Travel Guide to Bokeo

Houay Xay Town unlocks the door to Bokeo and north-western Laos.


Lao Skyway offers daily flights to/from Vientiane. The 4th Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge processes visas on arrival and offers a bus service from Chiang Khong, Thailand. Cruises to/from Luang Prabang via Pak Beng arrive and depart every day.

Daily VIP bus service departs to/from Luang Namtha (4 hours), Oudomxay (7 hours), and Luang Prabang (13 hours) in the morning and midday. Local busses are slower and less comfortable, but can save kip and depart throughout the day. Prices tend to range from LAK50,000-150,000, depending bus class and route, and schedules are subject to change, so it is best to check the current timetable. Minivans and bus tickets are available at bus stations and through some travel agents. 

Tuk tuks and sawng taews (pickup trucks with benches) offer an easy way to get around town. Several hotels, guesthouses, and travel agents rent motorbikes and bicycles. About 10 agents can book tours around Bokeo as can the Bokeo Visitor Information Centre. 

Houay Xay and Bokeo offers a few hotels and resorts, and dozens of guesthouses. Prices for rooms vary, depending on quality, facilities, services, and location. Thai baht is widely accepted. Guesthouses in outlying districts tend to be quite simple.

Though Houay Xay has some 20 restaurants serving Asian and Western dishes, noodle shops dominate, especially at the morning market.They mostly serve noodle soup, fried chicken, and fish. Bokeo also offers some provincial specialties. Khao soi is arguably the most “Lao” of the noodle soups. The sauce is a mix of minced pork meat, fermented soy beans, and tomatoes, and is combined with rice noodles in a hot broth. Khao poon is a fish-flavoured coconut curry soup made with pork fried with chili to create a stew that is poured over noodles. 


Uncover Bokeo Province

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