I have been searching the forum to find out how much the slow/fast boats are from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang but I can't find any prices (maybe I'm not looking hard enough?).
Can anyone tell me how much it is for the journey and how long it will take on both the slow and fast boat.
[ Edit: Edited at Jul 24, 2006 2:00 AM by jrozorio ]
i took the speedboat option from luang prabang to thailand and would definately recommend the speedboat over the slow boat. when stopping for lunch i met two guys who had been dropped off for the night to be picked up by the next slow boat the following day and they were still waiting 3 days later. they were really frustrated. the speedboat journey to thailand costs about $28. hope this helps a bit.
[ Edit: Edited at Jul 24, 2006 4:38 AM by emma1979 ]
I assume you will be crossing over from Chiang Kong to Huay Xai. It's 20 bahts for the boat ride, get the immigration/customs formalities done, and take a songthaew ride to the boat jetty (15 minutes- about 12,000 kips per person), ignore anyone who approaches you with a ticket, instead go to the ticketing office (high ground nearby)...pay 650 baht for the slow ride from huay xai-pak beng-luang prabang ( the fare price list is displayed)...get the early boat (10am is okay!),the boat will stop at pak beng for a nite, cheap accommodation (USD3-5); next day, hop into the same boat (or any boat that is heading to LP,produce your ticket if you are asked), by the time you arrive in LP, it will be evening...The ride from Huay Xai to Pak Beng is about 9 hours...same as from Huay Xai to Pak Beng. Enjoy the scenery,etc.
People do take fast boat...but with the approaching rainy season, lots of drift wood, etc...so there is a risk. The fast boat makes it to LP the same day.
I did that slow boat trip about 5 years. I can't remember the prices at all! But I do remember it was very uncomfortably packed. The departure was on a Monday morning. Apparently there were no boats running the day before (Sunday), thus the Monday boat was packed more than normal. I'm not sure if it's standard practice that the slow boats don't run on Sundays but you may want to check ahead of time or plan your schedule so that you aren't departing on a Sunday or Monday. Pak Beng was a weird little place. Every restaurant and guesthouse ran on generators. And I when I walked around that night, I had 2 guys try and sell me "Number One Ganja". When I declined one guy tried to sell me his "Number Two" stash!
hey, thanks for you speady response and all your help! This websites amazing!
Well, Pak Beng has electricity now...thanks to JICA..well, you can even use mobile phone! The riverine settlement survives on tourism (100%!),and it's not different from Muang Ngoi, north east of LP
If you're feeling like being totally decadent, I thoroughly recommend the Luang Say River Boat cruise. It's a luxury slow boat and they'll feed you and water you. From memory it costs around $200 per person. That includes all food and some drinks, it includes accommodation overnight in Pak Beng in absolutely gorgeous private bungalows right on the edge of the Mekong. The second day includes a trip to Pak Ou caves and a rice whisky village - things you'd probably do once you had arrived in Luang Prabang anyway.
It was definitely a highlight of our trip... i still recall the sound of the speedboats coming down the river and the people crammed in with no room to move and helmets on their heads (just in case!) The people in the other slow boats we saw didn't look anywhere near as happy as us! I can't recommend it enough, guess it just depends on your budget though.
I have friends who travelled by speedboat and they said it was just awful...
Have an awesome holiday, it really is an amazing part of the world.
Here is the website for that more expensive, but definately comfortable cruise http://www.asian-oasis.com/Luang.html.