|Pakbeng Travel Guide|
Pakbeng is a very small town upriver of Luang Prabang at the junction of the Mekong and its smaller tributary the Beng River. It is a good place for an overnight stop on the boat trip from Luang Phabang to Houei Xai. It is very quiet andelectricity goes out at 10.30pm, when the generator is shut down for the night.
|What to do?|
Pakbeng on the Mekong River is a famous stop-over place for tourists traveling in slow boats between Luang Prabang and Houei Xai (border with Thailand's Chiang Khong over the river). It also offers eco- tours to the nearby tribal villages. There are several accommodations available there. The road from Pak Beng to Muang Xai is good in the dry season, and can be passable by tough vehicles in the wet months
Most visitors will have to stop here over-night on the slow-boat trip to/from Luang Prabang. It is also possible to arrive by speedboat en route to the north. Much more uncomfortable than the slow boat, however you will arrive before the slow boat so you have the option of choosing a guesthouse and showering with no lines. You also get to see the town as the only Westerner. Another possibility is to reach the place by bus - this is a rough and long option.
Pakbeng is in the Golden Triangle, and in the midst of one of the world's drugs production areas. From the moment you set your foot in Pakbeng, you will be offered weed and opium, plus cocaine and amphetamines, the latter usually Burmese in origin. If you buy anything, you are highly likely to soon be approached by a different guy with a more or less fake police badge, who apparently will give you in to the police if you don't pay, usually USD 20-50. It cannot be said often enough; when in Asia, stay away from drugs!!
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