Golden Triangle – Huay Xai – Pak Tha – Pakbeng – Pak Ou – Luang Prabang – Kuang Si –Luang Prabang

Savour the magnificent scenery of the Laos Mekong River on this unique cruise from the Golden Triangle in Thailand to Luang Prabang and further south to the Laotian capital of Vientiane. Travel along formerly inaccessible stretches of Southeast Asia's most exciting river. Discover Vientiane and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, stroll through colourful markets, and experience firsthand the Laotian people’s traditional way of life. Relax aboard your exclusive river vessel and enjoy the unspoiled nature along the mighty upper Mekong – one of the most difficult rivers in the world to navigate, with fluctuating water levels, tight gorges, labyrinths of sandbanks and churning rapids.

Trip code : RVLATL08DS

Duration : 9 days

Destination : Thailand-Laos

Travel Dates :2021/2022

  • Sail along the  upper Mekong aboard a boutique river vessel – one of the most spectacular river cruises in the world.
  • Feel like a real explorer as you navigate one of the most difficult rivers in the world
  • Visit the golden triangle area at Chiang Saen
  • First-hand experience of the Thai and Lao peoples’ traditional lifestyles
  • Enjoy the waterfalls at Kuang Si, inviting you to swim in their lovely natural pools
  • Unforgettable impressions of the mighty Mekong River, the “mother of waters”
  • Professional onboard infotainment, including lectures and documentaries on the region

Meet and greet at between 8 and 9am in Chiang Rai city. Transfer by bus to the Golden Triangle area at Chiang Saen. You will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant overlooking the Mekong before visiting the Golden Buddha of Sop Ruak and the modern Hall of Opium. This fascinating museum, sponsored by the royal family of Thailand, gives a deep background on the history and politics of the opium trade and the health effects of opium abuse using multimedia exhibitions.

In the evening embark on your comfortable German-Laotian boutique cruise ship. Settle into your comfortable cabin and unpack for a seven-night cruise. Tonight, you can enjoy the spacious decks, lounge on board and attend your evening welcome reception.

Overnight on board

This morning your cruise will take you from the Golden Triangle region between Burma, Laos and Thailand into the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos (Most nationalities can obtain visa on arrival here against USD in cash plus passport sized picture, please inquire with your local embassy about visa regulations).

From the town of Huay Xay on the Laotian - Thai border your voyage leads into northern Laos amidst beautiful scenery. Continue to the small village of Pak Tha, where we join a longtail boat for a trip up the Nam Tha River to visit a remote Khmu village. You will visit a small village school sponsored by guests of Mekong River Cruises.

Overnight on board.

The river traffic increases as you pass through a densely populated region accessible only by water. Relax on deck, in your comfortable cabin or in the lounge and soak up the remote scenery the landscape becomes more and more spectacular: hills covered with tropical vegetation, awe-inspiring rock formations along the river banks, and a fascinating array of fast currents and slower river parts on the river. The power of the mighty Mekong will give your cruise the feeling of a real expedition.

Overnight on board

After a relaxing morning on board, we stop at famous Pak Ou Caves with thousands of small Buddha statues inside the caves. From here, you can optionally go on a short jungle trek through the forest to a small riverside village and visit their local distillery. Alternatively, you can reach the village comfortably by boat as well.

This evening we enjoy our famous Mekong River Cruises BBQ dinner in a beautiful riverside location.

Overnight on board. (BLD)

Today you reach Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a city walk to the famous Wat Xieng Thong temple with its Golden tiled roofs will surely leave you in awe. Explore other highlights during this full day excursion through Luang Prabang.

In the evening walk up Phou Si-hill, which offers a spectacular view over the Mekong as well as the Khan River and the surrounding mountains, enjoy strolling along the Mekong promenade or visiting the colourful night market of the local Hmong minority. As Luang Prabang offers many opportunities for fine dining, tonight you are free to choose from the numerous offerings in town or along the Mekong River.

Overnight on board

In the early morning you can visit the traditional giving of alms in the streets of Luang Prabang. After returning on board for breakfast your cruise will take you further downriver, where you will discover some of the remarkable and impressive landscapes.

In the afternoon visit a traditional village of the Hmong hill tribe. Enjoy the beautiful views and watch nature’s wonders along the shores before you stop at a remote place to stay for the night.

