We left at 11:30am. Before we left though, a gentleman boarded our boat and gave us his big speech about what to expect when we arrive in Pak Beng. According to him, our travel time would be 8hrs; There would be no electricity in the town so it will be very dark when we arrive; Tickets to Luang Phrabang are not sold anywhere else other than through him for 120,000Kip/p ($15Usd); It would be very difficult to find a room for the night since there'd be no electricity; He has the cheepest guesthouse for 300Baht ($10Usd), and he has somebody to guide and take us there. None of these were true
Our total travel time was 6hrs including 3 short stops. We arrived in Pak Beng with enough sunlight to check in at an 80Baht ($3Usd) guesthouse, to shop for our next day's supplies, to buy our 100,000Kip ($13Usd) boat ticket for our next day trip to Luang Phrabang, and to have dinner.
There were a lot of people offering their guesthouses when we arrived and we gave one of them a chance. It was
About 50m above the pier is OudomXai, a travel company which sells boat tickets back to Huay Xai and to Luang Phrabang. We bought our ticket there for a different boat and we got a car-type seat reserved for us. A much needed comfort for a long ride.