Looking for a unique adventure in Laos? The Luang Say Cruise is a luxury 2-day Mekong River cruise and takes you from Laos to Thailand. It is the perfect add-on to your Laos itinerary!
Taking the Mekong River cruise is not only the most beautiful way to travel from Laos to Thailand (or vice-versa), you will also cruise through remote landscapes, pass charming villages and enjoy breathtaking views that change every second.
We joined the 2-day Luang Say Cruise with Mekong Cruises, where we spent one night in a beautiful luxury lodge and visited some hidden gems along the way. Such a unique experience and adventure in Laos we will never forget! If you like to join the Luang Say cruise by yourself, definitely check out all our tips and video below.
Read also: The perfect 2 weeks in Laos itinerary
Mekong River Cruise options and routes
There are several ways to make a Mekong River Cruise from Laos to Thailand or the other way. There is a public slow boat, which is the cheapest option. (cost around $30 per person one way). Another option is by speedboat, which we do not recommend because you won’t have the time to experience all the beauty and it’s told to be dangerous too. (cost around $40 per person one way)
And then you’ll have the 2-day luxury Mekong River cruise with the Luang Say Cruise. This is the most amazing adventure in Laos and also the most relaxed way to cruise along the Mekong River to Thailand. The Luang Say Cruise have a capacity for 40 people and it has super comfortable lounge chairs to enjoy the breathtaking views along the way. There is also an English-speaking guide that will point out the many interesting spots along the way for you.
The Luang Say Cruise is operating downstream and upstream and has several cruise lengths. We joined the two-day cruise from Luang Prabang in Laos to Thailand. During this Mekong River Cruise, we stayed one night in a luxury lodge in Pakbeng, which was included in the package of our Luang Say Cruise.
Note: taking the cruise in the opposite direction is also possible, depending on your travel route and what you like the most. Check here for availability and prices.
Day 1: from Luang Prabang (Laos) to Pakbeng (Laos)
On day 1 of this amazing adventure in Laos, we were picked up at our hotel in Luang Prabang where we embarked on the Luang Say Cruise around 7 am. From here the Mekong river cruise started and took us to Thailand in 2 days. When we left the pier, we got a small breakfast while we had amazing views of the misty Mekong River.
A few hours later we stopped at the Pak Ou caves where thousands of Buddha images are housed. In the caves, we saw the locals bringing offers to their gods and praying. Once we came back down from the cave, there was a delicious buffet lunch waiting for us on the Luang Say Cruise.
Secondly, we visited a traditional village where we met the warmest and beautiful people ever. Unforgettable! After those two stops, we had enough free time to enjoy the landscapes of the mighty Mekong River and to observe the daily life of the villages we crossed along the way, which made the whole Luang Say Cruise so special.
Just before sunset, we arrived in Pakbeng, where we had dinner on the terrace of the beautiful Luang Say Lodge overlooking the river and enjoyed a traditional Laotian dance. We didn’t spend the night on-board of the Luang Say Cruise, but in a luxury wooden bungalow with stunning views over the Mekong River. The perfect place for our last night in Laos.
Day 2: from Pakbeng to Huay Xai (Thailand Border)
Rise and shine! On day 2, we first had a great breakfast and embarked on the Luang Say Cruise to continue our way from Laos to Thailand. Along the way, we visited another traditional village. Kids were playing in the water and the women tried to sell some crafted sarongs.
After the stop, we had lunch on board the Luang Say Cruise which was again so delicious. Laos impressed us not only with its beautiful country but also with the amazing food.
Our adventure in Laos came to an end once we arrived in Huay Xai around 5.30 PM. From here, we continued our trip by minivan to Chiang Rai. Just opposite Huay Xai, there is Chiang Khong where you can stop to stay one night, but continuing your trip to Chiang Rai the same evening is also perfectly possible.
Best time to join the Mekong River Cruise + route map
The best time to join the Mekong River Cruise is somewhere between November and February. Between these months, you’ll avoid the humid weather and you’re sure that the river is still high enough to pass.
The Luang Say Cruise from Laos to Thailand are departing every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. And every Monday, Thursday, and Friday from Thailand to Laos. (only between 1 October – 31 March)
Note: there are no cruises in June.
Some extra useful tips for your Luang Say Cruise
- From October to February the temperatures on the river can be cool in the morning. So better bring a jacket or sweater with you.
- Bring a small daypack with clothes for one day. This way, you can leave your luggage on the boat when you spend the night in Pakbeng.
- When you arrive in Huay Xai, you’ll need to pay for the bus to Chiang Kong by yourself. (10.000 Kip per person)
- Alcoholic drinks, visa costs, and tips are not including in the Mekong River Cruise.
Read also: Laos: Everything you need to know
More information and prices of the Luang Say Cruise
Mekong Cruises offers two unique cruises on the Mekong River in Laos. You have the Luang Say Cruise, which cruises along the Northern Mekong River (the one we did). And secondly, you have the Vat Phou Cruise which cruises along the Southern Mekong River. (still on our bucket list) For more information about these two cruises, you can best check the website of Mekong Cruises here.
If you would like to join aMekong River cruise yourself and check availability or prices, you can find more information here.
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