Tips for Surviving Two Days on the Mekong River

by Benjamin Kerns

Feb 12, 2018

Mekong River © Salvador Manaois Iii |

Tips / Destination

The backpacker circuit around Southeast Asia is one of the most affordable and popular travel adventures for millennials. If you cross the border from Thailand into Laos, it’s likely you’ll end up spending a couple of days boating down the Mekong River. It’s the central body of water in the region and provides a necessary means of travel and water for thousands of people. The trip down is long and, unless you’re prepared, can be grueling.

Bring Beer

What else is there to do when you’re stuck on a boat for 16 hours over the course of two days than drink? Make sure to bring plenty of your own beer to last the day. Sometimes they sell it on the boat, but not always.

Bring Distractions

If you’re introverted or simply can’t sustain eight hours of conversation a day, you should definitely have a book or two on hand to read along the way; iPads, movies and music will also help pass the time.

Eat Healthy

There is generally one bathroom shared among a few dozen people on these boats. As you can imagine things get gross pretty quick. You don’t want to spend your days on the Mekong with the runs, so eat healthy foods that’ll keep you regular.

Stay Away From the Engine

Get there early and get a seat as far from the boat’s engine as possible. They’re loud and make your journey sound like a battlefield. After two days of this no one would be surprised if you go deaf.

Buy a Cushion

You could luck out and get a boat with car seats, but a lot of them have wooden benches you’re expected to ride on. Have a pillow to sit on so your butt isn’t sore by the time you reach the end.

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