Along the Upper Mekong River - Southern Laos to Northern Thailand

Duration: 10 nights/11 days

We visit: Vientiane, LuangPrabang, Pak Ou, Taxuang, Pakbeng, Pak Tha, HuayXay, the Golden Triangle at Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai, Bangkok

When you step aboard Mekong Explorer, you will be transported into an enthralling world of pioneering exploration -the furthest and most inaccessible reaches of the mighty Mekong, to discover the unique charms of Laos. As you sail between the ancient city of LuangPrabang and the heart of the Golden Triangle, you are penetrating a rich ecosystem, abundant with vibrant wildlife, and encountering unspoilt villages barely altered since ancient times. During the course of your journey, you will have the opportunity to explore prestigious World Heritage Sites and make guided excursions into riverside jungles.


Highlights:

  • Vientiane - WatSisaket, Haw PhaKaew, Patouxai Monument, That LuangStepu, Buddha Park
  • 7 nights cruise from LuangPrabang to Golden Triangle
  • LuangPrabang - WatWieng Thong Temple, WatKhili, WatSene, National Museu, WatVisoun, WatManorom, WatManorom, Sa-Paper-Village, Phou Si-hill
  • On board cruise - Bazi ceremony and Lao dances performance
  • Early morning giving of alms, Laotian village
  • Pak Ou Caves, village school visit, market town of Pakbeng
  • Long-tail boat excursion to Khmu village
  • Golden Triangle area - Golden Buddha of Sop Ruak, Hall of Opium

Day
1
Arrive Vientiane

Transfer to your hotel.

Day
2
Vientiane

You will start the day with a visit to WatSisaket, the oldest temple standing in Vientiane, then visit the former royal temple of Haw PhaKaew. Drive by the Patuxai, also known as the Arc de Triomphe of Laos, before continuing to the great sacred structure and symbol of Laos, That LuangStepu. Then you will head out of town to see the Buddha Park, a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow. (B/L/D)

Day
3
Vientiane-LuangPrabang

Transfer to the airport for flight to LuangPrabang.

Upon arrival, we embark at Mekong Explorer.

These are comfortable new cabin cruiser on the upper Mekong. Settle into your accommodating cabin and unpack for a four-day cruise. Your program begins with a walk and visit at the famous WatXieng Thong temple, WatKhili and WatSene as well. Enjoy the spacious decks, lounge on board and attend our welcome reception, bazi ceremony, Lao Dances performance and dinner this evening. A selection of Asian and European food will be provided throughout the evening. (B/D)

Day
4
LuangPrabang

During a full day visit you will get to know some of the highlights of this beautiful city, the National Museum in the morning include. After Lunch trip by minivan for a visit WatVisoun, WatManorom and Sa-Paper-Village at the Nam Khan River outside town. In the late afternoon walk up Phou Si-hill, which offers a spectacular sunset view over the Mekong as well as the Khan River and the surrounding mountains. Enjoy the unique atmosphere provided by the abundance of well-preserved French colonial architecture mingling with traditional Buddhist temples. In the evening enjoy strolling along the Mekong promenade or visiting the colorful night market of the local Hmong minority. (B/L)

Day
5
LuangPrabang-Pak Ou

In the early morning you will able to visit the traditional giving of alms in the streets of LuangPrabang. Today your spectacular cruise begins with the departure from LuangPrabang. You will cruise north and visit a Laotian village, observe the traditional production of Lao-Lao, the local liqueur. After a short walk through the jungle you will explore the famous Pak Ou Caves, with thousands of small Buddha statues inside the caverns. The night is spent on a secluded river bank or sandbank. (B/L/D)

Day
6
Taxuang

Today is a day to take it all in – relax on deck, in your comfortable cabin or in the lounge and soak up the untouched scenery. The river traffic thins out as you proceed upstream, and you can enjoy the fantastic landscapes along the river. In the afternoon, you will visit a small village school sponsored by guests of the Mekong Sun/ Explorer. (B/L/D)

Day
7
Pakbeng

The diversity of the landscape is astonishing, now shifting to tropical hills in the background. Enjoy the tranquility of northern Laos, a real retreat from the hustle-and-bustle of daily life. Later, that day you will have a short stop in the market town of Pakbeng. As you cruise along the green hills, you will start heading upstream towards Pak Tha.(B/L/D)

Day
8
Pak Tha-HuayXay-Chiang Khong

As you cruise along the green hills, you will start heading upstream towards Pak Tha. At Pak Tha, a small village, you will take off on a long-tail boat excursion on the Namtha River to visit a Khmu village. You will also visit a small village school sponsored by guests of the Mekong Sun/ Explorer. The purely natural landscape is only broken by the seldom sights of small villages and local herds of cattle. Enjoy the comfort and service onboard: exclusive, yet casual, you’ll share the boat with no more than 26 fellow guests. Today you proceed to the Thai-Laotian border at Chiang Khong (Thailand) and Ban HuayXay (Laos). You will then spend a last relaxing dinner and evening in Laos.(B/L/D)

Day
9
The Golden Triangle

Today is spent on an excursion to the Golden Triangle area at Chiang Saen, where you will visit the Golden Buddha of Sop Ruak and the new Hall of Opium. This fascinating museum, sponsored by the royal family of Thailand, gives a deep background on the history and politics of the opium trade and the health effects of opium abuse. This last evening on board will be celebrated with a farewell dinner.(B/L/D)

Day
10
Chiang Rai-Bangkok

After breakfast, check out and disembark.

Transfer to Chiang Rai Airport for your flight to Bangkok and transfer to hotel upon arrival.  (B)

Day
11
Depart Bangkok

You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

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