Most of the posts I am seeing are from people who went from Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang, but economically I will be coming from Hanoi (late July 2014) and going all the way to Chiang Rai first is so expensive. Has anyone gone upstream from LP to Huai Xai? I can do this tour on the Nagi and I'm wondering if it's just as good. Another question- am I missing something? Is there a better way to do this that I haven't thought of? Are there some genius flight finding techniques? I was looking not long ago and the flights to Chiang Rai were only $182 from Hanoi to CR, but they have now jumped and they want me to wait around at BKK for 20 hours. The Mekong tour is such a highlight, so I don't want to skip it. Thanks so much for all your help!