Pakbeng

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The main street which runs down Pakbeng

Pak Beng (Lao: ປາກແບ່ງ) is a small village in Laos, located on the Mekong River about halfway between the Thai border at Huay Xai and Luang Prabang, Laos. Pakbeng is connected by a sealed road with Oudomxai along the Nam Beng river.

Geography[edit]

Pakbeng just had its main road paved in 2005, also just completed its hydroelectric station down river thanks to a World Bank loan. Before then all facilities and houses had their own electrical generators if any electricity at all.

There is a small wat to be found in the hills not far from the village. It is a very quaint example of a Buddhist temple from the former Lanna Kingdom. Many of the old temples had been destroyed during wars with the Thai Kingdom 300 years before.

Tourism[edit]

The town is a major stop for the boats running from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai; the slow boats which run between Huay Xai and Luang Prabang over a period of two days spend the night moored in Pakbeng. There are several small guesthouses that usually have attached restaurants, a sauna, and many local hilltribes living close by. Groceries can be purchased for when you want to continue down the Mekong. Many foreign tourists passing through the village may partake in the small (illegal) trade in both marijuana and opium has been a part of the culture for thousands of years.

Coordinates: 19°51′0″N 101°33′0″E / 19.85000°N 101.55000°E / 19.85000; 101.55000