Vat Phou cruising the Mekong in the south of Laos
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Vat Phou

A steel barge that has been lovingly converted into a comfortable, oriental-styled floating hotel.

Overview

The Vat Phou boat is a steel-hulled barge that started her life ferrying teak wood between Vientiane and the south of Laos. In 1993, the 111-foot-long vessel was lovingly converted into a comfortable floating hotel that cruises the upper Mekong River in Laos between Pakse, Champasak and Don Khong Island. The boat is appointed with everything for your comfort, safety and enjoyment, complemented by a full team of staff.

Cabins

There are 12 cabins onboard, which were renovated in 2018, with twin and king beds available. Every cabin is fully air-conditioned and also has a fan for optimum temperature control. Each has a view over the southern Mekong River and is fitted with a dressing table and a wardrobe, as well an adjoining private bathroom with a hot shower. All cabins are serviced daily.

What You Will Find On Board

Onboard, the interior design is unmistakably oriental with comfortable furniture that enables you to relax while observing the ever-changing pageantry of river scenery gliding smoothly by. There are two decks on the Vat Phou. The Lower Deck is home to 10 of the cabins, as well as the kitchen-galley and the air-conditioned evening dining room.

The remaining two cabins are on the Upper Deck in addition to a bar and two large open-air shaded decks – one at each end of the boat. The front upper deck is furnished with rattan armchairs, sofas, coffee tables and lounges. This area is perfect for chilling out with a book or taking photographs of life along the Mekong. The rear upper deck is also furnished with chairs, sofas and tables. Breakfast and lunch is usually served here.

The Team

There is a 14 strong team on board this boutique river-borne hotel. This includes two full-time captains, two mechanics, two cooks, three cleaning staff and five bar staff and waiting staff. There is also an English and Thai-speaking guide who will answer any of your questions and point out interesting sights along the way.

What You Will See On Your Journey

The Mekong is the artery of life in Laos: a trading route, a source of food and water, and a social center for the settlements along its banks. Known locally as The Mother of Waters, the Mekong river has been venerated and worshiped for thousands of years.

The Vat Phou Cruise Laos takes you on a leisurely journey down or up the river, starting or finishing in Pakse in Southern Laos to witness one of the region’s most remarkable treasures, the mythical UNESCO World Heritage site of the Vat Phou ruins at Champassak, considered the birthplace of Khmer architecture. You will voyage through timeless landscapes, accentuated by the stunning Si Phun Don, the winding waterways of the 4,000 Islands, the mysterious Oum Muong ruins at Huei Thamo, and Southeast Asia’s largest waterfalls at Pha Pheng on the border with Cambodia.

The Vat Phou Cruise offers a fantastic opportunity for couples, solo travelers, families, and friends to discover the splendor of the Mekong on a delightful three-day voyage.

Itineraries & Prices

1 / 2
3-Day
3-Day

3 Day / 2 Night - Pakse

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: After meeting at the Sinouk Coffee House in central Pakse at 9:30 am, we transfer you to our cruise boat via long-tail riverboat, for your 2.5-hour journey to Champassak.

Upon boarding at the Vat Phou boat, we help you to your cabins to unpack, before serving lunch on deck. All meals are included on the Vat Phou Mekong cruise and our galley produces the finest of Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai dishes, lovingly prepared and beautifully presented.

PM: The highlight of the afternoon is the Vat Phou ruins – the majestic pre-Angkorian 10th-century temple complex and our boat’s namesake. You have time to visit the museum at the ruins site, walk up to the highest temple and take as many photos as you would like.

As dusk falls, we 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.

Vat Phou's 3-Day Downriver Pakse Day One - Sunset
Location
Pakse
Day
1 / 3

Huei Thamo, Oum Muong Temple & Khong Island

AM: Breakfast is on board as we set sail for the village of Tomo. This is a small village a few minutes walk away from the mysterious hidden forest temple of Oum Muong. Afterward, we rejoin the boat to continue our cruise southwards.

PM: Lunch is on the deck, while we leisurely sail closer to the wild paradise known as the 4,000 Islands All meals are included on the Vat Phou Mekong cruise and the galley produces the finest of Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai dishes, lovingly prepared and beautifully presented.