Overnight on board.

An excursion by local Tuk Tuks will take you to the Kuang Si-falls, one of the most attractive waterfalls in Laos. Once you are back onboard your cruise returns to Luang Prabang after lunch. This afternoon you are free to explore the beautiful town on your own pace, rent a bike to reach some of the lively outskirts of the town (optionally against premium) or spend some time shopping for souvenirs or presents for your loved ones at home.

In the evening enjoy a traditional Lao Baci Ceremony and watch some local dances on board before celebrating with your local crew your farewell dinner.

Overnight on board

After breakfast you will say goodbye to your Laotian crew. Check-out and disembark.

End of services with your transfer to the airport or your hotel in Luang Prabang (within city limits) (B)

NOTE: Every river cruise on the upper Mekong is a pioneering experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions,including floodwaters 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 and river conditions. For safety reasons and according to navigating conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice.

This journey is generally not for guests with limited mobility or who depend on CPAP machines. Please contact us for more information about your specific requirements before booking

FAQ & Travel Blog


  • 7 nights aboard your boutique river vessel
  • Meals according to itinerary (B= Breakfast, L=Lunch, and D=Dinner)
  • Coffee, tea and water during meal times on board
  • All excursions and necessary entry fees according to itinerary
  • Presentations and lectures by your cruise director
  • Transfers between airports and hotels within city limits

All travellers must have a valid passport for international travel and most countries require at least 6 months validity from the date of return and some countries require a machine‐readable passport.

Not only is it important that you ensure that you have valid passports, some countries require visas and re‐entry permits which meet the requirements of immigration and other government authorities.

It is your sole responsibility if any fines, penalties, payments or expenditures incurred as a result of such documents not satisfying the requirements of those authorities.

When assisting with an international travel booking, we will assume that all travellers on the booking have a valid Australian passport. If your visas are included in our package and we act on your behalf to apply for the visas, all necessary documents relating to your visa application will have to be provided to us at least 30 days before your departure. If you fail to provide the necessary documents before 30 days prior to your departure, we will not be held liable for your visa application. The visa fee included in our package is not refundable in any circumstances. If you require us to assist with visa application in less than 30 days before your departure date, an additional fee will be required for urgent visa processing.

Note:  Please be advised that visa requirements are subject to change and that visa procurement is the responsibility of the traveller. The following requirements are for Australian citizens holding an Australian Passport – if your passport is from another country then you are advised to consult with the embassy or consulate. Passports must be valid for the countries through which a ship or tour passes. It is the responsibility of the passenger to ensure the validity and conformity of their passport. Check whether a single entry or multiple entry visa is required/ available.


You'll need a visa to enter Laos. If you're visiting Laos for tourism, you can get a 30-day tourist visa on arrival at a number of locations, including the International Airports in Vientiane and Luang Prabang and at some land border crossings. To apply you'll need two blank pages in your passport and two recent passport-size photos.

Some travellers to Laos choose to travel by road to Thailand to renew their visa for Laos. Since December 2016, Thailand has limited this practice by restricting the number of visa exemptions it will grant for entries to Thailand by land to two per person per calendar year. This restriction doesn't apply to arrivals in Thailand through international airports. Use only official border crossing points to enter Laos and make sure you get an entry stamp on arrival. If you don't, you could be fined or detained. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date you intend to return to Australia. Lao immigration authorities may refuse you entry, or fine you, if you have less than six months' validity.


If you're travelling for tourism, you may be eligible for a visa exemption which allows you to enter Thailand for a limited period without getting a visa in advance. This is available for Australians:

  • for up to 30 days, if you arrive through one of the international airports
  • for up to 15 days, if you enter through a land border (restricted to two entries per calendar year).

For longer stays, or if you're travelling for a purpose other than tourism, you'll need to apply for a visa in advance.

If you overstay your visa, you won't be allowed to leave until you pay a fine. You can be banned from re-entering Thailand. You can also be arrested, prosecuted, jailed, or deported. Thai authorities can blacklist you, which means you can never return to Thailand. If you can't pay the fine, you could be given a lengthy prison sentence.

Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you intend to return to Australia. You could be refused entry to Thailand, or may not be allowed to board your Thailand-bound flight, if your passport has less than six months validity.

For pricing enquiries, please contact us at 1300 739 652 or email Thank you.