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Mekong Delta Cruise in Laos

Luang Prabang-Vientane-Vat phou Cruises

Destination: 6days -Vientiane; 6days-luong prabang; 4days-wat phou; 8days-mukhadahan 8days-luong Prabang

YOUR ROUTE: - VIENTIANE – PAKLAY – THA DEUA – KUANG SI – LUANG PRABANG
- LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU – THA DEUA – KUANG SI – LUANG PRABANG
- PAKSE – WAT PHOU – DON KHONG – 4000 ISLANDS –KHONE PHAPHENG FALLS – PAKSE.
- NONG KHAI - PHU WUA NATIONAL PARK - THAT PHANOM - NAKHON PHANOM - MUKDAHAN - UBON RATCHATHANI (OR VV.)
- LUANG PRABANG – KUANG SI – PAK OU – PAKBENG – PAK THA – HUAY XAY – GOLDEN TRIANGLE

6days -Vientiane

YOUR ROUTE: VIENTIANE – PAKLAY – THA DEUA – KUANG SI – LUANG PRABANG

DAY 1: VIENTIANE – EMBARKATION (-/-/D)
In the afternoon, you will embark on the Mekong Sun/ Explorer, a comfortable Laotian cruise ship. These unique vessels are the first German-Laotian owned river ship with cabins on the upper Mekong. Settle into your accommodating cabin and unpack for a six-day cruise. (Check-in is at 2:00 PM). In the afternoon you will visit the national symbol of Laos, the That Luang temple, and the picturesque Arc de Trioumphe. Enjoy the spacious decks, lounge on board and attend Your welcome reception and dinner this evening. A selection of Asian and European food will be provided throughout the cruise. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 2: DEPART VIENTIANE (B/L/D)
The morning your vessel start for your spectacular river cruise upstream into formerly inaccessible parts of the Mekong river. The night is spent on a beautiful sandbank, surrounded by nothing but pure nature. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 3: WILD NATURE ALONG THE MIGHTY MEKONG (B/L/D
Further north 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. 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 riverbanks before you head north again and stop at a remote sandbank for the night. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 4: PAK LAY (B/L/D)
Upstream you will stop at the small riverside community of Pak Lai, known for once possessing many colonial buildings. 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 26/30 fellow guests. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 5: THA DEUA (B/L/D)
During and after breakfast on board, enjoy the beautiful view and possibly watch local fishermen along the shore. Today you will see the Mekong ferry crossing at Tha Deua, connecting Luang Prabang Province with the Sayaboury province. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 6: KUANG SI – LUANG PRABANG (B/L/-)
A shore excursion will take you to the Kuang Si-waterfalls, some of the most attractive waterfalls in Laos. This afternoon you will reach Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Luang Prabang you will say goodbye to your Lao crew. Check out and disembarkation. This is the end of the trip.
NOTE: Every river cruise on the upper Mekong is a pioneer experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions including flood waters and shallows. Therefore please understand that we must reserve the right to alter the itinerary of this tour due to the logistical complexities involved. Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, local authorities and river and/or road conditions. For safety reasons and according to navigating conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice.

6days-luong prabang

LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU – THA DEUA – KUANG SI – LUANG PRABANG

DAY 1: EMBARKATION IN LUANG PRABANG (-/-/D)
After lunch you will embark on your Mekong Cruise vessel, a comfortable new boutique-cruise ship. (Check in is after 2 PM). This unique boutique vessel is a German-Laotian owned river ship with stylish cabins. Settle into your accommodating cabin and unpack for a six-day cruise. Begin with a guided 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 colorful night market of the local Hmong minority. Enjoy the spacious decks, lounge on board and attend our welcome reception this evening. A selection of Asian and European food will be provided throughout the cruise. Overnight in your cabin aboard your river vessel.

DAY 2: DEPARTURE FROM LUANG PRABANG (B/L/D)
In the early morning you will able to observe the traditional giving of alms in the streets of Luang Prabang. Breakfast is on board and the rest of the morning will be spent on a guided city tour with visits of the famous Wat Xieng Thong temple, Wat Khili and the Wat Sene temple as well. Your spectacular cruise begins with the departure from Luang Prabang after lunch from where you will cruise north through beautiful scenery. The night is spent on a secluded river bank or sandbank. Overnight onboard your river vessel.

