Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Houay Xai to Chiang Khong to Chiang Rai

Up early and a couple of Lao Coffees later its border crossing time. The border crossing in half way down the main street. This is probably one of the easiest (lax) crossings you could do. Hand your passport in at the window and receive it back with an exit stamp in about 30 seconds. You can themn go back into town and spend your remaining kip before jumping in one of the waiting longtail boats to take you across the Mekong to Chiang Khong (5,000 kip – pay on boat).

Thai immigration on the other side is just up the hill. Fill in the arrival card and enter visa free in about two minutes. Wainting songthiews can take you to the bus station for buses to Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai (20 baht per person).

The bus to Chiang Rai was 54 baht and took 3 hours including a stop for axle welding and the rivers lunch. We arrive at about 13:00 at the bus station and walk the ten minutes or so to Ben Guesthouse. Again this is a recommendation from Travelfish which comes up trumps. It is in the quiet area of town about 10-15 minutes walk from the night market. It is an old teak house with incredibly friendly staff. R=Rooms 150-300 baht depending on fan/AC/shared/ensuite. A very relaxing place after three days of travelling.

No comments: