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“Fantastic day trip”
Review of Banana Boat Tours

Banana Boat Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Better Boat Trips on the Mekong. Welcome to Luang Prabang, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and convergence of the Mekong and Khan Rivers. There are many sites to visit around this beautiful town and the best way to explore is by boat. Our trips include the highlights, Kuangsi Waterfall and Pak Ou Caves, along with other interesting stops, and the ever popular sunset cruise.
Reviewed 11 May 2018 via mobile

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.

2  Thank Mary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"flatbed truck"
in 7 reviews
"pak ou caves"
in 12 reviews
"life jackets"
in 4 reviews
"dried mushrooms"
in 3 reviews
"mekong river"
in 11 reviews
"fresh rolls"
in 2 reviews
"included snacks"
in 2 reviews
"local snacks"
in 3 reviews
"great trip"
in 5 reviews
"tuk tuk"
in 12 reviews
"relaxing trip"
in 3 reviews
"drinking beer"
in 2 reviews
"kuangsi waterfall"
in 3 reviews
"weaving village"
in 2 reviews
"day trip"
in 5 reviews
"private tour"
in 3 reviews
in 3 reviews

3 - 7 of 92 reviews

Reviewed 17 April 2018

When we booked our trip, we had not anticipated that Laos celebrates New Years so very big and that many things would be closed. When I contacted Banana Boat, they reminded me of this, even noting that their offices would be closed, but that they would try to arrange a trip. They did and it was amazing! Picked up at our hotel, we enjoyed the ride up to the Kuang Si Falls with our great driver, and were given as much time as we wanted to climb up near the falls. We also loved the great lunch provided. Later, we met up with our boat for a delightful trip up the Mekong to the caves...really a relaxing trip up and back, with the same deference to our pace to climb up and around both caves. I was also very impressed that Banana Boat checked back with me after the trip to see that we were not disadvantaged by the new years festivities. We most certainly were not - and had a ball with this tour.

1  Thank Paul J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 7 April 2018

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.

1  Thank blairabroad2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 March 2018 via mobile

We easily found the office in Luang Prabang using the information provided on the website. We booked the full day tour and happily paid the rate for 2 in order to travel at our own pace. The driver was very professional, punctual and drove very safely along the road to the falls. He was able to provide information on the sights we were seeing along the way. We enjoyed the waterfalls and the moon bears were in a playful mood. When we returned to the vehicle we were given bottles of water and then driven down the road to the Butterfly Farm. The volunteers at the farm were very informative and we took a few minutes to enjoy the "fish spa" before returning to the car. We were driven back to town and taken directly to the boat dock where a hearty lunch and snacks were already on board and waiting for us. We were happy to see the life jackets on board and accessible if needed. We enjoyed our time on the Mekong River watching the daily activities of river life occur. After visiting Pak Ou caves, we settled back in our seats for the ride home enjoying the cold beer provided.

While we were booking our trip, we were also provided with some great restaurant suggestions for the rest of our stay as well as a route of the sights in town to visit on a walking tour.

Many thanks to Banana Boat Tours for a great experience.

Thank terrydunne2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 16 February 2018 via mobile

We booked a two night visit to Nongkiau with Emmy. We were picked up and taken to her store to pay where she asked if the driver could bring a few friends along for the first hour as they were attending a wedding. We obliged but then he went to pick them up and they were not all there. We waited almost 45 minutes for them and then headed off. The driver had 2 cell phones ringing non- stop and he chatted on them while passing cars as it approached blind turns, and tailgating constantly. We were very nervous and asked him to slow down, not talk on the phone while driving and not to pass on those turns. We explained that we would rather take more time and be safe. He continued to behave that way with some close calls so we called Emi and said that we did not want to continue with him in this car. She reassured us that she would arrange for another driver once we got to the village we were visiting in a short time, which she did. When we arrived in NongKiau we went to the adventure company to plan our private boat trip for the next day (as she had told us to and gave us the directions in her email). It was the wrong company - they have been separate companies for some time now and have told her this . No tour here for us. We went to the other company back across the river and the owner knew of our booking, thankfully. It was unnecessary and frustrating after such an upsetting drive. We texted her and asked if she could ensure that we have a safe driver who speaks English for the return trip 2 days later and she confirmed this. On the return the driver arrived and was a good driver but could not speak English. After about an hour he stopped and another driver took over for the trip to PakOu Caves. He drove too fast, passing on blind turns and talking on his phone. We asked him to to slow down and not talk on the phone and after 3 tries - he obliged.
We arrived back in Luang Prabang and had big bags of clothes we had transferred from the village ladies for her. The driver tried to give them to us but we explained that they needed to be taken to Emmy. Hopefully she received them. Surprisingly she did not even contact us to make sure things were ok after such an upsetting time or thank us for carrying her bags of clothes made by the village ladies.
The experience once we were in Nongkiau was great but we would never get in a car organized by this company again. You are at their mercy once in the car.
We have been travelling for 7 weeks with many tour operators and we know there is better service available than what we received.

Thank TKCollins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MekongQueen, Owner at Banana Boat Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 2 March 2018

I take full responsibility for the drivers, as we contract out this service. As mentioned I changed drivers after receiving the news of his bad driving and then assumed you were with a driver that spoke English and was actually the best driver I have known on the return. I even called him to remind him to stop at Pak Ou Caves, and he said yes. What he did not tell me was that he had switched drivers. I only learnt this a week after the fact. I have since dismissed both drivers from our services and apologise sincerely for this assumption.
In my defence re Nongkhiaw Adventures, I did give a map on departure and mark the spot for the office, yes there are two offices there on eithers side of the bridge 10 mins walk apart. Unfortunately in Laos they can do this, split partnership and keep the names.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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