This small Mekong River town is gearing up to become a main way station on the planned Asian Highway, and a bridge is being built across the river to the Laotian harbor town of Houay Say (Houayxay). Small skiffs carry people across the Mekong between Chiang Khong and Houay Say, from whose pier daily boats set off for the two-day trip to the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang in Laos. Chiang Khong is a convenient overnight stop before embarking on this excursion.
Chiang Khong has little to attract the visitor apart from the magnificent vistas from the riverside towpath to the hills of Laos across the Mekong. The town's one 300-year-old temple has an interesting Chiang Saen–style chedi but is in need of repair. Textiles from China and Laos can be bought cheaply in Chiang Khong's market.