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Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

Hampshire
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Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

We are in Luang Prabang in March and looking to go up the Mekong on a boat trip, does anybody know if it's possible to go in to Thailand, or how far we can go, as we want to eventually end up in Chang Rai, but can't find much info on trips from Luang Prabang.

Vientiane
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1. Re: Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

It is not possible to go to Thailand.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

you can get to the Thailand border from Luang Prabang on the Mekong either by public boat or private eg Nagi of Mekong. We did the trip the other way travelling through northern Thailand through Chang Rai and over to Chiang Khong. We then caught the Nagi of Mekong just across the border in Laos and travelled for two days overnighting in Pakbeng and ending up in Luang Prabang. It was sensational. Very easy to organise and thousands of people go in both directions.

Is this what you had in mind but in reverse?

Edited: 5:14 pm, February 01, 2014
Vientiane
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3. Re: Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

I assumed the op meant on a longtail. That is what "boat trip suggests".

Hampshire
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4. Re: Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

We have just done the fast boat from Luang Prabang to the Thai border in 6.5 hours! We went in a long tail boat I with 6 other Thai people who used it as normal transport including a young mum with a baby. The boats are very cramped and you have to keep your legs bent under you the whole time, you get a choice of life jacket or helmet! We went for the life jacket and just wore our sunglasses as the speed you go is between 30-35 knots being so low in the water it seems much faster.

We were glad we experienced it but wouldn't do it again as it was very dangerous the river had such a current with rapids and whirlpools not to mention lots of rocks as the water level is extremely low, if we had of capsized I don't honestly think we would have lived to tell the tale but it was very exhilarating as well as frightening.

So if you're thinking about doing the trip - don't if you value your life! Take the slow boat and lots of mosquito cream, your own toilet paper and the over night stay as Packbeng leaves a lot to be desired.

Espoo
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5. Re: Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

We are a couple nearing sixties (me with bad hips, one artificial...), and we took the speedboats both up and down the river from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai and back, 7 hours each way. We wore helmets because the rain is really painful on the face at those speeds. Exhilarating! Dangerous, hah, we both dozed off occasionally on the way back...

We did land on the Thailand side a few times, by the way, to get more gas. Apparently the border rules for locals are lax, and speedboats with such a few foreigners are not watched over very carefully by border guards.

So to Thailand from LP: speedboat to Huay Xia, cross the new bridge.

Edited: 6:54 am, April 07, 2014
Perth, Australia
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6. Re: Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

Sorry, you are just plain wrong about that! You get the boat back up the river to Chiang Khong and from there a bus or mini bus to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai

Dhaka City...
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7. Re: Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

Hi everyone.

I am trying to work out how to fit in a 2-day Mekong boat trip from Luang Prabang as I am not sure :

:

1) where the boat trip starts?

2) where boat trip ends?

3) where we sleep if overnight as it seems to be?

4) if we need to book in advance?

5) how and where to book it?

We are 3 persons and will be in LP until 1 May.

Ideally We would like to be at Chiang Mai airport (if this the best airport to fly from after boat trip) by 13.30 on Sunday 3 May? Is it possible?

Thanks for your feedback.

lewes uk
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8. Re: Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

Hi,

1) In your case a few km up stream from Luang Prabang at the new boat dock

2) The trip ends in Huay Xai in Laos

3) You need to stay overnight in Pak Beng unless you take the speed boat option, there are plenty of guest houses there

4) In May you don't need to book in advance unless taking one of the nicer boats

5) If you want to book then almost any travel shop in LPB will do it for you

Depends where you are flying to as to whether CNX is the best airport, Chiang Rai airport has flights and is closer to Chiang Khong (2 hours or so) Chang Khong is where you cross into Thailand opposite Huay Xai. You would need to leave on the 1st so you were in HX/CK on the 2nd as the bus trip to Chiang Mai takes 6-7 hours and you'd need to stay at the border overnight unless you can take an evening minivan - not guaranteed - so the 3rd would be getting to CM for the flight, but you won't make a 13:30 flight

The speed boat would get you to the border in one day but you would then need the night at the border so you would still need to leave on the 1st to safely get to CM for a flight at 13:30 on the 3rd.

Cheers

Thung Chang...
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9. Re: Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

From Luang Prabang, it is also possible to take the slow boat to Pakbeng, and then the bus to Muang Ngeun, to the Muang Ngeun-Huay Khon Lao-Thai border, in northern Nan province.

From the border, mini-van to Thung Chang or Nan town.

With this option, it is possible to enjoy the trip on the river, but only one day, as many people consider the two days trip too long. It is also a less-touristic but beautiful route.

This route can also be done overland.

Dhaka City...
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10. Re: Boat trip up the Mekong from Luang Prabang

Thanks Very much for your help.

Apologies for late reply.

One last question: how long would it take to get from Huay Xai to Chinag Rai, including visa processing and crossing from Laos to Chiang Khong followed by taxi or bus to Chiang Rai airport.

I have booked the flight at 19.15 so I hope that makes it a comfortable journey to catch the flight.

Do you live in SE Asia? Your knowledge is incredible and very welcome.

Naeem

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