Mekong River Cruise Laos. The Luang Say undulated over the brownish river. Thick clouds of mist sat heavily on lush green forests of rolling hilltops. Hard rain pounded down on the boat. The rhythmic pulse of the engine propelled the boat down the Mekong River. I was comfortably ensconced on a cushioned chair watching the world pass by.
I started the morning in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A town that sits between thick green hills at the confluence at the Mekong River. It is a mix of Laotian and French colonial architecture in a laid back atmosphere of night markets, street food, and more Buddhist temples then you could possibly catalog.
Mekong River Cruise
I was on a two day trip with Mekong Cruises. The first day was a meandering river cruise that would end at the Luang Say Lodge. And on the second day, a van would drive me back to Luang Prabang. The Mekong River is the 7th longest river in Asia, with its source in the Tibetan plateau. The river runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
The Luang Say is 34 meters long and can sit up to 40 people. The boat is mostly covered, but comes with a sun roof! Part of the roof retracts to let the sun shine in. The sides are open, making it easy to take in the landscape as it rolls by. There is a couch on the deck of the bow, perfect to take advantage of the wind. The staff took great care of the passengers, including both breakfast and lunch, with an ample amount of drinks and snacks.
Caves of a Thousand Buddhas
As we cruised further down the river, the mist lifted and the sun began to shine. Our first stop was at the Caves of a Thousand Buddhas. This semi-open cave overlooked the river and housed a potpourri of varying Buddhas. The cave is a site of pilgrimage for the locals.
We made a second stop after lunch to a local village that sat on the Mekong River. I scooted up a hill and found myself in a village of approximately 450 spread across 45 homes. A temple anchored the small village. We hung out with the locals, took some pictures, and shared some candy.
Luang Say Lodge
Near sunset, we arrived at Luang Say Lodge. Perched on the hill, the lodge colored in dark teak and rosewood mixed with the verdant forest. Twenty, stand-alone villas provide elegant rooms for the guests. A large, open-air pavilion serves as the lobby and restaurant.
Our group was treated to a cultural dance and musical performance, followed by a delicious buffet. I retired to my room under a full moon, reflecting on the river.
The following day we headed back to Luang Prabang with several stops, including another local village, lunch, and of course visiting a temple. Mekong River Cruise Laos.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Mekong Cruises and the Mekong Tourism Forum. The opinions expressed are my own. And if you book through Agoda, I will earn a fee. Mekong River Cruise Laos.