Sign up for weekly updates:
Flag of Thailand

Chiang Khong

Travel Guide

Hotel Deals of the Day
best price guarantee



Chiang Khong is set on the far northern Thai border, straight across the swirling waters of the Mekong River from the Lao town of Huay Xai. Chiang Khong is primarily known for being one of the more popular border crossings for backpackers and independent travellers travelling to and/or from Laos.

Long and thin, Chiang Khong runs in an east-west direction along the southern bank of the Mekong River. The river's bank is lined with a bunch of guesthouses and small restaurants. Guesthouses and backpacker cafes aside, Chiang Khong is a typical small Thai town -- wander away from the riverfront and you could be pretty much anywhere in Thailand.

While many view the town as nothing more than an overnight stop to or from Laos, Chiang Khong has a few outlying attractions in its own right, including waterfalls and rapids -- both of which can be visited on short trips organised at your guesthouse, or independently if you have your own transport. If you have the time, or by chance are not going to Laos, you could easily spend a couple of days here -- some spend a lot longer.

For those in a rush to get to Laos there are nightly direct buses from Bangkok to Chiang Khong.

Related reading

Motorcycling the Chiang Rai loop
Trekking in Thailand
Check Chiang Khong hotel rates on Agoda. Best price guarantee!

Our recommendations

Chiang Khong is a bit of a victim of its location. If it didn't happen to be at an international border crossing with Laos, it would be a destination in its own right. As it stands, by the time most get here, all they want to do is Get To Laos. If you happen to have time on your hands, however, Chiang Khong has quite a bit to do and see.

There are waterfalls, pleasing river scenery, remote wats, great bicycle potential and a ridiculously cheap nightclub. If all that sounds passe, then by all means get the boat over to Laos, but otherwise, ask around for the "Chiang Khong Sightseeing Map", get yourself some wheels and do some exploring.

One note to those with their own transport: There are two routes from Chiang Saen to Chiang Khong -- the longer by the river, the shortcut over the hill. The riverfront one is very interesting, but the over-the-hill route includes a killer viewpoint. It's difficult to recommend one over the other -- try both!



Text and/or map last updated on 30th October, 2013.

Jump to a different destination in Thailand

Chiang Khong interactive map

Click on the map below to open a new window with a zoomable interactive map of Chiang Khong, including (where available) points of interest, guesthouses & hotels, restaurants and more.


Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Mapbox Terms & Feedback

Chiang Khong reviews

Backchat from the Travelfish community

Photo gallery

Photo for Chiang Khong

Jump to a destination

Reviews about Chiang Khong

Fell in love with Chiang Khong
By Slightlyripe, 28 August 2012
4.0  stars

Came for a day, spent a few
By jeffontour, 13 January 2011
3.0  stars

Flash deal

All accommodation in Chiang Khong

Onward travel

From the wires



Thailand FAQ