Expat Holidays Thailand

Cruising the Mekong

This tour takes you on down the most famous river in SE Asia – the Mekong.  You will start by exploring the ancient town of Chiang Rai in Thailand, before starting your river journey to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage town.  On the way, you will stop at local villages, spend a night at a picturesque riverside lodge and visit the famous Pak Ou Caves, hosting over 2500 Buddhas of all sizes.

Note: this program can be done in reverse order – starting in Luang Prabang and ending in Chiang Rai.  There are also longer 3 day/ 2 night cruising options.  


Day 1 / Chiang Rai arrival
Upon arrival in Chiang Rai, you will be welcomed by your guide at the airport. On the way to your hotel, stop to visit the famous White Temple. Check into your hotel and rest of the day free at leisure.
Start the day early at 6:00am with a private transfer to the border town of Chiang Khong. Your Thailand guide will assist you with immigration formalities on the Thailand side. Upon crossing into Laos, Luang Say Cruise staff will meet you and transfer you to the boat and start cruising. After one-hour journey along the river, the boat stops in a traditional village and is a chance to observe rural life along the Mekong and witness ethnic minorities in their daily life and their talented craftsmanship. Lunch is served on board in a buffet style with a selection of starters and main course from Laos’ main culinary delights and a choice of fish and meat dishes. The river cruise arrives at Luang Say Lodge near Pakbeng before sunset, giving plenty of time to refresh, enjoy the scenery of the river and appreciate the surrounding nature. A Laotian dinner is served on the open air terrace overlooking the Mekong River.
Mornings are special times at Luang Say Lodge with stunning sights of the neighboring peaceful mountains, usually in the mist while a full breakfast is served on the expansive teak terrace. The cruise departs for another day of nature discovery along the legendary river with two stops planned along the way to Luang Prabang. A few hours into the day after enjoying the sight of granite and sparkling sandy shores, the river boat makes stops to visit the hill tribe village of Baw where you can watch the traditional process of making Lao whiskey. Lunch is served on board in a buffet style with a selection of starters and main course from Laos’ cuisine. A different choice of fish and meat dishes than on the first day is prepared for a greater culinary experience. Opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River, near Pak Ou village, the cruise stops to visit the Tam Thing cave. Translated as Rock Cave, it is famous for housing over 2,500 Buddha statues of all sizes and for being a place of pilgrimage for locals. Opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River, near Pak Ou village, the cruise stops to visit the Tam Thing cave. Translating as Rock Cave, it is famous for hosting over 2,500 Buddhas of all size and being a place of pilgrimage for the locals. Following a day along the wide Mekong river with beautifully sceneries of mountains, wild nature, local life and delicious food, the cruise arrives at Luang Prabang, former imperial capital of Laos at 17:00. You will be welcomed by your Luang Prabang guide and transferred to you hotel.
Today is a full day to explore the city with a private tour for your group. After visiting all the must see sights in town. After that we will head to Kuang Sy waterfall, a journey is about 50 miles. The road is bordered by villages and rice fields and you will stop in some of these villages and also have a nice countryside lunch at the waterfall. You can swim in the waterfall which scatters into many basins. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.
day 5 / luang prabang - departure (b)
Free time to further explore the town or relax at the hotel before transfer to airport for your departure flight.

Hotel options for this holiday

These are popular hotels that we have used for this holiday.  If you already have other hotels in mind, or would like more options, let us know.

Location Economy hotels/boats Premium hotels/cruises Luxury hotels/cruises
Chiang Rai Diamond Hotel (deluxe room) Le Meridien (deluxe river view) Le Meridien  (Suite)
Pakbeng Pakbeng Lodge (standard room) Pakbeng Lodge (standard room) Pakbeng Lodge (standard room)
Luang Prabang Luang Prabang Residence (deluxe room) Kiridara Hotel  (deluxe room) Luang Say Residence (pioneer suite)

Holiday includes

  • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = Dinner)
  • All transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All guides and sightseeing as mentioned

Holiday does not include

  • Flights (can be quoted separately)
  • Any meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as tips, laundry etc.


