Friday, October 15, 2010

Going Upriver and Back in Time in Laos

October 11, 2010 By Khiri Insider
VOLUME 3 - OCTOBER 12, 2010

Great river escapes still exist. Mekong River Cruises & Mekong Islands Tours, a Lao-German company, launched the first Laotian cabin river cruiser on the upper Mekong in 2006. Today, Mekong River Cruises operates three boutique river cruise vessels and is the leading cruise company in Laos.

By cruising the Mekong River you can discover some of the remotest parts of Laos, and indeed Southeast Asia. There are insights into villages of Lao and minority people, many without electricity, road access or telephone connections. From the boat itself, and on several land excursions led by the crew, the ever changing scenery of lush green mountains, amazing rock formations and peaceful villages along the river banks acts as a perfect antidote to big city pretensions.

Mekong River Cruises has launched an eight-day cruise from Luang Prabang to Chiang Saen on the Thailand border.

This amazing cruise starts in Luang Prabang, the charming former French colonial town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and probably one of the most beautiful towns in Southeast Asia. The cruise winds its way through the Laotian countryside on the Mekong, passing the sacred Pac Ou caves, the small town of Pak Beng and many small minority villages until it reaches Hoay Xay in Bokeo province. It then proceeds further west up the river to the Thai town of Chiang Saen, its final destination in the Golden Triangle, a border region between Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

This eight-day cruise on the upper Mekong River is an extraordinary experience traveling on the most comfortable river vessel available in Laos.

Khiri Laos country manager, Marc Albert, took the trip and concluded: “Exploring the Mekong River on Mekong Explorer is an unique way of traveling through Northern Laos. Although I have visited quite a few remote places in Laos, I was deeply impressed by the insights on riverside communities along the Mekong River.”

He adds: “With no modern communication tools, electricity or overland road access, these communities along the Mekong River live their traditional lives pretty much as they did 100 or more years ago. The Mekong Explorer allows you to discover these remote areas and people in a unique and very comfortable way. The slower pace of river travel lets one relax and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature. It is a lost paradise only accessible by boat.”

Khiri Travel can arrange such cruises as well as pre- and post cruise extensions throughout Laos, Indochina and Thailand. Visit