The Luang Say Cruise runs up and down the Mekong River from Luang Prabang to the border of Northern Thailand and vice versa. The boat is a 34 metre stunning converted antique rice barge that journeys along the river, taking in the sights and sounds of traditional Laotian life. There is a large communal deck, bar as well as games and reading facilities to keep all passengers comfortable and blissfully content as they drift along this pristine stretch of river.
The trip takes two days passing through jungle, teak plantations, mountains and farmland, experience first hand how simple life can still be in these remote areas. Step off the boat to explore the Caves Of A Thousand Buddhas or visit fascinating riverside hill-tribe villages.
You will spend overnight en route at the charming Luang Say Lodge, which is located at Pakbeng and is a simple, tranquil place to stay. Set on the banks of the Mekong in wooden lodge-style rooms you will really get a chance to experience what serene rural river life in Laos is all about. It has 11 Lao style bungalows constructed almost entirely from local materials with shutters surrounding each one and is decorated in a simple but extremely comfortable furnishings with twin beds and hot water showers. On the huge veranda overlooking the river there is ample space for just relaxing and taking in the view, reading or playing games. For those more active there is plenty to do and see with short walks, village visits and trekking which can all be easily arranged.
Luang Say Lodge has 20 large comfortable wooden bungalows with ceiling fans, mosquito nets, en suite bathrooms with hot showers and wonderful river views. These bungalows all connect to the restaurant by wooden walkways.
Children are welcome on the Luang Say Cruise and at Luang Say Lodge but there no specific facilities for them and they will have to join in with the activities of the adults of the group. However, children with a sense of adventure will absolutely love the boat journey and staying at the lodge and all the exciting things there are to see and do en route. Children's life jackets are available on board the boat.
The boat is very comfortable and can accommodate up to 40 passengers. There are two loos on board. Lunch is served on the boat as you cruise down the river and the lodge has a restaurant overlooking the Mekong serving buffet dinners and continental breakfasts with strong Laotian coffee and there is a fully stocked bar.
Each boat has both a French and English speaking guide on board who are there to answer any questions and point out anything interesting along the way. Visits can be made to local villages, caves and other points of interest as the boat makes its way down the river.
When to travel
November to April is the best time to visit Laos with dry and warm weather, with March and April being the hottest months. October and May are also good months to visit with only a bit of rain. July to September are the wettest months in Laos.
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Location and directions
Mekong River, Laos
You can choose to travel down the Mekong river from Chiang Khong / Houei Say (the Thai/Lao border) to Luang Prabang or upriver from Luang Prabang to the Thai/Lao border at Huay Xai.
How to get there
11-hour international flight to Bangkok. From there you can catch a connect flight to Luang Prabang or Houei Say.