River Cruise

Luang Say Lodge, Kamu Lodge and Mekong Cruise3 Days, 2 Nights

Cruise the Mekong on a charming river barge, stay at two serene resorts




Explore the Mekong River Au Naturel Style

Stunning Laos with expansive views from mountain trails, gorgeous valley scenery and UNESCO World Heritage sites should not be missed. Travelers often ask, how should we get there? If you are in Northern Thailand, then you are not far from the Laos - Thailand border. Just cross the legendary Mekong River and take a 3 Day / 2 Night cruise on a riverboat journey through Northern Laos. Operating on a Join-In basis, this is a cruising journey through mountainous stretches of the Mekong River between Houei Sai and Luang Prabang, aboard the Luang Say Boat, a purpose-built 34 meter river barge.

On day one, the cruise stops at Luang Say Lodge to offer guests a charming and serene riverside stay; the perfect romantic interlude in this unspoiled wilderness setting. Luang Say Lodge, on the banks of the Mekong River is set amidst lush green hills, the Lodge gives a feeling of discovered untouched nature. Constructed in a traditional style of Lao architecture in solid wood, each guest room has a bathroom with a hot shower, electric fan and mosquito netting. The well prepared local dishes are served in the main dining room overlooking the river. The bar corner offers a wide choice of drinks. On days when house guests exceed more than 20 people, local villagers may perform a hill tribe dance. 

On day two, the journey continues further downstream to the unique Kamu Lodge. At Kamu Lodge, you will find 20 free-standing lodges or thick-walled tents with sturdy thatch roof's guards against the elements. Kamu Lodge has a rustic look and feel, but Kamu's mattresses guarantee you a good night's sleep. Solar panels fixed to the roofs gather just enough power to keep your fan turning all night. Every lodge features a white-washed stone annex, a traditional bath and yes, hot water flows from Kamu's shower heads. A charming thatch-covered veranda and with comfortable chairs encourage relaxation and passive enjoyment of a timeless view over the slow-moving Mekong River.

The Luang Say River Boat Features:

  • A 34 meter length
  • Purpose built luxury river boat designed for daily expeditions
  • Modern safety equipment and lifejackets
  • A capacity of 40 seats with an open air vista and lounge furniture
  • Ample luggage space and porters
  • Games and reading materials
  • Immaculately clean western style toilets
  • A fully-stocked bar 
  • An experienced crew

The Luang Say Lodge Features: 

  • 17 pavilions with a total of 20 rooms
  • 180 degree open-shutter window views of the lush riverside gardens and Mekong valley
  • En-suite shower bathrooms with western toilets and hot water
  • Individual fan and mosquito netting
  • A restaurant terrace overlooking the Mekong
  • Free Wifi

Kamu Lodge Features: 

  • An eco-lodge designed for low-impact travel to balance tourism and the retention of the region’s cultural and ethnic heritage
  • On the banks of the Mekong River, in a remote valley of rice fields, small villages and forested mountains, Kamu Lodge is located 2h30 hours upstream of Luang Prabang 
  • Kamu Lodge with its rustic look and feel, only accessible by boat has 20 free-standing lodges or thick-walled tents with sturdy thatch roof's guards against the elements. 
  • Kamu's mattresses guarantee a good night's sleep. 
  • Solar panels fixed to the roofs gather just enough juice to keep your fan turning all night and your interior lit. 
  • Every lodge features a white-washed stone annex, and the familiar trappings of a traditional bath. Hot water flows from Kamu's shower heads. 
  • On the apron of every lodge, a thatch-covered veranda and its rustic easy chairs encourage passive enjoyment of a timeless view over the slow-moving Mekong River.

Images

Tour Itinerary & Map (below)


Route


Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Luang Say boat leaves Slow Boat Pier for cruising down the Mekong River to Luang Say Lodge in Pakbeng. One stop is made en route to Pakbeng to observe some rural life along the Mekong River at Ban Houei Phalam; a Kamu village. A buffet lunch is served on board. The boat arrives at Luang Say Lodge before sunset for an overnight stay and a dinner is served on the terrace overlooking the Mekong River.

Route


Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
The boat leaves Luang Say Lodge and the first stop is at Ban Baw village to observe the process of making traditional rice alcohol. A buffet lunch is served on board. Then, the boat arrives at Kamu Lodge around 2p.m. so you will be able to check in and participate in different activities such as; visiting Kamu village, archery contest, rice planting and harvesting, traditional fishing and gold panning (January to June). A set menu dinner is served at the open air restaurant and you will stay over at Kamu Lodge tonight. 

Route


Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Kamu boat leaves and stops opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River to visit Pak Ou caves where there are two caves ‘Tham Ting’ and ‘Tham Phoum’ and thousands of Buddha images. The boat arrives in Luang Prabang at Kamu boat pier (a UNESCO world heritage city) before lunch. A lunch set menu is served at a local restaurant.Conclusion of service after lunch. You may taxi from the Kamu boat pier to a local hotel and spend a few nights in Luang Prabang or continue to the Luang Prabang International Airport for your next destination. 

Good to Know

Departure Information:

Luang Say Lodge & Downstream Cruise departs from Slow Boat pier in Houei Sai, Laos at 9a.m. Please be at Luang Say office in Houei Sai (next to Laos immigration) by 8:15 am.

