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There used to be a semi-regular fast boat between Chiang Saen, in northern Thailand, and Jinghong, in southern China, traveling on the Mekong, for some nine months out of the year.

Recent reliable information is hard to find online.

Is this service still running? Is there a schedule? Are there alternatives?

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+50

You can still travel by cargo ship between China and Thailand, but it is limited to 2 foreigners per ship and takes some 24 hours, as they go slow and anchor for the night along the way. This method is basically catch as catch can. The captains wait until they have a decent load then sail. So it is not something you can book in advance or check availability for.

I don't think the faster boat has resumed the service, that was stopped after the two crews were killed on Chinese freighters a few years back. This was run by Mekong Delta Travel in Chiang Rai and last I heard all their boats were still offered for charter service only.

Note: my information sources are people in the travel industry, not easily found on the web.

  • 2
    Thanks. What's your source for both? The existence of cargo ships on this stretch is mentioned in several places, but the practical availability is not clear. Nor the cost. The murder of a Chinese crew is also mentioned in many places as the reason for temporarily cancelling the service at the time, yet some places that mention this also still list the schedule of the ferry, expecting, or explicitly mentioning, an irregular existing service. Your usage of the words "I don't think" suggests that your answer might be right, but could use some verification :) – MastaBaba Jun 18 '16 at 21:17
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    The freighter method is basically catch as catch can. The captains wait until they have a decent load then sail. So it is not something you can book in advance or check availability for. The passenger boat service was run by Mekong Delta Travel in Chiang Rai and last I heard all their boats were still offered for charter service only. My info sources are people in the travel industry, not google. – user13044 Jun 19 '16 at 14:39
  • Great. Accepting. Would be nice if you added the info from your comment in your answer. – MastaBaba Jun 19 '16 at 17:21

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