Just wondering if anybody has travelled from say Chiang Khong (Th) to Jinghong (Ch), or the reverse trip by rice barge or slow passenger ferry or whatever. In Oct-Nov this year I plan on spending 6 weeks in N Thailand and Laos as an independant traveller, and hope to visit Jinghong via the Mekong.
Am also wondering how to get my passport stamped if I'm on the Mekong - possibly after disembarking at Jinghong?
I've not done this trip, but I asked around the traps and got the following info:
"You can rent cabins on the Chinese cargo boats from Chiang Saen to Jinghong, but then there's not really a set schedule. There's also private companies running it as tours with stops at various sights along the way. Again scheduling is a little inconsistent.
Speedboats can do the trip in around 10-12 hours costing around US$100, while the tour companies and freighters can take 2-4 days depending on river levels etc"
Sorry don't have more information than that!
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,739
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Info on travelling from Thailand via mekong into China:
I have just returned from this trip, and the following may (or may not) be useful for impending travellers.
You can travel from N Thailand into China via Mekong, but no longer by freighter. You can now only go by passenger ferry, which is OK but lacks the spirit of barge travel. Chinese ferry staff try to make you sit with windows closed during the entire trip. They also try to prevent you from going on deck. However, if you are persistent, they eventually give up.
It takes 2 days to go from Chiang Saen to Jinghong. The cost is now 4000TBt, and it includes the cost of overnight hotel but no meals. Ensure you have some ChYen before you leave Thailand because there are no currency echange facilities prior to Jinghong.