From the Tibetan Plateau through the mountains of Yunnan – where it is known by the Chinese as the Lan Cang River – the Mekong flows 4,350 kilometers and shapes the borders and cultures of Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Only the Amazon boasts greater biodiversity than the Mekong, which hosts many thousands (and the number is still growing) of unique plant and animal species.

Whether you’re considering its biodiversity or its volume or the number of people who depend on it, the Mekong is among the world’s greatest rivers, yet stretches of it are relatively unknown to outsiders.

Since the first expeditions of the French explorers like Henri Mouhot and Francis Garnier who came to develop a waterway on the river for freight, until the present day, this mythical river still arouses much curiosity in the minds of the adventurous.

In Northern Laos, the Mekong River shows a pathway full of splendid landscapes and a succession of mountains covered by lush vegetation.

Villages along the banks are the home to various ethnic groups. Dependent on agriculture, fishery, weaving, gold panning, teak exploitation, locals along the Mekong’s banks engage daily in a rich cultural heritage still preserved from modern economic development

Editor Note: Check the weather and best time for cruise in Laos

OVERVIEW ON MEKONG RIVER CRUISE IN LAOS

In general, cruising the Mekong in Laos can be divided into 2 main routes: the northern route and the southern route.

The northern route starts from Huayxay, bordering with Chiang Khong, Thailand; and ends in the capital of Vientiane for the downstream cruise.

The upstream cruise will of course go the reverse route starting from Vientiane, and ending in Huayxay.

The most popular cruises ranges from 2-hour picnic cruise around Luang Prabang to 2-day-1-night cruise connecting Luang Prabang, Pakbeng, and Huayxay.

These cruises focus on the cheap and middle market.

For the upper market, there are 3 choices: Cruise Mekong, Mekong Kingdoms, and Pandaw Cruise Laos with the length of cruise up to 15 days connecting Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Golden Triangle in Thailand, and Jinghong in China.

There is only 1 choice to explore the southern part of Mekong, that is 3-day-2-night cruise with Vat Phou Cruise starting from the boat pier in Champasak and finishing in 4000-island area or vice versa.

Check the below maps for more idea of the Mekong river cruise routes in Laos

Mekong River Cruise Laos Map
Mekong River Cruise Laos Map

 

TOP 7 CRUISES IN LAOS

I know that now you need more detailed information of the above brief so that you can make your own decision of the cruise that you want to take. Here are the 7 best cruises in Laos

Shompoo Cruise

Located in Luang Prabang, Shompoo cruise is a travel agency specializing in Mekong river cruises. The company runs three traditional slow-boats full of charm.

In the past, the only ways to navigate the Mekong River between Houay Xay – border city of Thailand next to Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai – and Luang Prabang, were to take a public slow boat with minimal comfort, or to hire an expensive private boat.

Realizing the issue, Shompoo Cruise was born to organize 2-day boat cruises and will optionally arrange overnight accommodations for your stopover in Pakbeng.

Begin your journey either from Houay Xay, traveling downstream to Luang Prabang, or from Luang Prabang, cruising upstream to Houay Xay.

Shompoo Cruise - 7 Best Mekong River Cruises Laos
Shompoo Cruise

 

The 3 boats are specially made for cruising the Mekong river. 35-meter long, they are equipped with 200 horsepower engines. The hulls are made of steel and passenger decks on-board are made of precious local woods (rosewood and teak).

With a sundeck lounge area in the front, a 10 table 40 seat dining area in the middle, and a bar and sitting area in the back, you will certainly enjoy a very comfortable and relaxing time during your journey.

With a different lunch served on-board each day of your journey, you will experience and discover authentic Lao cuisine.

All during the cruise, you will enjoy and admire various natural landscapes, as well as intriguing glimpses of daily life for Lao locals living along the banks of the Mekong.

Unlike public boats that are often overcrowded, Shompoo cruises are limited to 40 passengers in order to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety. Electricity is also provided for the duration of the trip at 220V.

The crew, which includes an experienced captain, an engineer, a cook, a waiter and an English speaking tour guide, does its best to make each Mekong cruise unique.

