Tailor-made Tour 19 days from £3460 per person
Places Visited: Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Pakbeng, Pak Ou caves, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Pakse, Si Phan Don, Kratie, Phnom Penh, Chau Doc, Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City
Starting in northern Thailand for two nights, discover the Golden Triangle region, where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. Then, cross into Laos, travelling down the Mekong on a scheduled cruise - a small converted rice-barge, shared with other passengers. Stay overnight in a village on the banks of the Mekong. Continue down-river to Luang Prabang, a charming UNESCO protected heritage town that developed around the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. Travel overland, through mountainous countryside, to the tiny capital Vientiane. Experience evening eateries bordering the Mekong, and explore the French boulevards of the miniature low-rise city.
Continue south to Pakse, and explore relatively flat southern Laos, staying on an island in the middle of the Mekong. Travel by boat along the Mekong, crossing into Cambodia, and try to spot the rare Irrawaddy dolphin that inhabits this part of the river. Continue to vibrant Phnom Penh, along dusty and bumpy roads, through rural Cambodia, and spend a couple of nights in the small city. Board a speedboat and travel along the Mekong onto Vietnam. Spend some time exploring the Mekong Delta, before travelling to Ho Chi Minh City.
Cruising Holidays Cultural Holidays Active Holidays
Fly from the UK to Bangkok.
Bangkok - Chiang Rai
Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Rai. You will be met on arrival and driven to your hotel in rural Chiang Rai. Spend the rest of the day acclimatising.
Have a day exploring the scenic Golden Triangle region. Learn about the infamous history of the area as a notorious region of opium production, and what the Royal Project is doing to stop this trade. See the point where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet.
Chiang Rai - Pakbeng
Cross into Laos, and spend the day travelling down the Mekong river onboard the Luangsay Cruise; a shared converted rice-barge. Visit interesting riverside villages as you head south, and stay in a bungalow overlooking the Mekong in the village of Pakbeng.
Pakbeng - Luang Prabang
Continue south, spending a further day on the Mekong. Stop en-route at Pak Ou Caves; a network of riverside caverns housing hundreds of Buddha images. Arrive in the UNESCO protected town of Luang Prabang.
Spend the day exploring the town of Luang Prabang with your guide. The town has many fascinating temples, and the Franco streets are pleasant to explore. Watching the sun setting over the Mekong river before exploring the night-market is recommended.
In the morning, travel out to the Kuangsi waterfall. Climb to the top, and afterwards take a dip in one of the refreshing natural pools. Have the afternoon to explore the town at leisure.
Luang Prabang - Vientiane
Travel by road along scenic mountain passes, south towards the capital. It’s a long journey - about 7 hours - but gives the traveller a sense of perspective and an insight into the northern mountainous region. Arrive in the sleepy capital Vientiane.
Have a half day tour of Vientiane. Although it’s small, Vientiane is fascinating. Patuxai is Laos’ Arc de Triomphe and looks out onto a wide Parisian-style boulevard. Pha That Luang is a beautiful gold stupa also in the centre. Spend the afternoon strolling around at leisure, and perhaps have some grilled seafood and cold Beer Lao at one of the simple food stalls lining the Mekong river.
Vientiane - Pakse
Fly south to Pakse. Travel by road onto Si Phan Don (4,000 Islands region). Take a small boat to Don Khone, an inhabited island in the region. Have the afternoon at leisure to explore the villages on the island. It is very easy to get around on foot or bicycle. Stay on the island for two nights.
Si Phan Don
In the morning, take a boat trip around Si Phan Don. Visit the mighty Khone Phapheng waterfalls. Spend the afternoon exploring the slow-paced island at leisure.
Si Phan Don - Kratie
Continue south along the Mekong, crossing into Cambodia. Travel further, partly by boat and partly by road, to Kratie. Here, spend the afternoon on a boat looking for the rare Irrawaddy dolphin that inhabit this area. Spend the night in Kratie.
Kratie - Phnom Penh
Travel by road to the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Have the rest of the day at leisure, and perhaps enjoy an evening stroll along the Mekong river. The riverside area is bustling with local families in the evening, who flock to the area to enjoy the cooler evening temperatures, and the many different street-foods available to try.
Have the day in Phnom Penh with your guide, learning more about the fascinating and dynamic city including a visit to the impressive Royal Palace, and the art-deco Psar Thmei market. Consider a visit to the genocide museums to reflect on the country’s recent tragic past.
Phnom Penh - Chau Doc
Take a speedboat from the centre of Phnom Penh, along the Mekong river and into Vietnam. The journey takes about five hours, and you will pass lush scenery along the way. Spend the night in Chau Doc, a busy Mekong Delta town.
Chau Doc - Can Tho
Explore the waterways around the Mekong Delta, that the local people rely so heavily on. The Mekong Delta is the centre of Vietnam’s rice cultivation industry, and you will have the opportunity to learn more about this. Spend the night in Can Tho, another important town in the Mekong Delta.
Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh City
Rise early to visit the fascinating Cai Rang floating market, and learn about the trade that goes on here. Later, continue onto Ho Chi Minh City by road. Spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City - Bangkok
Have a half day tour of Ho Chi Minh City, taking in the Reunification Palace, amongst other sights. Later in the day, you are driven to the airport. Take a flight to Bangkok to connect with your flight back to the UK.
Arrive back in the UK in the early morning.
Tailor-made Tour 19 days from £3460 per person
✓ International flights from London
✓ 16 nights accommodation
✓ All internal transportation and transfers
✓ English-speaking guides
✓ Breakfast daily
✓ Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary
Places and Experiences in this tour
Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle
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 ...
Enfolded by low, wooded hills, Luang Prabang languishes amid a gauzy tranquillity on a peninsula in the Mekong. Long regarded as the country’s preeminent cultural and religious ca...
Pakse and Vat Phou
Dominated by the Mekong, the flat, riverine terrain of Laos’ southernmost region is prodigiously fertile, though seen by comparatively few foreigners until recently, when a cluste...
Si Phan Don
One of the most formidable impediments to full navigation of the Mekong is the mighty Khone Phapeng Falls near the Cambodian border – the largest in Southeast Asia, and a jaw-drop...
Once a thriving French cargo port on the Mekong river, Kratie is now a rather somnolent, backwater market town, fronted by a pot-holed promenade and ranks of buttress-rooted dipte...
The Cambodian capital doesn’t feel in quite so much of a rush to embrace the future as its counterparts elsewhere in Southeast Asia. High-rise buildings are beginning to spring up...
Although the Delta is primarily a rural region, it holds plenty of large, bustling towns too, and Can Tho is the liveliest of them. It’s also the most rewarding to explore, thanks...
Luang Say Cruises
The limestone scenery to the west of Luang Prabang along the Mekong Valley is among the most striking in all of Southeast Asia, and undoubtedly the most comfortable way to experie...
Khong Jiam National Park
At the eastern extremity of Issan, on the Laos-Thai border, the small town of Khong Jiam clusters on the tip of a peninsula overlooking the confluence of the Mekong and Mun Rivers...
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