Tailor-made Tour 10 days from £4855 per person

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  Places Visited: Chiang Rai, Huay Xai, Pakbeng, Pak Ou, Luang Prabang, Xayabouri, Don Saynhan, Pha Liep, Sandbank, Vientiane

Known in Laos as the “Mae Nam Khong” (“Mother of Water”), the upper Mekong meanders through fascinating riverine scenes, filled with scenes of captivating and unchanged local life in various settings.

This 7-Night itinerary named “Laotian Serendipity” offers an enjoyable cruise southbound through secluded areas. See isolated local riverside villages and witness how the residents’ daily life unfolds, experience long-standing cultures and traditions, and enjoy active adventures as well as the enchanting laid-back life on board. A full sightseeing of Luang Prabang is included in this cruise.

Anouvong is the first upper Mekong luxury river cruiser, featuring eight staterooms with floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto a French balcony and two suites with front-facing balconies and indoor Jacuzzis. Traditional Laotian artwork with French-Colonial accents spruce up the ship’s cozy public areas, including a Café-Bar & Lounge and the terrace deck, both prime places to be whilst sailing along the meandering river.

Holiday Types

Cultural Holidays River Cruising Holidays


Suggested itinerary

Day 1
Chiang Rai

On arrival into Chiang Rai, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay. Spend the rest of your day relaxing.

In the far north of Thailand, Chiang Rai served briefly as the capital of the medieval Lan Na kingdom before the rise of Chiang Mai. Today, it’s known primarily as the gateway to the Golden Triangle region – “golden” because of the wealth that poured through on the back of the opium trade. A crackdown initiated by the Thai royal family, however, has reduced production of the drug to virtually zero in Thailand, opening up this fascinating corner of upland Asia to visitors once again.

Chief among the Golden Triangle’s attractions are the ethnic minority villages scattered across its hillsides and valleys, where you can experience the traditional lifestyles of the Akhu, Lisu and Karen, among others. Day trips may be undertaken by car from Chiang Rai, but to visit less commercialized settlements it’s necessary to trek for a day or two. Visitors are also permitted to stay overnight in local houses, where you’re encouraged to share meals with local families and help with work in the fields.

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Day 2
Huay Xai, Khon Teun, Huay Ting

Transfer to Chiang Khong, on the Laos border, where you will be met by the Heritage Line crew. They will assist you through immigration to Huay Xai pier, and onto your vessel, Anouvong. Start your journey downstream, to a village, inhabited by 800 residents belonging to the Tai Lu ethnic group. Take a walk through the village and gather together for a Baci ceremony. Back onboard the ship will continue its journey downstream, reaching our overnight spot at Huay Ting. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner.

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Day 3
Pakbeng, Khok Ek

For those early risers with the sun, join the daily morning yoga class on the terrace deck before breakfast. Your journey brings you this morning to the charming town of Pakbeng, and nestled on the starboard side lies Laos' best-managed elephant sanctuary. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind encounter with these gentle creatures. After lunch join a bamboo weaving workshop before arriving at the village of Khok Ek, home to three distinct ethnic groups - Hmong, Lao Loum, and Khamo. Enjoy a traditional performance this evening before dinner.

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Day 4
Pak Ou, Luang Prabang

Spend the morning relaxing onboard or listen to an enthralling presentation on the intricate history of the Golden Triangle. Arrive at Pak Ou Caves after lunch, with two limestone grottoes that house approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images. Visit the lower and most impressive cave before an optional kayak or boat ride to the nearby village of Ban Muang Keo to witness some traditional silk weaving. Arrive in Luang Prabang in the early evening with time after dinner to take a stroll through its streets.

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Day 5
Luang Prabang

After breakfast, embark on a walking tour through Luang Prabang. Your guide wil lead you through the old town and its scenic peninsula, where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers converge. Marvel at the distinctive architecture that graces Luang Prabang's streets and immerse yourself in fascinating tales of the houses and landmarks you encounter. Back onboard for lunch before visiting the former Royal Palace, now transformed into the National Museum. Dinner tonight will be at the renowned ‘Le Caloa’ restaurant. Return to the ship after or continue your exploration of the town, including a visit to the nearby vibrant Night Market.

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Day 6
Luang Prabang, Kuang Si, Xayabouri

Before the daylight basks the town in warm golden tones, the morning alms round, referred to as “Tak Bat” in Lao, is a spiritual Buddhist tradition for Lao people and dates back generations. Wake up before dawn to witness a procession of hundreds of saffron-robed monks in the early morning light, before your cruise continues downstream. En route you'll visit an innovative and socially responsible Laos Buffalo Dairy Farm and the cascading Kuang Si waterfalls. Continue downstream to the Xayaburi Hydroelectric Dam.

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Day 7
Don Saynhan

After passing the dam, the ship continues downstream this morning. Enjoy a talk onboard on the history of Lao royalty or partake in a cooking class. In the afternoon you'll reach Don Saynhan and set out to explore the village and area. Take a local “Tuk Tuk” and travel inland to visit the so-called ‘Khao Cave’, home to a large bat population and a vital source of potent fertilizer for the village. You can stroll inside to see stalagmites and stalactites as well.

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Day 8
Pha Liep, Sandbank

This mornings journey takes you to the lovely village of Pha Liep, where the landscape is adorned with majestic limestone mountains, forming a magnificent. picturesque and picture-perfect backdrop. Visit a local craftshop producing traditional longtail boat as well as a local whiskey distillery. Setting sail once again the final night is spend moored at a remote sandbar. Enjoy a cocktail reception and barbecue dinner under the Laotian sky.

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Day 9

Enjoy your last sunrise aboard with a morning Yoga outside on the deck followed by breakfastal fresco taking in the last of the views. Disembark from the ship at Pak Lay before transferring in minivans to Vientiane. You will reach the city around 12:30 hrs. Transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Southeast Asia’s smallest capital, Vientiane, started life as a Khmer trading post on the Mekong and later expanded during the reign of the Lao Kings. Gallic influence, dating from the French Indochina era of the 19th and 20th centuries, is still very much to the fore in the grid of orderly, tree-lined boulevards and backstreets hugging the river, where the peeling stucco facades and weathered shutters of old colonial villas are draped in bougainvillea.

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Day 10
Vientiane, UK

Transfer to the airport to begin your journey home.

Accommodation Options

Tailor-made Tour 10 days from £4855 per person

What's included

  • 9 nights accommodation
  • All road travel and transfers by private chauffeur-driven vehicles
  • English-speaking guides
  • Breakfast daily
  • Full board on Anouvong Cruise
  • Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary

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