I plan to catch a flight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai on a Tuesday in October that will arrive at about 9.05pm. The next day I would like to take the nagi of mekong boat to Luang Prabang - this leaves at 9.00am.
What time is the first bus from ChiangRai to ChiangKhong, and what chance is that to arrive in time to exit Thailand and cross the river to Huay Xai. I will get my visa for Laos in my country before I leave.
I think that it possible to pre-book the ticket to chiang khong but what time does the bus station close the night before? Is there a guest house close to the bus station. Would a 5am bus be sufficient to arrive in time to get the boarder crossing things done and to catch the nagi of mekong boat?
Thanks for your help.
don't know how outdated this is: http://web.chiangrai.net/tourcr/e_version/index.php?option=bus
shows that first Chiang Khong-bound bus is 06:00AM. journey takes ~2.5h, depends how many stops in villages along the way. drops you at the market, from there a tuktuk ride to immigration. border opens at 08:00AM.
don't think the kinda buses they have doing this route (either via Wiang Chai or Phaya Mengrai) can be prebooked, don't think there is a need to anyway.
couple of guesthouses (Baan Bua, Orchid, etc) near Wat Jet Yod, walking distance of Chiangrai bus station.
if your travel plans are really tight in terms of time...you might have some adjusting to do when it comes to travel in Laos ;)
as far as i know, Chiangrai bus station seems to pretty much wind down by sunset. all the times i've been there at night, everything's closed. schedule i linked in #2 says last bus at 5PM.
if you have $ to spare then perhaps you could arrange private transport from Chiangrai to Chiang Khong?
if you bus it up from BKK, there's plenty of time during the boat journey to catch up on rest. & the Nagi promises decent accommodation in Pak Beng right? :)
from your other post...you're planning to catch Ok Phansa & Boun Lai Heua Fai in LPB?
Thanks for your info. I wasnt planning on ok phansa but i will try to get to a temple at the time.
I now think that i will bus from bkk to chiang khong - any good or bad experiences would like to hear about them - thanks again.
think Ok Phansa will be 14th Oct this year. in LPB will see people making beautiful 'fire boats' & lanterns for Boun Lai Heua Fai night parade along the main road to Wat Xieng Thong (i think), where they'll be launched onto the Mekong & floated downriver. ask around when there for parade date/time (maybe 15th Oct?).