DAY 3: PAK OU CAVES  (B/L/D
After breakfast on board you will explore the famous Pak Ou Caves, with thousands of small Buddha statues inside the caverns. After a short walk through the jungle (optional) you visit a Laotian village. In the village you can observe how the local liqueur Lao-Lao is being distilled traditionally. Before returning to your Mekong vessel, you will see elephants in action (unless they are busy with an off-site contract by the time of your visit). After re-embarkation you will enjoy a few hours of cruising down the Mekong River amidst beautiful landscapes. Overnight onboard your river vessel.

DAY 4: WILD NATURE ALONG THE MIGHTY MEKONG (B/L/D)
The ship will head south to the Mekong ferry crossing at Tha Deua, connecting Luang Prabang Province with the Sayaboury province. Further downstream 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. The power of the mighty Mekong will give your cruise the feeling of a real expedition (due to sudden drops in water level on some days, it may be necessary to make the afternoon excursion down south and upstream again – the wildest and possibly most exciting part of the Mekong – in a local Lao slow boat before returning back onboard). You will visit a local village school, which is supported by guests of the Mekong River Cruises fleet. Enjoy the beautiful views and watch nature’s wonders along the shores before you head north again and stop at a sandbank for the night. Overnight onboard your river vessel.

DAY 5: KUANG SI – LUANG PRABANG  (B/L/D)
After breakfast on board, enjoy the beautiful view and spot local fishermen onshore as you cruise upstream again. After a few hours of cruising up the river, you will stop and continue by bus to visit the famous Kuang Si-waterfalls, some of the most remarkable waterfalls in Laos. On the way you will stroll through the small village of Tha Pan, where you can observe how the local communities live in Northern Laos. In the afternoon you will return to Luang Prabang. This last evening on board will be celebrated with a farewell dinner with a traditional Lao Baci-friendship ceremony.

DAY 6: DISEMBARKATION (B/-/-)
After breakfast you will say goodbye to your Laotian crew. Check-out and disembark. End of service with the transfer to the airport.
NOTE: Every river cruise on the upper Mekong is a pioneering experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions, including floodwaters and shallows. Therefore please understand that we must reserve the right to alter the itinerary of this tour due to the logistical complexities involved. Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather and river conditions. For safety reasons and according to navigating conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice.

4days-wat phou

PAKSE – WAT PHOU – DON KHONG – 4000 ISLANDS –KHONE PHAPHENG FALLS – PAKSE.

DAY 1: WELCOME TO SOUTHERN LAOS!
We pick you up at Pakse airport or hotel in town. At boarding this afternoon (Check in is after 2pm), your ever-friendly Laotian crew welcomes you with a cocktail. You will start your cruise experience with the departure southwards. When the sun has set and your cruise vessel is moored safely at the river shore you will get to know more about Laos and its people as well as the nearly 5,000 km long Mekong river during exciting presentations and lectures held by your cruise director. During the next days, indulge in Southeast Asian delicacies for dinner on board or an atmospheric barbecue on the riverbank. (-/-/D)

DAY 2: UNESCO-WORLD HERITAGE AND NATURE DELIGHTS
After cruising leisurely further downriver you will stop to go on a shore excursion to the impressive temple complex of Wat Phou, relics of the great Khmer empire reining the region from the 8th to 13th century. This UNESCO World Heritage site is located at the foot of the 1,500 m high Kao Mountain. With its mystical atmosphere these ruins are among the most inspiring archaeological tour destinations of Laos. Returning aboard your can lean back and enjoy the beautiful sunsets from your cabin or the sundeck while cruising deeper into the so called region of the 4,000 Islands. (B/L/D)

DAY 3: THE 4000 ISLANDS
Here in the deep south of the country the Mekong has its widest expansion of up to 16 km during the annual high water period. In thousands of years nature created a landscape that seems almost surreal with thousands of islands appearing in the river bed when the high water declines annually. Some of these islands are bigger with a magnitude of a few square kilometers; other uninhabited ones are only a few square meters wide. Today you will go on an excursion partly by river cruise, local slowboat and bus to explore this remote nature escape and you will also see the mighty Khone waterfalls, the biggest falls in Asia. In the evening enjoy our farewell dinner aboard. (B/L/D)

DAY 4: RETURN TO PAKSE
Breakfast is served in the morning, before you disembark for your return to Pakse by bus. (No flights earlier than 13:30 from Pakse or 17:30 from Ubon Ratchatani will be reached. If you plan an earlier flight, we’ll be happy to arrange an extra hotel night in Pakse to your itinerary.) A short city tour of Pakse can be arranged for those spending an extra night or leaving late afternoon/evening.* (B/-/-)
NOTE: Every river cruise in Southern Laos is a pioneering experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions, including floodwaters and shallows. Therefore please understand that we must reserve the right to alter the itinerary due to the logistical complexities involved. Small deviations in the program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, local authorities and river and/or road conditions. For safety reasons and according to navigating conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice.

