Hello. Does anyone have any recommendations for alternatives to the slow boat down the Mekong River from Chiang Khong/Houey Xay border to Luang Prabang. I have found a few cruise companies on line but was wondering if anyone has any good experiences they could advise on. We are a fit couple in our 60s who don't particularly want to rough it too much like we have done in the past. Also what is the must see destinations in Luang Prabang. Many thanks
#1 Annielay has been a member since 23/6/2014. Posts: 14
I went with Shompoo Cruise from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang last November. It made things pretty simple as they pick you up from your guesthouse in Huay Xai and take you to the boat, then take you to your accomodation in Luang Prabang. It looked much more comfy than the backpacker boat. We got lunch every day which was good quality plus you could get beers and other drinks as you chilled out and watched the Mekong pass by. There was loads of room too and cushions to sit on. It was pricier (Â£85 or $140), but overall a nice experience for a treat. I'd suggest you book your own accomodation in Pakbeng, as it's cheaper then booking with them. There was a shortage of accomodation when I was there, and some of the backpackers had to sleep on the temple floor, so it might be an idea to book something. My guesthouse was a bit **** but was only Â£12 and booked through Agoda. It's a bit of a captive market in Pakbeng. Nagi of Mekong do the same route, and I think it's a similar sort of gig.
There were a couple of village stops, plus Pak Ou caves. I think the boat company partly fund one of the village schools. The first village stop felt a little intrusive, but not a terrible experience. The second village was the usual rice whiskey/handicraft place that a lot of folk visit from Luang Prabang, which was as expected - a tourist fest!
I'd say if you want a bit more comfort and you have the money, you should go for it.
#2 CaptainScott has been a member since 22/3/2013. Posts: 28
Thanks very much Captain Scott for the information. It is as I had thought so probably that is the way for us to go.
#4 Annielay has been a member since 23/6/2014. Posts: 14
#5 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957