Huay Xai

Huay Xai (ຫ້ວຍຊາຍ) also known as Ban Houayxay and Houei Sai is the capital city of the Lao province of Bokèo, Laos on the border with Thailand. The city is situated on the Mekong river opposite of Chiang Khong, Thailand. Two ferries connect the two cities, and a bridge to Thailand is scheduled for completion in 2012. As of latest measurement the city of Huay Xai has a population of 145 thousand people.

Huay Xai is a decent sized city where walking around is easily manageable, especially around the main street area. In the same area is a office of The Gibbon Experience which is an forest conservation project raising funds for the Bokeo Nature Reserve by taking guests. If you require a taxi for long distances try the bike taxi’s. They are relatively cheap, fast and efficient, a one way trip from the main street to the Chinese market should cost around 10,000 KIP (about $1,18us). The best time to head over to the market is in the early morning to avoid big crowds, any taxi driver should know the way. Another popular sightseeing, noticed by many travelers is watching the sunset over the Mekong river from a random riverside restaurant, near the border crossing.

The city of Huay Xai is an easy reach from anywhere within Laos, it has a domestic airport with regular flights to and from Vientiane, as well other destinations like Luang Prabang. Although the main transport being used is any type of boats, speed, slow, freighters and luxury cruisers, running down the Mekong to Thailand, Cambodia but also Pakbeng, Luang Prabang and other destinations.

You will need a visa and a valid passport to visit Huay Xai, Laos. You may also need to book your trip through a travel agency and have your arrival pre-approved by an agency in Huay Xai. Not only that, you also need to have a bank account with a minimum of US$400 deposit. Payment for fees, confirmed hotel reservation, and proof of return travel may also be needed for you to be given a visa.

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