The idea of a floating hotel isn't new, I know, but check out this cool alternative to a gleaming white cruise ship. The Vat Phou is a former teak wood ferry boat, converted into a boutique hotel that cruises the Mekong River in Laos.
It has twelve air-conditioned en-suite cabins, two open-air decks and a restaurant, and is fantastically olde worlde, in a Death on the Nile kind of way. I love the idea of lounging on deck on a rattan chair or couch, watching the world float by. Or dining al fresco on Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai dishes.
The Vat Phou starts and finishes its journey in Pakse, taking in the (pre-Angkor Watt) Vat Phou ruins at Champassak, the Oum Muong ruins at Huei Thamo, 4,000 Islands, and the Pha Pheng waterfall on the Laos-Cambodia border.
It sounds like a perfect way to sample Laotian life, by traveling down its main artery, the Mekong river, known locally and worshipped as 'The Mother of Waters'. RM
Images: Mekong Cruises