CRUISE FACT SHEET

  • Route: 2-day-1-night Luang Prabang >> Pakbeng >> Huayxay and vice versa
  • Capacity: 40 passengers
  • Accommodation: No on-board sleeping cabin, you can book the accommodation in Pakbeng from your side (the cruise can help) or CONTACT US for the suitable option in town.
  • Cruise Schedule
    • Mekong downstream: Departure from Houay Xay every MONDAY / TUESDAY / THURSDAY / SATURDAY.
    • Mekong upstream: Departure from Luang Prabang every MONDAY / WEDNESDAY / FRIDAY / SUNDAY.
  • Notice: minimum 8 passengers to guarantee the departure
  • For more information, please check on the cruise website

Below is the promotion video from Shompoo Cruise

 

Mekong Smile Cruise

In general, Mekong Smile Cruise shares the same idea with Shompoo Cruise. They have the same size, same style, same services as Shompoo Cruise.

There is 1 point that makes it stay different, the cruise operates every day during the high tourist season from November until the end of February

CRUISE FACT SHEET

  • Route: 2-day-1-night Luang Prabang >> Pakbeng >> Huayxay and vice versa
  • Capacity: up to 45 passengers
  • Accommodation: No on-board sleeping cabin, you can book the accommodation in Pakbeng from your side (the cruise can help) or CONTACT US for the suitable option in town.
  • Cruise Schedule
    • High season (November until February): Every day even if there is only 1 or 2 passengers on board
    • Green season (March until end of October): 8 passengers minimum to guarantee the departure
  • For more information, please check on the cruise website
Mekong Smile Cruise - Top 7 Cruise on Mekong River in Laos
Mekong Smile Cruise

Luangsay Lodge & Cruise

OVERVIEW

Luang Say Mekong Cruises has three boats travelling from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, or, from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai. All programs stop over for one night at Luang Say Lodge in Pakbeng.

The boats are 34 meters long with a 420 HP engine and a steel hull for strength and safety.

The boats have a capacity for 40 people seated in comfortable chairs and benches. Each seat has an open air vista.

It also has coffee tables with magazines and booklets to read during your cruise.

The central section of Luangsay boats have bench seats, a perfect spot for a game of cards, to share your Mekong stories, or to have lunch.

Luangsay Lodge and Cruise - 7 Best Mekong River Cruises Laos
Luangsay Cruise

 

Each cruise departure has an English speaking guide who is able to answer your questions and point out the many sights of interest along the way.

There are also a fearless captain, a qualified mechanic and a boat boy.

On board there are two western style toilets, one at the back of the boat as well as one next to the bar in the central section.

Life jackets are available in a variety of sizes including sizes for children.

There are also rails around the sides of the boat for passenger safety.

Luggage can be stored and locked securely overnight in a large compartment underneath the deck.

CUISINE ON BOARD

Around noon, a buffet lunch will be served, that is carefully prepared to introduce Laotian cuisine and its typical flavors.

Water, tea and coffee are complimentary during the cruise on the Mekong but we also have a bar, complete with rattan bar stools, serving wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks which can be purchased.

If there is any special meals request, do not hesitate to inform the cruise in advance.

CRUISE FACT SHEET

  • Route: 2-day-1-night Luang Prabang >> Pakbeng >> Huayxay and vice versa (you may find more packages in their website, however, the 2-day-1-night package is the core of their services. If you want to differentiate the other packages, feel free to CONTACT our expert.)
  • Capacity: up to 40 passengers
  • Accommodation: Luangsay Lodge (no on-board sleeping cabin)
  • Cruise Schedule
    7 best Mekong River Cruise in Laos - Luangsay Cruise Scheule
  • For more information, please check on the cruise website
  • Notice: Minimum of 4 passengers to guarantee the cruise departure

Below is the promotion video from Luangsay Cruise

Gypsy Cruise & Bohème Cruise by Mekong Kingdoms

Mekong Kingdoms Cruises recently launched the Mekong River voyage between the ancient Laos capital of Luang Prabang and Thailand’s Golden Triangle.

