Chiang Khong to Huay Xai by bicycle – 20 km
The border crossing is not as straight forward as it could be. Going through standard procedures at the Thai border you will then have to board a bus to cross the river... Even with a bicycle, everyone and everything has to go on the bus... And for a slight cost of course!
People 25 baht
Bikes 100 baht
Arriving at the Laos border, pay for your visa (prices vary on your nationality)
Expect again extra add ons such as overtime price (past 16.00) and weekends.
Bring dollars to pay for your visa.
On exiting the Laos border, take a left and continue now on the right hand side of the road. When the road splits in 3 km, keep left and follow this straight until you start to see a night market (if it's night) and the yellow signed restaurants and guesthouses, indicating that you have reached Huay Xai. It's not the biggest of towns. (If you miss this turning then take the next one - it will also take you into the city)
In Huay Xai we did the gibbon experience. We had a fantastic time with the people we met on this trip and the zip lining from tree to tree is exhilarating.
The town has a handful of guesthouses which were far more dated and dirty than its Thai brother. From Huay Xai we took the slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang. This also stops in the small town of Pakbeng, the town is limited and lacks charm as it is only a small overnight stop acting as a cash cow for the local infrastructure.
Tip: to buy the boat ticket and not pay a commission to the hotels, cycle north along the main road and at the cross roads take a left and you will go down to the dock. Here there is a ticket window and you can buy a ticket for the bicycle too.
Boat ticket : 220 000 kip
Bike ticket : 80 000