Hi. I am after your opinions (and reasons for them). When travelling from Chiang Rai, Thailand to Huay Xai, Laos with the intention of getting the boat to Luang Prabang - is it better to overnight in Chiang Khong or Huay Xai?
Can you book you boat from Chiang Khong?
What is the earliest you can get started in travelling down the river?
Which is cheapest?
Which did you find nicest / friendliest / most interesting?
Can you get Beer Laos in Chiang Khong?
#1 paul123456789 has been a member since 10/7/2007. Posts: 15
If I were making the trip down river to LP, I'd likely choose to overnight in Huay Xai rather than Chiang Khong. That's because it would give me the full evening before to scope out the boats and select one for the river trip. Plus, those boats often leave pretty early in the morning, and getting to Huay Xai the night before will save you the stress of trying to hurry to get through customs/immigration and across the river the morning of your departure.
If you do choose to stay in Huay Xai, be aware that the border tends to close pretty early, so you'll need to plan your trip to get to Chiang Khong early enough to get through the border and across the river.
So, I guess I'd base my decision on the logistics of the trip rather than which is friendliest or cheapest or most interesting. However, if you have time, perhaps you could spend a night in each place and type up what you find for the rest of us.
Finally, I think the certainty of Beer Lao being available in Huay Xai is a definite tie-breaker in favor of staying there. :-) Have a great trip. Cheers.