Luxury Overnight Mekong River Cruise to Luang Prabang
Looking for fresh air and natural beauty without having to do much than watch the scenery slip by? You can travel downstream from Chiang Rai or Chiang Khong to Luang Pabang or upstream from Chiang Rail on an impeccably-maintained wooden river boat. Overnight is in a lovely riverside boutique hotel in Pak Beng.
Way Beyond Luang Prabang is a luxury overnight journey by boat from Thailand to Luang Prabang that gives you a close look at village life along the Mekong River as well as some spectacular vistas, and maybe a glimpse of a fresh-water dolphin. You may also reverse this itinerary and commence your journey in Luang Prabang and cruise upstream.
You must spend at least one night in Chiang Rai or Houey Say before the trip because you need to travel early on the morning of departure to nearby Chang Khong, pass through Thai immigration formalities, cross the Mekong River to Houey Say, pass throughr Lao immigration, and get to the boat. This program includes private transportation from Chiang Rai to Houey Say with a guide who will help you deal quickly with the red tape, assist you and your luggage across the river, and find your way to the boat.
The overnight stop is in Pak Beng, where you stay in a luxury eco-resort overlooking the river. The boat makes several stops along the way to visit picturesque villages, where you will have time to visit rural markets and meet the local people. You will also make a quick stop at the Tham Thing Caves to see the thousands of Buddha statues that have been left there over the last century.
You may also reverse this itinerary and commence your journey in Luang Prabang and cruise upstream.
This program is available only to guests who are also using our Leisurely Luang Prabang program. If it not practical for you to begin or end your trip in Chiang Rai, consider our "Perfect Circle"-- round-trip from Luang Prabang. This trip takes you to Pak Beng--one way by boat on the Mekong, and one way by land through the villages and forests of the country's interior. You will still see much of what is along the river, plus the picturesque and historic interior.
Sail from Chiang Rai with an overnight stop at a lovely teak eco-lodge in Pak Beng with scenic views of the Mekong River. In both Chiang Rai and Luang Prabang you can have a private tour and your choice of LGBTQ-friendly hotel. Add one more night to your trip by adding a night in Kamu Lodge, a landlocked eco-lodge and rustic village along the banks of the Mekong.
Two Night Itinerary Includes Kamu Lodge
You may have noticed our overnight Beyond Luang Prabang trip that includes an overnight trip to Kamu Lodge, a unique eco-lodge on the banks of the Mekong. You can combine Way Beyond Luang Prabang with Kamu Lodge by adding an extra night either upstream or downstream. You can see prices for the two night trip here. Includes Kamu Lodge with local sightseeing activities, meals and boat transportation to or from Luang Prabang.
Downstream: Depart from Houey Say at 09:00. Lunch is served aboard. From May through September departures are every Monday and Friday. From October through April departures are on Monday, Thursday and Friday. Arrive Luang Prabang before sundown.
Upstream: Depart Luang Prabang at 07:30. A light breakfast and lunch are served aboard. May through September departures are every Wednesday and Saturday. October through April departures are Tuesday, Wednesday Saturday. We also have a modern all-steel boat that makes one round trip a week between Luang Prabang and Houey Say.
Boats do not operate in June because of low water levels. During June all of our boats go into dry-dock for annual maintenance to make them like new.
The River Boats
Our river boats combine the traditional design of wooden Lao river craft with modern engineering. The boats have a steel hull and carry all the necessary safety equipment. A trained mechanic travels with every sailing. There is snack and beverage service aboard.
Chiang Rai Hotels
Choose between the three-star Wiang Inn, the four star River House Resort and Spa, or the five star Legend Hotel in Chiang Rai. In the village of Pak Beng, the mid-point in the cruise, you stay in the lovely teak boutique hotel, overlooking the Mekong River. It is as luxurious as a hotel can be so far from any major town or highway. Dinner and breakfast at the Lodge are included.