Pak Beng, Huay Xai and the border crossing.

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Asia » Laos » West » Huay Xai
August 28th 2012
Published: August 30th 2012
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To get back into Thailand we decided to head north in Laos and cross at the Huay Xai border. We couldn’t find much info on our route, so I'll detail it in case anyone reading is doing the same.

We set off from Luang Prabang at 8.30 am on a substantially bigger boat than the last time we left the pier! It was rammed full of locals and a handful of tourists, we tried to buy tickets in advance but you have to get them on the day and its best to get there at 8 ish to get a seat! The weather was fantastic, which made a change as we always seem to move on in bad weather! The 10 hour ride was really relaxing, we passed local kids playing in the river, people fishing and generally just getting on with their lives-so far removed from ours back in blighty! We arrived in Pak Beng at about 7 in the evening and found a bed for the night, and it had a hot shower! Pak Beng is a quiet little Laos river village, a nice place to stop for an evening.

The next morning we set off at 8.30 and arrived at Huay Xai at 5 ish. We knew the border crossing closed around this time and the buses to Chiang Rai stop around the same time too, so instead of rushing to try get the last boat we relaxed in a cool little bar and were entertained by the three little girls who played next to our table and served us our food and our last beer Lao! Sad face.

The next morning we got a boat across the river that took 5 minutes and had a pain free border crossing with no scams etc! We had our visas already sorted so it was super quick! We jumped in a tuk tuk to the station and then caught a bus to Chiang Rai and soon enough we had checked in at another gorgeous guesthouse on a quiet leafy street.

For anyone doing the trip this is a breakdown and cost, something we would have found useful:
Boat from Luang Prabang to Pak Beng 8.00 am 110 kip per person 10 hours ish
One night in Pak Beng
Pak Beng to Huay Xai 8.00 am 110 kip per person 9 ish hours.
Kids PlayingKids PlayingKids Playing

Nobody likes a show off!

From what we could gather the border control closes around 5 and the buses to Chiang Rai stop even earlier so not much point in crossing same day.

Boat to Thailand every half hour takes 5 mins and cost 40 baht per person. Then it's a quick tuk tuk to the bus station (20 baht each) bus to Chiang Rai very frequent takes two hours costs 65 baht each.

We really enjoyed the journey and we were glad to avoid getting on a bus on the Laos roads!

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