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Northern Mekong River Cruise: Thailand & Laos

8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,173

FIRST-CLASS | CRUISE: Float through one of the world’s most laid back countries on this Mekong River cruise. Set out from Chiang Rai and let the lifestyle and local culture of Laos seduce you.

This 8-day cruise along the Mekong departs from Chiang Rai, taking you to see the best of Laos along the river before disembarking in Luang Prabang.

Before meeting your boutique cruise ship, enter the Golden Triangle, seeing the Golden Buddha of Sop Ruak and the modern Hall of Opium museum, which explores the great significance of the royal family in Thailand.

Check into your cabin aboard ship and relax as you sail toward the Laos border. Your first destination is the small village of Pak Tha, where a longtail boat takes you far from the tourist spots, up to a remote Khmu village. Then go on to a section of Laos accessible only by water, bound for the small town of Pak Beng, where you’ll visit an elephant conservation camp. Then stop in at a Laotian village where you can see how Lao-Lao, a local liqueur is made. Nearby, explore the Pak Ou Caves, where thousands of small Buddha statues line the caverns.

Laos’ most popular destination of course awaits you further along the river. Disembark in the World Heritage listed city of Luang Prabang, where you’ll enjoy a full day excursion, a visit to Wat Xieng Thong, the impressive golden roofed temple, and bargain up a storm in the Hmong night market. In the morning, take in perhaps Laos’ most iconic sight, the giving of alms to Luang Prabang’s monks.

Continue downriver through the untamed landscapes of Laos, stopping to enjoy the most impressive views of the countryside, and stay overnight moored at a secluded sandbank, immersing you in nature. Then see one of Laos’ most beautiful natural sights, as a Tuk Tuk takes you to Kuang Si-falls, before returning to Luang Prabang after lunch. You’ll have time at leisure to enjoy this sleepy city before you depart.


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8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,173

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Chiang Rai to The Golden Triangle

Meet and greet between 8:00am and 9:00am 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.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration7 Nights

The Mekong Sun

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    The Mekong Sun

    The river vessel Mekong Sun (built in 2006) is a unique boutique ship capable of mastering the wild sections of the upper Mekong. Accommodation and service is top level and guests enjoy an exclusive yet casual travelling experience, while they reside in one of the …

    The river vessel Mekong Sun (built in 2006) is a unique boutique ship capable of mastering the wild sections of the upper Mekong. Accommodation and service is top level and guests enjoy an exclusive yet casual travelling experience, while they reside in one of the 14 exclusive passenger cabins or enjoy the services of the restaurant or bar. A selection of Asian and continental food is provided throughout the cruise. Special requirements can be catered for and wine, beer as well as spirituous beverages are available.


    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Sundeck

    More Details

Day 2

Welcome to Laos

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. 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 long tail 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.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

The Mighty Mekong

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.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Pak Ou Caves

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.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

UNESCO World Heritage City of Luang Prabang

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 colorful 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.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 6

Relaxing and Village Life

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 most remarkable, most 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.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Kuang Si Waterfalls

An excursion by local Tuk Tuks will take you to the Kuang Si-falls, one of the most attractive waterfalls in Laos. Back aboard your cruise returns northbound reaching 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.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Depart Luang Prabang

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).

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information


Downstream: Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang
: To be advised.


  • Shared coach transportation from Chiang Rai to Golden Triangle
  • Private departure transfer from ship to Luang Prabang Airport or hotel
  • 7 nights first-class river cruise accommodations in a private cabin onboard the Mekong Sun
  • Group touring and excursions as per itinerary, including entry fees
  • Presentations and lectures by the cruise director
  • Coffee, tea and water during mealtimes on board
  • Breakfast daily (excluding day 1), 7 lunches, 6 dinners


  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare and airfare taxes
  • Visas fees for Thailand and Laos
  • Item of a personal nature
  • Optional excursions
  • Meals and beverages not specified in the itinerary


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.


Goway also offers this cruise based on an upstream itinerary from Luang Prabang, Laos to Chiang Rai, Thailand. If interested, please inquire with your Goway destination specialist.

13 Dec 2021
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