The private tailored three nights, four days cruise from Luang Prabang to the Golden Triangle and two nights, three days cruise from the Golden Triangle to Luang Prabang are now available for your reservations.

Route

  • 4-day upstream Mekong Cruise from Luang Prabang to Golden Triangle
  • 3-day downstream Mekong Cruise from Golden Triangle to Luang Prabang

They company has 2 cruises with the same itinerary but different style for you to choose: Gypsy Cruise & Bohème Cruise. Let’s make it clear below.

First, we will see the promotion video from Mekong Kingdoms

Gypsy Cruise

OVERVIEW

Roam remote rivers. Indulge in the vagabond lifestyle. Travel the Mekong in the most intimate way possible aboard the Gypsy, the luxurious 41-metre, two-cabin river vessel.

Accommodating only four passengers at a time, this chartered cruiser sails from Luang Prabang up the Mekong, stopping at villages and attractions along the way, according to your whims and wishes.

Gypsy is an ultra-exclusive river vessel that lets you discover the secrets of the Upper Mekong in luxury.

This is a beautifully appointed boat. Wood and thatch blend seamlessly with the verdant surrounds.

Ultimate comfort and exquisite amenities await in your cabin, while an on-board chef serves up the most delicious local and international fare.

THE CABIN

With only two suites situated on opposite ends of the vessel, Gypsy allows you to lose yourself utterly to the tranquil charms of the river.

Throw open the floor-to-ceiling doors of your suite to let the crisp mountain air in, or enjoy gourmet cuisine by candlelight underneath the stars.

Gypsy offers exquisite experiences on the Mekong.

Gypsy Cruise Cabin - 7 Best Mekong River Cruise
Gypsy Cruise Cabin

 

Cabin amenities

  • Floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Bed with comfort pillows and elegant duvets
  • En-suite shower and vanity
  • Amenities
  • Air conditioning
  • Minibar with soft beverages and local beers
  • iPod docking station
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Generous closet space and storage
  • Writing desk
  • Hairdryer
  • In-suite safe
  • Complimentary WiFi

THE FLOOR PLAN

Gypsy Cruise Floor Plan - 7 best Mekong river cruise Laos
Gypsy Cruise Floor Plan

 

CRUISE FACT SHEET

  • Route:
    • 3-day-2-night cruise from Golden Triangle (Thailand) to Luang Prabang – downstream cruise
    • 4-day-3-night cruise from Luang Prabang to Golden Triangle (Thailand) – upstream cruise
  • Capacity: up to 4 passengers
  • Accommodation: 02 Cabin on board (1 Double & 1 Twin)
  • For more information, please check on the cruise website

Bohème Cruise

OVERVIEW

Celebrate the colours of Indochina and the soul of Asia in opulent style on-board our 42-metre, 13-cabin ship.

Bohème provides the ultimate cruising experience, journeying on the mighty Mekong between the fabled ancient kingdoms of Lan Xang and Lanna.

Appointed with immaculate suites, exceptional facilities, plush spa rooms, an expansive sundeck and art-decorated lounges, this floating palace is a haven for indulgence in between customized shore excursions.

THE CABIN

Our immaculate cabins are stately but snug landing pads between shore excursions.

Huge picture windows open up to let the outside in.

These compartments, in fact, feel like one massive balcony – perfect for travelers who prefer to watch (and photograph) the Mekong’s liquid panorama from the privacy of their own room.

Cabin amenities

  • Floor-to-ceiling windows and Juliet balconies
  • Bed with comfort pillows and elegant duvets
  • En-suite shower and vanity
  • Amenities
  • Air conditioning
  • Minibar and in-suite safe
  • iPod docking station
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Writing desk
  • Hairdryer
  • Complimentary WiFi

FLOOR PLAN

Boheme Cruise Floor Plan - 7 Best Mekong River Cruise Laos
Boheme Cruise Floor Plan

 

CRUISE FACT SHEET

  • Route:
    • 3-day-2-night cruise from Golden Triangle (Thailand) to Luang Prabang – downstream cruise
    • 4-day-3-night cruise from Luang Prabang to Golden Triangle (Thailand) – upstream cruise
  • Capacity: up to 26 passengers
  • Accommodation: 13 Cabin on board
  • For more information, please check on the cruise website

Vat Phou Cruise

OVERVIEW

Originally a ferry that carried teak wood between Vientiane and the south of Laos, in 1993 the Vat Phou boat was lovingly converted into a luxurious floating hotel, cruising the Mekong river.

