"speed boat to Pak Lay" Top 5 Page for this destination Vientiane Transportation Tip by picek
Vientiane Transportation: 63 reviews and 59 photos
Another water mode of transport to Pak Lay is by speed boat. They leave more frequently (daily, and a few times a day if enough costumers) from the same boat station as slow boats in Kaoieuw. This is also the most expensive, most dangerous and uncomfortable way to get there, but it's the fastest. It normally takes 4 hours, but we had some problems with the engine and it took us 5. There can be about 8 passengers in one boat and you'll be squeezed between the wooden bench and next passenger's back. It's certainly not for big people! No roof or front window which means you'll be exposed to direct sunlight, winds and rain. The sides are quite low and you can get wet very easy when you run over the rapids, so some waterproof jacket will is good if you have. Apply sun block cream, wear sun glasses (winds and reflection) and protect your ears with ear plugs as there's deafening noise if you're sitting just in front of the engine in the last two rows. You may want to protect your head with a scarf too, direct sunlight can be quite severe threat.
Helmet and safety jackets are provided, but I can honestly say they're not really in good shape.
Don't worry about your stuff (bags and backpacks), it's tight hard with ropes in the end and front of the boat. But do have good bag for your camera and protect it with waterproof cover (and keep it by yourself to minimise shaking which can harm it).
Boat stops once half way at the Mekong petrol station to fill the petrol. It's a short stop, but use the chance to straighten your back and legs or go to toilet. It is important to be practical for your maximum 'comfort'.
The procedure before taking boat is the same as by slow boat: buy ticket at the desk or directly by driver plus go to immigration desk. You can expect to pay something like 1000 baht as a foreigner (still, double prices).
Don't take speed boat if you're in any way afraid of speed or don't trust the boat or driver - truth is that few boats already drowned.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 2011: Speed boats no longery ply the route between Kaoliew- Pak Lay. Now, your only way to get there is by bus. Pity, that slow boat is off, too.
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