This is just a quick reference on what to expect when using a travel agency to travel by slow boat. I used this method and it was quite smooth. I looked into the logistics of trying to book everything on my own and found that I would save some money if I did it all but so many components of the two-day journey could go wrong quickly. I decided in the end that this was the most efficient way to go. However, if you are on a super tight budget you might want to attempt this journey all on your own. I booked my crossing through my hostel for 1650 Baht and couldn’t have been happier. So below you can find a quick break down of how it all went.
The Break Down Of How It Will Work
- The van will pick you up at your hostel between 0600-0630 in the morning.
- The driver will take you to Thai Customs in Chiang Kong (It opens at 0830).
- After you finish clearing your departure visa process in Thailand the driver will give you a bus ticket and your tour ID badge to cross the Thai-Lao bridge.
- After arriving at Lao Customs you will do the visa on arrival process.
- Once you clear customs, a gentleman from the Laos travel company will meet you on the other side in a tuk-tuk to take you to the tour office.
- At the tour office you can buy food and book the nights accommodation.
- They will take you to the pier in Huai Xai and give you your ticket to the boat there (It is highly recommended that you buy food before getting on the boat).
- The boat departs at 1130 (Keep your ticket because you will need it to board the in morning as well!).
- Enjoy the views along the way! There is no food on the boat except a few snacks and Beer lao. This journey should take between 5-7 hours.
- You should arrive in Pakbeng around 1730 or 5:30 pm.
- Find a place to stay. The town is incredibly small. Expect to pay between 50,000-100,000 Kip.
- Board the boat again at 0900-0930. GO EARLY TO GET A GOOD SEAT. (DAY 2)
- Enjoy the 7 hour boat ride down the Mekong River.
- Arrive in the Luang Prabang port around 1630 or 4:30 pm.
- Take a tuk-tuk to the city. It is too far to walk since they moved it outside of town. You will have to pay 20,000 Kip to get to the center of the city.
This is how my journey with the tour company went and it was quite smooth. I really enjoyed my time traveling down the Mekong. While this was my experience it could differ depending on how you choose to cross the border. I hope this helps!
Be sure to check out my in-depth article on Taking the slow boat from Chiang Rai, Thailand to Luang Prabang, Laos for a more detail account of the trip!
Also, be sure to get a good camera for the trip! If you need ideas on what to bring you can check out my gear list! All of the items I personally use when traveling!
Be sure to like and share! If you have any question or anything to add be sure to comment below!!