The name for a section of rapids on the Mekong River dividing Chiang Rai and Bokeo province in Laos translates as: “where the ghost lost its way.”
At 2,700 miles, the Mekong is the longest river in Southeast Asia. The Upper Mekong which rises in China’s Tsinghai province and flows through the eastern part of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province, is particularly spectacular, offering a cruise experience as exciting and unique as it was more than a century ago, when Westerners first discovered the region.
With its rushing waters, dramatic gorges, and shifting sandbars, the Upper Mekong is never the same river from day to day, so no two journeys are the same. The villages you visit depend on where your captain is able to moor — most of the time, you’ll find yourself simply mesmerized, watching the vast panoramas slide by from the comfort of your deck chair.
There are only two ships offering cruises along the Upper Mekong, the Mekong Sun and the Mekong Pearl, launched in 2017. Both feature and elegant blend of tropical hardwood, old-world styling, and thoroughly modern amenities, making it easy to travel places previously inaccessible to marine vessels. The Upper Mekong is much less traveled but offers a unique opportunity to see an unspoiled part of Southeast Asia few have visited.