How it works:
- Scam 1: a local posing as a boat staff/agent lies about limited accommodation at your destination. He then offers to help you book a place at an inflated price.
- Scam 2: your boat captain stops ~10km from your destination and demands everyone alight. This is where tuk-tuk drivers are waiting to take you into town for an inflated fee.
- Scam 3: the slow boat from Houay Xai to Luang Prabang will make a stop in Pakbeng. It will leave at 9am on the next day but a scammer will claim that it leaves at 11am. This causes you to miss it and have to pay another fare to take the 11am boat.
Places to beware:
- Houay Xai
- Luang Prabang
- Vang Vieng
What to do:
- Accommodation: use a platform with buyer protection rights: e.g. Booking.com (Frommer’s tests found it to have the best selection and rates).
- Boat operators: get a reputable one or you can do a boat tour using Klook (best day tour platform in Asia).