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Mekong River Cruise

An exciting overland and down river advenuture from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang

2-day boat journey down the Mekong from Thailand to Laos

Arrive in Laos in style with this 3-day Mekong River Cruise extension taking you by road and river from Thailand’s historic northern capital Chiang Mai to Lao’s World Heritage Luang Prabang.

From Chiang Mai, we’ll travel overland through the mountains of the Golden Triangle to the quaint riverside town of Chiang Khong for a night’s accommodation prior to a morning border crossing and embarkation for a 2-day boat journey down the mighty Mekong. You’ll travel in a comfortable and lovingly-restored old wooden barge. (The craft are 40 metres long with a maximum of 40 passengers – so plenty of room – with bar and inclusive local-style lunches served onboard.)

A stop on the first day of the cruise allows you to stretch your legs with a visit to a village of the Khmu minority while our overnight stay will be in a riverbank lodge in the small, half-way town of Pak Beng. Day 2 sees us continuing eastwards down the picturesque mountain-lined river to the spectacular cave temples and their thousand ancient Buddha images at Pak Ou. Estimated arrival time in Luang Prabang town is between 4 and 5.00 p.m. with accommodation available if required. (Note, if you’re beginning a Lao tour the following day this night’s accommodation will be automatically included.)

Tip; This Mekong River Cruise is well worth considering as an add-on for any of our Laos tours beginning in Luang Prabang for anyone with a few extra days to spare. Due to very limited competition among airlines, Luang Prabang is, unfortunately, one of the most expensive regional destinations to fly into in Southeast Asia so the cost of this 3-day tour is largely offset by the saving made in starting any Lao tour in Chiang Mai instead.

A great way to arrive in Laos and you’ll see a bit more of the country too.

(Our price is per person based on twin or double sharing while for a single person the price is £645.)



Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

The Golden Triangle | Thailand and Laos Tour

Day 1 - Through the mountains to Chiang Khong

Morning departure from Chiang Mai for an overland journey through the mountains by private transport to the small riverbank town of Chiang Khong. We’ll stop on the way so you can stretch your legs at the famous ‘White Temple’ – Wat Rong Khun – with an ETA in Chiang Khong between 4 and 5 in the afternoon, just in time perhaps for a riverside sundowner?

Accommodation in Chiang Mai is available if required.

Overnight: Chiang Khong Transport: Minibus, 

Mekong River Cruise, lunch on board

Day 2 - Across the border and embark on your cruise

You’ll transfer to the ‘Friendship Bridge’ and Thai/Lao border crossing (c. 8.00) where you’ll be met by boat company staff for immigration formalities and embarkation. Lunch on board, a stop to visit a village of the local Khmu minority and overnight at a riverside lodge in the small town of Pak Beng.

Overnight: Pak Beng Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

Laos, Northern Laos tour, Pak Ou

Day 3 - Pak Ou Caves and on to Luang Prabang

8.30 departure from Pak Beng where you’ll continue eastwards down the picturesque mountain and forest-lined river for a stop at the spectacular Cave Temples of Pak Ou. Lunch on board, late afternoon arrival in Luang Prabang and transfer to your hotel.

Accommodation in Luang Prabang is available, or inclusive if you're beginning a Lao tour the following day.

Overnight: Luang Prabang (optional) Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, 

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The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Wat Xiengthong, Luang Prabang

Just a few of the many highlights

  • Arrive in Laos in style on a river barge down the mighty Mekong River
  • Overnight stays in a riverside hotel in Chiang Khong and chalet-style lodge in Pak Beng
  • Travel from charming Chiang Mai to Lao's ancient capital, World Heritage Luang Prabang
  • Lovingly-restored wooden barge with on board bar and inclusive Lao-style lunches
  • Picturesque Mekong scenery of mountains, forest and traditional riverbank villages
  • Perfect for any Lao or Laos-Vietnam tour starting in Luang Prabang

We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...

The Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge

The Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge view

  • Hillside setting with wonderful views over the Mekong
  • Excellent, well-stocked in-house bar and restaurant
  • Participation in a number of sustainable tourism projects
The Golden Triangle | Thailand and Laos Tour

Namkong Riverside Hotel Chiang Khong view

  • Namkong Riverside in the small border town of Chiang Khong
  • Perfect location overlooking the Mekong River and Laos
  • Comfy well-appointed rooms and friendly service

*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.

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