2 Days Luang Say Cruise | Upriver
2 Days Luang Say Cruise
Dreamy, awe-inspiring and chilled: a 2 day cruise sailing from Luang Prabang to the Thai border
WHY THIS TOUR?
Laos’ intensity may not come from its bustling cities, its fabulous nightlife and its fast-moving infrastructure and for that, the country comes with unique attributes, simply incomparable with other Asian destinations. It is here in this land-locked country where the wealth of its natural richness takes centre stage, designed and created along the Mekong River and meandering further into smaller rivers further inlands. The magic of its mountain ranges with small villages scattered along the river banks have formed the main ‘highway’ for excellent cruising options from the Thai – Lao border to UNESCO protected Luang Prabang.
An established name on this route is the Luang Say Cruise offering an exceptional display from the comfort of your wooden vessel of the country’s natural splendour. Whether you opt for a 2 days / 1 night up or downstream cruise, you wholeheartedly agree that Laos is just unique and unforgettable as seen from its waterways.
Luang Prabang – Pakbeng [L, D]
With the Mekong being your sole path towards seeing the magnificence of natural Laos for the coming days, an early start of your 2-day venture is almost a given. To ensure an on-time departure, we highly recommend being at the Auberge Calau pier before 06:45am for boarding procedures. As you familiarize yourself with this traditional wooden vessel, the captain slowly moves the boat away from the shore and sails upstream towards Pakbeng, our overnight address. A continental breakfast is served on board as you say good bye to Luang Prabang.
The Cave of the Thousand Buddhas – the Pak Ou Caves in short – is a highly reversed place in Laos. Comprising of two caves – the Tham Ting and Tham Phoum – Inside these caves are thousands of Buddha statues in varying styles, materials and ages. Pak Ou is located in a steep cliff at the confluence of the Nam Ou and Mekong River and is still a place for pilgrimage. The steep stairs leading up to the main cave (Tham Thing) leads further up to the smaller Tham Phoum, yet resembles just the amazement of this landmark outside Luang Prabang
As your captain continues to put his compass needled in the direction of our overnight address, the on-board crew is ready to serve you lunch on board. When in Laos, it is almost compulsory to try out the local cuisine and this lunch is certainly worth the stamp of approval.
The country’s deeply rooted cultural values have shaped the country – from its immersion in Buddhism to the various settlements of ethnic minorities, elements of a bygone era remain shaping the country’s unique atmosphere. Local villages such as Baw have upheld Lao whiskey-making traditions for centuries and have opened their doors to welcome guests to take a look (and have a taste) of their domestically adored local beverage. It also gives guests the chance to walk around the village and see how families go on with their lives, void of many western comforts.
We arrive at Pakbeng, situated on the left side of the Mighty Mekong where we disembark from the Luang Say for the night over. The resort has a stunning location on the banks of this main river in Asia and guests often choose to sit back, relax and let all the impressions of the day slowly sink in. Depending on the weather conditions, a Laotian dinner is served on the open-aired terrace with amazing views across the river and the setting sun.
Overnight at a resort at Pakbeng
Pak Beng – Houayxay – Chiang Khong, Thailand [B, L]
Our final day on the Mekong commences with thanking the staff of your overnight address for their shown hospitality as the captain and his crew start the final leg of your cruise towards Houayxay, situated near the Thai border. With your eyes constantly focussed on what’s happening on and along the water surface, the team on board is already working on completing lunch for you and your fellow cruise guests.
Varied, flavourful and always based on fresh ingredients; lunch on day 2 of your cruise again will see the hospitable crew on board the Luang Say creating a delicious collection of dishes, Laotian style. A small buffet set-up allows you to indulge in new culinary surprises.
As we slowly reach the Laotian border town of Houayxay, we include one more stop at one of the villages, situated along the river banks. The often remote locations of these small settlements are a haven to witness an authentic way of life. Treasuring old traditions and habits that have withstood the test of time, these friendly locals are more than welcome to show you around as they show their immaculate craftsmanship.
It is smooth sailing from your last stop to the disembarkation pier at Houayxay. With natural splendour passing you by in abundance, leaving the Luang Say Cruise is not something that comes easy. A combined effort from the crew on board, complemented with breath-taking views, wonderful experiences and an authentic view from the Mekong over Laos, your tour ends at the Houayxay boat pier.