Here comes a short useful info how to get to Luang Prabang (Laos) from Chiang Khong (Thailand).
Period: March 2014
If you take the classic route to Laos from Chiang Rai or Chiang Khong, these are the approximate prices for a slowboat ride to Luang Prabang:
Tour operators offer cheap transportation (w/o visa) from
- Chiang Rai: 1550 THB
- Chiang Khong: 1350 THB
If you decide to go on your own, you can spare some bucks (not very much) but your trip would be definitely more interesting. In this case you can find similar prices like follows:
- Bus in CK to the Friendship Bridge: 50 THB
- Bus in CK through the bridge: 40 THB
- Tuktuk on the Lao side to the boats: 80 THB
- Slowboat ticket: 950 THB
- Visa: 30 USD
- Accommodation in Pak Beng with hot shower, wifi, some food: about 300 THB
On the slowboat there is toilet and a small stall selling expensive snacks and drinks:
- Coke: 40 THB
- Chips: 40 THB
Officers at the Lao immigration work terribly slow (but sure :O)); do not expect too fast breakthrough there unless you have some local guide or tour operator (or heavy weaponry :O)). There are some forms to fill out (not found before getting through the queue to the officer), and you will need one passport sized picture. Visa have to be payed by US Dollars.
Try to avoid speedboats, they are scarily faaaaaaaast, uncomfortable and dangerous. 1 day extra is not a good price to die on the river :O)
Oooops, I forgot to mention what the 'classic route' means:
Chiang Khong >> Huay Xai >> Pak Beng >> Luang Prabang
In a separate post you can find this information in Hungarian (wow, who cares? :O)).