About our holidays

Tailor – made

All of our suggested itineraries are based on holidays that have been very popular with our clients.  However we strongly believe that each holiday should be unique to the traveler.  Absolutely anything in our itineraries can be tailored to suit your requirements, travel style and budget.  Simply contact us and let us design your custom holiday!


We never mix groups during holidays.  All the holidays are arranged for your group only so you can travel at your own pace.


Prices can vary often due to things such as travel period, best accommodation rates during that period, number of persons traveling, etc.  Please send us your holiday requirements and an approximate budget (if you have one in mind) and we will get back to you with a detailed quotation right away.

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  • My husband and I have been living in SE Asia for 3.5 years and have used Lenny’s services on many occasions! From a night in Bangkok, to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, to arranging everything for a trip for my in-laws, he’s been able to manage it all quickly and efficiently! He is very thorough and provides clear details that ensure you have a magnificent experience. I tell everyone I know about Lenny and his services! I highly recommend getting in touch with him to plan your next SE Asia trip!

    Laurie Ranz, expats based in Bangladesh
  • Thank you Lenny and team for making our trip to Thailand so memorable! All the transfers and tours were exactly as described and we felt at ease the whole trip knowing your team were working away making sure we enjoyed it. Thanks for all the recommendations and especially the elephant tour, definite highlight! We’ve already passed your details to others because we know our friends and family will be in good hands when booking their trips through you. Thank you again for taking such good care of us!

    Reena Mandora from UK – Bangkok and North Thailand tour
  • Lenny, I just wanted to pass along some words of thanks. You have done a fantastic job assisting us with our retirement vacation that you tailored to our needs. 6 weeks in Asia was was ambitious but was made stress free through your help. Our hotels were gems, in great locations, with a staff that were more than helpful. Transfers to and from the airport were perfect. It was nice to see a smiling face there for us in each new location that we visited. I would highly recommend this service to anyone looking to book. Your communication to us was amazing (I couldn’t imagine how it could be any better). We always knew what was happening in the next few days. It was nice to have the safety net of being able to get in touch with the owner of Expat Holidays knowing that we would have a response to our inquiry in a short period of time. Our guides were knowledgeable and were easily able to communicate with us. Special thanks to our guide, Mr. Sophy, from Siem Reap. He went above and beyond. Finally, even though we made a few last minute changes, they always went off without a hitch from your end.
    We will be recommending Expat to our friends and family (our daughter is already talking about coming back to this part of the world) when we get home.

    Rob Kruse from Canada – Thailand & Indochina tour in 2016
  • We were a group of 8 touring from South Africa. We contacted Lenny and from day 1 everything he advised us on turned out perfectly. He accommodated our every need and structured our trip according to what we wanted. Lenny even made the effort to meet us at our hotel in Bangkok, for a meet and greet. It is always good meeting the person behind all the arrangements. Everything was well arranged and on time, from our day trips to our transfers to either hotel, airport or train station. The accommodation was also top class. I would highly recommend Lenny and Expat Holidays Thailand, to anyone considering traveling to this beautiful country and its very friendly people. We certainly will be back in the future and will make use of Lenny’s services again. Thank you Lenny, for a great experience.

    Ingrid Bailey from South Africa – Thailand family tour in 2016
  • This company is absolutely amazing. Our tour was organized perfectly from the first minute to the last. The itinerary, the varieties of sightseeing, the service deserve the top prize. Our guide Peter and our driver were very attentive. Peter is knowledgeable, with a sense of humor, and very cheerful. Our accommodation was excellent. I am dreaming now about going back to Thailand and explore more with Expat Holidays Thailand. They are the best!

    Elena Yzgur from USA – 2 day tour of Bangkok and Ayutthaya from a cruise ship