Trip essentials for a Mekong River cruise
If you are traveling to Southeast Asia, getting a Mekong River cruise to Laos from Thailand is an essential experience as well as one of life’s great adventures. The question is what option to choose between fast boat or slow boat? And do you do a budget or luxury cruise if you choose the slow boat? Trip essentials for a Mekong River cruise are what you need. Vietnam travel tours
The budget slow boat
In order to reach the halfway point of Pakbeng by sunset, daily slow boats depart between 8-11am once being full. For the two-day trip with seating on either reasonably comfortable wooden benches or old airline seats, they cost as little as US$25 per person. Along the way, there is a meal stop, and though travellers do not usually find this too hard, you will need to find your own accommodation once at Pakbeng.
The luxury slow boat
The Luang Say Cruise
It is possible for you to just rock up and expect to get on a boat, the Luang Say cruise needs booking in advance — and you can book it online at www.luangsay.com. For the 3-day cruise, the all-inclusive package consists of two nights accommodation at Kamu Lodge and Luang Say Lodge, with group insurance, guides, service, coffee/tea and water and of course, three generous and mostly very delicious meals per day. You can also find an available 2-day cruise. Tips, cold beers/wine, visas and the transfer from Chiang Rai (organized through Mekong Cruises) are included extras. You also should prepare cash to spend on beautiful textiles from local women along the way at the villages. For 2 days in low season, per person’s price is US$432 while it costs $650 for a high season’s 3 days — check the current prices for the trip as prices change.
The Luang Say cruise boat
This is not luxury at the level of a five-star hotel although the trip is marketed as a ‘luxury’ cruise. Rather, the food is very good, service is attentive and the boat is very comfortable. However, if the boat is full and travelers have to share space with too many people, it will not be very comfortable. When you make your booking, check numbers as the boat can carry as many as 40 people. With nice touches including: cold bottles of water and snacks continually replenished, service is very attentive. Mekong river tours vietnam
When to do a Mekong River cruise?
From November to April, there are four days a week the Luang Say cruise operates, and from May to September, just a couple of days a week and it stops for maintenance in June. From November to February, the days are shorter and some mornings are foggy meaning late starts and the village visits’ occasional cancellation although the weather is cooler. April is sweltering, the period from March to May is warmer with lower water levels (meaning that occasionally, your trips can get cancelled), but on the plus side it is lighter for longer. During the rainy season from June to November, the weather is unpredictable — even though most of the rain falls at night apparently, on some days it can rain for a few hours.
Currency used on the Mekong River
US dollars, Euros and Thai baht, are widely accepted although the kip is the Laos currency. At Laos Immigration, you can change money.
Asia Travel Lover