Access and Transfer Information:

You should consider arriving at the Thai/Laos border the night before and get a hotel room in the small town of Chiang Khong in Thailand. Here the Laos border is just a few minutes away. You can hire a helper from your hotel or take a taxi to the "Fourth Thai - Lao Friendship Bridge" on outskirts of Chiang Khong. This is a 600 meter bridge where you cross the Mekong River into Laos. When you arrive at the Laos border, you arrange your entry visa on arrival. The cost is about $35 USD. Check in at the Mekong Cruise office which is right beside the Laos Immigration Office. 

Transfers to Chiang Khong:

Transferring to Chiang Khong on the Thai / Laos border from Chiang Rai is about a 90 minute drive by SUV or private transfer or taxi.The cost is about $65. By bus its about 2 hours and less money of course. Its easy to arrange for tickets by bus or by private transfer.

From Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong, its about 4.5 hour trip by private transfer, SUV or taxi. The distance is 330 kilomters. The cost for private transfer is about $150. By bus it takes about 6.5 hours to get to Chiang Khong from Chiang Mai. Again, the cost is very low. 

Bus transfers can be purchased with 24 to 48 hours notice from either Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong. Private transfers should be booked in advance to be safe. A minimum of 2 weeks notice during peak season is advisalble. That said, you will not have difficulty booking a last minute private transfer but the price will probably increase if you seek the help of your hotel or local agent. 

Conclusion of the Downstream Tour:

In Luang Prabang, you may consider spending two or three nights in a hotel and explore the city.  If you wish to indulge yourself in luxury, consider booking a room at the 5 star luxury Luang Say Residence Hotel in French colonial style. It's the first hotel in Laos to join ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH)’ brand located. Room rates range from $250 to $450 USD depending on the room and on the season. Luang Prabang International Airport has direct flights to Bangkok, Siem Reap, Hanoi, Vientiane. At the conclusion of the tour or after your stay in Luang Prabang, you will most likely fly out to your next destination. 

Supplemental Information About this Tour:

Upon arriving at Luang Say Lodge, you may choose to leave your suitcase and luggage on the boat and take only a small daypack with a change of clothes to Luang Say Lodge. The steps to Luang Say Lodge are quite steep, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Please bring a jersey/a jacket as it can get cool at the Lodge and on the boat from Oct to Feb. Please fully charge your electronic equipment as there is no plug available at Kamu Lodge.

Terms & Conditions

Booking the Tour

  • Prices in USD and inclusive of local taxes, Vat 10%
  • Minimum 2 persons per booking required
  • Allow up to 24 hours for TourChoice.com to confirm your booking after you submit your request to us
  • Please note that pricing is per person

Payment Terms

  • We accept secure payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and PayPal
  • TourChoice does not receive any customer sensitive data from credit card processing companies
  • Prepayment in full once your reservation has been confirmed by TourChoice.com
  • A booking voucher & invoice will be emailed to you immediately upon confirmation of your reservation. 
  • Suggest booking a minimum of 2 months in advance during high season (November 1 to April 30)
  • Please read about TourChoice.com's unique consumer protection. 

Single Supplement Fee

  • The single supplement fee is the supplemental amount that a single traveler pays over and above the price per person fee. This amount will auto complete on the booking page if you select one guest. It ranges between $104 to $130 depending on the season.

Child Policy

The fee for children aged 2 to 12 years old assumes that the child will be sharing the parents cabin. Children older than age 12 are charged as adults. Child rates will appear on the booking page when you select the number of children in your party. Rates range between $231 to $272 depending on the season.

Refund / Cancellation / No show Policy

If the guest cancels the trip, the following applies. Number of days prior to the tour start date:

  • 45 days or more - full refund less 5% of tour price
  • 44 to 30 days - full refund less 50% of tour price
  • 29 to 8 days - refund less 75% of tour price
  • 8 days prior and no show - forfeit 100% of tour price

Guaranteed Departure

Mekong Cruise Tour Operator reserves the right to only commit to providing services for each Package in case where there are minimum of 4 adult passengers on board the boat.

Late Arrival of Passenger

Mekong Cruise Tour Operator is not obliged to provide other vehicles such as speed boat, local boat or van to their cruise for any late arrival passengers. A passenger shall be liable for any incurred costs caused by late arrival to departure of the cruise and shall not be entitled to claim for any damages or compensation. 

Weather

For safety reasons and the weather conditions, the program may change without prior notice.

Insurance

Mekong Cruise Operator provides safety boxes at Luang Say lodge’s office and at Vat Phou Cruise Manager’s cabin. It is agreed that Mekong Cruises has no responsibility or liability for loss of valuables or items at any kind of the passenger left in the room/cabin. The insurance company engaged and provided by Mekong Cruises shall be liable for the limit of Marine Hull & Machinery and Protection and Indemnity insurance at USD 5,000,000 per event. Coverage Exclusion: loss of cash, negotiable instruments, precious metals or stones, valuables or objects of a rare or precious nature, belonging to persons. 

Rate Increases

The Mekong Tour Operator reserves the right to increase fees if government agencies increase taxes without adequate notice. The Mekong Tour Operator reserves the right to increase fees if the price of oil exceeds $120 USD per barrel 45 days before guest departure. 

Ask about Luang Say Lodge, Kamu Lodge and Mekong Cruise