Slow boat trip to Thailand

Slow boat trip from Luang Prabang (Laos) to Chiang Rai (Thailand).

The best way to travel! Take the slow boat to Thailand, departing from Luang Prabang, and docking at Huay Xai, Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. The boat will sail down the Mekong river for 9-10 hours, stop overnight at Pakbeng, and continue for about 8-9 hours on day two. This means you can cross the border on the same day, since it closes at about 10 pm, whereas the shuttle bus stops running at 8 pm.

Local community along the both side of the Mekong River and rolling landscape.

Slow boat to Thailand
Slow boat from Luang Prabang to Thailand

The slow boat from Luang Prabang to Thailand takes two days and one night.

It stops overnight at Pakbeng, before continuing on to Thailand. The journey is comfortable, with beautiful views of the Mekong River and the local communities who live on its banks.

It is easy to buy a ticket at the travel agency in the town, or at the slow boat pier if the boat is not full.

The cost at the travel agency 280,000 kip, which includes a 10 km Tuk Tuk transfer from your hotel at 7:30 am. The Tuk Tuk driver will change your ticket for a slow boat ticket. He will return 105,000 kip, since he will only buy you a ticket from Luang Prabang to Pakbeng. From Pakbeng to Huay Xai, you will have to buy yourself another ticket. Whilst there will be a seat number on your ticket, when you are on the boat you will be able to sit anywhere you choose.

Fisher men
Tribe on the way

The boat will stop to drop people off and allow new passengers to embark.
They accept motorbike and bicycle, which small boat don’t, since they don’t have sufficient space.
The boat will departure at 8:30 am. They will check the ticket at 8:15 am, give your ticket to the driver, and then they will return it to you.
Both tourists and Lao can smoke anywhere on the boat.

The boat will have car seats, but you may have to sit on a wooden beach without a private table.
There is food and drink, hot water, coffee, chips, instant noodles and toilets on board.

Some boats are tourist boats. Some are small and some are very big truck boats; 70-80 tons. The boat will arrival there some time close to dark (at about 6-7 pm). The boat takes about 10 hours
Local people live on the both side of the Mekong River. Most of them they are farmers; they grow plants such as mountain rice, corn, sesame, green beans, peanuts, yam bean, water melons …
Slow boats also dock at some villages.

On the way, you will see fishermen using nets, lines and spears. Some people use poison, elastic and dynamite! They will keep some to eat, and sell the rest to make money.