Photo: The Mekong River sliding past Pak Tha.


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The medium sized village of Pak Tha is set at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Tha rivers and is a comfortable place to break the journey between Huay Xai and Pakbeng. It is also the place from where to embark on a boat trip up the Nam Tha river to Luang Nam Tha – if you’re lucky.

Hotels, food, sights, transport quick links

Keep reading to learn more about Pak Tha!

Set atop the bank of the Mekong, Pak Tha also marks the region from where Laos sits on both sides of the Mekong River. Not much happens in Pak Tha, making it an ideal spot to rest and recharge. More happens though in the late afternoon (by Pak Tha’s standards) when the river is low and a good football games kicks off near the Nam Tha riverbank. A daily market in the centre of town seems to be the focal point of most activity in town and it’s also where you will be able to get a bowl of noodle soup.

Welcome to Pak Tha. Photo taken in or around Pak Tha, Laos by Adam Poskitt.

Welcome to Pak Tha. Photo: Adam Poskitt

Also when the river is lower there are some great rapids which some of the particularly crazy kids throw themselves into. The village is basically made up of three main roads which run parallel to the river and have numerous smaller paths linking them together.

The customs and immigration office is located near the boat dock, but this will be of little use to anyone unless coming through the scrub across the river from Thailand.

The few accommodation options in Pak Tha offer only rudimentary facilities. Supaphon and Suphany are the pick of the guesthouses and are located in the centre of town. Just ask at the market for directions. Suphany has two types of rooms and those downstairs are some of the worst we have seen. If you can manage it, tell the owner you’d like to stay with her son, Bounmee, where he has a few basic rooms in his house. They’re the best bet, and although still basic, you will at least not feel dirty. Cold water and squat toilets are the norm around these parts.

Not a selfie stick in sight. Photo taken in or around Pak Tha, Laos by Adam Poskitt.

Not a selfie stick in sight. Photo: Adam Poskitt

Food in Pak Tha is a makeshift affair. Near the boat dock there are two noodle shops worth checking out. The meat is a bit gristly, but it does fill the spot. Suphany also can put on meals and if you’re staying with Bounmee on the boat dock side of the Nam Tha, he will lend you his bike to get to his mother’s house ... Travelfish members only (Around 600 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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