Dai Lai Lake & Bat Cave Report

Hi there,
Where did you go on the Liberation Day and the International Labor Day?
My friends & I , group of 13 people, decided to travel to Dai Lai Lake & Bat Cave, 50km far from Dong Anh district. It took about 2 hrs. ( by motorbike)
We prepared a lot of foods & drinks and started at 8AM. We felt highly enthusiastic.
Our first stop was Dai Lai lake, a big and beautiful lake. We hired a boat to nearby islands. In my imagination, through Nha Trang’s pictures on the Internet, Dai Lai lake seems like a small Nha Trang.

My groups on the boat


In the islands, there are a lot of artificial scenery such as : Bamboo forest, art objects,we had a lot of breathtaking pictures.

Ha beside tea - set



I saw local families with their children & tourists swim there
I took a picture with a lovely child.

The water is very clear and cold


About 1PM we departed to Bat Cave (6km from Dai Lai lake ).The sceneries were very beautiful and imposing. We had to climb on huge stones side by side, step by step to reach the Bat Cave.
Artificial scenery in Dai Lai Lake

Artificial scenery in Dai Lai Lake


The Natural Scenery in Bat Cave

The Natural Scenery in Bat Cave

Conquering the cave, only 7 members left. However, I was a little bit of pointless because the cave was very small. We couldn’t see any bat or its traces. So we decided to go up the mountain by the wooden ladder.

wooden ladder to go the peak


And we didn’t regret when we stayed on the peak (just remain 3 members). It was breathtaking scenery and I felt the world is under my feet.
After that, we had a big party in a local restaurant and enjoyed specially meals made by Buffalo such as Buffalo Fried, Bufalo hot- pot,… .
I loved this journey and thanks a lot everyone .Especially, Ms. Ha – my closest friend. I knew she is very tired with the life but I believe she will be successful so let’s try your best. I always near by you.
Van Cao

Special holiday in Mui Ne

I had a chance to travel Mui Ne in 2 days with my family . That was very fund and memoriable. I really impressed with the sand dunes there. So I think I should share my experience and photos .
Mui Ne is about 4-5 hours bus ride from CHM to the east. The south China sea makes this small beach resort a tourist destination. It is quite small but hotels, massage parlours, spas, restaurants and other establishments that serves the tourists are all present.

There are a lot of destination you should visit : The beautiful tropical beaches lined with groves of swaying palm trees, immense Saharan-style sand dunes meandering for kilometres in colours of red, yellow and white, tall mountains with bamboo rainforests and pristine waterfalls, and deep red canyons parted by twisting streams. But with litmed time, We can’ visit all . So we decide visit sand dunes ( in the first day ) because Mui Ne is only places have sand dunes and ( go to Cham Tower in the last day).

Mui Ne Beachea


We hired a jeep and drove past a large fishing village with hundreds of boats anchored in the sea, all waiting to go out and catch their evening’s batch of fish. The view was very nice and overlooked not only the sea and fishing boats, but also the beach and fishing village lined along the shore.

We went to white sand dune at about 2 PM (It took about 25 minute drive from the fishing village . Far from there, you can see the dunes range from gold to pure white. It was breaktaking scenery. The main part of the white sand dunes that has large, high drifts of sand with no vegetation at all, looked like a mini version of the Sahara desert. The expanse of land around the dunes was very sparse and still mostly made up of sand, and it stretched for miles around. When we got to the most picturesque spot in the white sand dunes, we saw the huge dunes surrounded by a large lake and a small field of pines trees.
My father and my brother swam in Bau Ba Lake, I and my darling climbed to the top of the White Sand Dunes and slided downhill. That was amazing and fun.

My mother prepared foods and we had a delicious meals and have perfect picnic.

We stayed at a beach front bungalow called Kim Ngan. When night fell, there was pitch darkness. I knew there is supposed to be no civilization and it is just water that existed. I scanned the horizon and there were lights and movement and it looked like a village. All the fishermen were out making their livery. We walked along beaches and see the local activities.

The next day, We woke up very early and watched the sun rise. I’ve seen sun rise in may places but I’ve never feeling happy like this (with magnificent scenery , with my lovely family).

After having a breakfast, we drove to visit the Po Shanu Cham Towers; it has a view of the famous candy color cemetery. I am not sure why they call it that but I think it is because the tombs are in rows and have multiple colors.

There were rows of beach houses and resorts on the south side of P Nguyen Dunh Street and further east is Huynh Thuc Khang. There is also a small village nearby called Phan Thiet where the towne centre creates a small fishing harbour. I witnessed the fish catching process where the large spindle was spun to draw in the cords of the large net that was raised. There was a fisherman in the middle of the net balancing on a bopping five foot diameter basket made of palm and coconut.
Van Cao

Angkor Wat Temples

The great temples of Angkor Wat are situated in the province of Siem Reap. This area is considered the biggest temple complex of the world and revealed itself after being hidden in the Jungle for many years.

The whole area is about 400 km² that also includes the surrounding forest, so you will need good shoes to make it around that area by feet.

Never the less you can also visit the temple complex with a “remorque” motorbike which is a small motorbike where you can sit side by side in two behind the driver. This is a great way to visit the area as it is very cheap and the driver can tell you much about the temples and history. Taxi are available too, as well as motor and bikes for rent. For those who love to see from the top, you can rent an hot air balloon, or even an helicopter.

There are two ways to visit this area and still see the main attractions, the little circuit and the big circuit. The little circuit is 17 km and brings you to the main temples of Angkor. The big circuit takes 26 km and is an extension of the little one but continues on east side of the area.

To visit Angkor you have to pay quite a high entry fee, you have choice of three different passes which you can buy at the entrance boot. A one-day pass cost US 20 dollar, a three-day pass cost US 40 dollar and a one-week pass cost US 60 dollar. Remember to have a photo with you if you desire to buy a pass for more than one day.

There are more than a 100 temples in the whole area, more than you can see on your visit but the most famous ones you will discover during both circuits trough the temple area.

The highlights are:

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

This temple is 1,5 km² x 1,3km and built by Suryavarman ІІ and is considered the biggest Asian pyramid. It is 65m high and divided in several layers. The central part has on the four corners four towers in the shape of a lotus flower. This temple is the largest and most breathtaking temple of the whole complex. The most famous decorations of Angkor are the heavenly nymphs (Apsara), there are more of 300, each one is unique and in total we can group them in 30 different styles. The central temple complex is an 800 meters long bas-reliefs, includes the Battle of Kurukshetra, the Army of Suryavarman II, Heaven and Hell, Churning of the Ocean of Milk, Elephant Gate, Vishnu Conquers the Demons, Khrisna and the demon King, Battle of the Gods and the Demons and the Battle of Lanka.

The Bayon

The Bayon

The Bayon

Built by Jayavarman VII the temple stands in the center of Angkor Thom. With its 54 towers and 216 faces of Avalokiteshvara, this temple looks best in the morning just after sunrise or at the end of the afternoon as the sun shines on the faces. Its magic is does not appear from a distance, it looks more like a pile of stones. But coming close to the temple the faces start to appear and reveal its magic on you. The temple was built on 3 levels:the first 2 are rectangular, while the 3rd is circular. The Bayon has over 1.3 Km of bas-reliefs corresponding to more than 11.000 figures. Most of them depict every day’s life scene of the Cambodia in the XII century. Inside the Bayon, we suggest you to visit The Cams of the Run, Linga worship, A Naval Battle, The Chams vanquished, a Military Procession, Civil War, The All-Seing King, Victory Parade, The Circus comes to Town, land of Plenty, The Chams retreat, The Chams Sack Angkor and the Chams Enter Angkor.

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

Still covered by the jungle this place is exactly left as they found it. The Ta Prohm is not only a possibility to imagine how the whole temple complex looked like when re-discovered in XIX century The trees swallowed the temple and nature takes back its space, and it has been left like this.  Don’t miss this astonishing mix of nature vs humans. The charm of this temple is, you don’t know where (or when) the nature finish and the human work starts or vice versa. Amazing!

