friendship Bridge, Lao Immigration also asked for an "entrance fee" from foreign passport holders. It was $1, and when I asked how much it is in Thai Baht (as I didn't hold any U.S. Dollars), they told me it's 10 Baht. Quite a difference!

So I'd say it would be best to pay the visa fee in U.S. Dollars and the entrance fee in Thai Baht. :o

Do you know if they give change for US dollars, for example if you paid with a $50 bill? In Cambodia they try their hardest not to accept US dollars to take advantage of the higher baht price.

Yes, Tropo they do give you change in dollars if you pay in them.

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FYI i'm going to Vientiane by bus from bangers tomorrow; i'll post how it goes. i'll probably spend a week or so in Laos so if i don't post right away it doesn't (necessarily) mean i've been kidnapped.

bus ticket is 900 baht one way straight to Vientiane. last time i went to Vientiane i took the train and tuk-tuk'd to the border crossing.

Is this out of Morchit with the ticket purchased there. Do know the departures time(s) and stops?

i got mine through a travel agent because i was lazy and 900 baht seemed quite reasonable to me (one way, i'll prob book my bus back to bangers through my guest house) they are private charters and leave from somewhere near KSR in the early evening, around 7 or 8 pm.

a lot of waiting around at the Nong khai border as you have to change buses on the Lao side (and wait for a raggedy little Lao bus) but expect to pay about 200 baht for a tuk tuk to Vientiane if you have no patience to wait for the bus. the bus dropped us approximately between the black stupa and the river in vientiane, a good area to look for guest houses.

tomorrow consulate should be open, i expect i'll give it a go. will advise.

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FYI i'm going to Vientiane by bus from bangers tomorrow; i'll post how it goes. i'll probably spend a week or so in Laos so if i don't post right away it doesn't (necessarily) mean i've been kidnapped.

bus ticket is 900 baht one way straight to Vientiane. last time i went to Vientiane i took the train and tuk-tuk'd to the border crossing.

Is this out of Morchit with the ticket purchased there. Do know the departures time(s) and stops?

i got mine through a travel agent because i was lazy and 900 baht seemed quite reasonable to me (one way, i'll prob book my bus back to bangers through my guest house) they are private charters and leave from somewhere near KSR in the early evening, around 7 or 8 pm.

a lot of waiting around at the Nong khai border as you have to change buses on the Lao side (and wait for a raggedy little Lao bus) but expect to pay about 200 baht for a tuk tuk to Vientiane if you have no patience to wait for the bus. the bus dropped us approximately between the black stupa and the river in vientiane, a good area to look for guest houses.

tomorrow consulate should be open, i expect i'll give it a go. will advise.

Hi! Is the raggedy little Lao bus that you waited for part of the 900 baht price? Can you recommend the agent in KSR that you got your seat from?

I'm a Filipina about to go on my third TV. Just to add my 2 cents' worth on the discussion about us getting TVs for free. I got my first one in Penang in July '07 and that was for free. My second TV was from HK and I had to pay HK$230 for that, so I suppose it depends on the consulate whether they want to give it gratis to a Filipino or not. Here's hoping I'll get it free in Vientiane. LOL. :D

On a more serious note, does anyone know or heard of a Filipino denied a TV anywhere? I'm on my third and I'm a little apprehensive. :o

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Hi! Is the raggedy little Lao bus that you waited for part of the 900 baht price?

yep.

Can you recommend the agent in KSR that you got your seat from?

i don't remember, just walk into any travel agent in bangers and ask about the bus to vientiane. wasn't special as i had the same price quoted on sukhumvit (most likely same bus as it involved minibus pickup). make sure they take you all the way there. if you find a price better than 900 baht, post the name / location of the agent!

i went thurs morning. got there early. as it happens the khee nok guesthouse i'm staying in has paper thin walls and so i had NO trouble waking up; the soi dog wars outside at 5 am took care of that. i got there about 7.30, and there were only about 5 people waiting ahead of me. by the time the gate opened at 8.30 there were around 50. you drop off in the morning and pick up the following afternoon. i applied for a double entry (as the OP stated you write "X2" next to the box where you check 'tourist visa'). i downloaded the form from a link provided in this thread somehwere. handy. there were people with forms in front of the consulate i don't know if they were charging (which technically, is illegal, but that isn't likely to stop 'em is it).