The Vat Phou boat is a 34 meter long, 7.5 meter wide steel hulled teak barge, equipped with two 260 HP Isuzu diesel engines.

The design retains a character that is unmistakably oriental and enables you to relax in comfort while you cruise the Mekong, you enjoy the ever changing pageantry of river scenery and life as you pass smoothly by.

Vat Phou Cruise - 7 Best Mekong River Cruises Laos
Vat Phou Cruise

 

There are 14 staffs on each Mekong cruise departure. This includes 2 full time captains, 2 mechanics, 2 cooks, 3 cleaning staff and 5 bar or wait staff.

There is an on-board English speaking guide who can help answer any questions and point out interesting sights along the way.

There are two decks on the Vat Phou boat.

The lower deck has 10 cabins, the kitchen/galley and our evening air-conditioned dining room.

The upper deck has 2 cabins, the bar and a two large open air shaded decks – one at each end of the boat.

The ship is fully equipped with safety equipment meeting international standards.

The front upper deck has rattan armchairs, sofas, coffee tables and lounges.

This area is perfect for lying back to read a book, taking photographs of life along the Mekong River or having an afternoon nap.

The rear upper deck has chairs, sofas and coffee tables.

There is also the bar area where our staff can serve you tea, coffee or drinking water, which are all included free during the cruise.

You are also able to purchase beer, soft drinks, wine and spirits.

Breakfast and lunch are usually served here, watching the sun dance on the waters surface.

Below is the Vat Phou Cruise deck plan

Vat Phou Cruise deck plan - 7 best mekong river cruise in Laos
Vat Phou Cruise deck plan

 

THE CABIN

The Vat Phou boat has 12 elegant cabins (convertible as twin or double), each with a view over the southern Mekong River in Laos.

Every cabin is fully air-conditioned and also has a fan for optimum temperature control.

The cabins are fitted with dressing tables and a wardrobe so you can unpack easily and relax.

The private bathrooms have a hot shower and a western style toilet for your convenience. Our Vat Phou staffs refresh your cabin daily.

Life jackets are available in a variety of sizes including children’s sizes.

Vat Phou Cruise Cabin - 7 Best Mekong River Cruise Laos
Vat Phou Cruise Cabin

 

CRUISE FACT SHEET

  • Route: 3-day-2-night Champasak boat pier to 4000-island area or vice versa
  • Capacity: maximum 24 passengers
  • Accommodation: 12 convertible sleeping cabins
  • Cruise Schedule
    • 1 October – 31 March: Vat Phou Cruise departs every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.
    • 01 April – 30 September: Vat Phou Cruise departs every Tuesday and Saturday.
    • No cruises operation in June. .
  • For more information, please check on the cruise website
  • Notice: Minimum of 4 passengers to guarantee the cruise departure

Below is the promotion video from Vat Phou Cruise

Mekong River Cruise

THE COMPANY

Mekong River Cruises, a Lao-German joint venture, launched the first long-distance river cruise of all times on the upper Mekong in 2005.

On the “mother of all waters” the ships sail on different routes between Chiang Saen in Thailand in the heart of the Golden Triangle, the royal city of Luang Prabang, the Laotian capital Vientiane and through the North-Eastern Thai province of Isaan in the south.

Mekong River Cruise will not only provide great service but you will enjoy professional on-board infotainment incl. lectures and documentaries on the region.

Every river cruise on the upper Mekong is a new expedition and pioneering experience on its own.

There are hardly any fixed mooring locations along the route, your captain will decide each day where and when to moor according to the river conditions.

