Equipment Essentials:

What We Will Provide:

Safety is our prime objective so we only use top spec equipment, as these adventure trips have been structured to minimise risk, yet still keep the adrenalin pumping and having fun. The Mekong River over this section is a Grade 1 to 2 river with only a few rapids and is passable by  powered river boats with a shallow draft, but in the rainy season (June to October) the sheer volume of flood water increases the current and skims you along at an impressive 8 km/hour, so not a lot of strenuous paddling required, but it can present some unique challenges.


Lunch on the riverbank

You’ll be accompanied by a professional, Government certified and licensed guide, who speaks English and has a minimum of 5 years of experience. (Many of our top  guides have more than 13 years of experience and have featured in Discovery Channel wild white water kayaking documentaries).

They’ve been trained in outdoor first aid and we carry a comprehensive NZ Mountain Safety Council  outdoor adventurer first-aid kit along with other meds and supplies that are necessary for tropical Laos.

You’re in experienced hands.

If you have any medical training please tell your guide before you depart.

All equipment is new, including sit on top, Feel Free Gemini kayaks. Feel Free are designed in New Zealand and was originally established by Ferg or  Ian Ferguson.  He is New Zealand’s most awarded Olympic sportsman, who has won 4 gold and 1 silver medals for kayaking at the Olympic Games.

The Gemini model is a self draining, tandem kayak (3.8m x 32kg) with comfortable foam seats and backrests, along with drink holder, lightweight paddle, paddle tether, a small, sealed storage compartment for personal items and a wheel in the keel, which makes it easier to manoeuvre once on the beach.


Gemini kayak from 2013 Feelfree catalogue

GoPro base mounts are on the bow of every kayak

A GoPro camera base clip is mounted on the bow of every kayak


Each kayak also has a GoPro camera base, mounted on the bow, into which you can clip your GoPro camera for shooting either front or rear.

Every seat includes a 10 litre dry-bag for valuables, and any items of value, (phone, wallet, camera, passport, etc) you should secure in Ziploc bags first and then place inside the dry bag, which is snap clipped to the boat in the unlikely event of a spill.


We use hi-viz Reactor kayaking life jackets (manufactured to AS/NZ4758 standard) and are rated at 60N (sizes M to XXL) with zip locked pockets, along with cycling safety helmets (fully adjustable, meets EN 1078 standard), in place of normal kayaking helmets, as they are much cooler to wear in the heat of the tropics.

Each kayak also has an emergency throw rope, which your guide will demonstrate how to use before you set off.

A small ferry boat or long-tail dugout, skippered by a skilled Mekong fisherman who knows every eddy and rapid along this stretch of the river, will also accompany you to haul your packs and provide backup (they don’t speak English). That way your kayak will be more stable and your gear will remain dry should you ever capsize.


Revel in an Unplugged, Digital Detox Wilderness:

For much of the trip you’ll be unplugged, with no mobile coverage or electricity, so give yourself a digital detox and turn your phone off and save the battery. There are USB battery charging facilities on the larger cruise river boat, and some homes in the villages generate their own electricity from small turbines in the river, which can charge your camera or phone via your mains charger.


What You Need To Bring:

  • Travel insurance is mandatory. If you turn up at Ban Lad Khammune  village without medical insurance you will not be allowed on the trip, and it will be really difficult and or expensive for you to get down the river to Luang Prabang


  • Ziploc bags for protecting passport, wallet, mobile phone, camera, charger, etc then place in a drybag which we supply


  • Mosquito repellent cream or spray as a precaution when sitting outside in the evenings


  • Soap, toilet paper & towel
    Lao has some magnificent butterflies

    Beautiful butterflies are everywhere in Lao. This is a Continental Great Mormon (Papilo memnon agenor) butterfly feeding on a wild fuchsia plant


  • Sunscreen


  • Sun Hat


  • Flash light or Torch


  • Swim suit (Ladies – please respect the conservative Lao village culture where swimsuits or sarongs are preferred rather than bikinis)


  • Jeans and something warm and with long sleeves to wear in the evenings if travelling between Nov to Feb



  • Snacks or fruit to eat on the river (can be bought on public boat or in the villages)


  • If you have softer “computer hands” suggest fingerless gym gloves or similar (not leather) to prevent any blisters


  • Any personal medicines, lip balm, sunglasses, sunglass retainer straps, etc


  • If you have a GoPro camera, bring it with you along with the accessories and safety tether that will secure it to the GoPro base mount socket already fitted to the bow of every kayak


  • Gifts for the local schools – pencils, ball-points, paper, soccer ball, balloons, etc are very much appreciated. Please do not give them money


Phone & Power Requirements in Laos & Thailand:

  • For much of the trip you’ll be unplugged from the 3 & 4G network with no phone or internet, relax and enjoy the scenery, or catch up on some reading


  • Bring your camera and phone charger but make sure it can handle the 230V/50Hz Laos and Thai electricity supplySocket type A first


  • Plug adaptor for types A or C sockets (a C socket is the same as a 3 pin A socket – but without the bottom earthing socket) are used in both Thailand and Laos

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