For those, wanting to cross the Mekong at Chiang Khong : as from December 12, 2013, the old ferrycrossing from Chiang Khong stops to exist, as is the Visa office on the Laos side. From then you have to use the new BRIDGE, 9km. downstream from Chiang Khong ( 4km. on the road, then left and another 5 km) I am probably the first to cross on that date, when I experience difficulties on either side of the river, I will report about it later. Hopefully the old taxfree, which used to be very inetersting, compared to Thailand,will also be moved to the bridgexx.
#1 Pjotra has been a member since 17/7/2009. Posts: 37
Chiang Khong bridge to open December 11th
Yep, tomorrow is the ribbon-cutting ceremony with Princess Sirindhorn doing the honours on the Thai side. This is going to have a big effect on travellers heading into Northern Laos and I feel sorry for all those guesthouses in town that will probably lose in the process, although they may benefit from the Chinese invasion. Nee how ma!
Look forward to travellers reports on the new crossing.
Slowboats continue normally.
#4 Pjotra has been a member since 17/7/2009. Posts: 37
No in the short term it shouldn't have much effect, if any, on the slow/speed boats heading down to Luang Prabang. More of a change in logistics how some people get across the river. At CK/HX the river is so narrow that it seems overkill to run travellers down to the bridge over and back up, when meanwhile it's always been so cheap and easy to just grab a launch straight over. I really doubt those little passenger canoes will just "stop" tomorrow. The new bridge is more about getting Chinese delivery trucks and tour buses in more cheaply and abundantly. But who knows, in the long run the whole "town" might relocate (or just expand).
Just found out that the ferry will continue, but ' for Thai residents only'. This would cause a problem for bike riders, as the bridge will be open only to cars. Appearantly a shuttle bus will drive to the Lao side of the bridge. So no pedestrians, bikes, or motorbikes allowed......
We will see tommorow.
#6 Pjotra has been a member since 17/7/2009. Posts: 37
More news about crossing the new bridge.
Just found out the following: first a Songthaew to the bridge would be 45 THN p.p., when collecting another 5 guys this went down to 40 THB. the Gh owners went around the table to collect customers, to bring this price down a bit more. HOWEVER, the guys of whats called the TUKTUK mafia did not agree and went up to 50 THB p.p.
Well we will see tommorow, what will happen....
#7 Pjotra has been a member since 17/7/2009. Posts: 37
The arrangements are the same as on any other Thai_Lao bridge; NO pedestrains allowed, and as locals do not need visa nor even passports (if stay/live in border near area) convenient boats will continue. However,, in all other cases there are more convenient cross-bridge shuttle buses. Just how long it will take till this gets into the travellers heads......
Last year was also started a Busroute ChiangMai-this crossing-Luang Prabang, but with a Thai bus TH side and ditto Lao. THis should become a through bus, as there are also other trough buses TH-Lao. As for now I have no info if this has indeed happened. or if the BKK-bound big blue tourbuses will divert and set off/collect people at Thai side of bridge.
#9 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472
First day across the new Thai Lao Bridge at Chiang Khong was a bit chaotic.
First you take a (pickup) cab to the borderstation for 40THB ( they ask 50, which we did not pay, it seemed to be ok)
Then you line up with your passport to buy a busticket (25THB) to get across the bridgeto the Lao Bordercrossing. The bus is run by The Transport Co.
Then you go to one of the customoffices, marked Foreign Passport, to get directed to the one , marked Chinese Passports, where they stamp you out.
Then you hop on the bus and get out on the other side. When you have done your homework, downloaded and printed your visaform, filled it out and attached your photo, they tell you that everything changed (probably that morning) and that you can fill out a new form, which, at the bottom tells you that you are not in Huay Xai, as you thought, but in Vientiane. After filling this new one out, by copying the first one you downloaded, they take the lot, with your passport and you can que up atmanother window, where you get your stamped passport back against payment of 35 (mind:NEW bills) us$. ( Visafee depending on your Nationality)
There is an exchange next to the visaoffice to change your Baht or whatever into Lao Kip.
Be carefull, while wating for your passport there are scammers, trying to sell you boattickets to LPB or bustickets tp LNT against rediculous prices.
For instance 500THB ( =126000LAK) for Luang Nam Tha , instead of the going price of 60000LAK p.p. that we paid at the busstation.
After getting your pass back, you can pass customs a bit further without delai, just show it to the officers (two control posts) who are generally quit friendly.
Outside are mini songthaews waiting to bring you either to the busstation for 10,000LAK ( about 40THB) or to the boatlanding for a bit more.
The buses for LNT leave at 09.00 and 12.30 hrs.
The boats depart as usual [url=x-apple-data-detectors://0]between 11.30 and 12.30[/url], depending on the offer of clients.
Again: it is not worthwhile to sleep in Huay Xai, the offer in Ghses in Chiang Khong is much wider and better, and cheaper. Baan Tamilla (his name is Watchara) is a good choice. Fresh homemade bread, free bananas and a good kitchen. rooms at 400 or 650 THBLook also for my comment on Tripadvisor. Across from Tamilla in the sidestreet is a cheaper option, starting from 200 and ending at 800THB. Underneath live a friendly English/Australian couple that are permanent residents. She give yogalessons with view on the Mekong.
Some more businfo: Luang Nam Tha is 187 km. from Huay Xai
There are buses to Oudomxai (330km) at 09.00, 85,000LAK.
Luang Prabang (505km) at 16.00, 120,000Lak. and
Vientiane (900km) for 230,000LAK
#10 Pjotra has been a member since 17/7/2009. Posts: 37