Changes in the itinerary are thus common and can be expected, in fact they contribute to the discovery character of your cruise: Experience the real Mekong aboard your boutique river vessel while relaxing on the sun deck or your cabin and enjoying the laid-back atmosphere on board.

ROUTES & DESTINATIONS

The company offers 3 main routes:

11 Days Between Chiang Rai and Vientiane: Golden Triangle – Huay Xay – Pak Tha – Pakbeng – Pak Ou – Luang Prabang – Kuang Si – Tha Deua – Paklay – Vientiane (or vice versa)

Savor the magnificent scenery of the Mekong River on this unique cruise between the Golden Triangle in Thailand, Luang Prabang, in the heart of Laos and the Laotian capital of Vientiane.

Travel along formerly inaccessible stretches of Southeast Asia’s most exciting river.

Discover Vientiane and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, stroll through colourful markets, and experience firsthand the Laotian people’s traditional way of life.

Relax aboard your exclusive river vessel and enjoy the unspoiled nature along the mighty upper Mekong.

The upper Mekong is one of the most difficult rivers in the world to navigate, with fluctuating water levels.

Your comfortable cruise vessel masters tight gorges, negotiates labyrinths of sandbanks, and clears churning rapids.

Along this part of the Mekong, tranquil stretches of the river combine with striking shore scenery of lush green mountains, impressive rock formations, and secluded villages.

The upper Mekong is considered one of the world’s most spectacular rivers navigable by a cruise vessel.

Cruise Mekong Map 11 Days - 7 Best Mekong River Cruises Laos
11-day cruise from Golden Triangle to Vientiane

 

6-days Cruise Package through Northern Laos: Luang Prabang – Ban Kok San – Kuang Si Waterfalls – Pak Ou Cave – Luang Prabang

This cruise is a perfect package for those who would like to visit Luang Prabang in combination with a unique cruise experience on the Mekong: Savour the fantastic scenery of the Mekong River on your spectacular cruise starting and ending in the former royal city of Luang Prabang, now UNESCO World Heritage.

6-day cruise map around Luang Prabang - 7 Best Mekong River Cruises Laos
6-day cruise around Luang Prabang

 

8-day cruise between the Golden Triangle and Luang Prabang: Golden Triangle – Huayxay – Pak Tha – Pakbeng – Pak Ou Cave – Luang Prabang – Kuang Si waterfalls – Luang Prabang (or vice versa)

Cruise Mekong - Map 8 Days - 7 Best Mekong River Cruises Laos
8-day cruise from Golden Triangle to Luang Prabang

 

Before reading further down, let’s take a break with the promotion video from Mekong River Cruise

Mekong Sun Cruise

OVERVIEW

The Mekong Sun is perfectly suited for travelling in small groups with a most unique character.

Accommodation and service is top level and guests enjoy an exclusive yet casual travelling experience, while they reside in one of the 14 exclusive passenger cabins or enjoy the services of the restaurant or bar.

A selection of Asian and continental food is provided through-out the cruise. Special requirements can be catered for and wine, beer as well as spirituous beverages are available.

Mekong Sun Cruise - 5 Best Mekong River Cruises Laos
Mekong Sun Cruise

 

THE CABIN

10 Classic Cabins: (12 m²/129 sq ft) on the main deck. All facing out onto the water, with wide, sliding windows and a French balcony for an excellent view of the passing landscape

3 Superior Cabins: 

  • 2 cabins (18 m²/194 sq ft) on the upper deck with small private balcony
  • 1 cabin (16 m²/172 sq ft) on the bow of the Sun with panoramic view to the front

1 Economy Cabin: (12 m²/129 sq ft) on the main deck. Facing out onto the water, with wide, sliding windows and a French balcony for an excellent view of the passing landscape. Close to stairway/generator

Mekong Sun Cruise Cabin - 7 Best Mekong River Cruses Laos
Mekong Sun Cruise Cabin

 

FLOOR PLAN

Mekong Sun Cruise Deck Plan - 7 Best Mekong River Cruise Laos
Mekong Sun Cruise Deck Plan

 

CRUISE FACT SHEET

  1. Operating in Laos and Thailand since 2006
  2. 2 decks with 14 cabins
  3. 10 classic cabins on the main deck (12 m²/129 sq ft), all facing out onto the water, with wide, sliding windows and a French balcony for an excellent view of the passing landscape
  4. 3 superior cabins, 2 cabins (18 m²/194 sq ft) on the upper deck with small private balcony; one cabin (16 m²/172 sq ft) on the bow of the Sun with panoramic view to the front
  5. 1 economy cabin on the main deck (12 m²/129 sq ft), facing out onto the water, with wide, sliding windows and a French balcony for an excellent view of the passing landscape, close to stairway/generator
  6. All cabins with en-suite shower/WC and air conditioning
  7. Large sun deck with bar service and restaurant/bar area
  8. All offshore excursions guided in English (some departures are French-speaking)

Mekong Pearl Cruise

OVERVIEW

This new boutique river vessel, Mekong Pearl Cruise offers 15 cabins on two decks, all of which are outside cabins equipped with air conditioning and private bathrooms with WC and shower.

The upper deck ofers an indoor restaurant, a bar area and a separate sun deck featuring a retractable roof. A small spa on the main deck is the ideal place to relax.

The ship’s crew of 18 takes perfect care of a maximum of 29 guests.

Mekong Pearl Cruise - 7 Best Mekong River Cruise Laos
Mekong Pearl Cruise

 

THE CABIN

2 deluxe cabins (236 sq. ft/22 m²) on the upper deck with private balcony

6 superior cabins (194 sq. ft/16 m²) , four on the main deck and two on the upper deck, all with wide, sliding windows and a French balcony.

7 classic cabins (129 sq. ft./12 m²) on the main deck, all facing out onto the water, with wide, sliding windows and a French balcony.

Mekong Pearl Cruise - Classic Cabin - 7 Best Mekong River Cruises Laos
Mekong Pearl Cruise – Classic Cabin

 

FLOOR PLAN

Mekong Pearl Cruise Floor Plan - 7 Best Mekong River Cruise Laos

 

CRUISE FACT SHEET

  1. Cruising the Mekong River through Laos and Thailand from autumn 2017.
  2. Two decks and 15 private cabins.
  3. Six classic cabins on the main deck, all facing out onto the water, with wide, sliding windows and a French balcony.
  4. One single classic cabin on the main deck
  5. Six superior cabins: four on the main deck and two on the upper deck, all with wide, sliding windows and a French balcony.
  6. Two deluxe cabins on the upper deck with private balcony.
  7. All cabins include a private shower/WC and air-conditioning.
  8. Large sun deck with bar service and restaurant/bar area.
  9. SPA area for Asian massage treatments on the main deck.
  10. All offshore excursions guided in English.

Pandaw Cruise

OVERVIEW

Currently the only ship sailing on the Upper Mekong River and visiting the three countries of the Golden Triangle (Laos, Thailand and Myanmar (Burma)) and China, Laos Pandaw launched in November 2015.

The ship is a 131-foot long barge that’s been converted to a two-deck riverboat. Laos Pandaw can accommodate 20 passengers.

Each of the 10 staterooms is 180 square feet and finished in teak and brass. All have river views and chairs on a shared balcony.

Beds can be converted from singles to a double bed.

In-cabin features include an electric mini-safe, multi-configuration plugs, individual climate controls and generous closet and storage space.

Each private bath has a shower and is equipped with a hair dryer.

Passengers are welcomed with flowers and a gift.

There is daily nightly turn-down service.

The ship offers 24-hour laundry service.

RV Laos Pandaw Cruise - 7 Best Mekong River Cruises Laos
RV Laos Pandaw Cruise

 

On-board amenities include a sun deck, an open-air lounge and bar and a bistro-style dining room with outdoor seating and air-conditioned indoor seating.

A local chef prepares personalized meals with lighter/leaner options.

Water, coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer, local spirits and juices are complimentary.

Travelers can also order from an extensive wine list of premium wines.

There is free WiFi on-board, but service can be spotty depending on the ship’s location.

Passengers are welcomed with a cocktail reception and are sent off with a farewell party.

