Cruise the Laos Mekong
15 Day Tour, from £4195 per person
Discover laidback Laos from the mighty Mekong on this 15-day holiday. Board the traditional RV Laos Pandaw in the Golden Triangle, northern Thailand and travel south through Laos passing rural villages and majestic scenery. Explore the Buddha-crammed Pak Ou Caves which are an important religious site for the Laotian people and offer spectacular views of the limestone cliff faces.
Journey south to the historic city of Luang Prabang home to a vast array of beautiful temples and UNESCO World Heritage sites and barter for bargains in the colourful night markets. Take a cooling dip in the nearby Khuang Si Waterfalls and stroll through a local village sitting on the Thai/Laos border. End the adventure in the French influenced city of Vientiane, a quiet capital by Asian standards, and enjoy visits including Sisaket Temple, Wat Prakeo Temple and the Phatouxay Monument.
Fly to Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand.
Land Chiang Rai and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the day at leisure, why not head to the locally revered Wat Phra Kaew and adjacent museum.
You will be collected and transferred into Laos. En-route enjoy a brief tour of the Golden Triangle region and visit the infamous Opium Museum. Embark on the Pandaw Cruise late afternoon and enjoy a colourful sunset onboard. (B/D)
This morning complete immigration formalities at the Thai/Laos border and sail downstream via the stunning upper Mekong River passing local villages and jungle scenery. Enjoy lunch and in the afternoon, time and weather permitting, head out into the rugged Laos jungle to explore a traditional village. Return to the boat and overnight onboard. (B/L/D)
This morning enjoy a walking tour of Pak Beng, a small, local trading town before continuing downstream to Pak Ou. Board a local boat and enter the Nam Ou River tributary and head into the Pak Ou Buddha Caves which sit surrounded by limestone cliffs. Return to the boat for dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)
Arrive into this historic city early morning and head out to discover this ancient city which boasts a wealth of fascinating sights to explore. Visit the Royal Palace, Wat Xieng Thong with its flamboyant gilt work and the sumptuous monastery of Wat Mai. The city is also famed for its interesting and varied night markets, some delightful cafes and excellent local restaurants.
An early start today. Head out to observe the traditional morning alms offering by local people to the hundreds of Buddhist monks who walk through the city each morning. There is the opportunity to join in with our giving of offerings. This is followed by free time before an afternoon traditional dance performance on board the Laos Pandaw. (B/L/D)
This morning will be spent exploring the deep jungle pools at the picturesque Khuang Si Waterfall with the chance to enjoy a dip in the cooling pools. Stroll through the teak forest trails and visit the butterfly farm. Time permitting there may also be time to visit the elephant camp. Enjoy lunch followed by a cookery demonstration on board while cruising onwards down the mighty Mekong. (B/L/D)
Cruise through the water lock at the Xayaburi Dam project and once through stop for a village visit in the late afternoon. (B/L/D)
This morning visit Ban Pak Huoang, a traditional village which sits on the Thai/Laos border. Continue onwards to Pak Sao and head into a village plantation to meet the locals. (B/L/D)
Pass through dramatic landscapes of lush jungle and rugged mountains where the river can be found to flow fast and wild. Enter the cultivated plains of Vientiane and arrive into the city mid-afternoon and moor overnight. There is the chance to hop ashore here and head out for some independent sightseeing. (B/L/D)
Spend this morning on a guided exploration of the city. Visit Sisaket Temple, the President's Hall, Wat Prakeo Temple and the Phatouxay Monument. The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore the many cafes and bistros in this charming French-influenced city. Enjoy farewell cocktails and dinner on your final night. (B/L/D)
Disembark the boat this morning and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure relaxing at the hotel. (B)
This morning depart the city and head out to discover the quirky and unusual Buddha Park. The afternoon is free at leisure. (B)
Transfer to Vientiane airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)
15 day tour, from £4195 per person
- Return flights in economy class with Thai Airlines via Bangkok from London Heathrow
- All airport taxes & security charges
- Accommodation in hotels with breakfast
- Meals as specified (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
- All transfers and transportation
- Sightseeing with English-speaking guide/driver
- All local boat rentals as mentioned in the program
- All entrance fees and sightseeing as mentioned in the program
- Laos visa on arrival fee - US$35 per person (plus two passport photographs)
- Travel Insurance
- Tips and gratuities
- Meals that are not listed on the itinerary
The cruise has regular departures, both up and down stream, starting September 2016. Please speak to a Regent Travel Specialist for further details and cruise dates.
RV Laos Pandaw
The RV Laos Pandaw has been in operation since 2015 and was converted from a 40 metre barge originally used to haul heavy loads of cement and rice across the border to China. The ship offers just 10 main deck, en-suite staterooms which are finished in traditional style in teak and brass. The cabins are a good size at 180 square feet and offer panoramic sliding doors for unparalleled views of the passing Mekong scenery. In-room amenities include kimonos and slippers, premium mattresses and imported linens, spa-branded amenities, hair dryer and in-room safe.
The ship boasts an international culinary team and an extensive wine list. Start the day with something from the onboard bakery which offers freshly baked breads and rolls. There is a complimentary service of drinks including tea, coffee, soft drinks, local beers and spirits and fruit juices. The open air lounge and bar is the perfect venue for a cocktail at the end of the day.
Click on images to enlarge
Tour Route Map
- Laos, Chiang Saen
- Laos, Pakbeng
- Laos, Pak Ou Caves
- Laos, Luang Prabang
- Laos, Ban Pak Huoang
- Laos, Vientiane
Click on images to enlarge