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Sluggish Boat to Laos – Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang [2023]

Every little thing you should know in regards to the gradual boat to Laos from Thailand.

Slow Boat To Laos Luang Prabang

Costs for the gradual boat to Laos are have been up to date for December 2016. Topic to vary.

So that you’re seeking to take the gradual boat to Laos from both Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pai or Chiang Khong in Thailand and need some tips about one of the simplest ways to do it? Right here is all the pieces you should know earlier than you board and when you’re on the boat!

Can I e-book the gradual boat to Laos by an company?

Sure, there are numerous companies that may prepare this for you in every place. Typically even your lodging can organise this for a similar worth as an company. Simply ask at your reception.

Don’t miss our newest information on one of the best issues to do in Luang Prabang!

Chiang Rai – 1550 Baht ($47.50)

You get picked up out of your Chiang Rai lodging at 6:30-7am. There’s a 2-hour journey to Chiang Khong, which is the closest city to the border, arriving at round 9am.

You then cross into Laos. Upon getting formally entered the nation you hop on the shuttle and get transferred to Huay Xai the place the gradual boat leaves. It is a 2-day journey, together with shuttle and gradual boat to Laos.

Chiang Mai – 1700 Baht ($52)

There are lots of companies you’ll be able to e-book this by in Chiang Mai. The standard schedule is 10:00am Choose up out of your Chiang Mai lodging.

It’s a 4-hour drive to Chiang Kong the place the border is situated. You’ll be transferred to your lodging in Chiang Kong and keep there for the remainder of the day.

Choose up within the morning at 8:30am and switch to Thai Immigration. Cross into Laos by shuttle bus. At 10:00am board the gradual boat to Pakbeng.

Packages do embrace lodging (both simply in Chiang Khong, or generally Pakbeng as properly), however relying on the value will decide your lodging requirements.

It is a one-day journey within the shuttle to the border city and a couple of days on the gradual boat to Luang Prabang.

If taking the 2-day gradual boat from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang looks like an excessive amount of of a headache and takes an excessive amount of time, try the sleeper bus. You may e-book it on Bookaway.

Pai- 1750 Baht ($53.50)

Depart Pai at 2pm or 6pm, Gasoline up on the outskirts of Chiang Mai to proceed on in the direction of Chiang Khong. The journey is lengthy and you’ll arrive in Chiang Khong round 1-2am.

This bundle does embrace all of your transport and your one evening lodging in Chiang Khong.

Don’t anticipate something fancy with the lodging. Within the morning they may drop you on the border round 9am. It is a one-day journey within the shuttle from Pai to the border city and a couple of days on the gradual boat to Laos.

For those who’re going to be on this city, try our full information on the greatest issues to do in Pai.

Slow Boat To Luang Prabang On The Mekong River Chiang Rai Chiang Mai Pai Chiang Khong Luang Prabang Pakbeng Tips Cost Advice
Sluggish boat to Laos on the Mekong River

Can I do that by myself and never by an company? And what are the prices?

Sure you’ll be able to, however it won’t circulation as good as an organised reserving. Though it would work out cheaper. You could have to journey to Chiang Khong sooner or later after which do the border crossing the following day to be in time with the gradual boat to Laos.

The knowledge beneath is making the journey from Chiang Rai

  • Bus from Chiang Rai to the Border- 65 Baht ($2)
    Get the bus to Chiang Khong. Ask round on the bus station and allow them to know you will the Laos border.
  • Shuttle over the Friendship Bridge- 25 Baht ($0.75)
    That is the bridge from Thailand to Laos. Foreigners can not take the ferry throughout.
  • Visa on arrival- $30 US
  • Shuttle from the border to boat dock- round 30,000- 50,000 Kip ($3.50 – $6)
    This worth is an estimate as we requested varied drivers however they didn’t appear to know what we have been asking. All of them gave completely different costs however we couldn’t decide whether or not we have been on the identical web page, as they assumed we had all the pieces pre-organised
  • Sluggish boat organised from the border – 1200 Baht/ 300,000 Kip ($37.50)
  • Sluggish boat organised from the boat dock in Huay Xai – 900 Baht / 220,000 Kip ($27.50)
  • Tuk tuk into Luang Prabang- 15,000-20,000 Kip ($1.80- $2.50)
    We bartered and bought it down to fifteen,000 kip per particular person. The tuk-tuk mafia will inform you that you haven’t any possibility however to pre-purchase a ticket. We refused to and began strolling. Finally a driver provided to take us for the cheaper worth.
  • Be aware – We now have since heard of some travellers who refused to get off the boat outdoors of Luang Prabang. They began an argument with the boat captains, demanding they take them the remainder of the best way, together with the locals. Finally the boat males kicked everybody off the boat, LOCALS INCLUDED. For the sake of attempting to save lots of just a few {dollars}, don’t do that.

