Laos is a country where waterways are still a very efficient means of communication – and a great way to discover local lifestyles and absorb the stunning scenery.
In a way, this fairly new openness to the world has protected Laos’ traditional lifestyle and culture which is today underlined as one of the prime reasons to come and visit the country. People and goods are transported on short and long distances on the Mekong, the spine of life for the nation.
There are very scenic navigable routes snaking across the country and some parts are of a particular visual beauty. Sceneries of rapids, deep jungle forests, seasonal vegetables fields of peanuts, water buffaloes grazing, fishermen collecting their traps, children playing and swimming, people gold panning for some of the most famous clichés
We can think of the upper part of the Mekong that stretches from the Golden Triangle between Myanmar, Thailand and Laos and down to the former royal capital of Lane Xang Kingdom, Luang Prabang.
Various settlements of Lao and ethnic minority groups are found on the river banks. They sustain their traditions and do not feel surprised if you find yourself being the curiosity and center of attraction when you make a stop to visit them!
Some cruise vessels enable spending the night onboard while others dock at the foot of the river banks, permitting access to wood bungalow lodges or tented camps.
The Nam Ou River, a tributary to the Mekong in the North East of the country, is also of major interest for those travelers who are not afraid to go a little deeper into Laos’ countryside, clearly off the beaten paths. It connects the Mekong at the famous Pak Ou caves, perched high in a limestone cliff.
Southern Laos is also home to some of the most dramatic sceneries in the entire South East Asia. With a maze of “4,000 Islands’ scattered close to the Cambodian border, the region is also renowned for its ancient pre angkorian era ruins at Vat Phou and Vat Uomo but also with SE Asia’s largest waterfalls at Khone Phapheng. Majestic sunset views are witnessed with contrasts of colors ranging from deep orange to bright yellow or candy purple.
Today a few cruise operators propose quality join-in cruises ranging from (half) day trips to week long experiences. If you wished to have a private experience, talk to us and we will advise on the best solutions possible.