Huay Xai sits on the border of Thailand and Laos, separated by the Mekong River. It’s commonly the first taste visitors get of the country crossing over from Thailand, and as such it sets the bar pretty low. The small town is rumored to have housed an American heroin processing plant during the Secret War, but these days is no more than a port for people passing through on the way to Luang Prabang.
Travel the Mekong
Serving primarily as a stopover as opposed to a destination, the most popular attraction in Huay Xai is leaving it, but a beautiful two hour boat ride up the Mekong River to Luang Prabang makes it an exit to look forward to. You can also cross the Mekong over to Chiang Kong in Thailand in just 5 minutes for a $1 fee, which is why this is a great spot to begin or end your Laos tour (if Thailand is on your itinerary).
The only true attraction in Huay Xai and one of the favorites in all of Laos is the Gibbon Experience, an all inclusive, environmentally friendly, three day jungle adventure. Although pricey by Asia’s standards, you are provided all you need to play Tarzan in the lush Laotian forest canopy, zip lining from tree to tree and sleeping in tree houses. All in all, it’s no wonder this one of a kind experience is popular among visitors.
Although Huay Xai is not a destination to go out of your way for, it fits in conveniently for those crossing into or out of Laos via Thailand. If zip lining and forest canopies are your thing, the Gibbon Experience is a fantastic opportunity to make your Huay Xai stay the memory of a lifetime.