Mekong River Cruise
Cruise the Mekong River aboard the Mekong Sun, a German-Laotian owned luxury riverboat. Richly appointed in mahogany and teak, its 14 cabins, library, lounge and sundeck provide a pleasant platform for exploring Southeast Asian river life. On this six-day adventure we visit remote Laotian villages, enjoy spectacular scenery and dine on delicious meals prepared by the ship’s chef. We can also participate in on-board cooking and crafts classes, lectures on local history and culture, and many other activities.
The trip includes three nights shipboard accommodations, two-nights stay in hotels, meals, excursions and activities. You can also add this cruise to our Myanmar or Bhutan Explorer tours.
1st Day: We arrive in Luang Prabang, an ancient city on the banks of the Mekong River, and transfer to our hotel. In the afternoon we visit Wat Xieng Thong—built in 1560, it was the place where former Lao kings were crowned—then climb Phousi Hill for panoramic views of the Old Quarter and the Mekong and Khan rivers. After watching the sun set over the Lao plain, we stroll through the evening market, where local artisans sell their colorful wares.
2nd Day: This morning we rise early to participate in the traditional giving of alms to local Buddhist monks and explore more temples. We then transfer to the banks of the Mekong and board our luxury riverboat, the Mekong Sun. Departing Luang Prabang, we cruise north to the Laotian village of Ban Xang Hai, where we learn about the distilling of lau-lau, a rice whiskey for which the town is famous. A short hike through the jungle takes us to the Pak-Ou caves, which are filled with thousands of Buddha images that have been left by faithful Laotian Buddhists over thousands of years. In the evening we tie up on a secluded sandbank and enjoy a welcome reception and dinner
3rd Day: We cruise downriver, then stop and board a bus to the Kuang Si waterfalls. Surrounded by lush jungle, the multi-tier falls flow hundreds of feet over limestone cliffs and collect in aqua-colored pools perfect for swimming. We continue to a working elephant camp, where we watch the mighty beasts haul logs from the jungle to waiting boats on the river. Back on board, we continue cruising south to the ferry crossing at Tha Deua, then tie up for the night.
4th Day: Cruising south, we encounter some of the most remarkable and impressive landscapes of the river—hills covered with tropical vegetation, amazing rock formations and a busy and powerful river. From the comfort of the sundeck we enjoy beautiful displays of nature, then head north again and stop at a sandbank for the night. During times of low water we may take this journey aboard a local Lao slow boat, a traditional form of transportation on the river.
5th Day: Today we cruise leisurely north from Tha Deua, spotting local fisherman onshore and enjoying our final day on the river. In the afternoon we arrive back in Luang Prabang and transfer to our hotel. We return to the Mekong Sun for a farewell dinner, where we can reminisce about our adventure with our cruisemates and bid our Laotian crew a fond adieu.
6th Day: Following breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight home or continue our Southeast Asia adventure.
What’s included: Accomodations (two nights ashore, three nights on board), transfers, excursions, lectures, presentations and meals.
Prices: Call for available dates and prices.
Additional Mekong Cruises depart from Chiang Saen, Thailand, and travel to Luang Prabang or Vientiane, Laos. Please call for details.
Minimum Number of Persons: One