Mekong Explorer

Mekong Explorer

Duration: 10D9N

Destinations: Chiang Saen–Huay Xai–Pak Tha–Pakbeng–Pak Ou–Luang Prabang–Kuang Si-Tha Deua–Paklay–Vientiane

Featured Highlights:

Relive the pioneering experience of the French Mekong-Expedition of 1866 during your cruise aboard the spacious Mekong Explorer. Enjoy a unique adventure through mainly unexplored regions of central Laos in utmost comfort. Experience truly unspoiled nature along the banks of the Mekong and enjoy fascinating shore excursions to local villages on the route between Luang Prabang and the Golden Triangle.


Day 1: Chiang Saen Departure   

Day 2: Golden Triangle- Huay Xai       

Day 3: Huay Xai- Pak Tha    

Day 4: Pakbeng- Pakou- Luang Prabang           

Day 5: Luang Prabang           

Day 6: Luang Prabang- Kuang Si      

Day 7: Tha Deua-Pak Lay-Ban Donchai       

Day 8: Mekong Sightseeing    

Day 9: Vientiane    

Day 10: Final Port    

Chiang Saen Departure

Welcome to the Golden Triangle! This is a lush region where northern Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (Burma) collide forming a provocative mixture of cultures and landscapes.Your journey will begin in the late afternoon where you will board your Mekong Explorer cruise ship. Settle into your cabin and get ready for a breathtaking 10 day adventure through the pristine jungles and mysterious rivers of Laos. You will begin with a sightseeing tour of the Golden Triangle, including visits to the Golden Buddha of Sop Ruak and the Hall of Opium, a fascinating museum that gives a deep background on the history and politics of opium and the opium trade.Enjoy your first evening on board with a lovely welcome dinner.

Golden Triangle- Huay Xai

You will begin this morning by taking an excursion to Mae Sai. Here, you may visit the local market and enjoy a scenic view across the border of Myanmar (Burma). Next, we will head to the Doi Tung Royal Orchid Botanical Gardens, one of Southeast Asia's most beautiful botanical gardens. After a quick stop at Chiang Saen port for border formalities, we will begin to cruise towards Huay Xai, a town on the Thai and Laotian border. Enjoy the stunning scenery in Northern Laos as we sail along the mighty Mekong River.

Huay Xai- Pak Tha

Enjoy some free time on deck to relax as we cruise through this densely populated region, accessible only by water. We will begin by cruising upstream towards Pak Tha, a small local village where you will take a boat excursion along the Namtha River to visit a Khmu village. You will stare in awe as we sail through Laos’ abundantly lush natural views, including jungle-carpeted mountains, spectacular waterfalls, untouched greenery and quaint local villages. This is truly a journey through a pristine and unspoiled world.We will spend the night on a beautiful sandbank, surrounded by nothing but pure nature.

Pakbeng- Pakou- Luang Prabang

The cruise will continue this morning by sailing towards Pakbeng. Upon your arrival, we will have a short coffee break and time to visit a local market. We will then begin your highlights tour with a visit to the Pak Ou Village, where you will visit the breathtaking Tam Ting Caves of a Thousand Buddhas. Then, after a relaxing stroll through the jungle, we will head to Laotian village to observe how Lao-Lao, the local liqueur, is traditionally distilled. In Nam Ou village, you will also have the opportunity to see the working elephants.

Once we arrive in Luang Prabang we will have time for a bit of exploring. Our first stop will be a visit to the Wat Xieng Thong temple, also known as the temple of the golden city. In the late afternoon, take a leisurely walk up Phou Si hill where you can enjoy a spectacular sunset view over the mountains surrounding the Mekong and Khan rivers. Enjoy a stroll along the Mekong promenade or take a visit to the colourful night market of the local Hmong minority group. Appreciate the unique atmosphere created where the French colonial architecture collides with traditional Buddhist temples.With a magnificent fusion of traditional architecture, colonial European buildings and Lao urban structures surrounded by lush greenery, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is sure to impress.

Luang Prabang

After enjoying your breakfast on board, you will be given a guided tour of the highlights of this wonderful city. Visit the National Museum, followed by a chance to see the famous temples of Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Khili and Wat Sene. After the tour, you will be given free time to explore the city on your own.In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner and traditional Laotian dance show and Baci ceremony. The rest of the night is free for you to relax.

