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5 Days Culinary Cruise in Mekong River, Thailand-Laos

Indochina Culinary Holiday

Why not consider a relaxing cruise between Northern Thailand's Chiang Rai and Luang Prabang in Laos. This cruise down the mighty Mekong provides a tranquil way to see the beautiful scenery. The cruise ends in the peaceful town of Luang Prabang, nestled in the jungle covered mountains of Northern Laos. Culinary activities include a cooking class, market visit, and traditional Lao whiskey making demonstration. Accommodation is in river side lodges.


  • Market visit
  • Cooking class
  • Lao cuisine tastings
  • Whiskey making demonstration
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • 4 nights accommodation


2 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: Lao, English
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Namkhong Riverside Hotel, Chiang Rai, Thailand / 1 night

Namkhong Riverside Chiang Khong hotel is situated on riverside of the Mae Khong River that flows through central Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai, Thailand's Northernmost province. Located in Chiang khong City Center, Namkhong Riverside Hotel a gateway to explore the varied sights and sounds of the Northern region. With easy access to the mountains, forests, rivers, ancient temples and colourful hilltribes.

Many of the region's major attractions are within a day's journey from the Hotel. The hotel's decor and furnishings also reflect the diversity of northern Thai styles. For special functions, guests can enjoy traditional dining on the floor while leaning against multi-coloured triangular cushions. The Mae Khong River provides a spectacular natural backdrop visible from all the guest rooms, as well as from the rooftop restaurant, The Fai Ngeng.

Luang Say Lodge, Laos / 1 night

On the left bank of the river, the Luang Say Lodge is backed by mountainous jungle. The large pavilions of solid teak and rosewood all have beautiful vistas looking out over the Mekong river and the mountains beyond. The traditional Laotian architecture provides comfort and character, bedrooms equipped with high ceiling mosquito nets, electric fans and a large private bathroom with hot shower and western style toilet.

The Luang Say Lodge sits majestically above the Mekong River, blending artfully into the natural environment through careful landscaping, raised platforms and indigenous styling. It features 17 large pavilions, each elegantly furnished in dark toned wood and white fabrics, and offering stunning views on three sides of the Mekong.

Shinta Mani Hotel, Cambodia / 2 nights

Shinta Mani Siem Reap, an upscale boutique hotel created by acclaimed architect Bill Bensley, showcases 39 contemporary designed rooms and public spaces in a Khmer inspired design. This exceptional Angkor hotel enjoys a tranquil and leafy setting within the township of Siem Reap.


Day 1: Arrival, excursions

  • Upon arrival in Chiang Rai visit a local ethnic minority village, the Golden Triangle and the fascinating Opium Museum.
  • Overnight in Chiang Khong at the Namkhong Riverside Hotel.

Day 2: Cruise ride, excursion

  • Rise early the following morning to reach the border and cross into Laos for a Mekong cruise to Pak Beng. The Luang Say boat will leave Houei Say pier at 09:00.
  • En route, a stop is made to observe rural life along the Mekong.
  • A buffet lunch is served on board.
  • Arrive in Pakbeng before sunset and check in at the Luang Say Lodge.
  • Dinner on the terrace, overlooking the Mekong River.

Day 3: Cruise ride, excursions, whiskey making

  • You will enjoy a full breakfast at the Lodge.
  • Optional: walk to Pak Beng market, where people from the surrounding village sell their goods.
  • At 08:30 board the boat for the second leg of the cruise.
  • A short stop is made to visit a hill tribe village where you can watch the traditional process of Lao whiskey production before having a buffet lunch on board.
  • Continue to Pak Ou village at the mouth of the Nam Ou River, where you visit the Tham Ting Caves of a Thousand Buddhas.
  • Arrive at Luang Prabang before sunset.
  • Check in to the Shinta Mani Hotel.

Day 4: Excursion, market visit, cooking class

  • Find out why Luang Prabang deserves its Unesco World Heritage title with a privately guided tour around this gem of a town. Cool off in the Kuang Si waterfalls, with cascading tiers of crystal blue water splashing down several feet into a series of pools.
  • Participate in a cooking class including a shopping visit to the vibrant Phou Si Market to select ingredients. Create your Laotian dishes under a sunroof in the garden and enjoy your creations.

Day 5: Departure

  • At leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.


Chiang Rai is located 500 miles north of Bangkok, and set by the Kok River in the heart of the infamous Golden Triangle. Majestic mountains and antiquities attest to Chiang Rais prosperous past civilisation. It is home to several hill tribes with fascinating ways of life. An hours drive further north is the Golden Triangle; a picturesque and evocative area bordering Laos and Burma.

Surrounded by thickly forested mountains and situated at the confluence of the Khan and Mekong Rivers, Luang Prabang, Laos has a tranquil, old world charm rarely found in Asia today. The legacy of the European presence here well preserved French architecture and careful street planning has blended delightfully with more than 30 gilded Buddhist temples to create a town rich in atmosphere and history.

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