Does anyone know of THAI tour buses that head out from Chiang Mai to Jinghong or a Chiang Mai travel agency that has overland trips? I would be with a Thai and speak sub-survival Chinese.
I do not wish any info on a high speed boat on the Mekong.
#1 padova44 has been a member since 6/7/2010. Posts: 1
There isn't any direct or connecting bus service the whole way so do it in two stages. Regular open-air bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong (the border) 6:30am from Arcade bus station arriving 13:10. Or standard aircon bus leaves Chiang Mai Arcade at 8:30am arriving Chiang Khong 14:55.
Cross over to Laos (border open 8am-6pm) and stay one night in Huay Xai . Then get the 7:30am bus to Jinghong (10 hours). See Huay Xai schedule on http://www.flickr.com/photos/captain-bob/4434599535.
Indeed captain bob, that's a good option. I had to go to Jinghong as well last year starting from Vientianne.
the thing I did was the night bus from Vientianne to Oudomxay (all the way north of laos) and from there we took a bus (4h) to Mengla in china. In Mengla we had to take the bus to JingHong(6-7h).
This is also an option if you go from Chiang Mai to Luang prabang and then follow my trip.
Make sure that you speak a little bit chinese when you get to Mengla though cause nobody there speaks english and you will never figure out where the busstations are(that's the funny part if you travel without lonely planet books )
I would defenitely suggest to do this in 2 days, otherwise it's gonna be a long trip. I did my trip to Oudomxay and stayed the night there and then moved on all the way to Kunming in china.
Another option is to fly from Vientianne to kunming (if you are planning to go to kunming) but the tickets are cheaper if you fly from Bangkok.