Taking two day slow boat to Laos
The best way to take the slow boat to Laos from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, Mekong Smile Cruise providing 2 day 1 night on the Mekong River to Luang Praabang, spend an overnight in Pakbeng, stop to visit the local people on the way and the Buddha caves (Pak ou), lunch is included on the boat, pick up and transfer to your hotel in Luang Prabang.
The boat riding is slow 25 -30 kilometers/ per hours, the long boat design by local people the same as the truck boat for transportation, it is more space for walking space, 39 meters long and wide 3, 5 meters, the boat made by steel for the strong water and interior decoration, the boat is cover with the roof, it can journey all the year.
On the boat they providing comfortable seats, blankets in cool season, the fresh air as well as sitting at your own table, 4 sleeping beds, tea, coffee, hot water, some fruit … in season, you can help yourself to these refreshments, there are also have alcohol drink, beer Lao, soft drink, but you have to pay extra.
The first day start slow boat to Laos from Huay Xai to Parbang
When the boat departure on the left have side is Laos and another side is Thailand, the boat trip will journey takes 7-8 hours on the way you will enjoin the beautiful natures, the Mekong River is the border, then after 1,5 hours, the both side are Laos until Vientiane the couple of Laos.
The boat will stop at the Paktha one of the (check point) the boat have to stop here some time police will came with a dog and check, then after here the boat will at Ban Huay Palam to visit the local village to lean their culture, they are khmu tribe, the most of them there are agriculture,
Then be back on the boat lunch will service on the board, then journey for couple hours to go to Pakbeng, the boat will drop off at the pier, the just walk up to go to your hotel.
Pakbeng is also a (check point) Pakbeng is a small town and walking town, it a half way from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, there are not so many accommodations in Pakbeng, restaurant, Barkery shop and bars, there are also the market in the morning and in the evening, there are two ATMs and two banks, most of the people here is the Buddhist and some tribe.
The second day from Pakbeng to Luang Prabang.
In the morning for the second day, when you wake up already you touch the fresh air, and the mist cover the mountain, it was beautiful location, perhaps you will see the elephants another side of the Pakbeng, there is a elephants camp, after your breakfast the walk down to the boat, the boat will departure at 8 am.
The journey on this way is a remotes area the forest is cover and mountain rice, the local people will live on the both side on the Mekong River, you will see the beautiful rocks and the fisher men, they used hook, net, tape, throw fishing net for catch fish, someone used the dynamite, boom and poison it was illegal.
The boat will stop to visit the Ban Huay Zing, this is a Hmong village, and most of them there are agriculture.
The second stop is Pak Ou caves, there are two caves on this area set at the river banks.
So the local people here they are respect and worship, there are thousands of the Buddha imaged, the first one is next the river near the boat and the second caves is high up, about 60 meters, walk up by the step on the left hand side, inside the cave is dark, you should to bring the head light and torch (there are the elephants camp) perhaps you will see the elephants opposite the caves, when walk up in this area is protected by the Unesco world heritage, you can takes photos.
They have minivan to pick you at the pier, out side of Luang Prabang about 6 kilometers to drop at your hotel in the town.
The second day take about 7 hours.
The cost without hotel in Pakbeng US$130 each
The cost included pick you up at your hotel for the fist day and drop off in Luang Prabang
Please bring your jacket and raining close