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