I will be in Laos for approximately 2 weeks at the beginning of december. I will start in Luang Prabang, and then go to Huay Xai (base of the Gibbon Experience) and Luang Nam Tha (for trekking in Nam Ha NPA) in no particular order.
Now, I know it is common to go down the Nam Tha and Mekong rivers (meaning that I'd go to LNT first, then HX, and then back to LP). Is it possible to travel the other way around? from LP to HX on the Mekong, then from HX to LNT? Would I avoid the flow of backpackers? I need that info before leaving as I want to reserve for the Gibbon Experience!
Any comment would be greatly appreciated!
#1 Baffin has been a member since 5/10/2011. Posts: 2
"from LP to HX on the Mekong" is dead-easy. Just go to the boat ramp in LP that morning and buy a slow boat ticket. This is less touristy than the popular downstream direction and just as easy to arrange.
"from HX to LNT" is not as easy since fewer people do that route, but in December (high season) pretty likely to have a boat going per day. Enquire about price and availability by contacting Green Discovery who also run The Boat Landing in Luang Namtha where the river journey ends.
Thanks so much, this was really helpful.
#3 Baffin has been a member since 5/10/2011. Posts: 2
I am traveling from LBP to HX in a few months and wondering what the quickest option would be. Are the speed boats still available and if so, where would i need to go to leave on an early boat?
Thanks in advance.
#4 Melanie2012 has been a member since 7/8/2012. Posts: 2
Take a tuk tuk to the speedboat landing a few kms out of the city centre. Get there around 8am and wait for them to arrange 6 persons per boat, otherwise it costs more to go with fewer people. Usually then takes 3 hours to Pakbeng, then an hour for lunch, then 3 more hours to Huay Xai. If you're lucky you'll be in HX by around 4-5pm.
I've heard so many horror stories about the fast boats. Another poster said they have improved. I may have to take the speed boat as I misread my travel book and didn't leave enough time to get from LP to HX. Any opinion and can you tell the driver to go a wee bit slower or is that naive?
#6 WhatMeWorry has been a member since 7/8/2013. Posts: 3
Speed boats get a lot of bad rumours, but I'll bet 99% of the travellers passing around such stories have never even been in a speed boat. I've used them several times and mostly enjoyed it. They're quieter these days and most of the boatmen are experienced with navigating the Mekong. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
#8 WhatMeWorry has been a member since 7/8/2013. Posts: 3