Savour the magnificent scenery of the Mekong River on this unique cruise from the Golden Triangle in Thailand to Luang Prabang and further south to the Laotian capital of Vientiane. Travel along formerly inaccessible stretches of Southeast Asia's most exciting river. Discover Vientiane and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, stroll through colourful markets, and experience firsthand the Laotian people’s traditional way of life. Relax aboard your exclusive river vessel and enjoy the unspoiled nature along the mighty upper Mekong – one of the most difficult rivers in the world to navigate, with fluctuating water levels, tight gorges, labyrinths of sandbanks and churning rapids.
Your Fly, Stay & Cruise Package Includes:
- Economy class flights from Sydney to Chiang Rai, returning from Luang Prabang
- 1 night’s accommodation in Chiang Rai including breakfast
- 8 day Upper Mekong River Cruise onboard Mekong Pearl, Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang
- Includes select meals & beverages, all excursions & necessary entry fees as per itinerary + more
- Transfers throughout
- Port charges, fees, gratuities onboard your cruise & airline taxes
Extend your flights and stay longer - talk to our travel experts about more options!
DAY 1 Chiang Rai – The Golden Triangle - Embarkation
Meet and greet at between 8 and 9am in Chiang Rai city. Transfer by bus to the Golden Triangle area at Chiang Saen. You will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant overlooking the Mekong before visiting the Golden Buddha of Sop Ruak and the modern 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 using multimedia exhibitions. In the evening embark on your comfortable German-Laotian boutique cruise ship. Settle into your comfortable cabin and unpack for a seven-night cruise. Tonight, you can enjoy the spacious decks, lounge onboard and attend your evening welcome reception.
DAY 2 Welcome to Laos
This morning your cruise will take you from the Golden Triangle region between Burma, Laos and Thailand into the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos (Most nationalities can obtain visa on arrival here against USD in cash plus passport sized picture, please inquire with your local embassy about visa regulations). From the town of Huay Xay on the Laotian - Thai border your voyage leads into northern Laos amidst beautiful scenery. Continue to the small village of Pak Tha, where we join a longtail boat for a trip up the Nam Tha River to visit a remote Khmu village. You will visit a small village school sponsored by guests of Mekong River Cruises.
DAY 3 The Mighty Mekong
The river traffic increases as you pass through a densely populated region accessible only by water. Relax on deck, in your comfortable cabin or in the lounge and soak up the remote scenery the landscape becomes more and more spectacular: hills covered with tropical vegetation, awe-inspiring rock formations along the riverbanks, and a fascinating array of fast currents and slower river parts on the river. The power of the mighty Mekong will give your cruise the feeling of a real expedition.
DAY 4 Pak Ou Caves
After a relaxing morning on board, we stop at famous Pak Ou Caves with thousands of small Buddha statues inside the caves. From here, you can optionally go on a short jungle trek through the forest to a small riverside village and visit their local distillery. Alternatively, you can reach the village comfortably by boat as well. This evening we enjoy our famous Mekong River Cruises BBQ dinner in a beautiful riverside location.
DAY 5 UNESCO World Heritage City of Luang Prabang
Today you reach Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a city walk to the famous Wat Xieng Thong temple with its Golden tiled roofs will surely leave you in awe. Explore other highlights during this full day excursion through Luang Prabang. In the evening walk up Phou Si-hill, which offers a spectacular view over the Mekong as well as the Khan River and the surrounding mountains, enjoy strolling along the Mekong promenade or visiting the colourful night market of the local Hmong minority. As Luang Prabang offers many opportunities for fine dining, tonight you are free to choose from the numerous offerings in town or along the Mekong River.
DAY 6 Relaxing & village life
In the early morning you can visit the traditional giving of alms in the streets of Luang Prabang. After returning onboard for breakfast your cruise will take you further downriver, where you will discover some of the remarkable and impressive landscapes. In the afternoon visit a traditional village of the Hmong hill tribe. Enjoy the beautiful views and watch nature’s wonders along the shores before you stop at a remote place to stay for the night.
DAY 7 Kuang Si Waterfalls
An excursion by local Tuk Tuks will take you to the Kuang Si-falls, one of the most attractive waterfalls in Laos. Once you are back onboard your cruise returns to Luang Prabang after lunch. This afternoon you are free to explore the beautiful town on your own pace, rent a bike to reach some of the lively outskirts of the town (optionally against premium) or spend some time shopping for souvenirs or presents for your loved ones at home. In the evening enjoy a traditional Lao Baci Ceremony and watch some local dances onboard before celebrating with your local crew your farewell dinner.
DAY 8 Disembarkation
After breakfast you will say goodbye to your Laotian crew. Check-out and disembark. End of services with your transfer to the airport or your hotel in Luang Prabang (within city limits)