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Mekong River Cruises

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River cruises on the Mekong will take you into the heart of Buddhist culture with visits to temples that have endured thousands of years. At about 2,700 miles long, not only is the Mekong River the longest river in Southeast Asia, it's also one of the longest rivers in the world. It has served as a major commercial and cultural waterway on the Indochina Peninsula. Originating in the Himalayas, it flows through Tibet, China, and the border between Myanmar (Burma) and Laos, as well as between Laos and Thailand before flowing into Cambodia, Vietnam, and emptying into the South China Sea near Ho Chi Minh City. River cruises only take place in the lower section of the Mekong between Tonle Sap Lake or Phnom Penh in Cambodia to where the river enters the sea in VietnamContact us to get started planning your Mekong River cruise today.

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Mekong River Travel Guide & Cruise Tips

The Mekong River flows all the way from the heights of the Tibetan Plateau ultimately into the South China Sea, making it the 12th longest river in the world at 4350 km (2700 mi) in length. Along the way, it winds through Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Each of these countries has its own unique culture, customs, and traditions, but as your riverboat plunges deeper into the jungles and verdant landscapes of these countries, you will see well-preserved ancient architecture, remnants of abandoned fortresses, and the highlights of the Buddhist culture - still thriving today - that has defined the cultural identity of the Indochina Peninsula. 

While some cruises are as short as four days and do not visit more than one or two countries, others meander down the Mekong making their way to three or even all four countries along this waterway. Your tour might include visits to:
  • Bangkok: Thailand's busy capital city. 
  • Ho Chi Minh City: the bustling city formerly known as Saigon in Vietnam
  • Luang Prabang: the spiritual capital of Laos.
  • Kuang Si falls: three-tiered water that cascades off towering drops into turquoise pools.
  • Pak Ou Caves of Cambodia.
You will also get to know each of these countries on your river cruise:
  • Laos: A country dominated by Buddhist architecture that reflects the national spirituality. 
  • Cambodia: Where you'll find a mix of temples and pagodas in traditional Buddhist or Hindu style.
  • Thailand: Home to some of our most active Mekong River cruises and unforgettably distinct cuisine.
  • Vietnam: Formerly ravaged by war, its breathtaking landscapes, jungles, and architecture now enjoy tranquility and peace.

Mekong River Travel FAQs

Do I need a visa to travel to the Mekong River?

The only country on the Indochina Peninsula that does not require a tourist visa is Thailand; Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia do require tourist visas. Tourist visas are not hard to get, and we can help point you in the right direction throughout the process. Check the visa requirements for more specific information

Is tipping customary in the countries of the Mekong River?

Throughout most of the countries along the Mekong River, it is customary to tip around 10 percent of your meal and $5-10 per day for personal drivers and up to $20 for guides

What is internet access like along the Mekong River?

While you will find that the more developed areas and cities have decent internet and accessible cyber cafes, there is some censorship that will prevent you from accessing certain sites, and the rural areas probably won't have the internet at all

Can I use my cell phone while on the Mekong River?

You probably will be out of range for most of your trip, but if you are in a big city and would like to use your phone, the easiest way to do so is to buy a local SIM chip that you can find at any airport and pre-pay for data and minutes

Do I need power adapters or electrical converters?

Power is 220v but most 110v devices can handle this as well. Outlets are either A (two-flat prongs), C (two round prongs) or G (three flat prongs in a triangle). Make sure to have a plug adapter for these types just in case

What are the toilets like along the Mekong River?

The facilities on boats and hotels are generally western style bowl toilets, but on any day excursions, you might come across squat toilets. Make sure that you bring your own toilet paper and throw it into the wastebasket rather than the bowl before flushing

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