The only way to reach Huay Xai from the Thai side at Chiang Khong, is by taking a long-tailed boat across the Mekong River. It's certainly a fun way to enter a country! The Lao side of the border closes at 6pm. The crossing costs 30B plus an extra 10B per bag.
GGB in the making, take a look at the photo. If you want some, you can join them at the back, I play card games with all the guys, but I did not smoke, because I quited smoking. I did not beer because I have no mood yet. I play card games because it is a pastime, 6 hours.
220,000 kips from Houay Xai to Luang Prabang (2 days by slow boat), 65000 kips to Luang Namtha by bus (4 hours).
Taking slow boat is crazy, it is a crazy international backpacker's party on the Mekong river. 6 hours on the first day and again 8 hours the second day, to get to Luang Prabang. You can sit at behind the boat to join the GGB Team (Grass, Gambling and Beer).
(date took the speed boat: Dec. 15. 2004)
speed boat fare: 600 ThB or 152,000 kip
travel time - 6 hours with at least 2 to 3 stop-over
speed boat good for 6 people
departure time: 11:00 am
estimated arrival time - 5 p.m.
painful to your legs...
enough to experienced this but dont want to try it again.
When coming from Chiang Khong (Thailand), you can go with a tuk-tuk to the border for 20 Baht.
Visa ona rrival costs 30 US $ for 14 days and you only have to wait 5 minutes (bring one passport picture).
Then you can ride free with a pickup to the Mekong where you can take a ferry (20 Baht) to the slow boat.
For the slow boat you pay 750 Baht or 225.000 Kip
Houayxai, Laos to Chiang Khong, Thailand
(last date took the ferry: Dec. 14, 2004)
Ferry boat fare: 5 ThB