Luang Prabang to Chiang Rai
(or Vice versa)
One of the most scenic way to travel between Northern Thailand to Laos (or vice versa) is a slow boat journey on the Mekong River, preferably with 2 days and 1 night river trip. There are many types of boat service to suit budget needs. Speedboats throttling at maximum speed are available. Alternatively, there are slow boats where one remains seated for most of the duration of the journey (as in a Greyhound bus). Most travelers opt for boats whereby they can move freely on board for best viewing and dining spots.
Many travelers will integrate this as part of a multi country trip itinerary, for example a Thailand and Laos combination.
This itinerary includes Muang Sing and Luang Namtha which is less frequented by the most tourists.
Day 1, Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves – Pakbeng
Transfer to boat pier for your cruise up the Mekong to Pakbeng. Breakfast is served while the boat is cruising to Pak Ou Village, at the mouth of the Nam Ou River, where you will visit the TamThing Caves of a Thousand Buddhas. Enjoy a buffet lunch on board then stop at a hill tribe village where you can watch the traditional process of Lao whiskey production. Arrive at Pak Beng around sunset and check into your hotel. Dinner is on the terrace, overlooking the Mekong River.
Day 2, Pakbeng – Houei Say
Full breakfast at the Lodge. At 7.00am board the boat for the second leg of the cruise. En route one stop is made to observe rural life along the Mekong and observe minorities. Buffet lunch on board and then continue to Houei Say where you will arrive before 5.00pm. On arrival the representative of the Arimid hotel will meet you and walk with you to the hotel. (about 700 feet).
Day 3, Houei Say – Muang Sing
Meet your driver after breakfast and depart Houei Say to Muang Sing (about 6 hours’ drive). Check into hotel on arrival.
Day 4 - 6, Muang Sing
Free days to explore – bike, trek, visit markets.
Day 7, Muang Sing- Luang Namtha - Chiangrai
Depart for Luang Namtha and the border town of Houei Say. After immigration formalities cross into the Thai border town of Chiang Khong. Transfer to Chiangrai. (3 hours’ drive). Overnight in Chiangrai.
Day 8 + 9, Golden Triangle, Chiang Sean, Mae Sai
2 days of exploration by bike, car, and boat in this beautiful part of Thailand – biking, driving pass villages, temples, fruit plantations. The 2nd part of your trip will be by car to the Golden Triangle, the meeting point of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. Tour includes the Opium Museum, boat rides on the MaeKok River, as well as visit Mae Sai (Border crossing into Myanmar)
Day 10, Depart Chiangrai
Depart for airport or bus station (for Chiangmai) or stay at extra day as there are still many options to choose from!