By Eastcode team
At Huay xai (sometimes called Houei Sai),all travelers got two choices : Go north to Luang Nam Tha and may be China or go south on a slow boat trip to Luang Prabang. The word "huay xai" means a sandy creek .
The road trip from Huay xai to Luang Namtha used to be an 8 or 10 hours ordeal on a small bad road up steep hills and endless curves.
But no more… since Yunnan province of China badly wanna link up with Thailand by road via Northern Laos. The ambitious Chinese project will connected Kunming,the capital of Yunnan, to Bangkok, Thailand. Down to the South and Sea means a lot to the landlocked Yunnan.
The so called “R3” road which linked Huay xai on Thai-Laos boder to Luang Nam Tha in the middle and Boten on Lao-Chinese border is mostly finished now as a paved and widen road. Some parts are under construction. But comparing to a few years ago this is a miracle in making.A new “friendship” bridge will crossing the Mekong river between Huay xai and Chiang Khong in a few years next.
On April 2010 , a bus from huay xai to Luang Namtha will cost around 55000 kip per person and reach destination in 4 hours . Also by a minivan taxi around 70000 kip per person(find near the main pier- but runs with enough people concept)
If u travels in a big group and want to reach the Chinese border directly then u can charters a minivan around the crossing pier .This option will leads you to Boten and Chinese border at Mohan in just under 5hrs.
At Huay xai bus station ,There is a bus runs to Jinghong(or calls Xieng Hung in Laos) but the schedule is not quite functional .The bus to China from Luang Nam Tha and Muang xai (udom xai) are more reliable if u want to go to Jinghong (景洪 - Jǐnghóng)
See the latest bus timetable in the pic above . Bokeo in the picture is the name of the province while huay xai is the town's name.
the travel time between Huay xai to Boten which shortened to 5 hrs will make a planning and booking plane home much more easier to reach 3 main cities in this region : Chiang Rai in Thailand , Luang Prabang in Laos and Jinghong in China. All three cities each has an international airport and linkage to both land and air travel in each country.