Mekong Smile Cruise
The path of Mekong River -- one blessed with panoramic sights and interesting tourist destinations -- is best explored by taking the famous Mekong Smile Cruise.
The cruise begins with a welcome by friendly Lao guides who will then escort you to the boat bearing French-colonial designs and simple yet elegant interiors. Day one of the cruise is a trip to Pakbang which includes a stop to a local village, a chance to interact with elephants at the Elephant Mekong Park and an overnight stay in Pakbeng. Day two continues with the boat heading to Luang Prabang, but along the way, the boat will make a stopover in local hill tribes, and in Luang Prabang’s Parking Buddha.
Mekong Smile Cruise is located at Huay Xai, Laos. Tours begin at Chiang Khong, Northern Thailand.
Opening Days and Hours
On day 1, tour begins at 7:30 and ends at 18:00. Day 2 begins as early as 8:00.
Entry Fee and Bookings
The tour fee for adults is USD 130 and USD 65 for children.
How to Get There
- Fly from Vientiane to Huay Xai via Lao Airlines.
- From Huay Xai, rent a car to Chiang Khong, Thailand.
- Backpackers/solo travelers
- Group of friends
Time to Spend
Total time to spend on the entire cruise is 2 days.
Popularity and Best Time to Go
Crowded months for the Mekong Smile Cruise begin between December and April. If you want to stay away from the crowd, the best time to visit would be between January and March.
- Village Hopping
- Visiting caves
For the 2-day cruise, the only meals included in the fee are the two lunch meals. For breakfast and dinner, tourists can avail it from stores at Pakbeng.
- Elephant Mekong Park
- Wat Sing Jong Jaeng
Mekong Smile Cruise makes a stopover at Pakbeng. Accommodation isn’t part of the tour package but tourists can book in several guest houses around Pakbeng for USD 20 to USD 150 a night. Some of the top choices are Monesavanh Guesthouse, Dockhoun Guesthouse, Luang Say Lodge, and Pakbeng Lodge.