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Northern Lao Routes--HELP

Travel Forums Asia Northern Lao Routes--HELP

1. Posted by darbymx (Budding Member, 4 posts) 4 Apr '06 22:25

darbymx has indicated that this thread is about Laos

I am about to cross into Laos from Thailand at Huay Xai. I am wondering if anyone has any information on travelling northeast from Huay Xai to Luang Nam Tha and beyond? What should I expect for transportation? Is it easy to get from place to place besides the poor roads?

I want to go to Nong Khiaow and then maybe north by the river to Muang Ngoi. Any information or experience with this trip would be helpful. Also I am thinking about going to Luang Prabang from Nong Khiaow by boat. How much time and $ should I expect to spend on that boat trip?

Any information about travel in northern Laos would be appreciated. Anything from road conditions or time estimates from place to place just to help me get an idea of how much time I will be spending travelling. THanks

2. Posted by tam78 (Budding Member, 5 posts) 5 May '06 05:25

Hey mate how was the northern laos trip? Am planning to also do this,want to get to the Bokeo province so any hints on Northern laos travel times and costs would be great..

3. Posted by rebmamber (Respected Member, 40 posts) 6 May '06 06:17

I just got back from doing the reverse trip (Luang Prabang to Huay Xai), I took about 25 days to do this route, but it can certianly be done in a lot less time. From my experience I would recommend the following:

Huay Xai to Luang Nam Tha: A all day bus ride, your only option I think.

Luang Nam Tha: Don't spend much time there, the town is nothing special. We went on a 3 day hike from there, which was great (Government run Eco-Tour company was outstanding) and really the only reason, I feel, to go there.

Luang Nam Tha to Nong Khiaow: Try to make it in one day. We got stuck in Udomoxia for a night, which proved to be un-eventful.

Nong Khiaow is real nice, but Muang Ngoi is even better and it's a beautiful boat ride up stream.

We took a boat from Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaow, which took 8 hours. The way you'll be heading, downstream, will be better (only 6 hours to Luang Prabang).

It is wonderfult there, enjoy it!

Justin

4. Posted by tam78 (Budding Member, 5 posts) 9 May '06 18:17

hey thanks for that, i'm still a bit stuck how im going to do part of my trip for that region. will be in halong bay but then want to do luang prabang, vang vieng and the gibbon experience-between huay xai and luang nam tha. not sure which is the best order to do it in really?! any suggestions?

5. Posted by rebmamber (Respected Member, 40 posts) 11 May '06 14:52

Again, it depends how much time you have to spend, but you have to take into consideration that not everything happens on time in Laos.Are you starting in Halong Bay? If so, how are you getting from Vietnam to Laos? If you are flying or taking a bus, then you will most likely go to Vientiane. From there, you take a 6 hour bus north to Vang Vieng. From there, an 8 hour bus north to Luang Prabang. I would suggest to take a bus north to Nong Khiaw and then the 1 hour boat north to Muang Ngoi. That way, if you want to do the boat trip on the way back, you'll be heading downstream which shaves a couple hours off the trip and you can go directly from Muang Ngoi back to Luang Prabang by boat. Unless you are going to go to Luang Nam Tha for a particular reason, you may want to just take the Mekong boat to Huoay Xai (2 days for slow boat or 1 day for crazy speed boat). From Huaoy Xai, you can hop stop into the Gibbon office and book your tour.

6. Posted by tam78 (Budding Member, 5 posts) 12 May '06 01:31

hey
yeah no reason at all to go to luang nam tha, that's great i can go up to huay xai by boat. after the gibbon exp it's to north of thailand..how did you find the gibbon experience? do you think necessary to book before i get huay xai..don't really know in advance when i might get to huay xai so hope not!

from hanoi i guess it will have to be bus to vientiane, we might break it up a bit though instead of going straight thru..basically got 7 weeks to go from bangkok to cambodia, vietnam, laos then back down to bangkok via the north of thailand, but who knows what order everything will happen in once we get on the road

7. Posted by rebmamber (Respected Member, 40 posts) 13 May '06 08:52

If you know when you want to do the gibbon experience, at least a few days before, it would probably be better to call or e-mail them directly. You will find there are offices in other Laos towns who can book it for you, such as Green Discovery, but of course, they will be charging a higher price than booking it directly. Since they only allow a limited number of people out in the park each day (I think it's something like 12), it is very likely that there wouldn't be room for you on the day you want if you wait.

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