Elephant Terrace

A 350 m long terrace of elephants. It was used as a giant viewing stand during public ceremonies, royal ceremonies and so on. Many lions decorate this enormous path. Now it’s surrounded by the green and very relaxing, but try and close your eyes, imagine thousands of peoples on it, then the army, the king,the music, the dance. Daydreamers will have tough time to leave this place.

Banteay Srei

This temple lays quite far from the rest but absolutely worthy to visit. The soft colors of the sand stones and the beautiful reliefs make this temple a typical example for the Khmer culture. This temple is dedicated to Shiva, its’  well preserved and most of its declarations are 3D, including delicates women carrying lotus flowers, and epic scenes. This temple is 21 km far from Bayon and about 35 km from Siem Reap. It’s worth a visit.

The Soukhouane and the Lao People

The soukhouane ritual

The ritual known to the Lao as the Phithi Souane or Phithi Baci is a ritual to call back, welcome, propitiate and unite the khouane with the physical body.
It is the ubiquitous of all Lao functions and celebrations, and integral part if Lao family life. It can be held for a farewell, welcome, birth of a baby, birthdays, house warming, job promotions, harvest, new car, marriage and a New Year celebration.
The Soukhouane ritual is not a seasonal and does not follow any ‘official’ calendar of ceremonies and rites in Laos.
Although this ritual is not unique to the Lao, it has been said that is a Lao ceremony ‘par excellence’.
It contains an amalgam of the many religious and cultural traditions that have influenced Lao culture and it continues to adapt itself to political and cultural values.
The ceremony celebrates, in essence, important family occasions as well as communal events of significance and in an integral part of the life of the Lao.
It is a key element of Lao culture, being a microcosm of Lao values.

Buddhist Racing Boat

After performing the Buddhist lent for three months, in the rainy season starting from the 1st dark moon of the eight month to the 1st dark moon of the eleventh moon, the closing ceremony is organized. Firstly, the performance of Buddhist lent activities is the responsibilities of the monks, not for the lay people.

There after, the form of the ceremony change as the villagers decide to prepare the offerings for merit making. So in the morning of the fifteen day of the eleventh month, the villagers take the offerings to the temples and listen to Buddha’s teaching while the candles ceremony, light worshipping and fire boat festivities are performed in the evening. In the next day, the 1st dark moon of the eleven month, boat racing is organized on the Mekong river.
The Buddhist Lent closing ceremony is performed in the same way as the beginning of Buddhist Lent, Boun Hokaopradabdine and Boun Khao Sark or Salark. At the festival day Buddhist villagers, dressed in new and beautiful clothes take the silver bowls or plateful of food and materials to offer the monks for merit making.
How to organize the ceremony.
The term “Watsa” means the rain or rainy season. the monks complete the practices of Buddha teachings during the period of three months in the rainy season without spending any nights in other places. On the 1st day of the dark moon of the eleventh month the closing ceremony for Buddhist Lent should be arranges.
But, in practice, it is organized in the full moon of the fifteen in the eleventh month, one day before the due date. In the Buddha’s teaching, the closing ceremony for Buddhist Lent was not decided, but Pavalana, prior notice ceremony was instead made after three months of Buddhist lent ended. So, in practice the monks made Pavalana on the evening of the full moon of the fifteen in the eleventh month.
It is one day before the real closing date.The term Pavalana  means to announce something in advance of warn or advise each other for example when the villagers say to the monks in advance that “If the monks need to have the 4 main factors such as : clothing, bedding, medicines or some things else, please advice us.” This also means Pavalana. It is to say something to do in advance. Pavalana is the task of the monks. When any monks violate the Buddhist rules, they should warn each other. The reason that the Lord of Buddha allowed the monks to give advice is that when the monks stay together during the Buddhist Lent in the same place it would a few of them might behave badly or make mistakes. After the Buddhist Lent ends, they warn or advice each other before leaving. This means “Pavalana.” To conduct the ceremony for Pavalana, the oldest monk has make a decision first. He may say three, two times of one.
Then the others say like him or saying one by one. The words are said in Pali language. It means that “To you all the monks, please listen to me today is the full moon day. It is the day to give prior notice that we have completed the Buddha practice.”After the decision is made, the oldest monk sits on his knees, joins his hands and says Pavalana in front the others in Pali language: “To you all the monks, may I notice you in advance and do not in doubt that I made mistakes or sins caused by a breach of the rules of the monastic order (Patimakkha), please warn me, to change my bad behaviour for proper behaviour acting.”
Then all the monks have to say the same words until its completion. The monks who completed the Buddhist Lent, can gain Anisong 5, merit making.

