River Cruise

Luang Say River Boat Cruise & Lodge in Laos2 Days, 1 Nights

Exploring between Houei Sai and Luang Prabang on the Mekong River

Foray into Laos on a Short Mekong Cruise

Operating on a Join-In basis, this is a cruising journey through mountainous stretches of the Mekong River. The cruise starts in Houei Sai, Laos which is just across the river from the Thai border town of Chiang Khong. You will board the Luang Say Boat, a purpose-built 34 meter river barge. 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. 

The Luang Say Lodge and Cruise is a relaxing journey down the river through remote mountainous stretches of the Mekong River. After you cross the river from the Thai border town, you clear Laos customs, check in at the tour office and your cruise to Luang Prabang aboard your luxury river barge begins. You will enjoy long scenic stretches of sun soaked river cruising. accented with by visits to riverside hill tribe villages and the enthanting Tham Thing Caves of a Thousand Buddha’s. Your two days on the river, the Luang Say Lodge at Pakbeng make for a charming and serene riverside stay. This is the perfect way to start your travels and adventure in Laos!

Before you go, check out our other Laos tours, you may want to catch more highlights as the adventure continues!

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


Tour Itinerary & Map (below)


Luang Say boat leaves Slow Boat Pier at 9a.m. for cruising down the Mekong River to Luang Say Lodge in Pakbeng. One stop is made en route to Pakbeng to observe a 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.


A continental breakfast is served on the terrace from 7a.m. The boat leaves Luang Say Lodge at 8a.m. 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. The boat stops again 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 Wat Xieng Thong Pier (a UNESCO world heritage city) before sunset.Conclusion of service after arriving at the Pier. You may taxi to a local hotel, to the Luang Prabang International Airport or taxi transfer back to Houei Sai. 

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, consider booking one of our very special private guided tours. We have something for everyone. Luang Prabang International Airport has direct flights to Bangkok, Siem Reap, Hanoi, Vientiane. 

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 warm jersey or a jacket as it can be a bit cool at night from Nov to Feb.

Terms & Conditions

Booking the Tour

  • All prices in US dollars, 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. Or, please inquire. 

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 $220 to $265 depending on the season. Or please inquire. 

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 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 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. 


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


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 River Boat Cruise & Lodge in Laos