8days-mukhadahan

8-days Nong Khai - Mukhdahan

NONG KHAI - PHU WUA NATIONAL PARK - THAT PHANOM - NAKHON PHANOM - MUKDAHAN - UBON RATCHATHANI (OR VV.)
 
DAY 1: Welcome aboard – embarkation (-/-/D)
Your cruise director and friendly crew await you this afternoon (after 2pm) with a warm welcome upon embarkation near the town of Nong Khai. (Nong Khai can be reached by a short flight or by train from Bangkok to Udon Thani (UTH) as well as onland with a transfer from the Lao capitol of Vientiane across the friendship bridge. Upon request we will be happy to arrange transfers accordingly.) Attend our welcome reception and enjoy Southeast Asian specialties served during your dinner menu on board. Overnight onboard your river vessel.

DAY 2: Your cruise experience begins today (B/L/D)
Breakfast is served on board. In the morning we will take you on a excursion to the historical park of Phu Prabat, impressed with natural rocks shaped almost mushroom like. Phu Phrabat has also been a sacred place for centuries and has recently enlisted to become a UNESCO world heritage site. From a temple close by you can enjoy one of the most impressive Mekong-views along the river in this region. Upon returning aboard your cruise experience begins. Lunch is served aboard while cruising leisurely in a few hours from the small town of Sri Chiangmai downriver towards Nong Khai. In the evening you can stroll along the river promenade or bargain at the colorful Indochina market in town. Dinner and overnight aboard your cruise vessel.

DAY 3: Bizarre sculptures in Nong Khai (B/L/D)
In the morning, a guided tour will get you acquainted with the bizarre, yet interesting Buddhist-Hindu sculpture park. Upon your return aboard your cruise experience continues. Along both sides of the quiet river banks you may spot every once in a while small golden temple spires, while a presentation on tropical fruits grown in this region provides with possibly surprising insight benefits used in traditional local medicine. This cruise caters especially to those travelers who fancy discovery tours and an authentic Asia more than a fixed cruise schedule without having to miss the comfort and atmosphere of a Boutique river cruise ship such as the Mekong Explorer. At night your vessel is moored at a secluded sandbank or at a small village pier. After dinner, a documentary shows the river flow of the Mekong from the Tibetan highlands all the way to the South China Sea. Overnight onboard your river vessel.

DAY 4-5: Pioneering cruise expedition through remote North-East Thailand  (B/L/D)
While enjoying your breakfast on board you will reach the starting point for your next shore excursion. A short drive brings you to an impressive cliff monastery, which stands seven levels high above local rice paddies. Western visitors are welcomed very seldom – just like most of the times during your entire tour. On the fifth day you will go on a short and easy trek (approx. 1 hour) through the tropical environment of Phu Wua National Park. In the afternoon you will cross the river into Laos (as the next immigration office is several driving hours away Mekong River Cruises arranges for a special permit by the provincial Lao government that their guests can enter Laos today without having to pass immigration). Continue to the small village of Pak Khading where we join a long-tail boat for a trip up the Nam Khading River to visit a remote village. Returning back to Thailand and your cruise vessel; continue your cruise further south. Overnight onboard your river vessel.

DAY 6: Nakhon Phanom  (B/L/D)
In this region picturesque karst-mountains pass by on the Lao side of the river. After a few hours cruise along the mighty Mekong – “the mother of all waters” as the locals call the river here – you will reach the provincial town of Nakhon Phanom. You will get acquainted with the town during a short city tour on a motor-rikscha/TukTuk or by foot. The governor’s palace was formerly the residence of the Thai kings while visiting this part of the country, today it serves as a local museum. In the late 1920s Ho Chi Minh planned and organized the Vietnamese communist movement from his exile in Nakhon Phanom. Your will visit the house where he lived during these years. In Nakhon Phanom we recommend to join your tour guide to have a drink in a local bar – menus with latin characters will probably be not available anywhere, though. Overnight onboard your river vessel.

