Huay Xai Overview
Separated from Thailand by the mother river that is the Mekong, Huay Xai (ຫ້ວຍຊາຍ) is many travelers first impression of Laos. While that used to be a bad thing but this oddly charming town has developed in recently. At night, roadside food vendors take to the streets, and there are some welcoming traveler guesthouses and cafes serving tasty foods.
Huay Xai was home to a US heroin-processing plant during the Secret War, but nowadays the only things trafficked through are travelers on the way to Luang Prabang or the fabled Gibbon Experience, the most talked-about adventure in the country. Yet, with day trips to nearby ethnic villages and some worthwhile voluntourism chances, there are reasons to stick around for a day or so.