14 Days Laos Mekong River Cruise from China (Jinghong) to Laos (Luang Prabang) by Pandaw Cruise (Downstream)
DAY 1 JINGHONG Embark in the afternoon followed by briefing on Jinghong and a Chinese language lesson. Afternoon at leisure with opportunity to explore charming Jinghong. Moor overnight in...
Code of Tour: TAD0000010844
Length of Travel: 14 Day
Destinations of Tour: China (Jinghong) - Laos (Luang Prabang)
Departure City: Amarapura
Price of Tour: Request
Type of Tour: Group
Features of Tour: Cruise
DAY 1 JINGHONG
Embark in the afternoon followed by briefing on Jinghong and a Chinese language lesson. Afternoon at leisure with opportunity to explore charming Jinghong.
Moor overnight in Jinghong Port.
DAY 2 JINGHONG
In the morning we will visit the fascinating Tropical Plant Institute, a vast garden with over 13,000 plant species and 35 exhibits. We then continue to Manting Park, the oldest park in Xishuangbanna, dating back 1300 years. Previously a Dai Imperial Garden, the park’s attractions include the opportunity to learn about the culture of the Dai people. Manting Park is also called ‘Chunhuan Park’ which means the place where people can have relieve their mind and soul of all earthly worries.
After dinner we will visit a cultural show at the Maxmumbani Theatre. Moor overnight in Jinghong Port.
DAY 3 SAILING THE MEKONG
Cruise the Mekong in China with its magnificent scenery of picturesque hillsides and dramatic cliffs. Arrive at Guan Lei Port and pass through Chinese immigration. We have reached the Mekong between Laos and Burma. In the afternoon we will visit a Lao Lue village with wooden houses, local temples and local health care centre. The Lue people moved from Xishuangbanna China into Laos.
DAY 4 SOB LUOY PROVINCE
We visit the village of Ban Done Jai now home to the Akha who were originally a hill tribe. Here we see traditional Akha houses and a Lao Lue temple.
Afternoon cruising until Ban Pha Kao where we visit another village and meet the local people. We walk up a small hill adorned with a pagoda and enjoy the beautiful view over the Mekong.
Canapes and cocktails on Sun Deck.
DAY 5 BAN DOM MOON
We venture towards the bustle of the Golden Triangle and return to the most narrow and rapid part of the Mekong you will encounter on this journey. Morning visit to a small village Ban Pok Lok before reaching the Thai border. We travel by local tractor and cart to visit a school and a hot spring.
In the Afternoon we reach Thai immigration and cross the border.
Later we reach Chiang Sean. Moor overnight.
DAY 6 CHIANG SAEN
This morning we visit a Thai hill-tribe village to appreciate a very contrasting culture from Laos.
After lunch on board we explore Chiang Sean and the Wat Phangao Pagoda.
In the evening traditional Thai dancers perform on deck. Overnight in Chiang Saen.
DAY 7 GOLDEN TRIANGLE
In the morning transfer by bus to the smuggler city of Tachilek in Burma where we will visit the “extraordinary” market (essentially one massive duty free area), Chinese temples and the Tachilek Shwedagon Pagoda.
After lunch a visit to the Hall of Opium. The Golden Triangle used to be infamous as one of the largest producers of opium. Various Thai organizations led by the Royal Project and Doi Tung Development Project have spent decades battling this trade. As part of this campaign, the Hall of Opium was built to educate people about the dangers of the drug through an entertaining exhibition which traces opium’s history from its first use 5,000 years ago to current issues of drug abuse and addiction.
To end the day we will reunite at the Buddha Statue at the Golden Triangle to take in the view over the three bordering countries Thailand, Laos and Burma.
Overnight in Chiang Saen.
DAY 8 CHIANG KONG
The morning is spent sailing further downstream with Laos on our left and Thailand on our right. Cooking demonstration by our chef.
Arrive in Chiang Khong, a bustling trading village on the Thai and Laos border connected by the Friendship bridge.
Chiang Khong also has an ethnic diversity of the local Laotian, Thai and Hill tribes, which results in three separate calendars and a variety of festivals held throughout the year.
Overnight in Chiang Kong.
DAY 9 PAK THA & OUDOM SAI DISTRICTS
Pass through immigration formalities at the Thai/Laos border and re-join your Pandaw ship.
Set sail downstream on the beautiful Upper Mekong River. Sightseeing after lunch in Ban Pak Sit, a traditional Laos village. Jungle mooring.
DAY 10 PAK BENG
As the scenery becomes even more dramatic and the river becomes faster and more treacherous, this passage can be very exciting and most passengers sit spellbound on deck. Morning cooking demonstration of popular Laos dishes by our Pandaw chefs. Afternoon walk around the market town of Pak Beng.
DAY 11 SAILING THE MEKONG
An exciting day spent sailing through dramatic scenery of lush jungle and forest, punctuated by tiny villages nestled on the river bank.
Pause for a walk ashore at Ban Huay La village with wooden houses and women at work weaving. Later presentation by the guide on Laos language and culture.
During low water, approximately January to April, we have a sand bank cocktail party or take a small boat to watch elephant bathing.
DAY 12 PAK OU BUDDHA CAVES
This morning we continue downstream and visit a village by small boat known locally as the “Whisky Village”. Learn how they produce their alcohol.
Continue to Pak Ou, a Buddhist sanctuary and one of Laos’ most respected holy sites with spectacular limestone cliff faces. Packed with over 4,000 Buddha icons, the caves which are a shrine to the river spirit and Lord Buddha, are set in a dramatic limestone cliff at the point where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River.
On arrival at Luang Prabang, our jetty is located in the town centre. Join us for an exploratory walk through town including the pretty Wat Xieng Muan Temple to admire the paintings and woodcraft.
DAY 13 LUANG PRABANG
Tour of the World Heritage Site Luang Prabang with its charming traditional Laos wooden houses and many gilded monasteries.
The Royal Palace was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. After the death of King Sisavang Vong, the crown Prince Savang Vatthana and his family were the last to occupy the palace.
We will visit the Buddhist temples Wat Xienthong and Wat Mai, the latter being the biggest and most decorated temple.
Afternoon at leisure for individual exploration. In the evening visit Luang Prabang’s lively night market and savour the buzzing café life.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
DAY 14 KHAUNG SI WATERFALL
05.30am walk to the town centre to watch the alms giving and ceremony. Visit the morning market before returning to the ship for breakfast. Rest of morning at leisure.
After lunch, our bus will take you to the butterfly park, founded by a Dutch couple in 2014 as a research and preservation centre of Laotian butterflies.
After a brief journey we reach our next stop, the stunning Khaung Si Waterfalls with stunning jungle pools and scenery. Don’t forget your swimsuit!
DAY 15 LUANG PRABANG
Disembark after breakfast.
Cruise Price Includes: Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes. Transfers from Luang Prabang airport/hotel to ship in Luang Prabang (until May 2019) or Vientiane / Udon Thani airport/hotel to ship in Vientiane (as of September 2019) v.v. Transfers from Jinghong airport/hotel to ship in Jinghong.
Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.
TRANSFERS & JOINING
DAY 1 JINGHONG
Transfer included from the airport or hotel in Jing Hong. If staying at a city hotel in Jing Hong, you will be picked up between 15.00 – 15.30pm.
Jing Hong Port: Jinghong Port Jetty, No. 51 Xuanwei Road (near Xishuangbanna Bridge).
Disembark in Luang Prabang after breakfast around 08.30am and transfer to airports or hotel in Luang Prabang.