Pak Beng is a rustic town on the banks of the Mekong River in northern Laos. This is the main stopping point for cruises en-route between Huay Xai on the border with Thailand and Luang Prabang. Most visitors will only spend a night here, but there are a few things to explore, such as the old town, which has a few pretty temples and a local market.
Until fairly recently, Pak Beng was a very poor area. However due to the increase in cruise boats along this stretch of the river, as well its role as a trading post between Thailand and central Laos, the town is expanding at quite a pace. Most of the accommodation and larger restaurants are around the port area. The old town is beyond the top of the hill, and whilst there is nowhere to stay here, there are some stalls where it is possible to try local dishes. There are also two small temples overlooking the river; Wat Si Chom Chaeng and Wat Kok Khor.