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Things to do in Laos

A slice of real Mekong life on the Luang Say Cruise

My favourite part of the Luang Say cruise is experiencing the fresh air away from the city and seeing how people live along the Mekong…

Bounthavy Hansaya
Sales Manager of Mekong Cruises

The Vat Phou boat, Luang Say cruise

My favourite part of the Luang Say cruise is being away from the city and experiencing the fresh air, greenery, and seeing how people live along the Mekong. It’s a totally different lifestyle. Our cruises start from Huay Xai in northern Laos near the Golden Triangle and they last two days and one night, ending in Luang Prabang or vice versa.

Along the way, passengers can enjoy views of nature and forested mountains as we cruise down the Mekong. Our boat is a traditional wooden vessel with a large deck where you can sit and admire the view. You’ll see the real nature of Laos as well as people fishing along the Mekong and if you’re lucky, elephants bathing.

For lunch, we serve traditional Laos food onboard, including Khao Jao (white jasmine rice), Kaeng Kari Gai (Lao yellow curry chicken and vegetable stew), Moo Thod Kathiam (fried pork with garlic), Koua Pak (stir-fried vegetables), seasonal fruits and Lao tea and coffee.

Each day we cruise for around seven hours and stop at ethnic Kamu villages for a visit. We support these villages financially and during the low season, we run trips for agency staff to experience the cruise and deliver sports equipment and writing tools for the local kids. In addition, we support The Foundation for the Education of Rural Children in Chiang Mai, Thailand, by donating cruise vouchers for auction every year.

Our guide will show you around the villages and is happy to translate so you can learn how people in the Mekong live. You’ll see people weaving, fishing, rice harvesting and learn how the locals distil alcohol and raise their animals. On the second day of the cruise, we also make a stop at Buddha Cave, which is full of thousands of sacred Buddha statues and is a site of pilgrimage for local people.

Our cruise is unique because we have our own boat and a lodge near Pakbeng, which is just for our guests. The Luang Say lodge has 20 wooden bungalows with private bathrooms and views over the Mekong, which is a real highlight. Guests enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and scenery, especially at the restaurant terrace, where we serve a buffet dinner and breakfast.  When it’s not rainy season, we invite people from nearby Kamu villages to perform traditional music and dance at the lodge after dinner, which guests love.

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Alfred & Bounthavy Hansaya

Bounthavy has been working at Mekong Cruises for 10 years. As the Sales Manager, he has cruised the Mekong many times and is passionate about sharing the region's beauty with guests and providing them with a unique cruise experience.  
Bounthavy Hansaya

Alfred & our Laos holiday experts

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