Banana Boat Tours
Banana Boat Tours
4.5
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
About
Better boat trips and tours. The Mekong River is your gateway to local experiences and popular attractions around Luang Prabang. We also can take you to authentic experiences on and around the Nam Ou River, Nongkhiaw area. Take a tour with us and enjoy travelling at your own pace.
Luang Prabang, Laos

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles116 reviews
Excellent
80
Very good
24
Average
6
Poor
2
Terrible
4

valley09
Australia19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
I did the Pak Ou Caves Sunset Tour and it was a great experience from start to finish. Communication via email and booking was very easy. We were a small group which is what drew me to this tour company as it felt more authentic and personal. They also provided delicious snacks on the boat ride back. There was plenty of time to explore the caves and the boat was very comfortable and safe. Highly recommend! Especially if you want to escape the tourist hoards....
Written 22 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joel K
Vancouver, Canada3,729 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
This was a leisurely day long tour along the Mekong and Nam Khan River from the Pak Ou Caves to Luang Prabang. We saw houses, stupas, elephants, many boats of all shapes and sizes. We visited many sites along the river. A relaxing day along the river.
Written 31 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mary H
Adelaide, Australia53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Couples
We didn't find the office straight away but then saw the sign, it is located within Ma Te Sai handicrafts store.
We booked BB01 and had a great day. Not a busy time of year so it was just the two of us on the tour with a long boat and comfy chairs all to ourselves. Substantial lunch. Chicken salad baguettes which we took up to the waterfalls and ate. The captain asked us how long we would spend at the waterfalls and we weren't sure so said 2 hrs but we could have happily spent 3 hours up there. The most enjoyable pay off the day was relaxing on the boat ride back drinking beer Lao (which was sitting in the cooler on ice, along with waters and coke) and eating the local beer snacks and fruit that were provided as part of the picnic. We particularly enjoyed the deep fried mushrooms with kaffir lime, and found some more at the markets later!
A fantastic day out especially if you prefer a small group and not a tour bus.
Written 11 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

blairabroad2012
Hong Kong, China1,557 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Couples
Thoroughly recommend this trip! Easy to book with owner, Emi, good office location at Ma Te Sai. We paid US$88 each (2 people) and had our own private (new) boat - including full lunch (baguettes/specialty fried Oyster mushrooms with Kaffir Lime leaves/peanuts/date-like fruit/sweet rice balls), water, soft drinks and 2 beers each. (Emi reduces price if more people book the tour.) Clean boat & toilet, good taxi driver (Kampai) and careful boat captain (but didn't speak much English). Didn't matter as the Banana Boat Manager met us at the Mekong with our lunch and showed us to our boat.
1: Collected by luxury 7-seater from our hotel and drove to beautiful Kaungsi Waterfalls. A fabulous place and you walk through a Bear Rescue Sanctuary on the way... Take a swimming costume & towel! (Changing rooms there)
2: Dropped into the delightful Butterfly Park just down the road. A magical place with lots of butterflies!
3: Driven back to town to board our own boat on the Mekong River. Great packed lunch. Nice trip on the river.
4: Didn't do Whiskey Village as the gangplank was too unstable and the muddy bank up to the village too steep for me.
4: Sailed on to Pak Ou Caves. Um, I didn't think much of it, although the many statues of Buddha were quaint. Unstable bamboo jetty and really STEEP steps.
Then sailed back to Luang Prabang and taken back to hotel by same taxi/driver.
We would thoroughly recommend this trip - particularly if you don't have much time.
Written 6 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rashid j
London, UK177 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Couples
We took the BB02 tour which includes kuang si waterfalls & bear sanctuary, paper village, Xientong Temple and boat ride on the mekong river with packed lunch and bottled water. As part of the tour, a tuk tuk picks you up from the hotel, then takes you to the paper village and then to the boat. the boat ride on the mighty mekong is just amazing and breathtaking. there is so much of greenery to see on either sides of the river. the boatman was a very nice guy and helpful too. the best thing about this tour is that its personalised, not crowded at all and it includes a proper 3-4 hour boat ride. for us the boat ride was the highlight of the tour. a big thank you to Emi Weir,the person who arranged for us this whole tour. A great experience!!!
Written 9 February 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Rashid for your review, the Mekong around Luang Prabang is especially stunning and a wonderfully relaxing place to be. Many of our customers take several trips during their stay, as did Caz in the last review, and it always lives up to the experience. We are happy people love it as much as we do.
Written 10 February 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kate1278
London, UK10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2012 • Couples
There are numerous boats offering sunset cruises in Luang Prabang, and all seem to offer pretty much the same thing - an hour up and down the river at sunset. No frills. But we chose the Banana Boat's "Groove Cruise" because we wanted something a little different and we were not disappointed! Very comfortable, reclining seats in a cute yellow boat, plenty of chilled wine and Beer Lao included in the price as well as delicious local snacks (in particular the fresh spring rolls with spicy dipping sauce and the crispy fried mushrooms). There was a great atmosphere on the boat as the musician strummed on his guitar and entertained us with some classic songs by the likes of the Eagles and Beatles - and after a couple of drinks we were all merrily singing along. The boat also had a proper marine toilet and we appreciated the way the boat driver would often shut off the engine to let the boat drift so we could enjoy the sunset without the engine noise. All in all really good fun and a great way to experience the wonderful Mekong sunset in Luang Prabang.
Written 7 August 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wesley H
Oakland, CA13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
Banana Boat was great to work with. They put together a semi-custom package based on the website listings. Booking and payment were super easy.

The guide picked us up on time and transported us to the day's activities. He allowed us ample time to explore the waterfall and then provided us much needed water. The boat ride to the cave was awesome and the picnic lunch provided was way more than expected. We had a rather nice lunch and very much enjoyed the slow cruise.
Written 23 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ian C
Brookline, MA7 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Friends
We did the BB01 Temples, Bears, and Waterfall temple.

