Separated from Thailand by the unyielding Mekong, Huay Xai serves as a border crossing and jumping-off point for epic river cruises. For many visitors, the capital of jungle-covered Bokeo province is their first taste of slow-paced Laos life, where most evenings are spent enjoying riverside beers and fish with sticky rice. Don a traditional sarong and steam yourself with an infusion of herbs at the Lao Red Cross Sauna, a popular evening activity for locals, then let a masseuse smooth away your aches and pains.
If you’re not hopping straight on a Mekong cruise to Luang Prabang, Huay Xai is a great place to soak up Laos’s enviable nature. Set in the heart of the Golden Triangle, the town is backed by forested hills home to waterfalls and rare black-cheeked gibbons. In the mornings, vendors from surrounding villages come to sell handicrafts at the market, while monks chant from Chom Khao Manilat temple, which lies on a hilltop near former French military barracks.
Talk to our Laos specialists to arrange a border crossing from Thailand to Huay Xai or a scenic cruise down the Mekong River to Luang Prabang.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Adele, who's travelled extensively in Laos. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the guide who can hone your pétanque skills while playing with the locals, the conservationist who can take you trekking with Asian elephants and the monks who can school you in the craft of Makbeng and Pasaat Pheung making.
Freephone an expert 01306230535