Information about Upper Mekong River Cruises from Vientiane to Huay Xai and another 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 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 sunset photos.
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.
Mekong River Cruise Route Map
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.
About the author/owner of the Mekong River Cruise website.
Life 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 and of all the Asian river cruises I’ve been on, this Upper Mekong River cruise is the best.
Meet our team
Local Mekong basin residents and website owners.
Suree and Ben
Mekong River Cruise Boat Owner