Mekong Explorer

11 Days - From 2,150pp

This delightful tour takes in the best of life on the water in Laos. It works very well for those starting in northern Thailand, who can then begin their Loas adventures with a scenic two-day river boat cruise to Luang Prabang, a delightful UNESCO protected town. After a few days here we will fly you to the capital, Vientiane, and then down to southern Loas where you can cruise the sleepy 4,000 islands and admire life from the water once more. This tour works great with Thailand and Cambodia so give us a call to talk through the options.

Day 1 - Begin Your journey in Chiang Rai

We expect that you will begin this journey in Chiang Rai, in northern Thailand, near the border to Laos. Spend tonight at a lovely little hotel, which is something of an oasis in this popular border town. Nothing has been planned for you today but we can organise an excursion or give you more ideas on how to spend your time (like visiting this stunning White Temple). Overnight at The Legend Hotel.

Day 2 - Enjoy a Day Cruise into Pakbeng, Laos

We transfer early this morning to the border town of Huay Xay where you board the lovely Luang Say Cruise boat from Huay Xay pier for a cruise down the Mekong to Pakbeng. En route one stop is made to observe rural life along the Mekong and visit minority ethnic groups; then, a buffet lunch on board. Arrive at Pakbeng before sunset and check‐in at Luang Say Lodge. You can then enjoy dinner on the terrace overlooking the Mekong River.

Day 3 - Cruise to Luang Prabang

Start your morning with a visit to the local market this morning if you wish before boarding the boat for the second leg of the cruise. Take a short stop to discover a Hmong village before having a buffet lunch on board and continuing to Pak‐ Ou village at the mouth of the Nam Ou River, and then visit Pak Ou Caves “Cave of a thousand Buddha’s”. Upon reaching Luang Prabang check into the fabulous Burasari Heritage.

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Day 4 - Half Day tour of Luang Prabang

This morning we will show you the key sites that have made Luang Prabang the cultural capital of Laos including the quaint Royal Palace Museum, the picturesque temple of Wat Visoun and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, with its roof sweeping low to the ground. We also visit the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre before you enjoy the afternoon at leisure to soak up this idyllic town.

Day 5 - See the most stunning waterfalls of Laos

After breakfast, we visit the local Phosi Market, where all the locals shop, and Ock Pop Tock, a silk weaving centre before driving to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pool or walk along the forest trails. Next to the falls is a Bear Rescue Centre, that does a great job in protecting and rehabilitating the rare Asiatic Black Bear. We then return to Luang Prabang by lunchtime.

Day 6 - Enjoy a free day

After all this exploring we think you deserve a ‘day off’ and we can’t think of a nicer place to have one! Luang Prabang, is a beautiful UNESCO-protected town, and it’s the kind of place people come for a couple of days and wish they had a week! We have planned nothing for you today so you can soak up this pretty riverside town at your own pace.

Day 7 - See the highlights of Vientiane

Today we will fly you to Vientiane and show you the cultural highlights of the city including Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, today a museum of arts and antiques.  Admire the Patuxai Monument, which resembles its Parisian inspiration, the Arc de Triomphe and the golden stupa of That Luang. Finally, visit the excellent COPE exhibition centre, which shows the terror caused by by bombs dropped in the Vietnam War. Check into the Ansara Hotel.

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Day 8 - Begin your cruise of South Laos

Take an early flight to Pakse this morning, where you will board the Vat Phou Cruise, which south, arriving at Champassak in time for a riverside lunch, followed by a guided tour of the mysterious pre‐Angkorian 10th century temple of Wat Phou. As dusk falls, we board the Vat Phou for a relaxing cruise down‐river, enjoying the tropical sunset on the deck. Dinner is served on board, while the boat docks for the night alongside a remote Laotian village.

Day 9 - Cruise to the 4,000 Islands

After a leisurely breakfast on board, we set sail for the village of Huei Thamo, only a few minutes walk away from the spectacular hidden ancient forest temple of Oum Moung. After, cruise to the “4,000 islands” region where you will observe unadulterated village life. This evening enjoy a quiet dinner on board, under the stars, serenaded by the songs by the songs of the buffalo toads. (Overnight on board).

Day 10 - Explore the islands and waterfalls in the south

Today you will cruise to the small village of Ban Veuthong and board a small longtail boat to Khong Island, the largest island in the 4,000 islands region. After visiting the island, we take a long tail boat back to the mainland for lunch  before being driven to the Khone Phapeng waterfall, “the Niagara of the East“, close to the Cambodian border. We return to Pakse where you can check into the Athena Hotel.

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Day 11 - Bon Voyage!

This morning we will escort you to Pakse Airport to catch your onward flight home. This tour would also work very well with either a beach break in Thailand or a three night Angkor Wat tour in Siem Reap at the end, please contact us if you need assistance with this.

DETAILS:

This itinerary costs from £2,150 per person B&B based on 2 sharing and including all private transfers but not international flights.

You can get flights from as little as £500 per person return and do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

INCLUDED

  • Prices start from £2,150 per person
  • Accommodation on B&B basis – but both cruises are B,L&D
  • Private transfers (air-conditioned vehicle)
  • All entrance fees with service of English speaking guide for excursions
  • Lunch on Days 2, 8 & 9
  • Dinner on Days 2, 3, 8, 9 & 10
  • Internal flights (two)
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered