I've been googling this topic for days!
Here's what I've found: On searching through hundreds of travel blogs about this trip, I noticed in people's pictures that some were on super crowded boats with wooden bench seats. Others were on super crowded boats with some comfy gray bucket seats and some white plastic chairs in the back. I don't think this was the expensive slow boat though.
For anyone who has done this trip recently, what is the strategy to get on a boat with comfy seats? Can you book these comfy seats at the dock? Through a guest house? Get there super early? Private charter? How much? I don't mind paying extra, but not $125 like the Magi of the Mekong charges.
Magi of Mekong only does Huay Xai-Pak Beng-LP on Wed & Sun.
Thank you in advance!
#1 archerkath has been a member since 15/7/2008. Posts: 2
Just got this email from the guy who organizes Nagi of Mekong:
You may charter the whole boat at THB. 26,000 for the two days cruise including gasoline. Price does not include accommodation and meals.
Private speed boat for one day trip is THB.1,1000.
Minivan rent for Houi Xai - LPB about 10 hours is THB.14,500."
So THB 26,000 is $800 USD divided by $20 per person (the current rate for a crowded slow boat) equals only 40 people on the boat, not 100! Or pay $40-60 per person for an even nicer ride with only 15 vor so other travelers. So I guess if people can organize it themselves, it can be the same price or a little bit more for a more comfortable ride.
Anyone want to charter a boat Friday, August 1?
#2 archerkath has been a member since 15/7/2008. Posts: 2
Unless you want to charter a boat, I understand it's luck of the draw when it comes to which boat you get. As you say, chartering can be a good idea -- you just need to rustle up 20 like-minded individuals all willing to leave on the same day -- that's the problem...
#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,798
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The easiest way to get the comfy seats is just to show up early. I got there about an hour before the boat was supposed to leave both days and got them no problem.
#4 smartso has been a member since 11/4/2008. Posts: 13