Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

Price of slow boats from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang

Posted by simeone_8 on 15/5/2006 at 22:00

Has anyone done this and can shed some light on costs? Ive seen varying prices ranging from 15USD in the Lonely Planet SE Asia on a shoestring upto 215USD on a website for something called the Pak Ou boat staying at the Luangsay Lodge.
Basically we are just wanting a boat that has a deck that you can sit out on with cover as it will be in Sept and most likely raining. Don't want to be stuck down in an engine room sucking exhaust fumes for 2 days.
Also any recommendations on budget to middle range accom in Pakbeng for the overnight stay?
Any ideas hugely appreciated.
Thanks

#1 simeone_8 has been a member since 17/3/2006. Posts: 22

Posted by MarcuzNYC on 16/5/2006 at 00:07

I did the trip from Huay Xai to Luang Prapang last August.
I paid about $20 for a 'boat', which gets you there in about 8 hours.
Calling it a boat is like calling McDonalds a dining experience.
These is about 10 people cramed into an insanely small space.
Luckily, I was the only non Lao person, but still, your knees are gonna be in your chest, and bring ear plugs since the engine is really loud.
I recomend sitting in the back and not the front: you'll get real wet up front.

#2 MarcuzNYC has been a member since 29/4/2006. Posts: 5


Posted by simeone_8 on 16/5/2006 at 01:45

Hi Marcuz,
Are you refering to the speedboats that do the whole journey in around 8 hours? I've heard that they are pretty dodgy so we are wanting to get the slower boats, think its about 7hrs to Pakbeng, stay overnight, then around another 7hrs to LP. Anyone else got any idea of average prices?
Thanks for you reply Marcuz.

#3 simeone_8 has been a member since 17/3/2006. Posts: 22

Posted by samgowest on 18/5/2006 at 13:44

Howdy-
Made the trip on the slow boat a couple of weeks ago. There will be a guy sitting at a table selling the tickets for 800 baht, or about 20 bucks. I was told that if you go directly to the peer on the other side of town you could get them for 600! They will also tell you that you HAVE to get a room from them....YOU DON'T>You stop in a small village overnight along the way. I wouldn't recommend the speed boats...they are faster but more expensive and probably dangerous.
The slow boat can get cramped. Have fun and Luang Prabang is worth the trip!

#4 samgowest has been a member since 5/4/2006. Posts: 2

Posted by somtam2000 on 18/5/2006 at 14:20 admin

Just to reiterate samgowest's comment, do not book the accommodation in advance. There have been a lot of complaints about people being ripped off in this regard -- especially from those who organise the whole thing out if Chiang Mai. The small village samgowest refers to is Pakbeng (I linked it in their message as well).

#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,568
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Posted by simeone_8 on 19/5/2006 at 04:23

Hi samgowest/somtam
thanks for your reply. what was the boat actually like then that you paid $20 for? You say it got cramped but was there a deck you could sit on so you watch the passing scenery or were you stuck below deck? I mean 800 baht is a bargain in my book for a 2 day boat trip but id rather pay a bit more if it gets you a more comfortable boat but not upto $215 (fussy aren't I!) I've heard stories of people being cramped below deck breathing in engine fumes for 2 days which would just ruin what should be a very enjoyable chilled out journey. Can you see what kind of boat your buying tickets for before you get on them???

#6 simeone_8 has been a member since 17/3/2006. Posts: 22


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