There are many way to travel from Thailand to Laos. Now you can travel from travel from Northern Thailand to Northern Laos in a breeze.
Travel by boat from northern Thailand to Laos is intersting exprience. Before, you can combine the trip from northern Thailand, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong border between Thailand and Laos then take the boat to Hoayxai. Now they have a new Friendship bridge. The brand new bridge spans the Mekong river from Chiang Kong (Chiang Rai province) in Thailand to Huay Xai (Bokeo province) in Laos. The bridge is connected to Laos’ best sealed highway that goes through Luang Namtha to Boten (the Chinese border crossing) then down part of the way to Luang Prabang before the road gets less sealed (i.e. more bumpy) 3 hours south of Luang Namtha.
The best features of the new bridge border crossing for the traveller are:
- The many immigration offices on the Lao and Thai side (instead of just one each at the old river crossing), streamlining entry and exit; meaning you will spend a LOT less time queueing for stamps in your passport.
- The nice new VIP buses transporting people from the Lao side (Bokeo province) after you have been stamped out, straight to Chiang Kong and Chiang Rai quickly, regularly and comfortably. When we last crossed there was a bus to Chiang Rai every 10 minutes or so for 220 Baht each!