Crossing to Laos

Houay Xai Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 39 › view all entries
ANDREI - So, it's good bye to Thailand and "Sabadee" to Laos!  Off to do the Gibbon Project tomorrow.
Kerry - we took the bus at 8am to get to the border town of Chang Khong in Thailand and then to crioss the Mekong river on a boat. We met 2 English guys on the bus, who were nice and a laugh as they were still drunk from the night before i am sure! Craig had travelled for a year in South America so we were reminising about all the places we had been to and then comparing where we were going to head off to on this trip,. We stopped a couple of times on the way but made it to Chiang Khong in the end at around 3 pm. We went down to the river to the immigration office which we found was under water!! The level of water in the Mekong was so high as it had rained so much! they had moved the office to another area so we had our passports stamped and then got on the boat to cross the border to Laos!

The crossing only took about 10 minutes and in that time Craig had managed to get chatting to a local guy on the boat and find out what the word for Hello was in Laos as well as thank you - Sabadee and Kap Chai, are the answers! We got to the immigration office and had our visas stamped and decided to go and find some accommodation.
The sun had come out and it was pretty hot - good start for Laos! We were in the small town of Houay Xai. It is one of the nicest boarder towns that we have been to. It was really relazed an the main rowad was fully of guesthouses and restaurants. We found a guest house - BAP Guesthouse, which was pretty expensive at 80,000 kip a night (abbout 5 pounds) but it was really nice and we were only staying one night. The owner was a funny lady who was pretty stern but made some funny comments.

We then headed off to find the office of the Gibbon Experience, which was one of the reasons we had come to Houay Xai. This is a trip into the Bokeo National Park where you can trek into the jungle with guides to see Gibbons, as well as zip line over the canopy of the jungle and stay in treehouses in the canopy of the jungle.
We got some information fromt he office and spoke to the people who had just returned. normally i would not have though twice about doing it, but as we had only just come back from a trek and also as we were told in the wet season it involves a lot of trekking to get to the park as the van can not drive you as far due to mud and landslides, i was a bit dubious! But we decided to go for it! it could not be as bad as they said right................oh we were so niaive!!!!

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Sam and Craig from Southend.
Sam and Craig from Southend.
Houay Xai Hostels review
Superior backpacker price with quirky old owner
Great place to stay for one or two nights as you pass through into or out of Laos. The main thing was that our wood-decked double room was very clean… read entire review
Houay Xai
photo by: orcio81