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Danae Jan 30th, 2006 07:29 AM

Chiang Rai to Laos?
Has anyone crossed into Laos from Chiang Rai? Apparantly there is some sort of river crossing at Chiang Khong to Honeixai (sp??), but I can't find out anything about it. Has anyone taken this route?
Thank you very much!

TexasSlim Jan 30th, 2006 05:35 PM

Yes, did this late last year, just take the bus up to Chiang Khong and go down to the riverbank, you'll see the little river boats, they go back and forth during the day to HuaXai on the Lao side. It doesn't cost much (can't remember but maybe 50-60 Bt) and takes about 5-10 minutes. From HuaXai you can take either the slow boat (2 days) or fats boat (1 day) down the Mekhong river to Luang Prabang.

Danae Jan 31st, 2006 05:46 AM

Hello! thank you for your response! I was wondering if you remembered how long the bus took to Chiang Khong, and how often the bus left. Where did you get the bus schedule? Was it a nice trip? Any idea if I can hire a driver or a cab for that trip and how much it would cost? The pre-arranged tours that go to the places I am interested in seeing range from about 4000 - 7000 BHT, which seems a bit steep for a day trip. Thank you very much!

TexasSlim Jan 31st, 2006 08:37 PM

No need to take a tour, that's a ridiculous amount to pay. I actually did the river crossing in reverse, I came from LP by boat to HuaXai, stayed the night there, then crossed the next motning over to Chiang khong. We then took a local bus to Chiang Rai, where we had lunch and did some shopping, then took the VIP bus to CM.
In your case you need to get to the Chiang Rai bus station and take a bus to Chiang Khong. The buses seem to run frequently. The bus will probably stop at Chiang Khong bus station so you'll need to take a tuk-tuk to the riverbank. Remember that it costs USD$30 to enter Lao. Sure the scenery was real nice, I remember looking at the lovely green fields and the mountains in the background from the bus window. We had no snags at all, found traveling in this region very easy. I have no idea about hiring cars & drivers as that is beyond my budget, I always travel local style and save my dosh for other things. How long are you spending in Lao?

Danae Feb 1st, 2006 10:07 AM

Thank you for the information! I think that I am going to try the bus.
I think that we may spend just a day in Laos (time is really short, but I at least want to say that I went there-even for just a day! :) )
How long did the bus take from Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong? Do you remember? Thank you!

TexasSlim Feb 1st, 2006 09:38 PM

The bus didn't take long, maybe 2-3 hours at most. There's really nothing of interest over the other side at HuaXai, but I suppose you can walk around and look in a few shops, I noticed a temple across from the ferry landing but Lao temples looked identical to Thai temples to me. Perhaps in XuaXai you can find someone to take you on a daytrip to any attractions in the vicinity. I don't know anything about that as everybody just passes through HuaXai but I'm sure there would be a few places of interest around. Alternatively there are many smaller fast river boats moored at HuaXai and I'm sure you could arrange to charter one for a couple of hours and do a short trip up and down the Mekong river. That could be fun.

TexasSlim Feb 1st, 2006 09:41 PM

Sorry typo in the 4th line XuaXai should be HuaXai, don't want to confuse you.

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