SUCCESS! 2x entry tourist visa, no bankbook, no dam_n anything needed. well almost no dam_n anything you need to give them 2x passport photo and a photocopy of your passport. i forgot my photocopy and had to walk to a photocopy shop, about a 5 min walk. no biggie, i didnt have to wait in the line again which by then was about 50 people.

you then go into the little building to wait for your chance to pay, which comes pretty quickly. a guy i chatted with while waiting said that if they take your money it's just about a done deal (not guaranteed, but they're unlikely to spot any problem after they take the money). you pick it up the next afternoon at the same table where you gave them the paperwork and your passport. piece of cake! no line friday afternoon at 1.30; it opened at 1. there might have been a line then. just guessing, i'd say they did less than 100 visas that day. i actually saw about 50 people but i was gone fairly quickly and i'd imagine not everyone gets there early.

incidentally, i had two previous single entry tourist visas obtained in penang, and about 3 30 day stamps, so a pretty clean passport. but there was a guy who'd been living on TVs for 5 years and he didn't seem to have any problem either. i didn't see any indications that anyone was refused that day. did'nt see anyone questioned, but i was at the front of the line.

you might get away with using an agent, but i wouldn't recommend it. heard this from several sources, mostly other visa runners. also, you'll notice that there are many travel agencies that offer visa services---vietnam, china, cambodia... but thailand is NOT on their list. just to be on the safe side i'd take that as a hint.

one thing i noticed about the TV: date of entry is at 90 days (very tight!). presumably this means that, if you get an extension, you do a border run. if you linger in lao, you're using up days in thailand. and your border hop for your next entry uses up part of your possible 180 maximum too. still, it's just about six months, a good deal.

most likely what i'll do is forego the 1,900 baht extension on the first entry and do some traveling, maybe visit a friend in manila and go north and see the rice terraces or something. still a good six months in thailand, if you want it, at a rate of about a thousand a month in visa fees.

no telling how long this TV-friendly attitude will last, or if they ever will get "penang'd" (my guess is they will, when the visa runner traffic gets out of hand) but right now, PIECE OF CAKE.

enjoy your visa runs, ppl. vientiane is a pleasant little town with good food. not as rowdy as penang but then i wasn't looking to party this time either so maybe i missed the rowdy parties (yeah right).

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On a more serious note, does anyone know or heard of a Filipino denied a TV anywhere? I'm on my third and I'm a little apprehensive. :o

For what it's worth, I don't think you have a better or worse chance of getting a TV than any citizens of western nations.

Good Luck! I'll be interested in hearing your story as my Filipino GF and I will be heading there soon.

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On a more serious note, does anyone know or heard of a Filipino denied a TV anywhere? I'm on my third and I'm a little apprehensive. :D

For what it's worth, I don't think you have a better or worse chance of getting a TV than any citizens of western nations.

Good Luck! I'll be interested in hearing your story as my Filipino GF and I will be heading there soon.

I sure will. Looks like I'm off to Vientiane in 12 days or so.

Zeus, how did you get back to BKK? Did you still take the bus? Great account on your trip, BTW. :o

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======================================================

no telling how long this TV-friendly attitude will last, or if they ever will get "penang'd" (my guess is they will, when the visa runner traffic gets out of hand) but right now, PIECE OF CAKE.

======================================================

Well, I hope it least until the 17th this month and I'll be save until my 50th birthday on August 31.

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One of my friend got a TV with Red stamp from Penang.

Now she is going to try for TV at Vientiane.

She has 3 TV from Penang in total (last one with Red stamp), she had several VOA in between TV.

Does she have a chance to get TV in Vientiane?

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On a more serious note, does anyone know or heard of a Filipino denied a TV anywhere? I'm on my third and I'm a little apprehensive. :D

For what it's worth, I don't think you have a better or worse chance of getting a TV than any citizens of western nations.

Good Luck! I'll be interested in hearing your story as my Filipino GF and I will be heading there soon.

I sure will. Looks like I'm off to Vientiane in 12 days or so.

Zeus, how did you get back to BKK? Did you still take the bus? Great account on your trip, BTW. :o

i did indeed take the bus. as an added bonus a dinner of fried rice at a riverside restaurant in nong khai is included in the price (which was cheaper when bought from vientiane, i believe around 800 baht but it varies from travel agent to travel agent, one guy paid a thousand).

in retrospect though i like the train to nong khai, a LOT better. the train can be inexpensive if you take a non-aircon sleeper but tuktuks tend to price gouge for the trip from the border to vientiane. still, a lot nicer trip and you don't have to wait for the raggedy bus on the vientiane side.

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Sorry if I am asking something that has already ben answered but I have a friend who is great at rebuilding engines, anything involved carpentry work in the home or office, very intelligent, but a complete twit when it comes to trying to get his visa. Since he will be shortly in overstay mode, I have suggested he take a plane to Vientienne and go diretctly to the Embassy the following morning. Since he has to stay there a night or two, it would be cheaper, not to mention safer, than being caught by immigration police in Thailand. On the other had, I suggested he either take the sleeper to Nongkhai or a bus that arrives very early and follow the instructions of some of you folks on the board. He tried to go there once with his Thai BF, but they both got ripped off enroute to the border from a hotel in NK - some tuk-tuk driver was asked how much to the border, they were told 600 baht, then dorve them around the corner and said they were there!

Now he is afraid to try it by himself for fear of getting totally ripped off and the next bus with complete visa service will cost him about four extra days overstay.

Any one care to give EXPLICIT instructions for getting from the Vientienne airport to a bed/breakfast near the embassy so he could get in line early in the mornring.

He shouldn't have a problem getting back - just follow his nose to the border!! Would appreciate any help for him if possible.

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