Our Experience:

A driver picks up at 935am (10 minutes early, which is fine), and then we're taken by a tuktuk to a waterfront port. Without introducing himself or mentioning Banana Boat Tours, the Boat Manager explains that we need to pay the rest of the fee (we were told via email to pay the fee after the tour). From there, we're taken by boat across the Mekong river to see two temples and a cave. We have the option to see a butterfly park or go to the buffalo farm, but we have to decide before leaving because our boat driver does not speak English.

From there, our boat driver takes us to see two temples across the Mekong River from Luang Prabang, one of which is Chomphet Temple. After paying for our temple tickets, we ask to see the cave mentioned to us by the Boat Manager, and are escorted by three boys down a path to a rusty gate.

We're shuffled inside, and the three boys, with two flashlights, walk us through the cave and point out a few formations before taking us back to the table. I don't recommend that people go to the cave. You see bats, a few stalagmites, and a handful of Buddhas randomly placed in different rooms. It's not impressive, and it's dangerous. The lighting is terrible, and the steps are uneven and steep.

The boys demand a tip from us, which I understand because they've accompanied us for the last twenty minutes and I didn't stop them from doing it. But, I also feel blind-sided and I blame Banana Boat Tours for not giving us more information about the caves and about how we'd have to have people accompany us. The whole cave experience was uncomfortable and awkward.

We walk to another temple, and then to another dock where we board our boat and ride for about an hour to the Kuangsi Waterfalls. The Boat Driver is kind and always tells us to "mind our heads." The Boat Manager prepared lunch and snacks for us, consisting of two chicken sandwiches, fried mushrooms, and fried peanuts. There are also drinks: two beers, soda, and cold water.

When we arrive, we don't arrive at the waterfalls. We're dropped off at a pick-up spot for someone to drive another 15 minutes to go to the waterfalls!

The waterfalls are beautiful, and the bear conservation center is great. We are there at about 11am, and there are about 75-100 people there. It does not feel overly crowded.

We finish seeing the waterfalls earlier than expected and decide to make a stop at the butterfly garden, down the road from the waterfalls. The butterfly garden is small, but the experience is very informative.

We trudge up the hill back to the car and then our Driver, a very nice lady, takes us back to the river and stops briefly at the Buffalo Farm for a scoop of ice cream.

We get back to the boat at 230pm, and arrive at a different port (different from our departure point, that is) by 330pm, an hour and a half ahead of schedule.

FEEDBACK

+The Boat Driver and (Land?) Driver were very nice and took good care of us
+We appreciated the cold drinks, and the thoughtfully packed water (in metal bottles to conserve plastic and keep the water cool)
+Appreciated that we had the freedom to spend as much time as we wanted at different sites (although it was just me and my brother on the tour, so we were able to move more quickly than with a large group)
+We received a 10% discount on our tour, which was unexpected and appreciated

-Better communication about transfers--who's picking us up? When do we have to be back? Our Drivers didn't know any English (which was okay for this tour), but as a result we didn't know what to expect
-Better communication about the caves/temples--we would have liked to know how big the caves were, that we would be accompanied by "guides" (I put that in quotation marks because they were three boys, two of them younger than 10 and one of them looked to be 17-18; none of them spoke English, except for the oldest, who could only point out Buddhas and shapes in the stalactites; three people essentially doing a job that could be done by one--and poorly), and what was in the caves (photos of the different rooms would have been nice, and some safety warning. Do not do this with children.)
-Clarify that guests won't have a guide to accompany them the whole time--this is what we expected (I think it's what most people would expect), and so we were surprised when we realized we didn't, although the freedom to explore was also nice (we're also pretty independent travelers).
-Better time estimation of travel up/down the river (it took us about an hour to get back to Luang Prabang, not two) and clearer indication of drop-off point
-Better to advise guests to bring the lunch, I think. The walking isn't that bad (you're driven to a parking lot 100m from the entryway, and then it's a 15 min walk to the falls)

B-level experience. Main value that the tour offers is being able to float down the Mekong on a boat with comfy pillows with food and drink. If you're not interested in that experience, then I recommend you find another way to get to the Kuangsi/Bear Conservation Center.
Written 18 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian Julian
Los Angeles, CA95 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Couples
This was hands down the best experience we had in Luang Prabang. As it was low season and really hot, there was no one on our boat trip to Kuang Si, which made it that much more private and exciting. The organization was really well done, all the way from the pick ups, drop offs, and the massive coordination work it took. Kudos to the company for all that! Only ways to improve would be including a guide for the temple portion of things, but apart from that I had an extraordinary experience and highly recommend it for anyone and everyone that can do it!
Written 13 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DebiSouthAfrica
Brisbane, Australia81 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
We did a tour to the waterfall and wat across the Mekong. We were collected at the scheduled time and communication and payment with Emi at the Banana Boat office was smooth. We loved the waterfall - a highlight of our visit. Fresh chicken bugettes and cold drinks and snacks on the boat were delicious. I would caution elderly people and those with small children however as the boat trip involves getting on and off the boat by narrow planks and walking up slippery river banks without pathways. Also we had a steep gravel road to walk up to meet our driver who was waiting at the top of the hill to take us to the waterfall. Otherwise an enjoyable trip.
Written 27 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your review Debi and excuse my tardiness in responding. I totally agree, and we state on the website that the Mekong banks are not always the easiest. The path at the village to get to the transport to the waterfall is a bit steep but definitely in better condition lately, seems to have been graded. If you do have elderly best to advise us before hand so we can make sure we make it easier if possible.
Written 8 July 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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