I know most people seem to do a trip in a Chiang Mai - Houay Xai - Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng - Vientiane kind of way, but I was actually hoping to do the opposite direction. Does anyone have experience with this, what are the pros and cons? I have heard it can be cheaper for bus tickets and the like as it is against the direction most tourists take. Also this direction would just fit better with my overall itinerary. My big question is can I do the boat tour from Luang Prabang to Houay Xai instead of the normal way. Is there a big drawback to this?
Hi jake, you can definitely take the slowboat up river from louangphrabang to ban Houay xai, Its a two day journey stopping at pak beng for one night (not included in ticket price). I'm not sure if you can do the full trip to Chang mai as a package but it is easy to DIY once in ban Houay xai. Take the ferry across the river to Chang khong Thailand and there are regular buses to Chang mai and Chang rai from here.
One last thing, if you go in the dry season then sometimes the boats don't run as the river is low and dangerous. Its uncommon and bloody uncomfortable but you may have to take a bus to ban Houay xai instead. almost 9 years agoAnswered by Laurence via WorldNomads.com