Chiang Khong

Chiang Khong

A popular border town

Chiang Khong isn’t so much a destination as a stopover and its role as a Lao border crossing and access point to the Luang Prabang boat services along the Mekong River is what’s plonked it so firmly on the tourist map. The small riverside town, located across the murky, swirling waters of the Mekong from the Lao town of Huay Xai, sees plenty of tourists arriving from Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai or Pai and then departing the following morning over Friendship Bridge Number 4 to catch the 11:00 slow boat to Pak Beng, or of course vice versa.

More on Chiang Khong

Browse hotels in Chiang Khong on Agoda


Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.



Chiang Khong doesn’t offer a lot of obvious tourist draws or activities: no famous sights, no national museums, zero ancient ruins, prestigious temples or spectacular hilltop pagodas. And it draws a near complete blank when it comes to trekking, tubing, caving or rafting. It is though, a charming and picturesque little town and one of the best things to do in Chiang Khong is simply — nothing! We mean chill-out, stroll up and down the scenic Mekong promenade, kick back in some of its excellent range of riverside accommodation, check out its plentiful cafes, bars, coffee shops and restaurants, and if you get your timing right wander the lively markets. If you poke around a bit there are a few things to do and see outside the town such as walks, viewpoints, villages and minor waterfalls. You may not want to stay a week but we reckon it’s well worth a detour even if you’re not planning on joining the slow boat circus to Luang Prabang.

Exploring the countryside. : Mark Ord.
Exploring the countryside. Photo: Mark Ord

A good bet for a walk or cycle is a nearby Hmong village and waterfall, both named after the local stream and called Huay Tong. The country lane leading the five or so kilometres to the village is signposted in English off the road (as is the waterfall) that skirts Chiang Khong to the west. The lane is approximately level with the end of Soi 2. The village isn’t the most traditional but it’s friendly and you may see a few Hmong women dressed up to go to market. Towards the end of the village a track leads off to the right to the waterfall another three kilometres distant. The track is a bit rough, and steep, so you’d be better leaving your bicycle or motorbike at this point and doing the last stretch on foot. The small falls aren’t spectacular but it does make for a ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,100 words.)

Log in to Travelfish

Please sign in to read the rest of this page. The full text is around 1,100 words.

Log in now
Become a Travelfish member

Choose from a free two-day pass right through to a lifetime membership.

Find out more

36 other destinations in Northern Thailand

Learn more about Chiang Dao
Chiang Dao

Caves and mountains

Learn more about Phu Lang Ka
Phu Lang Ka

Clouds amid the karsts

Learn more about Pai
Pai

Busy trekking centre

Learn more about Phu Chee Fah
Phu Chee Fah

Quite a view

Learn more about Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai

Thailand’s northern capital

Learn more about Tha Ton
Tha Ton

Famous for the Kok River trip

Learn more about Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai

Plenty to see and do

Learn more about Mae Salong
Mae Salong

Least Thai town in Thailand

Learn more about Umphang
Umphang

Gateway to an impressive waterfall

Learn more about Nan
Nan

Well worth the side trip

Learn more about Kamphaeng Phet
Kamphaeng Phet

An ancient fortress

Learn more about Sukhothai
Sukhothai

An ancient Thai capital

Learn more about Soppong
Soppong

Spectacular mountain scenery

Learn more about Si Satchanalai
Si Satchanalai

Ancient satellite of Sukhothai

Learn more about Bo Kluea
Bo Kluea

Ancient salt mines and mountain views

Learn more about Wiang Haeng
Wiang Haeng

Remote border region

Learn more about Mae Sariang
Mae Sariang

Bucolic mountain outpost

Learn more about Mae Sot
Mae Sot

Bustling on the Burma border

Learn more about Phrao
Phrao

Scenic stopover

Learn more about Lampang
Lampang

Elephants and horse carts

Learn more about Pua
Pua

Launching point for Doi Phuka

Learn more about Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon

Thailand’s highest peak

Learn more about Mae Wang
Mae Wang

River trips and hill tribes

Learn more about Lamphun
Lamphun

The history runs deep

Learn more about Doi Khun Tan National Park
Doi Khun Tan National Park

Undisturbed forest

Learn more about Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son

Tranquil temple town

Learn more about Fang
Fang

Odd name, great scenery

Learn more about Chiang Saen
Chiang Saen

A sleepy historic centre

Learn more about Phayao
Phayao

Take a load off by the river

Learn more about Phrae
Phrae

Steeped in history

Learn more about Phitsanulok
Phitsanulok

P’lok will do just fine

Learn more about Sob Ruak
Sob Ruak

The Golden Triange

Learn more about Khun Yuam
Khun Yuam

Sunflowers and a waterfall

Learn more about Mae Sai
Mae Sai

Infamous border town

Learn more about Tak
Tak

A low-key river town

Learn more about Hot
Hot

Cool off in Hot