Things have changed from the last description I saw posted on GT-Rider about the Chiang Khong to Ban Huay Xai crossing process. This AM I went to customs house in town at 08:00, then heard that they do everything at the port now. At the port immigration, nobody asked for the means of conveyance form or were interested. At the port customs, I got done pretty fast and on the ferry. No waiting. The ferry took two big tanker trucks and we crossed. Laos customs were not melodramatic. Insurance and Customs entry document available in same customs compound (Lao side - port customs) and within 20 meters of each other. I proceeded to the Migra (same place 2 kms South of Lao customs in BHX town). I had pre-arranged a visa via Bangkok so stamping in was fast. I stopped by a bank and I was on the road to Luang Nam Tha (LNT) by 10:40 and got into LNT about 13:35. So, that was about 3 hours driving. There's maybe a 50 kms stretch before Vieng Phouka that apparently didn't get it's wearing course of asphalt a couple years ago. The building the road must have run out of the money for the wearing course on this section because only a base course of asphalt went down. By now, the top of that is gone and the sub-base is rocky but still fairly good road. Dusty behind trucks and such. The last 60 kms after Vieng Phouka is the best road. Also the first 50 kms or so of road from BHX is not-so-bad. At least they rated a wearing course which seals the road and those parts are holding up very well. BTW - I'm riding a Suzuki DRZ-400. A very good bike for this trip and these roads.