Chiang Khong

Here's looking at Laos.

Chiang Khong (เชียงของ) is a riverside border town in Chiang Rai Province, Northern Thailand. It is mainly visited for its ferries across the Mekong to Huay Xai in Laos.


Chiang Khong is a small, sleepy town with one main road and no night life. It has a Friday market, a lot of temples, a craft village with a busy market and a temple. The weather is most pleasant from Oct-Jan, but the Giant Catfish Festival on 18 Apr is a cultural highlight. The Mekong giant catfish, one of the world's largest freshwater fish, is regarded with reverence in Thai folklore, and it is afforded special rituals and offerings.

Get in

By boat

From Huay Xai in Laos, ferries used to make the short trip across the Mekong. However, the Friendship IV Bridge crossing to Laos is now open and the previous Chiang Khong Immigration Office / Ferry is closed. The new Immigration Office is near the bridge, about 10 km south from Chiang Kong and about 20 km from Huay Xai.

By bus

Get around

The riverfront area can be seen on foot but it's worth getting a tuk-tuk or taxi for the trip out to the bus station.

You can also rent a bike or motorbike to visit local villages and drive along the banks of the Mekong.


Temples in Chiang Khong:


The major Thai banks all have ATMs in the town, there is also one front of the 7-Eleven at the bus station. If you are heading to Laos, it is better to withdraw baht here and then change it in Laos because in Huay Xai the maximum withdrawal per transaction is 1,000,000 kip. In Laos, baht can be exchanged to kip at reasonable rates.

Lao kip can only be officially exchanged inside Laos. Thai banks and ATMs will not deal in it and money changers in Chiang Khong charge a fee. The Lao bank in Huay Xai and the ATM there will give kip. Thai baht and US dollars are readily accepted and exchanged in Laos at good rates.

Lao visas are cheaper if bought with US dollars instead of baht.



There are very few bars as such in Chiang Khong. Your best bet for evening entertainment is a big beer at your guesthouse.


Stay safe

Go next

Timetable of the international bus from Chiang Khong new bus station to Huay Xai (Bokeo)

To get from Chiang Khong to Huay Xai there are basically two options.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, October 10, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.