Laos to Thailand on the Mekong river

From 2350€/person 13 days

The mystic Mekong river

Take a Mekong river cruise from Laos to Thailand. Starting in China, the Mekong flows bigger and bigger on the border between Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, crossing this latter to reach Cambodia and finally get to the sea in Vietnam. This huge river is a both a myth and a necessity for all of South-East Asia. On this trip, we propose you to discover a part of Laos, partly flowing along the Mekong river to reach Thailand. Slide on the water and through the jungle for a dive into the unknown!

Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai

This Mekong river cruise from Laos to Thailand is both a jungle and river tour: no Thai beaches on this trip, although you can add this stop to end your trip beautifully with a beach sunset. Here, you'll get hidden temples in the forest, elephants and monkeys, and villages life along the river. Just let yourself flow with the Mekong's rhythm...


Discover Luang Prabang in the north of Laos, old colonial city and capital, and its natural surroundings: the Kuang Si waterfalls are not to be missed, as well as the local elephants' discovery. A two-day cruise will take you closer to Thailand, flowing on the Mekong river. There, you'll explore the north of the country around Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, as well as the famous Golden Triangle area.


Day 1: Arrival in Luang Prabang

Today you’ll fly to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival you will meet your driver who will take you to your hotel downtown. Rest of the day at leisure.
If you’re not tired, don’t miss the night market in the evening, filled with local handicraft.

Day 2: Luang Prabang (B)

Today you’ll visit Luang Prabang with your guide, a city that is itself listed on the Unesco World Heritage since 1995. Discover the Royal Palace, now National Museum, the superb Wat Mai Temple, the Heritage House where you’ll learn about the local architecture policies and protection, Wat Xieng Mouane where you’ll learn about Buddhist arts and crafts, the French Institute where the French comic Pierre Desproges used to live. In the afternoon, you’ll spend some time at Heuan Chan House and discover its particularities.
Finally, relax with a 2-hour boat ride on the Mekong, in order to start familiarize yourself with the river, and enjoy its views at sunset.

Day 3: Luang Prabang – Kuang Si Waterfalls – Luang Prabang (B)

This morning ,you’ll get up early to witness the morning offering to the monks, far from the city centre for more authenticity. Then, walking through a morning market, you’ll reach back your hotel for breakfast. Continue with a visit of the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre (TAEC) for insight in to the countries various ethnic groups and traditional crafts, and a textile fabric that is known for preserving traditions in this area. In the afternoon, continue to the refreshing waters of the Kuangsi Waterfalls and its series of turquoise blue pools, perfect for swimming in on a hot day. In the end, you’ll reach Wat Prabai Tai for an amazing view of the sunset on the Mekong river, and why not, play some petanque bowls game with the locals!

Day 4: Luang Prabang – Elephant Camp – Zen Namkhan Resort (B, L)

Today you’ll drive directly to Nam Khan river valley and reach its elephant reserve. There in the jungle, you’ll discover the elephants’ lives: the food, bath, vet… You’ll accompany them on a walk through the forest. You’ll reach the beautiful Tad Sae waterfalls, then go back to the camp for lunch. Finally, your driver will take you to Zen Namkhan Resort where you’ll spend the night. This boutique hotel lost in the jungle will make you feel hours away from a fast pace of life. Take the time to relax and enjoy the resort’s natural pool.

Day 5: Zen Namkhan Resort (B)

Take the time today to relax, slow down, feel the present moment at your hotel and surroundings. Enjoy the nature around you, the resort’s natural pool, and the comfort of this place.

Day 6: Zen Namkhan Resort – Pakbeng (B,L)

Today you’ll hit the road the road again early in the morning, this time to reach the shores of the Mekong in Luang Prabang and embark on your Mekong river cruise. On your way, you’ll explore the Pak Ou Caves. Discover its thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. In the of the afternoon you’ll arrive to Pakbeng, and check in at your hotel.

Day 7: Pakbeng – Houai Xay (B,L)

Today is the second day of your cruise on the Mekong river. Flow along the river’s rhythm, contemplate nature and life on the water and along the shores. After this meditating time on board, you’ll reach Houai Xay near the Thai border and disembark.

Day 8: Houai Xay – Chiang Khong – Chiang Rai (B,L,D)

This morning, your driver will take you to the Friendship Bridge that links Laos to Thailand over the Mekong river. You’ll meet your Thai driver and guide and start this second part of your trip. You’ll start driving along the Mekong river for amazing views on the road, then you’ll go up to Wat Prathat Pha Ngao pagoda for a superb panorama. In the afternoon, you’ll jump on a boat again, this time for an hour cruise on the site of the famous Golden Triangle, at the border of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Finally, you’ll check in at your hotel in Chiang Rai.

Day 9: Chiang Rai (B,L,D)

After breakfast you will visit Chiang Rai: start with the Hill Tribes Museum and Education Centre, where you’ll familiarize yourself with some local tribes traditions and culture. Pay a visit to King Mengrai the Great Monument, founder of the Lanna kingdom. Discover the Naval City Pillar, representing heaven’s cosmogony, and a few temples: Wat Klang Wieng, with a striking architecture at the heart of the city, Wat Phra Kaew, where the Emerald Buddha was originally located before moving to Bangkok, Wat Phra Singh and its elaborately sculpted front gate. Finally, discover Wat Rong Khun also known as the White Temple, a surprising architectural complex, an art work in the style of a Buddhist temple.

Day 10: Chiang Rai – Santikhiri – Chiang Rai (B,L)

This morning, you’ll first visit Wat Pla Kang, a surprising Chinese pagoda outside the city, surrounded by mountains. Then you will drive to Santikhiri (2hrs), a small Chinese town in Thailand, close to the border with Myanmar. Its history is very special as most families were KMT soldiers who took refuge across the border after the communists accessed power in China. Visit the town and market, and taste some local tea. You’ll also discover the traditional Akkha and Chinese villages around on Doi Mae Salong mountain and their beautiful points of view. Then your driver will take you back to Chiang Rai.

Day 11: Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai (B,L,D)

This morning, your driver will take you to Chiang Mai (3.5hrs drive). On the way, you’ll stop at a few picturesque sites along the road, and stop for a traditional lunch. Upon your arrival, enjoy a refreshing walk in the old city centre of Chiang Mai, surrounded by beautiful temples and old shops. Check in and relax at your hotel.

Day 12: Chiang Mai (B,L,D)

Today you will discover Wiang Kum Kam archaeological site close to the city: this antique place dates back to the 13th century, and was maybe the capital of Lana kingdom before Chiang Mai. You’ll roam around the temples on a horse cart, and explore the craftsmen area to witness silk work, lacquer, silver, umbrellas and more.

Day 13: Chiang Mai departure (B)

Today, your driver will take you to the airport, where you will board a flight to your next destination.


  • Hotel with breakfast (B)
  • Lunch (L) and/or dinner (D) when mentioned
  • Private driver
  • Boat cruise when mentioned
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Visa
  • International or domestic flights
  • Other meals
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to guide and driver
  • Insurances
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