A 24-hour hospitality bar features water, coffee, tea, soft drinks, juices and local beers and spirits. Complimentary evening canapes are served on deck.

Excursions include museum visits and tours of local villages and architecture.

All entry fees are covered and bottled water, private transportation and a private guide are provided.

After excursions, passengers are treated to a cold towel service, a drink and a shoeshine.

Let’s take a break with the promotion video from Laos Pandaw Cruise

 

DECK PLAN

RV Laos Pandaw - Deck Plan - 7 Best Mekong River Cruise Laos
RV Laos Pandaw – Deck Plan

 

ROUTES

The cruise offers 2 main routes connecting Laos with Thailand, Myanmar, and China

Route 1: 11-day-10-night from Vientiane to Chiang Saen (Golden Triangle): Vientiane – Paklay – Ban Park Bor – Ban Muang Khai – Kuang Si waterfalls – Luang Prabang – Pak Ou cave – Pakbeng – Huayxay – Chiang Saen (Golden Triangle) | OR VICE VERSA

Enjoy a three country expedition as we will traverse Laos to touch Thailand and Burma at the once notorious Golden Triangle.

From Vientiane, the old French capital, and so redolent of L’Indochine Pandaw will be the first river expedition since pre war days to cross all Laos.

We stop two nights at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang with its dazzling wood carved monasteries and then on deep into the mountains, through rapids and gorges on our high powered little Pandaw.

Visit tribal villages and explore into jungle and countryside.

Pandaw Cruise Maps 11 days - 7 Best Mekong River Cruises Laos

 

Route 2: 15-day-14-night from Luang Prabang to Jinghong (China): Luang Prabang – Kuang Si waterfalls – Pak Ou cave – Ban Huay La – Pakbeng – Pak Tha – Chiang Khong – Chiang Saen – Golden Triangle – Ban Dom Moon – Ban Sop Luoy – Guen Lei – Jinghong | OR VICE VERSA

For the first time it is possible for travellers to sail on the mighty Upper Mekong River from Laos to China or vice versa.

This will be an incredible, pioneering 14-night river expedition discovering charming villages, stunning scenery, pristine jungle, the Golden Triangle and the very different emerald green Mekong in China’s Yunnan province.

Our journey also includes overnight stops in Luang Prabang, Chiang Saen and Jinghong.

The river recces sail aboard a Pandaw, specifically designed and built for sailing on the Upper Mekong with low draft and extra powerful engines.

Pandaw’s founder, Paul Strachan, said: “it has been a long held dream to sail the length of the navigable sections of the Mekong River; now we can.

There is much to explore in this undiscovered region; travelers need to be up for a real adventure as the daily itinerary might change, but with a flexible attitude will have the adventure of a lifetime”.

Pandaw Cruise Maps 15 days - 7 Best Mekong River Cruises Laos
Pandaw Cruise Maps 15 days

 

CABIN

  • 10 main deck staterooms
  • Staterooms are 14 square meters (150 sqf), finished in teak and brass
  • Panoramic sliding door
  • Kimonos and slippers
  • Spa-branded amenities
  • Unlimited mineral water
  • Electric mini safe
  • Imported quality linens with duvet and two kind of pillows
  • Premium mattresses
  • Convertible bed configuration
  • Welcome flower arrangement and welcome gift
  • Mirror
  • Multi-configuration plugs
  • Generous closet space and under-bed storage
  • Hair dryer
  • Daily nightly turn-down service
  • 24hr laundry service
  • Complimentary evening canapés

WINING & DINING

  • Local master chef heading an experienced international culinary team
  • Personalized meal services
  • Daily lean & light menu options
  • Complimentary local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes
  • Extensive wine list with premium wines
  • Series of cultural performances, educational talks, cooking classes, and ship tour
  • Welcome drink on arrival
  • Welcome cocktail
  • Farewell reception
  • Theme dinners
  • Open air lounge and bar
  • Bistro style al fresco dining
  • 24hrs hospitality bar
  • Onboard bakery with daily freshly baked breads and rolls

