Day 1: Chieng Saen - Embaraktion (D)
In the afternoon, you will embark at one of the German-Laotian owned river ships Mekong Sun and/ or Explorer. These are comfortable new cabin cruiser on the upper Mekong. (Check in is at 2:00 PM.) Settle into your accommodating cabin and unpack for a four-day cruise. Begin with a walk up Phou Si-hill, which offers a spectacular sunset view over the Mekong as well as the Khan river and the surrounding mountains. Enjoy the spacious decks, lounge on board and attend our welcome reception and dinner this evening. A selection of Asian and European food will be provided throughout the cruise. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.
Day 2: Luang Prabang (B, L)
In the early morning you will able to visit the traditional giving of alms in the streets of Luang Prabang. Breakfast is on board. Today you will experience the town during a full day visit. You will get to know some of the many highlights of this beautiful city, incl. the famous Wat Xieng Thong temple and enjoy the unique atmosphere provided by the abundance of well-preserved French colonial architecture mingling with traditional Buddhist temples. In the afternoon walk up Phou Si-hill, which offers a spectacular sunset view over the Mekong as well as the Khan river and the surrounding mountains. In the evening, enjoy strolling along the Mekong promenade or visiting the colorful night market of the local Hmong minority.
Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer
Day 3: Luang Prabang - Pak Ou (B, L, D)
In the early morning you will able to visit the traditional giving of alms in the streets of Luang Prabang. Today your spectacular cruise begins with the departure from Luang Prabang. You will cruise north and visit a Laotian village, observe the traditional production of Lao-Lao, the local liqueur. After a short walk through the jungle you will explore the famous Pak Ou Caves, with thousands of small Buddha statues inside the caverns. The night is spent on a secluded river bank or sandbank. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.
Day 4: Taxuang (B, L, D)
Today is a day to take it all in – relax on deck, in your comfortable cabin or in the lounge and soak up the untouched scenery. The river traffic thins out as you proceed upstream, and you can enjoy the fantastic landscapes along the river. In the afternoon, you will visit a small village school sponsored by guests of the Mekong Sun/ Explorer. Overnight on the boat.
Day 5: pakpeng (B, L, D)
The diversity of the landscape is astonishing, now shifting to tropical hills in the background. Enjoy the tranquility of northern Laos, a real retreat from the hustle-and-bustle of daily life. Later, that day you will have a short stop in the market town of Pakbeng. As you cruise along the green hills, you will start heading upstream towards Pak Tha.
Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.
Day 6: Pak Tha - Huaxay - Chiang Khong (B, L, D)
As you cruise along the green hills, you will start heading upstream towards Pak Tha. At Pak Tha, a small village, you will take off on a long-tail boat excursion on the Namtha River to visit a Khmu village. You will also visit a small village school sponsored by guests of the Mekong Sun/ Explorer. The purely natural landscape is only broken by the seldom sights of small villages and local herds of cattle. Enjoy the comfort and service onboard: exclusive, yet casual, you’ll share the boat with no more than 26 fellow guests. Today you proceed to the Thai-Laotian border at Chiang Khong (Thailand) and Ban Huay Xay (Laos). You will then spend a last relaxing dinner and evening in Laos. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.
Day 7: The Gold Triang (B, L, D)
Today is spent on an excursion to the Golden Triangle area at Chiang Saen, where you will visit the Golden Buddha of Sop Ruak and the new 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. This last evening on board will be celebrated with a farewell dinner. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.
Day 8: Disembark (B)
After breakfast you will say goodbye to your Laotian crew. Check-out and disembark. End of services.
* Depending on season and water level the check-out will either be at Chiang Saen or Chiang Khong. (Regularly until early December the check-out will be at Chiang Saen, afterwards until May it will be Chiang Khong.)
NOTE: Every river cruise on the upper Mekong is a pioneer experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions, including from floodwaters and shallows. Therefore please understand that we must reservethe right to alter the itinerary of this tour due to the logistical complexities involved. Small deviations in thetour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, local authorities and river and/or roadconditions. For safety reasons and according to navigating conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice.