we are planning on taking the slow boat from LP to Huay Xai in a days time, however we are pushed for time. Will the boat arrive in Huay Xai in time for us to get a bus to Chaing Mai that same day? and does anyone know how long the bus takes?
Also if anyone knows an alternative way of getting from Luang Prabang to Chaing Mai other than flying please let me know!!!
#1 Tomhamish has been a member since 19/4/2010. Posts: 21
The bus (well two buses) journey from Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai takes about 20 hours, or at least it did for us. We left LP at around 7p.m. and passed through Nam Ha NP and then onto the Thai border, crossing the border around 10a.m. After taking a longtail boat across a small streatch of water we then boarded a very comfortable AC bus to bring us the remaining 5 hours or so to Chiang Mai.
So all in all you are looking at c.20 hours. When bright the scenery is nice as you are passing through some really traditional areas of Laos with pretty little wooden shacks and kids out waving at you.
P.S. Think the total fare was about $30.
#2 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738
Will the boat arrive in Huay Xai in time for us to get a bus to Chaing Mai that same day?
more often than not it arrives in Huay Xai in the evening after the immigration checkpoints have closed for the day. so you'll most likely be able to cross the border only the next morning.
and does anyone know how long the bus takes?
Chiang Khong > Chiang Mai direct bus = ~6h journey.
alternative way of getting from Luang Prabang to Chaing Mai other than flying
LPB > Pak Beng > Huay Xai (speedboat), or
LPB > Huay Xai (13++h direct bus),
then Chiang Khong > Chiang Mai by bus.
LPB > Tha Suang (slowboat) > Hongsa (songthaew) in a day, then
Hongsa > Muang Ngeun > Huay Kon > Thung Chang by combination of songthaews the next day, then
Thung Chang > Chiang Mai by bus (2 daily, one departs at 20:30, takes 7+h)
but not sure how this route might have been affected by recent floods in Sayabouly province.
we are pushed for time
& it's rainy (mudslide) season...
If time is an issue then get a speedboat from the landing on the north edge of town, and then likely to be at Huay Xai before 6pm border closing. There are usually vans/drivers waiting on the Thai side looking for anyone going to Chiang Mai same evening. I sometimes get vans rolling up at our guesthouse around 11pm here in CM with people who've started the day in LP so it is doable. Slow boat is just plain that - slow, and bus is subject to landslide-related delays this time of year so trip time can vary a lot.
thanks for all your help guys, we have opted to get the slow boat tomorrow morning instead, hopefully it will get us into Huay Xai in time to get a bus to Chiang Mai that evening, but if not we have left a day earlier to compensate. thanks again
#5 Tomhamish has been a member since 19/4/2010. Posts: 21