Late afternoon we 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.

Our 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.

Vat Phou's 3-Day Downriver Pakse Day Two - Donkhone Island
Location
Mekong River
Day
2 / 3

Disembarkation

AM: While you have breakfast on the deck, 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.

PM: 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”. After your visit to Phapheng waterfall you will be transferred back to Pakse by bus where the tour will end.

Vat Phou's 3-Day Downriver Pakse Day Three - Khonephapheng Waterfall
Location
Pakse
Day
3 / 3
1 / 3

3 Day / 2 Night - Pakse

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: After meeting at the Sinouk Coffee House in central Pakse at 9:30 am, you will board a bus to travel Route 13 to the historically significant PhaPheng waterfalls.

Visit the Khong PhaPheng waterfalls, the “Niagara of the East”. You will then be driven by bus to the Nakasang pier, you board a small wooden boat, which will take you to Don Khone Island for lunch at a local restaurant on the banks of the river.

PM: You will visit the old French railway, the French colonial house and walk across the bridge that links Khone and Det Islands.

After this fascinating glimpse into the not-so-distant past, your small wooden boat continues cruising among the 4,000 Islands to the Vat-Phou boat at Ban Dong Veuthong in Don Khong Island.

At 17:30 pm, check into your cabin while the boat sets off. Enjoy dinner on board as the sun is setting. We will dock riverside for the night.

Vat Phou's 3-Day Upriver Pakse Day One - Pakse
Location
Pakse
Day
1 / 3

Khong Island, Huei Thamo & Oum Muong Temple

AM: Breakfast is on board the Vat Phou boat as we set sail to Ban Deua Tia. You will walk through this small village, seeing centuries-old traditions still being used. You will also visit the school and share some time with the local students.

The Vat Phou boat then continues to cruise north on the Mekong, past the island of Don Xai, and many other small islets in the river archipelago.

PM: Lunch is on the deck, while we leisurely sail up the Mekong River. All meals are included on the Vat Phou Mekong cruise and the galley produces the finest of Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai dishes, lovingly prepared and beautifully presented.

Late afternoon we disembark from the boat to walk through the village of Tomo and the mysterious Oum Muong forest temple, just a few minutes walk away. Dinner is aboard Vat Phou, then you have the rest of the evening to relax and enjoy the silence.

Vat Phou's 3-Day Upriver Pakse Day Two - Staff Serving Lunch On Board
Location
Mekong River
Day
2 / 3

Disembarkation

AM: While enjoying breakfast on board, the Vat Phou continues its Mekong cruise to Champassak. The highlight this morning is the Vat Phou ruins – the majestic pre-Angkorian 10th-century temple complex and our boat’s namesake.

PM: After your visit of Vat Phou temple, you return to the boat for one last meal as we cruise to our final destination.

A long-tail boat will return you to Pakse, arriving around 4.00pm in the afternoon. This is the end of your cruise, and the beginning of whatever is next on your itinerary.

(There is a possibility to connect with the flight from Ubon Ratchathani to Bangkok the same evening).

Vat Phou's 3-Day Upriver Pakse Day Three - Sightseeing
Location
Pakse
Day
3 / 3
1 / 3

Accommodations

Social Areas

Bar
Breakfast
Deck Bar
Deck Lounge
Deck Sitting Area
Dining Room
Lunch
Smiling female bartender
Waiter at the breakfast table
Bar and sitting area on the boat's deck
Table on the boat's deck
Table and day bed on the deck
Indoor dining room
Table set for lunch on the open deck and a waiter smiling

Suites & Cabins

Vat Phou's Standard Cabin

Standard Cabin

Guests
2
Size
Beds
Double / Twin

Guests can relax and enjoy the grand view of the Mekong River from these spacious cabins that are fully air conditioned and with a fan for ideal temperature control. The cabins feature a wardrobe, a dressing table, and an adjoining private bathroom with a hot shower.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Features

  • Air conditioning
  • WIFI available
  • Hot showers
** Use of certain equipment at additional cost, ask for details