We spent one night here on our "slow boat" trip from the Thai/Laos border at Houay Xay to Luang Prebang.
Firstly the boat trip - I have to say, having been lucky enough to do a great deal of travelling around the world in my life, this has to rate in the top five experieces. We found that the tourist boat was full, so our Thai travel agent suggested a private boat, which cost little extra to the tourist boat. To our amazement we were taken to a full sized river steamer with in excess of 50 seats, just for us, and we had the boat driver, his wife who cooked delicious lunches for us each day, her helper, and a guide, and we had a truely memorable two days. The scenery is superb, river life - the little there is - is fascinating, two visits to river bank villages took us back to a different time and world, and the peace and quiet is something seldom found nowadays. One word of warning - do not take a fast boat to Luang Prebang - we were passed by a few speedboats - 6 people in each with life jackets and crash helmets - on their 6 hour journey, and apparently their safety record leaves a lot to be desired!
Our arrival at Pakbeng in the early evening was perfect (although there are a huge amount of steps up to the lodge!) and the room, with a magnificant view of the river was totally adequate, with two single beds, a balcony, netted windows against bugs, and a good shower. Dinner was no nonsense basic food with no choice, and staff, although they spoke little english, charming
The next morning, the views as the sun rose were glorious, and the mist slowly burnt off. It is very chilly in the evenings and morning, and although we were happy wearing a jersey we were most amused to see the breakfast staff wearing big padded jackets and in one case, huge fluffy slippers! We were actually grateful as we set off on our boat around 8.30 for a blanket to wrap around until the sun rose above the mountains.
Reading previous reviews - yes it does have tour groups - we had a large French party, and a Belgian one too, but the Lodge is a one night stop and doesn't pretend to be anything else, and offers a good service to travellers on the way to Luang Prebang.
- Also Known As:
- Pakbeng Hotel Pakbeng
- Pakbeng Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sitting by the bank of the Mekong, Pakbeng Lodge is halfway between the World Heritage Town of Luang Prabang, and Huay Xai, the main border crossing between northern Thailand and northern Laos, both towns reachable within a day by cruise.Attached to each of the Lodge's 20 Superior Rooms, 8 Deluxe Rooms, and 2 Suites, is a large terrace overlooking the river.The Lodge is an ideal point of departure for walks in the forest of an hour or a day, towards villages off the tourist roads. (Please see our section on Excursions.) It faces the Mekong Elephant Camp, which is dedicated to the protection of elephants in Laos. There, a wonderful opportunity exists to discover the life of an animal that contributes a strong element to the traditional culture, by participating in a walk or with their morning bath.The Pakbeng Lodge suggests you stay a few days in this protected area far from the beaten tracks. You will appreciate the comfortable atmosphere, the picturesque sunrise and sunset over the Mekong, and the comings and goings of the different boats that dock near the Lodge's beach. Your visit will consist of utmost relaxation but also of unusual encounters- an immersion into traditional Lao life. ... more less
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