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Exploring Laos

Mekong Explorer

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.

Your Itinerary

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

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, stop to observe rural life along the Mekong and visit minority ethnic groups. Enjoy 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 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 where you’ll visit Pak Ou Caves, the “Cave of a thousand Buddhas”. Upon reaching Luang Prabang, check into the charming Sanctuary Hotel.

Day 4 - Half Day tour of Luang Prabang

This morning visit 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. Visit the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre with your guide. The afternoon is at your leisure to soak up this idyllic town.

Day 5 - See the most stunning waterfalls of Laos

After breakfast, 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. 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 Lao Poet Hotel.

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, 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, 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. Return to Pakse where you can check into the Athena Hotel.

Day 11 - Bon Voyage!

This morning your guide will escort you to Pakse Airport to catch your onward flight. 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.


This itinerary costs from £2,300 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 £600 per person return and do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

  • Prices start from £2,300 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


Make a booking
Luang Prabang
This delightful Unesco-heritage protected town has some of the finest architecture, food and temples of all of Laos (as well as lots of cute boutique shops!) You could spend days in this delightful town, which has two rivers running through it, whilst exploring nearby caves, waterfalls and elephant camps.
Si Phan Don (4,000 Islands)
This cluster of islands caught in the middle of the mighty flowing Mekong is the perfect place to chill for a couple of days. Cycling to waterfalls, spotting rare river dolphins, chilling in hammocks and watching the sunset over the Mekong are all in the order of the day here.
Champasak & The Bolaven Plateau
The Bolaven Plateau is not to be missed by any die-hard coffee fans! This idyllic, hilly region is where the finest coffee in Laos grows and we have some wonderful day tours on offer here - you can even spend the night at a family home on a traditional coffee plantation. Nearby Champasak has some wonderful luxurious riverside accommodation (some of the best in Laos) and a sunrise trip to Wat Phou Temple must not be missed.
The riverside capital of Laos is home to some of the country's finest restaurants, spas and cafes, not to mention a fantastic collection of boutique hotels... it is the perfect place to indulge your tastebuds and senses for a day or two. Nearby there are a number of impressive temples and cultural sights which are ideal to explore by bicycle.
Vang Vieng
Something of an outdoor lover's paradise, Vang Vieng, which is set on Nam Song River, is the perfect place for anyone seeking nature based activities - as well as some more adrenalin-seeking adventures. It's backdrop of serene cliffs and vibrant green paddy fields, coupled with an excellent selection of boutique hotels, make it the ideal place to chill for a day or two.
Vieng Xai Caves
This fascinating wartime cave hideout is set in beautiful gardens backed by delightful karst scenery. It is ideal for those who are travelling onwards to Vietnam and crossing at the land border - or vice versa.

Your adventure starts here!

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