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Review Highlights
Lovely way to travel down the Mekong.

We took the 2 day, 1 night trip from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang. Our package included a transfer... read more

Reviewed March 29, 2020
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Boats N Laos!

Very relaxing experience from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, well worth the money! The views are... read more

Reviewed March 1, 2020
Surrey, United Kingdom
via mobile
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Reviewed February 26, 2016

We planned to take the slow boat to Luang Prabang but decided to upgrade at the last minute. We wanted comfort, space, food and ease of travel. We were picked up at our hotel in Thailand, transported across the border to Laos. Once there we were picked up by out guide and taken to the boat. He spoke English and had wonderful stories about his experiences as well as others. We stopped at several villages.. It was a highlight of our travels. The food was excellent. The total cost was $150 per person, well worth every cent.

Date of experience: February 2016
3  Thank Jovan_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2016

This was one of the highlights of our trip to SE Asia. The whole experience was amazing, everything was perfect from the boat, the food, the village visits, the overnight hotel even the weather was perfect, if a little cold first thing in the morning.
A special thank you to our English speaking guide, the boat captain and his family. We were made to feel very welcome and all were most helpful.
Only issue was alighting from the boat at Pak Beng. It was a steep climb up a sandy slope and maybe not easy for some people.

Date of experience: February 2016
2  Thank Richard L
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 26, 2016

Thank you for you kind words and I am so glad you enjoyed your trip down the Mekong River with Mekong Smile Cruises, we hope you use us again if you come back to Laos and we will take your advice on board, once again thank you for using our company

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2016 via mobile

I can only continue with the good reviews already posted so far. The whole cruise was very well organized: Starting from the pick-up in Chiang Rai, through the accommodation in Pakbeng up to the taxi service in Luang Prabang. Mr. Pheng and our guide Kae even helped us with all the formalities required to cross the Lao boarder before entering the boat!

So if you are looking for a good alternative to the slowboats, Mekong Smile Cruise is definitely a good choice. The boat is very nice with enough space to enjoy the sun and the Lao beer. Included in the trip are also three stops (we visited two villages and the Pak Ou caves).
Our guide Kae was always very concerned about our well-being and provided us with lots interesting information.

All in all it was a really wonderful and relaxing trip, I would highly recommend!

Date of experience: February 2016
2  Thank laoghaire1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2016 via mobile

From our first email require from the final drop at our hotel, Mekong Smile was fabulous! The value for the money is great. The boat was comfortable, not crowded at all. The tours along the way were nice excursions. A tip for the next group -- bring along pens and notebooks to give to the village children. The tour groups help support their schools. Our guide Mr Ca was knowledgeable and super friendly! The food was great and the beers were cold. Accommodation in Pak Beng was fine; they gave us a few options and we booked in at Mon Sa Van. They even called vans to take us directly to our hotels in Luang Prabang! I would definitely recommend this over the public boat or the speed boat. The value is great!!

Date of experience: February 2016
2  Thank sam16286
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2016

I had traveled up the Mekong from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai in 2008. At that time, the vast majority of travelers were going downstream, so the boats going upstream were empty or nearly so. With an empty boat there was the luxury of moving around the boat to get the best views and camera shots of the activity and scenery on the river and its shores. And the choice of seats. And the use of the recliners ... and ...

Fast forward to 2016 and the parameters associated with boats filled with travelers remain unchanged. The public slow boats coming downstream were packed with all 100 (+/-) seats occupied. Those going upstream, well - not so.

The Mekong Smile slow boat pilot came from a village between Luang Prabang and Pakbeng. His wife prepared a wonderful luncheon on both days and their son assisted in every way he could. My wife and I were traveling with a friend and the three of us had the 36 passenger boat and the guide, Kit to ourselves.

Kit was raised in a village located on one of the Mekong tributaries near Luang Prabang. His family grew hillside rice. He learned his English during 6 years in a monastery and had experience with tours in Laos as well as the surrounding countries of SE Asia before going to work for Pheng at Mekong Smile tours. Kit had a great deal of knowledge about the ways of the people and the flora and fauna of the region. The boat stopped at the Pak Ou caves and two villages on the way. Kit explained the differing tribal influences in each village as well as the history of the caves.

With all logistical affairs handled by Mekong Smile (transportation to the slow boat pier 7km north of Luang Prabang, accommodation in Pakbeng and midday meals), we were only left to find dinner in Pakbeng. The breakfast was "take away" from the Pakbeng guest house. Pheng can arrange guest house accommodation in Huay Xai and transportation to/from Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai, including border crossing logistics.

In short - the Mekong Smile Cruise was absolutely first class!

Date of experience: February 2016
3  Thank Roy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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