The Mekong. Mythical river with many legends. Who has never dreamed enjoying a cruise on it, just contemplating the landscapes ? To admire the sunset reflecting on it? At ORLA Tours, we are aware of all the fantasy related to this mythical river. That's why we believe that combining discovery, culture, encounters and Mekong is the ideal recipe for an unforgettable trip in Laos. In this article, we talk about this legendary river and our circuits that allow you to discover it. Enjoy the reading !
Get to know more about the Mekong
Do you know the origin of the word Mekong? The river owes its name to the Taï ethnic group which calls it "Mae Nam Khong". It means "Mother of all rivers". The term was then shortened to "Mae Khong", better known worldwide as Mekong.
Here are some figures and information to quickly set the importance of the Mekong in Southeast Asia. It starts on the heights of the Himalayas, in Qinghai province of northwestern China. It flows over 4,350 km and borders or crosses 6 different countries: China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. And it is the 10th largest river in the world and 4th in Asia. We’re now done with figures.
Our traditional slow boat for your cruise on the Mekong
How does a cruise look like with ORLA Tours? First, it should be noted that all our adventures on the Mekong are private. Whether you are a couple, friends or family, only you will be on board. It is the guarantee of a calm and peaceful experience. What type of boat should you expect? To guarantee quality cruises, we built our own boat back in 2017. It is made entirely from wood in the traditional Lao style. A part of the roof is removable so you can enjoy the sun, during a nap for example. It can accommodate up to 40 people. A family of boatmen lives permanently on board. During your cruise, they will make you discover their typical Laotian cuisine. You may even have the chance to taste a freshly caught Mekong fish.
Combine your Mekong cruise with a tailor-made tour
Because each trip must be unique, we adapt all our tours to your desires. You want to combine hiking and Mekong cruising? It's possible. Prefer to start your stay in Thailand? No problem, our boat will make you sail from Houay Say to Luang Prabang. Our team of experts will create a unique program for you. To help you imagine your dream trip, here are some ideas of itineraries mixing discovery, culture, meetings and cruise.
Our tours including a cruise on the Mekong
You are in Luang Prabang for a few days and looking for a unique experience? This program is for you. You will enjoy a superb cruise on the Mekong in a traditional private slow boat with a guide. You will then dock on a wild beach of white sand. You will set the tents to spend the night. The evening will be spent around a campfire and a barbecue. The next day, you will attend the magical show of the sun rising above the Mekong. Then you will visit the PakOu caves. Unforgettable.
The perfect recipe combining must-do, cruises, discovery of Luang Prabang, Vientiane, and Buddhist culture. The first half of the stay, in the north of the country, will allow you to discover certain ethnic groups of Laos living isolated in the mountains. You will learn a lot about their ancestral way of life in remote villages. A real journey through time. Along the Mekong and its tributaries, you will be amazed by the life on the banks. Herds of animals, fish merchants, primary jungle, it's an open-air show.
Without any doubt, it’s one of our most complete programs. You will discover Luang Prabang, its temples and its architecture. You will then head north to explore the mountains and meet the tribes living there. The Mekong will allow you to navigate from village to village. It will then be time to fly to Pakse. From there, you will enjoy the best spots of southern Laos: the 4000 islands, the Bolaven plateau, the Vat Phou, etc ... When we tell you this program is very complete, we don’t lie.
This tour is ideal for adventurers wanting to combine a Thailand / Laos stay. Starting from Houay Say, we will pick you up by boat to start a 2-day cruise on the Mekong. You will spend the night on a beach of this mystical river to capture all its beauty. Once in Luang Prabang, you will enjoy the city and discover its architecture. It will be time to start your hike in the northern mountains. Walking in the jungle is the perfect way to discover the wild nature of Laos. You will then descend to the capital to complete your adventure.
Looking for a human and authentic adventure? This circuit is made for you. This 6-day adventure leads you to the most isolated tribes of northern Laos. Hunters, gatherers, crafters, local ethnicities live there in a very simple way. Light-years away from our everyday worries. After these 3 days of jungle trekking, our boat will take you back to Luang Prabang. There, you will have the chance to enjoy a well-deserved rest after this adventure.
Cruising on the Mekong is a unique experience. Besides the magical aspect of the sunset, it's also a way to discover Laos in a different way. You can admire all the life that takes place on the banks of this legendary river. In addition to that, our cruises fit perfectly with any type of stay. Want to combine Laos and Thailand? Jungle treks and cruise? Live a unique night on the banks of the Mekong? Our experts know how to create a unique program tailored to your desires. Do not hesitate, contact us to start organizing your trip together.
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