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  • The Buddhist Stupa, That Luang, Vientiane, Laos
  • Buddhas, Sisaket, Vientiane, Laos
  • Buddhist Temple, Luang Pabang, Laos
  • Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Tak Bat ceremony, Laos
  • Mekong River, Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Rong Khun temple, Chiang Rai province, Northern Thailand

Laos & The Mekong

12-day tailor-made journey from £2,645 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

A 12-day tour of the highlights of Laos as well as a Mekong River cruise

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Highlights

  • Explore the historic sights of Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
  • Cruise the mekong River from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai on the Thai-Laos border.
  • Cross into Thailand and Discover the magnificent mountain scenery and unique tribal culture of Chiang Rai.

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Vientiane
  • 4 Nights Luang Prabang
  • 1 Night Pakbeng
  • 2 Nights Chiang Rai Thailand

Itinerary

Recommended for:
History & culture | Relaxation | River cruise

This 12-day tour of Laos and the Mekong River introduces you to the highlights of Laos and Thailand. Start in Vientiane, where you'll stay at a fantastic hotel, and visit all the beautiful attractions of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, cruise the Mekong from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai on the Thai-Laos border and cross into Thailand. While in Thailand, delight in the magnificent mountain scenery, observe traditional rural life in Chiang Rai and visit southern Chinese-style houses in the village of Mae Salong. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
London – Vientiane

Fly overnight from the UK to Vientiane.

Day 2
Arrive in Vientiane

Arrive at Vientiane airport, where you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in.

Stay: Green Park Boutique Hotel, Vientiane (Superior)

Day 3
Vientiane

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be picked up for a city tour of Vientiane, which will take you to all of the main historic highlights. First, visit Wat Sisaket, the oldest original temple in Vientiane, which features remarkable frescoes and over 6,000 images of the Buddha. Nearby is Haw Phra Kaew, which contains some of the finest Buddhist sculptures and artefacts in the country. The main structure originally housed the famous Emerald Buddha that now resides in Bangkok. 

Other famous landmarks that you will visit include the Phra That Luang stupa, which was built by King Sethtathirat in 1566 and is now considered a national symbol. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, before taking a 25km drive to the south of Vientiane in order to visit the Xieng Khuan Buddha Park. Built in 1958 by a Buddhist monk, the park is located on the banks of the Mekong River and is home to a collection of bizarre stone monuments and huge sculptures depicting the Buddhist and Hindu deities and demons.

Stay: Green Park Boutique Hotel, Vientiane (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 4
Vientiane – Luang Prabang & Walking Highlights Tour

Transfer to the airport for a flight north to Luang Prabang. The UNESCO World Heritage Site town is surrounded by thickly forested mountains and situated at the confluence of the Khan and Mekong Rivers, and has a tranquil, old-world charm. When you arrive, transfer to your hotel before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. Then, head out with your guide for a walking tour of the city. 

Start with a visit to Wat Visoun, the oldest temple that’s still in use in Luang Prabang. The temple dates back to 1513 and contains a collection of antique wooden Buddha. Climb the 350 steps to the summit of Phou Sii Hill, which stands right in the centre of the small city, in order to enjoy commanding views for many miles in each direction. Visit Luang Prabang’s National Museum, formally the Royal Palace, where you can admire a collection of artefacts that belong to the former Laotian Royal Family. Also take in Wat Mai, a temple with a five-tiered roof that epitomises the graceful Luang Prabang architectural style. Finally, visit the Wat Xieng Thon, often said to be Luang Prabang’s most beautiful temple.

Stay: Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum, Luang Prabang (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 5
Luang Prabang – Living Land & Kuang Si Waterfalls

After breakfast at your hotel, take a tour with the Living Land Project. this is a sustainable company set up in Luang Prabang where guests can learn about the importance of sustainable farming methods and how the produce grown can help support local communities. Enjoy the chance to learn about rice farming and the process of planting and harvesting in the rice paddies. The project provides many benefits for the local community and only employs locals or helps to train young members of the community. 

Later, travel out of Luang Prabang for about an hour to the idyllic Kuang Si Waterfalls. You will get the opportunity along the way to visit a Bear Rescue Centre, which is a sanctuary for the region's endangered black bears. Enjoy a picnic lunch near the falls, which cascade hundreds of feet into a series of cool, turquoise pools that it's possible to swim in. Return to Luang Prabang, and make a stop at the Mekong Riverside Garden. The business provides sustainable employment to rural residents through the production and marketing of high-quality textiles. In the late afternoon, enjoy Laotian refreshments and snacks on the banks of the Mekong before spending the rest of the day at your leisure.

Stay: Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum, Luang Prabang (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 6
Luang Prabang – Mahout

Start the day early with a visit to witness the tradition of Tak Bat, where hundreds of saffron-clad monks silently walk through the streets at dawn to collect alms (offerings of food). Afterwards, take a stroll with your local guide through the colourful, open-air morning market that’s located in the town centre and where local people buy and sell their produce. 

After breakfast, take a journey to the Elephant Village eco-project, a 2,000-acre elephant sanctuary in the beautiful and unspoilt Nam Khan River Valley. Lao elephants were traditionally used for logging, but as the forests have disappeared so have the animals. The project invests in community-based eco-programmes and seeks to give elephants a new home. After lunch at the sanctuary, either return to the hotel for spa treatments, or float back downriver to Luang Prabang. In the evening, attend a traditional Baci ceremony and dance performance during which you will receive tidings of good luck for your travels; animism has always played a major part in the religious lives of Lao people, and the Baci is performed to ward off bad spirits.

Stay: Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum, Luang Prabang (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Luang Prabang

After breakfast, spend the day at leisure relaxing, shopping and exploring this atmospheric small town.

Stay: Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum, Luang Prabang (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 8
Luang Prabang – Pakbeng by Luang Say Cruise

After breakfast, transfer to the pier and board a boat that leaves at 7:00am for a cruise on the Mekong River to Luang Say Lodge in Pakbeng. Enjoy a continental breakfast on board before stopping off opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River in order to visit the Pak Ou Caves. Explore the Tham Ting and Tham Phoum caves, and discover thousands of Buddha images. Enjoy a buffet lunch on board before stopping off to visit Ban Baw and observe the local village’s traditional way of life. The boat will arrive at Luang Say Lodge before sunset for an overnight stay.

Stay: Luang Say Lodge, Pakbeng (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Pak Beng – Huay Xai & Chiang Rai, Thailand

A continental breakfast will be served on your terrace at 6:00 am. The boat then leaves Luang Say Lodge at 7:00 am, and will stop off at Huay Xai, where you can witness rural life at the Kamu village of Ban Houy Phalam. Upon arrival at the Laos–Thailand Friendship Bridge in Chiang Khong, cross the border into Thailand. Your English-speaking guide will be waiting at the Immigration Office on the Thai side, and you’ll be transferred south by private car to your hotel in Chiang Rai.

Stay: The Legend of Chiang Rai Hotel (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 10
Chiang Rai – Highlights Tour

Spend the day exploring nearby tribal villages and visiting the Golden Triangle. Set high amid the magnificent mountain scenery, the village of Mae Salong was founded by Kuomintang soldiers who fled China after Mao Tse Tung’s victory in 1949. The combination of pack horses, hill tribes and southern Chinese-style houses conjures images of a small town or village in Yunnan Province in China. There are many fruit wines and liquors on sale at the market and the local illicit corn whisky is in much demand. The tour ends with a visit to the infamous Golden Triangle, which was renowned for centuries as the centre of the opium trade. From the hilltop, admire the splendour of the mighty Mekong merging with the Ruak and forming the ‘triangle’ with Laos, Burma and Thailand. 

Stay: The Legend of Chiang Rai Hotel (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 11
Chiang Rai – Departure

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to Chiang Rai Airport for your flight to London.

Meals: B

Day 12
Arrive London

Arrive in London after your overnight flight and continue your onward journey home.

Map

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Prices

Accommodation rating: Superior

12-day tailor-made journey from £2,645 incl. flights

Guide price from: (Superior) low season from £2,645 high season from £3,025 per person.

Valid for travel: 01 Oct 16 - 30 Sept 17

Package includes: International and domestic flights, transfers, 9 nights accommodation & private touring* and meals as per itinerary. *The only exception is the Luang Say cruise which is experienced as part of a group.

Terms & Conditions: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0613 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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