I’ve no US money for my visa fee, the place do I get some?

In Chiang Rai we went to a big financial institution close to the clock tower. The smaller branches and trade centres wouldn’t have international cash. Search for the bigger branches and banks. Chiang Mai there much more choices.

Jazza Exchanging Money At The Border. Slow Boat To Laos. Chiang Mai Chiang Rai Pai Chiang Khong Luang Prabang
Jazza exchanging cash on the border.
The place do I get some Laos Kip?

Earlier than you obtain your visa and cross by customs gate there’s a forex trade counter. There may be additionally one on the opposite facet, however I’d advocate exchanging your cash earlier than you formally cross by. It will likely be faster as a result of most individuals receive their visas first then cope with the forex as soon as they enter Laos. We discovered the trade fee to be market worth they usually didn’t cost a payment.

What’s the go along with my gradual boat ticket?

In case you are on a tour, they may cease into the companies and clarify what’s happening to you. We needed to give our passport to the proprietor, and he defined that to get the tickets you should present your passport entry stamp and they’ll write down your title and passport quantity. He passes it on to the driving force to get the tickets with the cash to pay.

Laos continues to be behind in relation to know-how and all the pieces is completed by hand. So by giving your passport to the driving force, the method shall be quicker with the identical language spoken and it is a every day routine for them. In case you are a bit hesitant about handing your passport over to a stranger (we have been), you’re greater than welcome to go along with the driving force and watch whereas your ticket is being processed.

In case you are flying solo simply go to the ticket field situated up from the water on the left when you’re strolling all the way down to the boat dock.

Sluggish boats ready to depart.

How lengthy will the gradual boat to Luang Prabang take?

Two days all up. The primary day can have you on the water for as much as 7 hours. You allow Huay Xai at 11am and arrive in Pakbeng round 6pm. You’ll then spend the evening in Pakbeng in lodging at your individual price.

On the second day it would take as much as 8 hours. You allow Pakbeng at 9:30am and arrive in Luang Prabang at 5:30pm.

On the second day ensure you get to the boat at 8:30am or earlier to decide on your seat. In any other case it’s possible you’ll find yourself caught within the engine room. These instances all depend upon the season, because of the modifications in river peak.

Is there meals and drinks on board?

There may be meals, drinks and alcohol on the boat you can buy, however it’s double the value in comparison with the principle land. I’d advocate getting your meals and drinks earlier than you board.

If you would like beer some mini marts at Huay Xai promote Styrofoam containers and ice to maintain them cool. By buying all the pieces earlier than boarding will probably be cheaper and you should have a bigger choice to select from.

On-Board and Land Costs (in Lao Kip)

Giant Beerlao 10’000 25’000
Can of Beerlao 8’000 15’000
Espresso/Tea 5’000 5’000
Delicate drink (Coke/Sprite/and many others) 8’000 15’000
Chips/crisps 7’000 15’000
Cup of noodles 7’000 15’000

The place ought to I keep in Luang Prabang?

Luang Prabang has a complete lot of various choices for motels and hostels. It’s not the most cost effective place within the nation, however nonetheless you’ll be able to look forward to finding a room for round $10 an evening or much less should you do some looking round. Within the peak season it’s not unusual to stroll round for hours looking for one thing in your funds (which is strictly what we did).

