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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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Reviewed February 8, 2016

The unusual cold spell in Lao end of January beginning of February was paramount in changing our travel dates and it became necessary to carry on our journey on Chinese New Year. Not our preferred choice but we got on to the internet and Mekong Smile cruises offered a slow boat trip von Luang Prabang to Huay Xai. We booked and then quite a few things did not proceed as initially foreseen; payment via internet was not possible, the Hotel in Pak Beng was fully booked, and communication via the net was cumbersome. We initially expected the worst, but then everything worked like a charm. We were picked up at our Guesthouse in Luang Prabang spot on time, and amazingly we were the only guests on the boat. We assume this is due to the fact that: a.) Most travelers are going downstream, b.) Chinese new year and c.) the boats have to go upstream to Huay Xai to pick up the next load. But who is to complain, we had the guide all to ourselves, plenty of space to feel really comfortable, a competent skipper and his wife as a very attentive cook. To report about the Mekong, the people living next on it and the wonderful scenery would take much more time and space, but should be done by every serious traveller.
There is no doubt that not all Slow Boat Trips are like this but it was an experience and we can recommend Mekong Smile Cruises anytime.

Date of experience: February 2016
1  Thank Herbert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2016

We booked a trip down the Mekong River through Mekong Smile to facilitate our journey from Thailand into Laos. We were picked up from our accommodations in Chiang Rai, Thailand and driven to the border. Once in Laos, we were greeted by another representative from Mekong Smile, who guided us through the visa process.

The cruise itself was relaxing. There were only five guests, including myself, on the boat, which gave us ample room to move about. This was a stark contrast to some of the other slowboats we saw, which were packed.

Kit, our tour guide, was very friendly and knowledgeable about our stops. Additionally, the food served on the boat (lunch on both days) was some of the best Lao food we had.

Date of experience: February 2016
Thank paharris11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2016 via mobile

A 2 day cruise on the Mekong River. Our peregrine guide and local tour guide Mr Tui accompanied us from Laos border to Luang Prabang. Our overnight stop was in Pakbeng. We were lucky enough to see the working elephants going for a swim in the river at 6.30am

Tip : sunhat, sunscreen, water, warm clothes cold wind on river, include lunch to be provided by boat owner

Date of experience: January 2016
1  Thank Janr20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2016

We had a great cruise - just as described. The people were very nice, food was excellent, excursions as promised and the weather was great. I highly recommend this tour. It exceeded all of my expectations.

Date of experience: January 2016
1  Thank Julie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2016 via mobile

We had planned to go with Mekong Smile Cruises as we had read the good reviews and the price seemed good.
When we showed up at the office in Hua Xai friday 22/1 and wanted to join the boat leaving saturday 23/1 we were told there were no boats leaving until 30/1. As they had no reservations they did not run the boat.
We ended up going with another company, and that was great too, but I write this as information for others that travel without a schedule, so that you know it's not just to show up.

Date of experience: January 2016
4  Thank eleonorer568
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houmpheng D, Owner at Mekong Smile Cruise, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2016

Thank you for your review, we apprciate any feedback. We are a very popular cruise and have a large public demand so would reccommend anyone wanting to join the Mekong Smile Cruise to book in advance, i am sorry if this caused any distruption to your travels and hope you enjoyed your experience.

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