About us

Information about Upper Mekong River Cruises from Vientiane to Huay Xai and other cruise back down the Mekong River.

The Mekong River cruise season depends on the seasons of the Mekong River. Just because it’s raining during the Green Season does not mean melted snow on top of the Himalayan mountains has sent water down the river to reach Vientiane yet.
Don’t think of not booking during the Green Season in Laos because you’re scared of a bit of rain. Yes, it can be heavy but usually not all day. Rain means beautiful waterfalls that cascade out of jungle-covered hillsides, into the Mekong River. Clouds mean beautiful scenic, sunset photos.

Upper Mekong culture.
See rich ancient culture near the Mekong River.

About the Mekong River

One of the great rivers of the world

The Mekong River along with the Rhine, Danube River, Nile River, Amazon River, Yellow River, Yangtze River, Ganges River,  and Mississipi River, is one of the great Rivers of the world. At nearly 5,000 km long it is the third longest river in Asia and the 12th longest in the world, draining about 500 cubic kilometers of water into the South China Sea through the Mekong Delta in south Vietnam. Much is known about the heavily populated lower reaches of the Mekong but few tourists explore the upper Mekong River by boat because in the past there was a lack of high-quality, safe, luxury cruise boats. Before today there was Covid and years before that a monk told me he had seen bodies float down the river during the mid 1970s war. Now there’s peace and a good, safe luxury cruise boat plying the Mekong between Vientiane and Huay Xai near the Golden Triangle. When the flow of the Mekong River slows its colour turns from brown to blue as shown in the Mekong photo below by my wife Suree.

What colour is the Mekong River? The Mekong River colour is usually brown unless dams stop the fast flowing Mekong which carries fertile, suspended brown silt. When upstream dams slow the flow enough, silt precipitates leaving the colour of the Mekong blue as shown in the photo below. This 360° video at Vientiane shows how dry the Mekong River can get at Vientiane. You could walk across the river bed from Thailand to Laos.

Photo of Blue Mekong River.
Photo of the blue Mekong River, a rare event when the flow slows to drop silt.

Culture and People of the Upper Mekong River Basin


People living in the Upper Mekong River basin near Vientiane are mostly Isan and a few Phu Thai.  In Thai and Isan languages, the Mekong River is called the Mae Nam (“Mother of Water[s]. Both the Thai province of Nong Khai on the south bank of the Mekong and the Vientiane province on the north side of the Mekong are Isan peoples who were under French Indochina colonial administration. There’s no shortage of French cuisine on both sides of the River near Vientiane/Nong Khai. Further up the Mekong live other ethnic groups such as the Mien and Hmong. Many people depend on the Mekong for food. Soil-rich flood plains for food crops and fish in the Mekong River and lakes fed by the Mekong are of major economic and environmental importance. As you cruise the Mekong you’ll see it thriving with life and traditional culture. River Dragon Festival, skyrocket festival, Buddhist religious festivals, the Songkran water festival and exotic, interesting food markets

Isan girls in Vientiane.
Isan girls in Vientiane.

About the author/owner of the Mekong River Cruise website.

What is life like near the Mekong River?

My name is Ben Grummels. I’ve lived near the Mekong River since 2010. My daughter Lily was born in a Vietnamese town (sic), Thabo in Nong Khai province, on the bank of the Mekong River in 2011. My Isaan wife Suree was also born in the Mekong riverside town of Mukdahan. We mostly live in Perth Western Australia, about 7 hours flight to Vientiane from Perth. Before the Mekong River cruise boats, we cycled or drove alongside the river on the scenic tourist road. The photo is of me cooling off in a waterfall that cascades into the Mekong. It lives up to one of my motos: You’re dead for a long time so live life to the full. Another: Experiences are better than materialistic things. I’m the digital marketing manager for rivercruise.asia. Of all the Asian river cruises I’ve been on, this Upper Mekong River cruise is the best. My alternate domain name is mekongrivercruise.asia.

I’ve worked in Doha Qatar.

Surfing, sailing, cycling, fishing are some of the recreational things I like.

For 10 years lived in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean on the island of Aitutaki, Cook IslandsBuy landscape photo print sales online.

Aitutaki Cook Islands.
Author of the Mekong River Cruise website.
Author of the Mekong River Cruise website, Ben Grummels, cooling off in a waterfall 4 km from home, below a glass floor skywalk. The waterfall cascades into the Mekong about 20 metres from this spot.
Mekong River View
My wife and boy viewing the Mekong River from a glass floor SkyWalk near a mountain temple on the edge of a plateau 4km near my home 18km up the Mekong from Vientiane.

Meet our team

Local Mekong basin residents and website owners.

Isan Suree and Dutch/Australian Ben

Mekong River cruise boat owner.

Mekong River Cruise Boat Owner



Mekong River dam locations map.
Mekong River dam locations map.

The luxury Mekong River cruise ship passes Mekong River Dams via locks that lift the ship up and down.

Now that you've got information about our luxury Mekong River Cruise, contact us to make a booking enquiry