For those who would quite present up on the town with one thing already organised, we positively advocate trying out the choices on Agoda and Reserving.com

NOMADasaurus readers get an unique 10% off your lodging on agoda. Use the code: AGODANMD10 at checkout.

On The Slow Boat To Laos. Chiang Mai Chiang Rai Pai Luang Prabang Tips Advice Cost
On the gradual boat to Laos.

What are my different choices if I don’t wish to take the gradual boat to Laos?

Speedboats from Huay Xai

You may get to Pakbeng and Luang Prabang by speedboat too. It leaves from a special pier because the gradual boat in Huay Xai, however you probably have booked by an company you’ll be picked up and brought there.

For those who do determined to do it by yourself the boat price (when full, 6 folks per boat) is 190,000 kip to Pakbeng and 320,000 kip to Luang Prabang. It’s more durable to organise on the pier, however you probably have a gaggle of 6 all prepared, you’re laughing.

It takes 3 hours to Pakbeng and three hours to Luang Prabang, with a protracted break between locations to have lunch and alter boats.

Bear in mind that should you pre-book the speed-boat within the low season then it’s not assured to be working the day you need it to, regardless of what the journey agent says.

For those who get to Huay Xai and are knowledgeable that it’s not operating, they may give you both the gradual boat or the bus, and refund you the distinction in worth. This manner is unquestionably the quickest technique to get from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang however not the most secure.

The drivers put on helmets however (from what we noticed) the passengers didn’t, however I could possibly be unsuitable. It doesn’t have one of the best security document and there are numerous hazards when the river water stage is low. Until you’ve got a loss of life want rethink and take the gradual boat to Laos.


Kids Of The Mekong. Slow Boat To Laos. Chiang Mai Chiang Rai Pai Luang Prabang Tips Advice Cost
Children of the Mekong.

Bus from Huay Xai

This manner can also be a faster method however a protracted route – 500km. There’s a few bus terminals in Huay Xai and it could possibly get a bit complicated.

There’s a station north (Kiew Lot Sai Nuan station), one south (Naluang Station), and one other one the place the minivans depart from which can also be south of city (Naluang Mini Bus Station).

Most vacationers desire the minivan. Songthaew drivers know which station has which buses or minivans so simply ask.

If that is the type of transport you’ve got chosen then you have to to catch a songthaew on the market, which can price between 15,000- 30,000 kip relying on how many individuals you’ve got.

Don’t overlook to barter, it doesn’t damage to attempt! You may catch the traditional bus for round 120,000 kip or the VIP bus for round 145,000 kip.

Don’t have excessive expectations for the buses simply because they’ve the VIP title tag. Undoubtedly affirm if the bus has air con or not.

There are a number of locations, 3.5 hours to Luang Namtha, 7 hours to Oudom Xay and a protracted 12 hours to Luang Prabang. Be sure you deliver a very good e-book or have some good music in your music participant. You may organise this by yourself or with an company.

With an company it could price round 1500 Baht, Leaving Chiang Mai at 10am and arriving in Luang Prabang at 5am, driving by the evening.

Packages normally embrace mini bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong, shuttle throughout the friendship bridge to Huay Xai, and the bus from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang.

The buses are crammed to capability and generally extra. The roads are nonetheless below development so in sections will be very bumpy. For those who get movement illness, don’t overlook your tablets.

We nonetheless suppose the gradual boat to Laos from Thailand is one of the simplest ways to go! What do you suppose?

Kids Of The Mekong. Chiang Mai Chiang Rai Pai Luang Prabang Tips Advice Cost
Children of the Mekong. Sluggish boat to Laos Luang Prabang.
The Town Of Pakbeng. Slow Boat To Laos Luang Prabang. Chiang Mai Pai Luang Prabang Chiang Rai
The city of Pakbeng
The Mekong River. Slow Boat To Laos Luang Prabang. Chiang Mai Chiang Rai Pai
The Mekong River
The Beautiful View. Slow Boat To Laos Luang Prabang. Chiang Mai Chiang Rai Pai
The attractive view.



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