Most guesthouses can arrange these tours, or variations of them, charging per boat.

Downstream

The journey to Pak Chom and back takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery on the Thai Mekong: hills and cliffs of all shapes and sizes advance and recede around the winding flow, and outside the rainy season, the rapids are dramatic without being dangerous (best Dec–April), and the shores and islands are enlivened by neat grids of market gardens. B3000/boat, around 6hr.

Kaeng Kut Khu

B1000/boat.

Sunset on the Mekong

The most basic of the boat trips, giving you the chance to see Chiang Khan from the water when the sunlight is at its best. B750/boat, lasts around 1hr.

Upstream

Upstream trips head west towards the lofty mountains of Khao Laem and Khao Ngu on the Thai side and Phu Lane and Phu Hat Song in Laos, gliding round a long, slow bend in the Mekong to the mouth of the Heuang River tributary, 20km from Chiang Khan. Stops can be arranged to share the fine views with Phra Yai, a 20m-tall golden Buddha standing on a hilltop at the confluence, and at Hat Sai Kaew, a sandy beach for swimming, fishing and picnicking. Best undertaken in the afternoon, returning at sunset. B1500/boat, around 3hr.

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