Luang Prabang- Kuang Si

Today, you will begin the day by observing the traditional alms giving ceremony in the streets of Luang Prabang. After returning to the ship, we will continue to sail down the mighty Mekong. Our first stop will be an excursion along the shore, taking you to the Kuang Si Falls, a gorgeous three-tier waterfall that is sure to leave you amazed. Next, we will stop at a rural paper-making village to discover the fascinating techniques of the local experts. We will continue to sail south, passing through the Keng-Luang rapids.

Tha Deua- Pak Lay- Ban Donchai

Today, as we sail, watch local fishermen along the shore and discover the daily life of the Laotian locals. Today you will be able to witness the Mekong ferry crossing at Tha Deua, the region connecting the Luang Prabang province with the Sayaboury province. After a short hike through the pristine and untouched nature, we will make our way to Ban Donchai village for you to explore a small cave, unseen by most travelers.Marvel at the breathtaking scenery and enjoy a stunning sunset while peering out into the water. We will spend the night near the Thai-Laotian border.

Mekong Sightseeing

Today you will witness some of the most remarkable and impressive landscapes in Laos as we sail along the mighty Mekong River. As you take in the beautiful scenery, we will visit some local villages along the shores. Enjoy nature’s breathtaking wonders such as hills covered in tropical vegetation and rock formations along the river banks as we continue to sail. Enjoy the tranquility and diverse landscape of this region, a real retreat from the hustle-and-bustle of daily life in the big cities. Continue your cruise sailing alongside stunning mountains and rolling green hills as we sail towards Vientiane.The rest of the evening is free for you to relax on deck.


As we cruise further downstream, we will be making our way towards the Laotian capital city, Vientiane. Upon arrival, our first stop will be to visit the That Luang Temple, a large golden stupa known as the national symbol of Lao. Next we will visit the picturesque Patuxai, Laos’ very own Parisian Arc de Triomphe.Enjoy your last evening on board with a lovely farewell dinner.

Final Port

After breakfast, you will sadly say goodbye to your wonderful Laotian crew and prepare for your onward journey.

NOTE: Every river cruise on the upper Mekong is a pioneer experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions, including flood waters and shallows. Therefore please understand that we must reserve the right to alter the itinerary of this tour due to the logistical complexities involved. Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, local authorities and river and/or road conditions. For safety reasons and according to navigating conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice.

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  • Transfers to and from Luang Prabang airport or hotel in town from/to Mekong Explorer Cruise;
  • English speaking guides;
  • All meals, coffee and tea, mineral water;
  • Admission fees for all sightseeing places;
  • Presentation and lectures by cruise director;
  • All excursions and entrance fees.


  • All visa cost;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Drinks at bar, laundry;
  • Tips and gratuities.

Passion Indochina Travel will provide you with a dynamic professional local private tour guide, a private chauffeur and a transportation that suits your style and gives you pleasure, comfort and security through every points of your destination.All our tour guides in our company are registered English Speaking Guides, they are passionate about their city and they take pride in sharing it with others.With our private local tour guide, you’d get the chance to see and learn more among the historic places in the world and their cultures. Be amazed with the breathtaking scenery of Asia and enjoy some once in a lifetime adventure!

Private Tour Guid

The tour guide is always punctual on every destination he/she is needed. You will be picked up at the airport and will be escorted to your hotel and tend to your stuff til their services is needed again. They will also assist you at the airport at every departure, seeing to it that you have checked in and passed through the security checkpoint. All the tour guides in all your choices of destination are Locals. Since they know all the areas of the tours you're taking, they make sure that they share to you all the information may it be historical facts, dates and anecdotes or tell stories about the tour sites to make it more interesting and entertaining. They would also suggest the best spots for picture taking.Our tour guides are also flexible when it comes to the itinerary changes if there's any unexpected reason and will be more than accommodating to any alternative suggestions just to ensure that you will have an incredible experience.

Private Chauffeur Services

Arrive in the comfort of your style. Depending on the group size, and the tour packages of your choice, we would accommodate you with the best transportation and a professional Chauffeur to assist you wherever and whenever you need. They would be happy to transport you.