Meet Ton Paeng on The Mekong
Ton Paeng sits across from Thailand’s main Mekong River port, Chiang Saen. It is located about 15 km downriver from the heart of the Golden Triangle, and 45 km from Ban Mom. Ton Paeng presents a floating wooden dock used mostly for local passenger traffic on longboats. The tiny Bokeo port found its way on tourism maps, when backpackers began seeking boats to Xieng Kok from Houay Xay, about 60 km downriver, but settled for a truck ride. Today, innovative adventurers can hunt down a captain willing to make the trip.
Hillside Ton Paeng offers a few simple guesthouses, Lao noodle shops, and a night-time entertainment venue. The small port town sits in the core of Bokeo Province’s “Golden Triangle Circuit”, which includes the 1,000-year-old city of Souvannakhomkham with one of Laos’ largest Buddha images, the Bokeo Ethnobotanical Garden, Nam Nyon Waterfalls, and a sacred gold-plated princess sculpted into a riverside boulder. This peace of paradise is also close to a special economic zone for shopping deals, and home to Kings Roman Casino.