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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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Reviewed July 13, 2016

The 2 day cruise upstream from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai was the highlight of our trip to Laos and should not be missed by anybody travelling in this area. Mekong Smile were excellent to deal with, promptly replying to our email enquiry and confirming a boat would be running once we confirmed the date we wanted leave Luang Prabang. Payment was easy using Paypal and our guide contacted us at the hotel the day before to confirm our pickup time and check to see if we had and special diet requirements. Pickup was on time and when we arrived at the boat, found out that we were the only guests as it was low season and less people travel upstream than down.
Our English speaking guide was full of knowledge and answered all our questions of life on the Mekong.
The Captain and his crew handled the boat very proficiently in the sometimes fast flowing current and as others have commented, the food cooked by his wife was excellent, up with the best we ate.
I would strongly recommend Mekong Smile to anyone looking to do the 2 day cruise on the Mekong.

Date of experience: June 2016
4  Thank SJD_401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2016

My family of four (including two teens) made the trip upriver from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai during the end of June. We were on the boat with two other passengers, Kat (our guide) and the captain and his family. We had ample room to spread out, play games and play with the captain's boys! Food was good and ride was comfy. In fact, it was even a little chilly during the trip. Take board games, cards or books to pass the time. We booked our own accommodations at Sanctuary Lodge Pakbeng and were only people in entire resort...a tad spooky, but nice. Had dinner with Kat in town (can't remember name of place) and it was delicious local food. Highly recommend and I wouldn't hesitate to travel again with Mekong Smile!

Date of experience: June 2016
1  Thank aprilcathryn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2016

My recent 2-day cruise from Huay Xai, Laos to Luang Prabang, Laos with Mekong Smile was one of my best experiences on a 5 week Southeast Asia tour. The company arranged my ride from Chiang Rai, Thailand to the cruise departure point in Chiang Kong, my bus fare for the trip over the bridge into Laos, and arranged to have a guide meet me on the Laos side of the river to help me with the visa process, and then the shuttle van to the boat dock where we boarded the boat on the river. The guide, Kae, was great fun. His humor and energy were contagious. The boat itself was huge, beautiful and very comfortable, with places to lay down and snooze and lovely teak booths to sit and write, munch on fresh fruits and coffee, or just get hypnotized by the flow of the river. There were only 2 other passengers on my cruise, so we got to know one another pretty well over our 2 days together.

The boat stopped each day at Lao hill villages so we could stretch our legs and get a glimpse of the lives of Lao villagers along the Mekong. We also stopped to see the Pak Ou caves which was a nice excursion.

The RiverView Hotel I was booked into at Pak Beng - the midpoint on the cruise was lovely, but my room was not air-conditioned. There was a strong ceiling fan, and good mosquito netting around the bed, and I slept fine. However, I understand the other two people from my cruise stayed at a different hotel which was not situated on the river, but they did have air-conditioning.

Our experience was enhanced by the fact that our guide, Kae, had his birthday celebration while we were in Pak Beng. We had a super fun celebration with Kae and his friends from Pak Beng. It was a great introduction to Lao warmth and hospitality.

Finally, special thanks to the Captain of the boat and his wife. The Captain made navigating the complex currents and shoals of the Mekong look simple. And the lunches prepared by the Captain's wife for us in the boat's onboard kitchen were sensational. Great, local, authentic Lao dishes.

Date of experience: June 2016
4  Thank jedpro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2016 via mobile

My wife and I were the only passengers. We went from LP to Thailand. Everything about it was great. We agree with others who have commented the food was wonderful. We did get our own hotel in Pak Bang. Everyone involved was as nice as can be. Highly recommended!

Date of experience: May 2016
2  Thank fau1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2016 via mobile

Unfortunately I was the ONLY passenger on this cruise as another couple didn't show, yet the staff and especially the tour guide put every effort in to make my time enjoyable. The guide was very knowledgeable and spoke great English. The boat was clean and the food was great. I don't know why someone would pay twice as much for a luxury cruise, this was more then adequate and the staff were fantastic

Date of experience: May 2016
2  Thank Sven S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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