me and a friend are travellin to Thailand in Oct and heading straight for Chiang Mai when we land in Bangkok.. my problem is that after spending a week there i would like to travel directly into Laos but i cant find any train or bus routes that go directly into Laos.
has anyone experienced this before and could possibly shead some light on the subject.. would be greatly appreciated
the most popular route from chiang mai would be to head to the border at Chiang khong by bus, (taking around 5 hours) then cross over the border and spend 2 days travelling down the Mekong river to Luang Prabang. you can book this from guesthouses in Chiang khong as a complete package which includes bus and boat fare and one night's accommodation in Chiang Khong. The lady in the guesthouse in Chiang Khong went to the Laos border to do the paperwork for our visas which speeded up the process. they also provided us with a basic packed lunch for the boat trip. you will stop at a tiny little place in the jungle called Pak beng, then set off the next day for Luang Prabang. From here you can travel to other destinations in Laos.
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 20, 2007, at 3:41 PM by bex76 ]
most guesthouses in chiang mai will arrange the whole thing for you in a very reasonable package.. inc bus to chiang khong, boats (slow or fast, but take slow boat) and visas. also the nights accomm in chiang khong usually included.
this is the way i did it and laos was fantastic!
def take the slow boat thru to luang prabang as the scenery si cool and its relaxing and enjoyable just cruising down the mekong.
banana guesthouse in chiang mai was the place i stayed and its a great hostel and their slow boat package into laos was very cheap. go to them...
have fun, im flying to japan in five hours. woo hoo