Cruising in Laos – Vat Phou Cruise

The Mekong is the artery of life in Laos: a trading route, a source of food and water, and a social centre for the settlements along its banks. Known locally as The Mother of Waters, the Mekong River has been venerated and worshipped for thousands of years. The Vat Phou Mekong Cruise is a journey that starts and finishes in Pakse. Journey in style along the Mekong River and discover an area rich in village life and Khmer ruins, take in the quiet river setting and relax by a nearby waterfall.

The best time to visit Wat Phou is during the dry season from November to March.

Prices are seasonal, include cruise, all meals, professional touring and transfers. Starts from:

GBP 551 per person sharing a twin cabin

Airfares are extra.


Cruising in Laos – Vat Phou Cruise at a glance
  • Day 1: Pakse
  • Day 2: Huei Thamo - Oum Muong Temple - Khong Island
  • Day 3: Don Khone - Pha Pheng Waterfall - Pakse
Cruising in Laos – Vat Phou Cruise Image 1

Day 1: Cruise to Vat Phou

After meeting at the designated point in Pakse at 9:30 am, transfer to the cruise boat via long-tail riverboat, for a 2.5-hour journey to Champasak. Lunch will be served on deck.

The highlight of the afternoon is the Vat Phou ruins – the majestic pre-Angkorian 10th-century temple complex. The ruins are eight kilometres away from Champasak Township, where the boat will wait while you take a short 30-minute tuk-tuk ride to the ruins.  As dusk falls, transfer you back to the Vat Phou boat for a chance to enjoy the tropical sunset on the deck. Dinner is served on board, while the boat docks for the night alongside a remote Laotian village.

Cruising in Laos – Vat Phou Cruise Image 2

Day 2: Huei Thamo - Oum Muong Temple - Khong Island

Set sail for the small village of Tomo, a few minutes walk from the mysterious hidden forest temple of Oum Muong. Named for the stream running behind the ruins, Oum Muong is a small temple built in the 9th century in dedication to Rudani, a consort of Shiva. The most predominant feature of the ruins is the unusual lingam with four faces at the tip.

Lunch is on the deck, while you leisurely sail closer to the wild paradise known as the 4,000 Islands. Late afternoon, disembark from the boat to walk through Ban Deua Tia, a small Laotian Village where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries, you will also visit the local school and share some time with the students.

The day’s cruise finishes at the most northern tip of Don Khong, the largest inhabited island in the river archipelago. After dinner, the evening is yours to relax and enjoy.


Cruising in Laos – Vat Phou Cruise Image 3

Day 3: Don Khone - Pha Pheng Waterfall - Pakse

The Vat Phou boat cruises down the Mekong to the small village of Ban Veuthong, where you board a small boat to meander among the 4,000 Islands to Khone Island. You will visit the old French railway, the French colonial house and walk across the bridge that links Khone and Det Islands. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant on Don Khone Island along the banks of the river. This afternoon you will visit the Khone PhaPheng waterfalls, the “Niagara of the East”.

The extremely rare Irrawaddy dolphins reside in the Mekong River in southern Laos and northern Cambodia. They can grow to a length of 2.5 metres, are blue-grey in colour. The best time to view these dolphins is when the river levels are low (February and March). After this visit, you will transfer by bus to Pakse.

Not quite right? This itinerary is just to give you an idea of what is possible. Need some more inspiration? Please get in touch at 01473 214305 or email We welcome your questions. We're here to help!



Former capital of the Kingdom of Champasak, Pakse lies at the confluence of the Mekong and Don Rivers

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Vat Phou: pre Angkorian temple complex

The Vat Phou ruins are at the base of a curiously shaped 1,416-metre mountain, which has a flat narrow peak and steep forested sides. On the summit of the mountain is a 15-metre high monolith, which is the main reason for the site of the temple as this is a natural lingam or symbol of the Hindu god Shiva.

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Mekong Cruises, Boutique
Vat Phou Cruises

Journey in style along the Mekong River and discover an area rich in village life and Khmer ruins, take in the quiet river setting, and relax by a nearby waterfall.

Read more