After performing the Buddhist lent for three months, in the rainy season starting from the 1st dark moon of the eight month to the 1st dark moon of the eleventh moon, the closing ceremony is organized. Firstly, the performance of Buddhist lent activities is the responsibilities of the monks, not for the lay people.There after, the form of the ceremony change as the villagers decide to prepare the offerings for merit making. So in the morning of the fifteen day of the eleventh month, the villagers take the offerings to the temples and listen to Buddha’s teaching while the candles ceremony, light worshipping and fire boat festivities are performed in the evening. In the next day, the 1st dark moon of the eleven month, boat racing is organized on the Mekong river. The Buddhist Lent closing ceremony is performed in the same way as the beginning of Buddhist Lent, Boun Hokaopradabdine and Boun Khao Sark or Salark. At the festival day Buddhist villagers, dressed in new and beautiful clothes take the silver bowls or plateful of food and materials to offer the monks for merit making.How to organize the ceremony.The term “Watsa” means the rain or rainy season. the monks complete the practices of Buddha teachings during the period of three months in the rainy season without spending any nights in other places. On the 1st day of the dark moon of the eleventh month the closing ceremony for Buddhist Lent should be arranges.But, in practice, it is organized in the full moon of the fifteen in the eleventh month, one day before the due date. In the Buddha’s teaching, the closing ceremony for Buddhist Lent was not decided, but Pavalana, prior notice ceremony was instead made after three months of Buddhist lent ended. So, in practice the monks made Pavalana on the evening of the full moon of the fifteen in the eleventh month.It is one day before the real closing date.The term Pavalana  means to announce something in advance of warn or advise each other for example when the villagers say to the monks in advance that “If the monks need to have the 4 main factors such as : clothing, bedding, medicines or some things else, please advice us.” This also means Pavalana. It is to say something to do in advance. Pavalana is the task of the monks. When any monks violate the Buddhist rules, they should warn each other. The reason that the Lord of Buddha allowed the monks to give advice is that when the monks stay together during the Buddhist Lent in the same place it would a few of them might behave badly or make mistakes. After the Buddhist Lent ends, they warn or advice each other before leaving. This means “Pavalana.” To conduct the ceremony for Pavalana, the oldest monk has make a decision first. He may say three, two times of one. Then the others say like him or saying one by one. The words are said in Pali language. It means that “To you all the monks, please listen to me today is the full moon day. It is the day to give prior notice that we have completed the Buddha practice.”After the decision is made, the oldest monk sits on his knees, joins his hands and says Pavalana in front the others in Pali language: “To you all the monks, may I notice you in advance and do not in doubt that I made mistakes or sins caused by a breach of the rules of the monastic order (Patimakkha), please warn me, to change my bad behaviour for proper behaviour acting.” Then all the monks have to say the same words until its completion. The monks who completed the Buddhist Lent, can gain Anisong 5, merit making.

Buddhist ceremony

Buddhist ceremony

Traditionally, a Buddhist ceremony which is performed every year is called Hidsipsong, tradition of 12 months, while the fourteen rules on salutation made by officials, sister-in-law, husband and wife and all Loa people are called Khongsipsi.
These above are intended to express salutation and loving kindness to the god and people. Baci is multi-purpose ceremony to express the best wishes for the important days of lives such as new babies, marriages, departures, visiting friend and others. Holy white cotton strings are tied round hands of the women with kapok, coiled hair style.
Eating :
90% of Loa people consume sticky rice. The ware kept the rice after steaming is called Tikao or kongkao and can be taken to every where. The arrangement of food is on the food big plate. The main food are Lap, Koy, Ping.
Housing :
Houses are built on stilt and have free apace underneath that roofs a triangle wind plates on each side. These are 2 types of houses; single and a double roofed how many steps on the stairs depends on the height of the house, but traditionally they made uneven numbers such as: 3 steps, 5 steps, 7 steps and 9 steps.
Ways of dressing :
Costumes depend on gender and age but regarding to the culture, Loa women dressed properly, because they are mothers of the nation in tradition, Lao women wear the silk skirts, blouses and scarves to attend important ceremonies.
Design of Lao women skirts :
1. Design with upper and lower parts.
2. Not too short and too long.
3. The upper part over the waist.
4. Lower part of skirt suitable.
5. Not too sexy.
Attending significant events, Lao women wear scarves and coiled hair styles. Lao men wear salong, big large pants or the peasant pants to attend the important ceremonies. Paekaoma is used for cleaning the body, covering the head and others.
The costumes in the previous periods : Laos is one old nation in South East Asia. This place where was called Souvannaphoum and some Lao were settled in South of China called Anachak Ai-Lao. Due to the wars Lao migrated southward and established Monarchy Nanechao.
The first king was named Sinoulo, governor of Nongsae as Chinese called Talifu town. It was capital city of Nanechao had peace for quite a long time. The first governor called Nanechao-ong. Main occupations were cultivation, animal husbandry and textile weavings. Hair style were coiled down to both sides down to the back and ear rings.
Men and women dressed same styles of pants of shirts made by textile no colour and they did not have any decoration wares.
Occupation :
Rice cultivation, animal husbandry, raising silk worms and handicrafts were main occupations additional Activities were trading, fishery, workers in the plants or officials.
Culture & Society :
Smiles, Loves liberty, no quarrels, no oppression, respect the nation, reputation and honor with their lives. Commonly Lao people are fully of love and respect others. “To visit north or south, meal can be requested, but visitors, no need to study in the hotels or pay for food”.
Sensation :
Friendship, love and peace are sit the hearts of Lao people. They hate oppressors. Our slogan said United we survive and separate, we die. We hate the conflicts and we can give excuse to others if the cases are reasonable. Lao territory is very wide.
We like literature and arts, Many poets are stories were written by our great authors namely : Phousonelane, grand father teaches grand son, lanesonephu, grandson teaches grandfather, sonelork in thangane soneluk. Phravetsanedone. Champasitonh, the 4 champa flower trees, kalaket, Tengone. Soulivong kunthung-kuntheuang and others were written in palm leaves these above poetry are our national heritage designed our ancestor hearts to give us the best loves to our nation.

Luang Prabang Transportations

1. Air
Luang Prabang AirlineThree carriers — Lao Airlines, Bangkok Airways and Vietnam Airlines — fly in and out of Luang Prabang and serve both domestic and international destinations. LPQ is the airport code and the airport itself is a tiny little affair reminiscent of simpler times.Domestically, Lao Airlines provides service to Vientiane several times daily and to Pakse three times a week.
Internationally, they fly to Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Hanoi daily and to Siem Reap almost every day.Bangkok Airways has two flights daily, only serving Bangkok. Their lounge at the airport is lovely and makes flight delays almost seem worthwhile.Vietnam Airlines serves Siem Reap and Hanoi five times a week each.
Lao Airlines:
Phamahapatsaman Rd,Luang Prabang. T: (071) 212 172; (071) 212 173

http://www.laoairlines.com

Bangkok Airways: 57/6 Sisavangvong Rd, Ban Xieng Mouane, Luang Prabang. T: (071) 253 334; (071) 253 253

