Down the Mekong in Depth (8days/7nights) Huayxai – Pakbeng – Luang Probing – Vientiane and Vat Phou Cruise
Day1. Arrive Huayxai – Pakbeng
08h30: Within the Mekong region, the capital of the Lao province of Bokèo, Huay Xai is an important border crossing point with neighboring Chiang Khong, Thailand and was thus chosen as the ideal departing port for the cruise
10h30: After one-hour journeying along the river, the boat stops at a traditional village. This is a chance to observe rural life along the Mekong and witness the daily life of ethnic minorities and their talented craftsmanship
12h30: Lunch is served on board in a buffet style with a selection of main course from Laos’ main culinary delights as well as a choice of dishes
16h00: The river cruise arrives at Luang Say Lodge near Pakbeng before sunset, giving plenty of time to refresh, enjoy the scenery of the river and admire the surrounding nature.A Laotian dinner is served on the open air terrace overlooking the Mekong River
NOTE: Luangsay Cruise schedule:
Oct-Mar: Departure every Monday, Thursday & Friday
01 Apr-30 Sep: Departure every Monday & Friday
June: No cruises operation
Day2. Pakbeng-Pak Ou Cave-Luang Prabang
7h00: Mornings are special times at Luang Say Lodge with stunning sights of the peaceful neighboring mountains, often shrouded in mist, while a full breakfast is served on the expansive teak terrace.
8h00: The cruise departs for another day of nature discovery along the legendary river with two stops planned along the way to Luang Prabang
10h30: A few hours into the day after enjoying the sights of granite cliffs and sparkling sandy shores, the river boat makes a stop to visit the hill tribe village of Baw, where you can watch the traditional process of making Lao whiskey
12h30: Lunch is served on board in a buffet style with
a selection of main course from Laos’ cuisine. A different choice of dishes than on the first day is
prepared for a greater culinary experience
15h30: Opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River, near Pak Ou village, the cruise stops to visit the Tam Thing cave. Translated as Rock Cave, it is famous for housing over 2,500 Buddha statues of all sizes and for being a place of pilgrimage for locals
17h00: Following a day along the wide Mekong river, with beautiful sceneries of mountains, wild nature, local life and delicious food, the cruise arrives at Luang Prabang, the former imperial capital of Laos.
Day3. Luang Prabang – Half Day City Tour – Kuang Si Waterfalls
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (often in the form of sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the ritual.
AM: We explore, Wat Visoun, Wat Khili and Wat Mai. Later, visit the former Royal Palace, now a National Museum, where you will find ornate, gilded and brocaded reception rooms, as well as artefacts including the Prabang, a large holy image, which was given in the 14th century by the Khmers to King Fa Ngum. At sunset we climb the nearby temple-topped hill of Mount Phousi where you’ll catch a lovely view over the town and the Mekong River.
PM: We travel out of the town this afternoon and visit the most beautiful waterfall in Luang Prabang. On the way, we visit Phousi Market, where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional handicrafts, and today we will visit the villages of Ban Ouay and Ban Thapene and the weaving village of Ban Phanom which are populated by Lao ethnic minority groups. We spend time at the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you Take a dip in the inviting pools or walk along the forest paths. We return to Luang Prabang city by late afternoon and visit the Night Market, where you can find the lovely selection of handmade textiles from local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang
Day4. Luang Prabang – Vientiane – City tour
Today, you catch your flight to Vientiane. Here, see the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket with its thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha image. On the way to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop enroute to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. We watch the sunset by Mekong Riverside and spend the evening here absorbing the city’s nightlife
Day5. Vientiane – Pakse-Vat Phou Cruise
You will depart Vientiane early for your 6.30am flight to Pakse. On arrival you will be met and transferred to the Vat Phou Cruise
09h00-10h00: After meeting at the Sinouk Coffee House in central Pakse at 9:30am, we transfer you to our cruise boat via long tail riverboat, for your 2.5 hour journey to Champassak.
12h30: Upon boarding at the Vat Phou boat, we help you to your cabins to unpack, before serving lunch on deck. All meals are included on the Vat Phou Mekong cruise and our galley produces the finest of Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai dishes, lovingly prepared and beautifully presented
14h30: The highlight of the afternoon is the Vat Phou ruins – the majestic pre-Angkorian 10th century temple complex and our boat’s namesake. You have time to visit the museum at the ruins site, walk up to the highest temple and take as many photos as you would like
17h00: As dusk falls, we transfer you back to the Vat Phou boat for a chance to enjoy the tropical sunset on the deck. Dinner is served on board, while the boat docks for the night alongside a remote Laotian village
Day6: HUEI THAMO > OUM MUONG TEMPLE > KHONG ISLAND
07h00-10h30: Breakfast is on board as we set sail for the village of Tomo. This is a small village a few minutes walk away from the mysterious hidden forest temple of Oum Muong. Afterwards we rejoin the boat to continue our cruise southwards
12h30: Lunch is on the deck, while we leisurely sail closer to the wild paradise known as the 4,000 Islands All meals are included on the Vat Phou Mekong cruise and the galley produces the finest of Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai dishes, lovingly prepared and beautifully presented
16h30: Late afternoon we disembark from the boat to walk through Ban Deua Tia, a small Laotian Village where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries, you will also visit the local school and share some time with the students.Our day’s cruise finishes at the most northern tip of
Don Khong, the largest inhabited island in the river archipelago. After dinner, the evening is yours to relax and enjoy.
Day7: DON KHONE > PHA PHENG WATERFALL > PAKSE
07h00: While you have breakfast on the deck, the Vat Phou boat cruises down the Mekong to the small village of Ban Veuthong, where you board a small boat to meander among the 4,000 Islands to Khone Island. You will visit the old French railway, the French colonial house and walk across the bridge that links Khone and Det Islands.12h00: Enjoy a lunch at a local restaurant on Don Khone
Island along the banks of the river
13h00-16h30: This afternoon you will visit the Khone PhaPheng waterfalls, the “Niagara of the East”. After your visit to Phapheng waterfall you will be transferred back to Pakse by bus where and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Pakse
Day8: Pakse – Departure
Depending on your flight, you may have time at leisure before you will be transferred to the airport in time for your departing flight! END OF SERVICES