Getting there and away
There is a semi-regular boat service from Pak Tha to Luang Nam Tha, but departure times are not fixed and this means a lot of waiting around unless you want to charter a boat. Boats are open top and sleeping is usually done in the boat overnight if going up river to Luang Nam Tha. Expect to pay in the region of 250,000 kip for the two-day journey upriver – bring a raincoat in case of rain.
The boat to Huay Xai swings past at 15:00 and you will need to get someone to wave it down for you. Locals don't generally use this slow boat, however, and opt for a speed boat. This exhilarating 30-minute journey only costs 40,000 kip and is worth every cent. Again, the boat still departs even if it is pouring with rain, so pack a raincoat.
The boat to Pakbeng comes past at about midday, but the precise time depends entirely on its departure from Huay Xai. Sit by the river and ask a local to flag it down for you. 80,000 kip.
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