Getting to Laos
Bordered with 5 countries there are many ways to get into Laos and you can be as adventurous as you dare.
Laos – Luscious landscapes, winding rivers, beautiful people. With an experience to offer everyone, a visit to Laos will leave you with long-lasting and treasured memories. Here is some travel information about getting around Laos on a Mekong Cruise Tour.
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 kilometres 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.
In northern Thailand and Laos, the river, known as the Mae Nam Khong - the Mother of Waters, or Mekong River - is at the heart of Lao geography and culture. Whether you're in Luang Prabang, Vientiane, or Pak Se, the Mekong will be right there. The urge to set out in a boat is probably as old as the river itself, and Luang Prabang offers an array of options, from fully-appointed multi-day luxury cruises to two-hour excursions for a picnic on a quiet bank away from the city.
Our partners offer some of the best (and most luxurious) river cruises in Laos.
Mekong Cruises offers two exceptional Mekong cruise tours (on equally exceptional boats): a northern journey from Houay Xay to Luang Prabang (or vice versa) on boats called Luang Say Cruises that usually travel the Mekong on a 2 Day Mekong Tour. This Mekong Cruise normally has a stop over in the small twon of Pakbeng where the Luang Say Lodge features superb accomodation on the Mekong, with stunning views into the surrounding Lao landscapes. Then there is a one-of-a-kind southern Mekong journey through one of the widest and wildest parts of the river to the majestic Vat Phou temple complex and the 4000 Islands in the South of Laos. The Vat Phou Cruise ship can host people in it's well appointed cabins and offers comfortable travel style while actually living on the cruise ship. Excursions into the surrounding Lao countryside are partly exclusive to this cruise and usually an older crowd is attracted to these Mekong Cruise Tours.
For bookings and reservations contact our team
Featuring one of the most distinctive boats on the river -- the 14-cabin, two-storey Mekong Sun -- Mekong River Cruises offers immersive journeys from six to fourteen days in comfort and style in luxury cabins facing the Mekong river. From the Golden Triangle to Vientiane and everything in between, there's no other experience of the Mekong river like this one. The Cruise ship features a wonderful sun deck and exquisite Lao and Western food prepared by well trained chefs. A small library offers books to read and a lounge area to sit while cruising the majestic Mekong. Some of the excursions on the Mekong Sun are exclusive and unique tours that you can only experience while traveling on such an outstanding tour. Enquire about Mekong Sun
Shompoo books a maximum of 40 passengers on its spacious 35-meter boats for the two-day trip to or from the Thai border at Houay Xay. Relax in comfort on the sundeck with a book as the Mekong scenery unwinds on both sides of you, and enjoy the prepared Lao meals each day for lunch, served at your table on-board. The styling of the boats is classic Mekong, featuring hand-carved teak and rosewood, and their captains have the kind of knowledge and confidence that comes from knowing this difficult river well.
Shompoo offers a few options for lodging overnight at Pak Beng, or you can book your own accommodation through us.
A magical tale of a young girl discovering Laos on the Mekong River:
Bounmi Cruise is located in Luang Prabang and offers a great variety of short excursions on the Mekong river. The Bounmi, an 18-meter traditional Mekong slow boat retrofitted for style and comfort can also be chartered exclusively and makes a perfect boat to host you or your family on a private Mekong cruise tour. It the perfect boat for relaxing with a sunset beer and exploring the surroundings of the Mekong near Luang Prabang.
You can choose from among their existing options -- everything from a riverbank picnic to an overnight camping trip on a quiet stretch of the Mekong -- or work with us to design your own cruise. Fishing, home-stays, and romantic dinners on the Mekong river are all possible with Bounmi.
The name is no exaggeration: this operation features a single, 28-meter, riverboat -- the Dok Keow -- custom-crafted by a professional yacht designer-builder. This is the most luxuriously-appointed craft now on the Mekong, with aft en-suite stateroom, featuring luxury cotton bedding, magnificent views, and privacy curtains. An 8-person dining area is well served by a gourmet gallery kitchen.
Offering everything from sunset cruises with cocktails to overnight charters, the Dok Keow's customised five-star itineraries may not exactly be the least expensive option for spending time the Mekong but certainly a truly memorable one. If you're looking for an incredible experience in style and world-class accommodation, this is the boat for you.