Laos is a truly captivating country, with its gentle pace inviting the visitor to slow down, relax and absorb the beauty of their surroundings. Mekong River runs the entire length of the country, with the river and its many tributaries being integral to the Lao way of life, providing fishing, irrigation, transport, and fertile farmland along the delta.
Laos is a truly captivating country, with its gentle pace inviting the visitor to slow down, relax and absorb the beauty of their surroundings. Mekong River runs the entire length of the country, with the river and its many tributaries being integral to the Laos way of life, providing fishing, irrigation, transport and fertile farmland along the delta.
Cruising in Mekong River - Laos Part
The three-day cruise connecting Luang Prabang and the Thai border at Houay Xai leads you through some of Indochina's finest and most dramatic scenery. The open-sided long-tailed boat allows you to experience this lovely part of northern Laos with all your senses, as you pass isolated villages en route to the town of Pakbeng.
Simply put, Luang Prabang is the foremost tourist destination in Laos today and its unique combination of activity and tranquility make it a must-see on the Mekong River. The Khan River meets the bigger Mekong here amidst fishing boats, bustling markets, French provincial architecture, and people of highly diverse ethnicity. Your spectacular cruise begins with the departure from Luang Prabang from where you will cruise north through beautiful scenery.
In Northern Laos, the Mekong River shows a pathway full of splendid landscapes and a succession of mountains covered by lush vegetation. Villages along the banks are home to various ethnic groups. Dependent on agriculture, fishery, weaving, gold panning, teak exploitation, locals along the Mekong’s banks engage daily in a rich cultural heritage still preserved from the modern economic development.
The boat first stops opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River to visit Pak Ou caves where there are two caves ‘Tham Ting’ and ‘Tham Phoum’ with thousands of small Buddha statues inside the caverns. After a short walk through the jungle, you visit a Laotian village. In the village, you can observe how the local liqueur Lao-Lao is being distilled traditionally. After re-embarkation, you will enjoy a few hours of cruising up the Mekong River amidst beautiful landscapes. Then, the boat arrives at Kamu Lodge, a sustainable village 2 hours from Luang Prabang. You will be able to check-in and have lunch at the opened air restaurant. In the afternoon, you can participate in different activities: exploring Kamu Village, joining an archery contest, rice planting and harvesting, traditional fishing, and gold panning.
Pak Ou Cave
After an overnight at Kamu Lodge, enjoy breakfast then continue cruising up to Pakbeng. The next stop is at Ban Baw to observe the processing of the traditional rice alcohol. The boat arrives at Luang Say Lodge in the small town of Pakbeng before sunset for an overnight stay. Luang Say Lodge consists of 20 wooden bungalows linked by walkways, overlooking the Mekong River. These blend tastefully into their natural surroundings and offer spectacular views of the river.
Luang Say Lodge
The next day, the boat leaves Pakbeng for cruising up the Mekong River to Houay Xai. One stop is made en route to observe rural life along the Mekong River at Ban Houy Phalam. It is a typical Lao village in the midlands. The people here are from the Khmu tribe. Walk around the village and meet some of the villagers and explore the houses-on-stilts, with the people living inside above and the livestock and animals and firewood below. Keep traveling up the river, passing through gorgeous scenery for hours to the Houay Xai border crossing. From here, tourists may continue their journey to Chiang Rai, Thailand on the same day.
Huay Xai Lao Immigration
In the main, Laos is perhaps the best nation to explore the stunning Mekong River and the people that live on it. It can be said that, within three days, this cruise trip is perfect for those who would like to visit northern Laos in combination with a unique cruise experience on the Mekong River.
Image sources: Internet