DAY 7: Thailand and Laos - two worlds apart yet so close  (B/L/D)
This morning you will cross the river into Laos (see below for visa requirements for Laos). In the town of Thakhek you will find many remaining buildings from the French colonial era. Once planned to become the capitol of Laos under French rule, today’s Thakhek is a typical charming and sleepy Lao provincial town that you get acquainted with during a guided stroll. In the surroundings of the city at the foot of a karst mountain panorama a Buddhist-grotto was discovered only a few years ago in 2004 and will also be part of your visit. After returning back to Thailand you will reach the holy pilgrim center of That Phanom. Legend has it that Buddha himself came here to command that after his death one of his breastbones be treasured in That Phanom as a reliquary. The devoutness of the local pilgrims which you will notice during your visit of the temple and its Buddhist mural-walls and well kept garden is quite impressive. At night you will celebrate your farewell dinner together with your crew and captain! Overnight onboard your river vessel.

DAY 8: Farewell to Isaan! (B/L/-)
After breakfast you will disembark and leave with your entire luggage. You can leave towards Ubon Ratchathani (UBP) from where frequent flights to Bangkok are offered by Thai Airways. If time allows you will be visiting the Ubon national museum after your lunch in a local restaurant. End of service in the afternoon upon reaching Ubon Ratchathani airport.
There are many other possibilities to continue your exploration of Thailand and/or Laos, e.g. spend a night in a lovely river lodge in Khong Chiam or cross the Mekong Bridge into Southern Laos to Pakse (where you can enjoy another fantastic cruise through the region of 4,000 islands on the Mekong Islands river vessel). Whatever you prefer, we will be happy to arrange your individual tour services upon request!
 NOTE: Every river cruise on the Mekong is a pioneer experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions, including from floodwaters and shallows. Therefore please understand that we must reserve the right to alter the itinerary of this tour due to the logistical complexities involved. Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, local authorities and river and/or road conditions. For safety reasons and according to navigating conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice.

8days-luong Prabang

8-days Luang Prabang - Golden Triangle

On this route the river vessel takes you upstream the Mekong starting in Luang Prabang passing amongst others the famous caves of Pak Ou and the market town of Pakbeng. The tour ends in the Golden Triangle with a visit of the Golden Buddha of Sop Ruak and the Hall of Opium - a fascinating museum
YOUR ROUTE: LUANG PRABANG – KUANG SI – PAK OU – PAKBENG – PAK THA – HUAY XAY – GOLDEN TRIANGLE

DAY 1: LUANG PRABANG – EMBARKATION (-/-/D)
In the afternoon, you will embark at one of the German-Laotian owned river ships Mekong Sun and/ or Explorer. These are comfortable new cabin cruiser on the upper Mekong. (Check in is at 2:00 PM.) Settle into your accommodating cabin and unpack for a four-day cruise. Your program begins with a walk and visit at the famous Wat Xieng Thong temple, Wat Khili and Wat Sene 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. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 2: LUANG PRABANG CITY TOUR (B/L/-)
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 Wat Visoun, Wat Manorom 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. For Dinner on your own our Cruisedirector and/ or Lao Staff will recommend you some of the best local and international restaurants in town. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 3: LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU (B/L/D)
In the early morning you will able to visit the traditional giving of alms in the streets of Luang Prabang. Today your spectacular cruise begins with the departure from Luang Prabang. 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. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 4: TAXUANG (B/L/D)
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. Overnight on the boat.

DAY 5: PAKBENG (B/L/D)
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. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 6: PAK THA - HUAY XAY / CHIANG KHONG (B/L/D)
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 Huay Xay (Laos). You will then spend a last relaxing dinner and evening in Laos. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 7: THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE (B/L/D)
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. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 8: DISEMBARK (B/-/-)
After breakfast you will say goodbye to your Laotian crew. Check-out and disembark.*
* Depending on season and water level the check-out will either be at Chiang Saen or Chiang Khong. (Regularly until early December the check-out will be at Chiang Saen, afterwards until May it will be Chiang Khong.)
NOTE: Every river cruise on the upper Mekong is a pioneering experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions, including from flood waters and shallows. Therefore please understand that we must reserve the right to alter the itinerary of this tour due to the logistical complexities involved. Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, local authorities and river and/or road conditions. For safety reasons and according to navigation conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice.