"Mekong in Pak Beng" Top 5 Page for this destination Ban Pak Beng by picek

Ban Pak Beng Travel Guide: 47 reviews and 119 photos

We came to Pak Beng from Oudomxay after wonderful ride with a local bus. It took few hours, it was very hot and bus was full, but it was worth to do that way. There are many nice villages between the two towns and lovely landscape in the valley of Nam Beng river with fields and forests on the hill slopes. And the road is paved, the terrain isn't that steep, so I'd say it's perfect way to do it by bycicle. There's not much traffic either.

As the Beng river gets wider and enters Mekong by Pak Beng, slopes get more and more vertical and valley gets narrower, with more forests and less villages there and almost no car. And then Pak Beng starts. I first thought it must be a joke... why there are so many guesthouses and restaurants and why there's no road further beyond Mekong as it was on many maps we came accross... Road is finished before the port, on the other side of the Mekong there are forests and a mountain and perhaps some narrow path, but it doesn't seem we can continue any way our road travel by buses or pick-ups. Anyways, we'd go by boat then, there seemed to be many.
We soon realized, that in daytime Pak Beng is a ghost town and after the boat from Huay Xay arrives it's crowded and full of tourists. In a day time you'll have to look harder for someone in restaurants to do a meal for you, and somehow they seem to prefer not to do it. We had to check several places near the port before we got something... despite many things they had on menu, we couldn't get half of what we ordered. They didn't have. And after all, it's not at all cheap place... difficult to get things here, probably, and a lot of tourists - like downtown Luangprabang and Vientiane.

There's no electricity in the town after midnight if it matters... but I cannot say that I'd like to go there again. The way was much more interesting than the end. And surrounding landscape seems beautiful, something what most tourists and backpackers will miss because they arrive in late afternoon, hungry and tired by boat (Huay Xay - Luang Prabang slow boat has to stop here overnight) and they'd leave early in the morning.

  • Last visit to Ban Pak Beng: Dec 2007
  • Intro Updated Aug 10, 2009
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  • DennyP's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    Hi Picek,just stopping by to enjoy another of your many informative pages with great tips and pics..always enjoyable...take care..

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