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Review Highlights
A must do

Firstly, we have to thanks our tour operator and guide Cham for all the hard work he put into... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Chiang Mai, Thailand
via mobile
Wonderful introduction to Laos

We were picked up from Chang Rai exactly when promised, and helped across the border into Laos... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Chris A
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All reviews pak beng pak ou caves chiang rai slow boat relaxing trip public boat two days thai border border crossing boat captain beautiful boat hill tribe village english speaking guide visa process dropped off low season great trip
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132 - 137 of 174 reviews
Reviewed November 25, 2015

The transfer from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai was confusing, and done by minivan staff with little or no English language knowledge. We only got a short 15 min. in Chiang Rai to visit the famous Vat Tong Khun. I was dropped off in Chiang Khong at the wrong hotel, and it took over two hours before being helped to the correct hotel, which was very nice. Pick up from hotel, drop off at border, pick up by boat guide all o.k. Very nice, clean riverboat with excellent staff. Only one Hmong village visit, where each kid wanted to sell their bracelets for every minute that we were ashore. As passengers we agreed that some benefits, like clothing, food or other useful things should be given to the villagers for these tourist visits. You might want to share with your own people. Lunches on board were excellent. Hotel in Pakbeng o.k. Day 3 we stopped in another village, but again no local handicrafts as said in your flyer. There we passengers offered pens and paper for the school children. Stop at Pak Ou cave and van pick up in L.P. o.k. Overall a great way to relax for a few days in amazing surroundings.

Date of experience: November 2015
2  Thank DutchessFrenske
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2015

We decided only the day before departure that we would take a Mekong Smile cruise from Luang Prabang to the Friendship bridge on the Thai border. We were recommended the cruise by some fellow travellers, who had travelled into Laos by this route. We were fortunate to be the only people on board, and had the most relaxing and enjoyable trip. Our guide, Pheng, was courteous, helpful and attentive. The couple who drove the boat and prepared the food were delightful. The food was tasty and generous, and our overnight stay on Pakbeng was fine. Overall, our two day trip was a very restful and enjoyable experience.

Date of experience: November 2015
3  Thank 120trish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2015

We had an amazing time on our Mekong Smile Cruise. We were lucky enough to just have 5 of us on the cruise and we had an excellent guide , San, who spoke very good English and made sure the whole trip was very enjoyable. The driver and his wife ensured we were well fed (excellent food, the best I had in Asia) and navigated the boat to ensure we experienced the best of the river and surrounding villages/caves. I would certainly recommend taking this trip as a more luxurious way to explore the river..

Date of experience: June 2015
6  Thank Yv0nne18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2015 via mobile

We booked this cruise some time in advance and were a little unsure due to it being a relatively new company to do cruises along the Mekong. I was pleasantly surprised. There ended up only being four passengers on the boat, which made for a relaxed atmosphere. Our guide met us on the Laos side of the Friendship Bridge and helped us with the Visa. Once on board we were provided with details of the cruise (plenty of water, tea/coffee, fruit, etc) including the stops we would make during the two days.
During the course of the cruise we stopped at two villages (one each day) and met the local families that lived there which was both fascinating and sad (because of the conditions in which they live) - make sure you pack treats for the children, pens, paper, balls, sweets, etc.
The overnight stay in Pak Beng was interesting although the accommodation could be better. Walking around the village and the local market was an eye-opener.
Prior to reaching Luang Prabang we visited the Pak Ou caves with its many Buddhas. Again worth the time.
The meals were excellent, the tour well constructed (with plenty of time for relaxing) and our guide Kae really added to the great experience.

Date of experience: November 2015
6  Thank stevo9010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2015

The 2 day cruise on the mekong is a very unique experience thanks to 2 stops (one per day) to visit villages (minorities). It was very interesting visiting them with our guide and you don't see any other tourists (we were only 4 on the boat, so it was very pleasant, we had many space!!). You also stop at the Batu caves before arriving at Luang Prabang, so you don't need to come back another day!

The food on board (lunchs) is also very good.

The guide was very helpful, every transfert was arranged (for instance when you arrive at Luang Prabang, a car is waiting for you to tranfer to your hotel).

This cruise is a very nice memory from our trip. It is of course more expensive than the public boat, but it is definitively worth it. Thank you very much for this!

Date of experience: August 2015
5  Thank soso258
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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