ON EXCURSIONS

  • Admissions
  • Shoe cleaning after excursions
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Cold towel service after excursions
  • Refreshing drink following excursions

SAFETY & SECURITY

  • All on-board crew is trained and certified as per international marine standards
  • Fire alarm system in all cabins, public areas and back areas
  • Firefighting system in all ship areas
  • Expert marine superintendent
  • 24 hrs watch on duty

CRUISE FACT SHEET

  • Built in 2015 in Laos
  • Berths: 20 guests
  • Length: 44.50 m
  • Beam: 8.90 m
  • Draft: 1.20 m

EXTRA: SHORT CRUISES IN LUANG PRABANG

To join those cruises above, you need time of at least 2 days. How about if you only have a short time to visit Laos and still want to experience the mighty Mekong. Good news, there are plenty of short day-cruise for you, especially in Luang Prabang.

In general, there are 3 main routes for a day-cruise in Luang Prabang: to Pak Ou caves (upstream), to Kuang Si waterfalls (downstream), and Sunset & Dinner cruise (both downstream and upstream). We see more detailed information below.

Editor Note: Read our Top 10 Laos dishes you must try to have more idea of Lao food

Cruise to Pak Ou Cruise

The boat starts at the boat pier in town, from there it will head upstream the Mekong river to Pak Ou cave.

Along the way, there is the chance to visit 1 or 2 local traditional villages.

The passengers have about 1 hour or more to explore the Buddha cave of Pak Ou before joining the cruise to head downstream back to the town of Luang Prabang.

The authentic Laos lunch will be served on the leisure cruise back.

Some of the most popular cruises include Nava Mekong Cruise, Luang Prabang Cruise, and Monsoon Cruise.

If you come as a group of family and/or friend, we can arrange the private charter boat to maximize your convenience during the cruise. Do not hesitate to CONTACT US in that case

Cruise to Pak Ou cave - Short Mekong River Cruise Luang Prabang
Cruise to Pak Ou caves

Cruise to Kuang Si Waterfalls

The idea of the cruise to Kuang Si waterfall is the same as the one to Pak Ou cave. Pick-up in town >> cruise the mighty Mekong >> visit 1 or 2 local traditional village along the way >> explore Kuang Si waterfalls >> Lunch is served on boat on the way back to town.

At the moment, only Monsoon Cruise offers the shared boat to Kuang Si waterfalls.

Once again, the private boat can be arranged if you wish so. Just CONTACT OUR EXPERT

Cruise to Kuang Si waterfalls - 7 Best Mekong River Cruise Laos
Kuang Si waterfall

Sunset & Dinner Cruise

Before the dust falls over the ancient town of Luang Prabang, it is the best idea to join the boat along the mighty Mekong to admire the sun setting behind the mountains.

There are some boat offering the sunset cruise only in around 1 hour, some others offer the dinner cruise only in also 1 hour.

From our point of view, we recommend to join the boats that offer both sunset and dinner cruise at once. Join the boat before the dust >> cruise along the mighty Mekong >> admire the sunset >> enjoy the dinner on board whilst watching the traditional dance and folk song >> Back in town at around 7:30 PM or 08:00PM.

This will maximize your experience with a little more extra comparing with joining just sunset or dinner cruise.

Some of the recommendation cruise includes Nava Mekong Cruise and Luang Prabang Cruise. In case you wish a private boat, do not hesitate to CONTACT US

Sunset and Dinner Cruise in Luang Prabang-7 Best Mekong River Cruise Laos
Sunset and Dinner Cruise in Luang Prabang

GET INSPIRED! TAKE A RIDE WITH BiiG

So you have the general idea of the cruise scene in Laos. It can be said that cruising the mighty Mekong guarantees the lifetime experience, nothing can be compared.

If you want to book a cruise, do not hesitate to CONTACT OUR TEAM. With the experienced team of local enthusiast and dedicated expats we can ensure to recommend you with the most suitable cruise for your trip.

If you need further information, we are always here to answer any question you may have. WELCOME ABOARD!

Editor Note: Check the weather and best time for cruise in Laos. You may also check our Top 10 festivals in Laos and make a combination

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