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Mekong cruise or flight from Laos to Thailand ?

basel, ch
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Mekong cruise or flight from Laos to Thailand ?

I am still struggling ... I will be travelling on my own with two little children ... should I take the 2 day cruise from Luang Prabang to Houei Say or fly from LP to Chiang Mai ?

Is it too boring or too dangerous for the kids or is the beautiful landscape and the stops along the river worth the trip ?

Glasgow, Scotland
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1. Re: Mekong cruise or flight from Laos to Thailand ?


What did you decide to do? I'm travellng to SE Asia with my 13 year old any my one year old with my mum who's 67 and I'd love to visit Luang Prabang. I don't know whether to fly to Luang Prabang or take the slow boat back up the Mekon to the Thai border.

Love to know what you did!

Rowe, New Mexico
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2. Re: Mekong cruise or flight from Laos to Thailand ?

Your question is several months old, I will post comments for future explorers of this forum. I traveled to Luang Prabang in November 2004. It was a last-minute side-trip from Chiang Mai. I flew roundtrip on Thai International, a very pleasant one-hour flite from Chiang Mai.

I had no hotel reservations when I arrived, so "hitched" a ride into town with a kindly British couple who had their transportation pre-arranged. I went to their hotel, the Three Nagas, but it was full. The manager allowed me to park my luggage in their lobby while I walked around town looking for a room.

I ended up staying 2 nites at Villa Santi Resort a few miles outside the town, and 3 nites at Sala Prabang on the street overlooking the Mekong River. Both were excellent properties. I loved Luang Prabang and spent most of my five days there just walking around soaking up the incredible atmosphere and architecture. The shopping, expecially for silk scarves and the like, was fabulous. The food was excellent. Everything was very inexpensive.

Be sure to see the daily "monks' walk" at about 6am, when the hundreds of monks file through the streets and the local people give them food. The many temples were fascinating, I did not take the standard excursion to the Pak Ou Caves. I hired a guide and tuk tuk one day and went to several rural villages, one of which never sees Western tourists. We walked around and I met several of the weavers working in their homes. Beware the bicycle rentals, I witnessed several crashes including one Frenchman knocked off his bike by a passing motorcyclist who didn't even bother to stop.

Back to the original question about boat or plane to Luang Prabang. If traveling with children or the elderly, or those short on time, I would definitely suggest air travel on Thai International. For the more adventurous and intrepid, I'm sure the boat would be interesting but slow.

East Coast
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3. Re: Mekong cruise or flight from Laos to Thailand ?


Definitely with two little children I would advise flying LP-to CM-just as I am doing on Jan. 8, 2006, on my own. Thai Airlines no longer flies the LP-CM route, so it's Lao Airlines or nothing.

I just received my confirmation number from Lao-(I booked through Lao Airlines website, and although it has taken over a week to confirm my flight during that busy first week of January (Lao only flies to CM 3x a week, I believe) they have been very courteous and helpful, and I am now confirmed, so feel very relieved.

With two kids, Tina, I would not do it any other way.