Savour the magnificent scenery of the Mekong River on this unique cruise from Luang Prabang by Mekong Sun, in the heart of Laos to the Golden Triangle in Thailand. Travel along formerly inaccessible stretches of Southeast Asia’s most exciting river. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, stroll through colourful markets, and experience firsthand the Laotian people’s traditional way of life. The journary is started from Luang Prabang, sailing to Uang Prabang, Pak Ou, Pakbeng, Pak Tha, Huayxay, Golden Triangle, finished in Chiang Rai.
Embarkation at Luang Prabang
Upon your arrival at Luang Prabang airport you will be picked up and transferred to town. In the afternoon, you will embark on your Mekong Cruise Boat, a comfortable new Laotian cruise ship (Check in is after 4 PM). Settle into your accommodating cabin and unpack for an eight day cruise. Begin with a walk up Phou Si-hill, which offers a spectacular sunset view over the Mekong as well as the Khan river and the surrounding mountains. In the evening, enjoy strolling along the Mekong promenade or visiting the colourful night market of the local Hmong minority. Enjoy the spacious decks, lounge on board and attend our welcome reception and dinner this evening. A selection of Asian and European food will be provided throughout the cruise. In the evening enjoy a traditional Lao Baci Ceremony and watch some local dances on board before celebrating with your local crew your farewell dinner. Overnight aboard your Boutique River Cruise Vessel.
UNESCO town of Luang Prabang tour
In the early morning you will able to visit the traditional giving of alms in the streets of Luang Prabang. Breakfast is on board. Today you will experience more of the town during a morning visit and enjoy the unique atmosphere provided by the abundance of well-preserved French colonial architecture mingling with traditional Buddhist temples. After returning back on board for lunch your cruise will take you downriver, where you will discover some of the most remarkable, most impressive landscapes of this still-untamed river. The landscape becomes more and more spectacular: hills covered with tropical vegetation, awe-inspiring rock formations along the river banks, and a fascinating array of fast currents and slower river parts on the river. The power of the mighty Mekong will give your cruise the feeling of a real expedition. Enjoy the beautiful views and watch nature’s wonders along the shores before you stop at a remote sandbank for the night. Overnight aboard the Mekong River Cruise Boutique-Boat.
Today your cruise returns northbound. An excursion by local Tuk Tuks will take you to the Kuang Si-falls, one of the most attractive waterfalls in Laos. Back aboard your cruise returns northbound reaching Luang Prabang after lunch. This afternoon you are free to explore the beautiful town on your own pace, rent an E-bike to reach some of the lively outskirts of the town (optionally against premium) or spend some time shopping for souvenirs or presents for your loved ones at home. As Luang Prabang offers many opportunities for fine dining, tonight you are free to choose from the numerous offerings in town or along the Mekong River. Overnight aboard your Boutique River Cruise Vessel.
Pak Ou Buddhis caves
After breakfast your cruise continues northbound where you will visit a Laotian village and 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. Overnight aboard your Boutique River Cruise Vessel.
Elephants near Pak Beng
The river traffic thins out as you proceed upstream, and you can enjoy the fantastic landscapes along the river. The scenery along the river is incredible… Later, that day you will have a short stop in the market town of Pakbeng. With a little luck you will be able to see elephants in action today(unless they are busy with an off-site contract by the time of your visit). Overnight aboard your Boutique River Cruise Vessel.
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 diversity of the landscape is astonishing, now shifting to tropical hills in the background. After another village stop, continue to enjoy the tranquillity of northern Laos, a real retreat from the hustle-and-bustle of daily life. As you cruise along the green hills, you will start heading upstream towards Pak Tha. Overnight aboard your Boutique River Cruise Vessel.
Small boat excursion and Huay Xay
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 village of the ethnic minority Khmu. You will also visit a small village school sponsored by guests of the Mekong River Cruises. 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 30 fellow guests. Today you proceed to the Thai-Laotian border at Chiang Khong (Thailand) and Ban Huay Xay (Laos). This last evening on board will be celebrated with a farewell dinner. Overnight aboard your Boutique River Cruise Vessel.
The Golden Triangle and farewell
After breakfast you will say goodbye to your Laotian crew. Check-out and disembark. 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. In the afternoon you will be transferred to the close city of Chiang Rai, where your cruise experience ends, drop off at hotel within city limits of at the airport, from where evening flights to Bangkok can be reached.
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The Mekong Sun
Accommodation and service is top level and guests enjoy an exclusive yet casual travelling experience, while they reside in one of the 14 exclusive passenger cabins or enjoy the services of the restaurant or bar. A selection of Asian and continental food is provided through-out the cruise. Special requirements can be catered for and wine, beer as well as spirituous beverages are available.
- 11 Classic Cabins on the main deck, all facing out onto the water, with wide, sliding windows and a French balcony for an excellent view of the passing landscape.
- 2 of Superior Cabin are the upper deck with small private balcony, another 1 cabin on the bow of the Sun with panoramic view to the front.