http://www.bangkokair.com

Vietnam Airlines: Luang Prabang International Airport. T: (071) 213 048 http://www.vietnamairlines.com
2. Bus
Luang Prabang BusLuang Prabang has two main bus stations: one for traffic to and from the north, called Kiew Lot Sai Nuan, and one for traffic to and from the south, called Naluang.
Some buses occasionally transit through the opposite station to which you’d expect, and consequently there are some Vientiane-bound buses leaving from the northern station and buses to Luang Nam Tha departing from the southern station.
To get to and from either station catch a tuk tuk for around 10,000 kip per person, no matter how many are going. Late at night or if there are only a few passengers, the price will rise to 20,000 kip.
If you tell your driver your ultimate destination, he should know which station to get you to.Most buses leave at around their scheduled departure time and will pick up more passengers along the way. Get to the station early as buses will often be filled to capacity, and the first on gets the best seats. Leave a bag of non-valuable belongings on your seat to reserve it if you don’t want to sit there until the bus leaves.
Those buses which are arriving from one town in transit to another can arrive already full. It’s possible to get your money back on a ticket in this situation if you make it politely clear to the bus station staff that you won’t go because the bus is full, and you’ll depart the next day. It’s best to do this while the bus is still at the station.
An alternative to the public system is to go by minibus -– really a minivan -– to some of the major tourist destinations. Tickets can be booked at all travel agents and some guesthouses and internet cafes.
The journeys are much shorter by minibus than on a public bus. Daily destinations are Vang Vieng (60,000 kip, 5 hours) and Vientiane ($18, 7 hours) but others can be organised if you have a number of people going, or are prepared to pay the cost of the whole van (such as Nong Kiaow, about $50, 3 hours, seats 6-7 people).
Southern Bus Terminal T: (071) 232 066Vang Vieng (Express): departs at 08:00 and roughly hourly thereafter, costing 100,000 kip and taking 6-7 hours.
Vang Vieng (VIP): departs at 08:00 and 09:00 and costs 130,000 kip and taking 6 hours.
Vientiane (Express): departs roughly every 90 minutes from 06:30, costing 120,000 kip and taking 10 hours.
VIP (Express): departs at 08:00 and, 09:00 and costs 135,000 kip and taking 8 hours.
Xieng Khuang/Phonsavan (local): departs at 08:30, costing 100,000 kip and taking 10 hours.
Xieng Khuang/Phonsavan (VIP): departs at 08:30, costing 115,000 kip and taking 8 hours.
Northern Bus Terminal T: (071) 252 729Huay Xai (local): departs 17:30 Tue, Thu, and Sat and costs 170,000 kip, taking 14-16 hours.Huay Xai (express): departs 17:30 Mon, Wed, Fri, and Sun and costs 190,000 kip, taking 14-16 hours.
Kunming: departs around 22:00-23:00 and costs 450,000 kip, taking 28-30 hours!
Luang Nam Tha: departs at 09:00, costing 90,000 kip, taking 8-9 hours.
Mengla (VIP): departs around 22:00-23:00 and costs 160,000 kip.
Nong Kiaow: departs at 10:00 and costs 55,000 kip, taking 4 hours.
Phongsali: departs on Friday 16:30 and costs 115,000 kip, taking 14-16 hours.
Udomxai: departs at 09:00, 12:00, 16:00 and costs 70,000 kip, taking 5-6 hours.A note about the above trip times. These are estimates, based on best case scenarios. Landslides and other issues frequently cause delays — moreso in wet season.
3. Boat
Luang Prabang boatFrom Luang Prabang it is possible to go by boat to Nong Kiaow and Muang Ngoi, and to Huay Xai and the Thai border, via Pakbeng.The journey to Nong Kiaow and Muang Ngoi, a further hour upstream from Nong Kiaow and only accessible by boat, takes six to eight hours depending on the height of the river.
The journey starts with an hour or two up the Mekong, which turns into the Nam Ou, right where Pak Ou caves are, so a visit to these can be combined with the trip if organised in advance. The Nam Ou is stunning, lined with huge limestone cliffs towering straight up out of the water, small white sandy beaches, jungle forest and small villages with children playing in the water or washing nearby. Most travel agents will organise a boat to make this journey, and advertise for others to fill any empty spaces.
Boats are small and can be a little cramped, toilet stops are by the side of the river and you have to bring your own food and drink. But the scenery is beautiful and the trip is worth it. The cost for a private slow boat seating between one and six people is US$90, but through a tour company, you can get a seat on the 08:30 boat for 140,000 kip .The most common boat journey is between Luang Prabang and Huay Xai.
There are three options, with the fastest being by rocket boat. These speed boats make the distance in about six hours — approximately three hours for each leg with a brief stop in Pakbeng. The boat is very noisy and considered dangerous by many. Passengers wear helmets and life jackets. Tickets for speedboats can be bought at all travel agents and cost 370,000 kip to Huay Xai and 230,000 kip to Pakbeng only. Rocket boats leave from the pier at Ban Don, which can be reached by tuk tuk.
It takes about 15 minutes from town and should cost about 20,000 kip per person.Two kinds of slow boat make the journey to Huay Xai via Pakbeng. The more popular and cheaper option is the daily “backpacker ferry”, which leaves from the boat pier behind the Royal Museum.
Tickets can be bought from any travel agent in town, and cost 140,000 kip to Pakbeng, where onward tickets can be bought for Huay Xai. It departs daily. There is no limit to the number of tickets that are sold and it can sometimes be packed to the rafters. The designated boat for each day varies and as the boats are individually owned, the quality varies widely.The decadent option is to go by luxury slow boat with Luangsay Cruises for a two- or three-day voyage. The two-day cruise departs Luang Prabang on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays in the high season or Wednesdays and Saturdays only from May through September. Passengers stay at their own Luangsay Lodge one kilometre out of Pakbeng on their way through.
This costs US$243 to $394, depending on the season. The three-day option departs every Monday, Tuesday and Friday in the high season, and on Tuesdays and Fridays from May through September. It follows the same route with an extra overnight stop in a Khamu village and costs between $343 and $525. The cruises include all meals while on the boat and at the Lodges, accommodation in wooden bungalows with private bathroom and hot shower, an English-speaking guide, assistance crossing the Lao/Thai border and entrance to Pak Ou caves.
Late booking specials are sometimes available and can be reserved either by calling or visiting the Luangsay office in Luang Prabang via their website, or through any travel agency in Luang Prabang.However you travel, the Mekong is a beautiful river, and this is one of the best ways to travel long distances through the country. There is plenty to look at, and the journey is relaxing on the slow boats. Highly recommended.By boat from Luang Prabang to VientianeRegular passenger ferries no longer run between Luang Prabang and Vientiane. There is a speedboat service between Pak Lai in Sainyabuli province and Vientiane, but there are no regular public boats.
You have to hire the whole boat from a travel agent or at the boat landing. Speed boats cost about $160, seat six people, and take around five hours for the trip from Pak Lai to Vientiane. Slow boats take all day, seat 10-12 people and cost $200. If you can hire a boat independently, the price can be substantially cheaper.To reach Pak Lai from Luang Prabang, take a bus to Sainyabuli (5-6 hours) and then a songtheaw to Pak Lai (3 hours). Accommodation is available in both towns.
Slow Boat T: (071) 252 389Nong Kiaow: Departs at 08:30, costing 140,000 kip
Pak Ou Cave: Departs at 08:30, 10:30, costing 70,000 kip
Pakbeng: Departs at 08:30, costing 140,000 kip
Speed Boat T: (071) 212 237
Huay Xay: Departs at 08:30, costing 370,000 kip
Pakbeng: Departs at 08:30, costing 230,000 kip
Luangsay Cruises 50/4 Sakkarine Rd, Ban Wat Sene, Luang Prabang. Tel: (071) 252 553 ; Fax: (071) 252 304. Web: http://www.asian-oasis.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.