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The Laos Mekong

Downstream - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard RV Laos Pandaw
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Enjoy a three-country adventure on this 11-day Laos Mekong river cruise as you travel through Laos and Thailand. Pandaw is the first river expedition to cross all of Laos since pre-war days, departing from Chiang Khong. You spend two nights in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, with its dazzling wood-carved monasteries, before continuing deep into the mountains, through rapids and gorges. Explore tribal villages and the surrounding jungle and countryside.
Highlights
  • Visits to the golden Pha That Luang Stupa, Sisaket Temple, the President’s Hall, Wat Prakeo Temple and the Phatouxay monument
  • Morning visit and walking tour to Khamo tribal village, Ban Park Bor Village
  • Explore the unique Pak Ou caves
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Chiang Khong | Embarkation

PLEASE NOTE: The itinerary for this expedition is indicative only and subject to reconnaissance. As you travel to remote areas, changes to the itinerary are inevitably occur. A flexible approach is required if you book this cruise.

Transfers from airports or any city hotel in Chiang Rai (2 hours) and Chiang Mai (6 hours) including Lunch at Ban Rai Sabaidee Farm plus guided visit to the Golden Triangle and the now infamous opium museum. Embark your ship by 16.00 and enjoy welcome drinks on the sundeck with traditional Thai dancing.

Day 2: Into Laos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Pass through immigration formalities at the Thai/Laos border and re-join the ship. Set sail downstream on the beautiful Upper Mekong River, Morning presentation on the Lao language. After lunch, if time allows, sightseeing on foot in Pak Sith.

Day 3: Pak Beng Elephant Sanctuary

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Morning walk at Ban Luang Tong Lao Lowland village. Laos is known as ‘The land of a million elephants’ and after Lunch you visit a rescue sanctuary that is helping to preserve the elephants of Laos and provide sustainable alternative employment for Mahouts who once trained and rode these beautiful creatures. In the evening you moor at a sandbank for a special riverside barbecue and cocktail party. Light paper lanterns with the crew and enjoy a dance in remote Laos.

Day 4: Ban Bor and Yoi Hai Khmu Villages

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you discover the Khmu minority group and learn about their remote way of life. In the morning you visit Ban Bor village, home to the Lao & Khummu people. You have the opportunity to support locally produced handicrafts and walk through the Khummu village of Yoi Haoi in the afternoon.

Day 5: Pak Ou Caves

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continue cruising downstream to Pak Ou, sightseeing by local boat exploring the unique Pak Ou Caves, a Buddhist sanctuary with spectacular limestone cliff faces. See the production of local Laos whisky at the Whisky village and shop for locally produced handicrafts before sailing into the World Heritage City of Luang Prabang. Moor overnight in central Luang Prabang.

Day 6: Luang Prabang Crafts & Culture

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you explore the various handicrafts of Laos in more detail. You start with a morning walk up the 228 steps to Phousi temple where the best views of Luang Prabang can be found. After lunch aboard the ship, you visit Ock Pop Tok, a social enterprise providing sustainable employment and training for the women of local weaving villages. You then head to TAEC (Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre) to understand more about Laos musical instruments. Cocktail hour is accompanied by a traditional Bacci ceremony onboard highlighting some of the instruments seen in the afternoon.

Day 7: Luang Prabang

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early morning walking tour to observe the morning alms offering by local people to the hundreds of monks who walk around the city every morning. You continue after breakfast to the morning market before taking tuktuks for a city tour of this well preserved and unique world heritage site with its many Buddhist temples, libraries and royal palace. The afternoon is free to explore the beauty and unique atmosphere of Luang Prabang.

Day 8: Kaung Si Waterfall

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast sail downstream to Ban Chan where you take part in a pottery demonstration at the local pottery workshop. After Lunch you moor at Ban Mouang Khai and take a short drive to see the deep jungle pools at the Khaung Si Waterfall where you can swim in the crystal-clear waters. You then stop at the Laos Buffalo Farm, a social enterprise utilizing the abundant buffalo in Laos before rejoining the ship. You sail downstream for a sunset cruise and moor overnight at Ban Na San.

Day 9: Xayabouri Dam

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Morning walk through Ban Na San Hmong Village. In the afternoon you pass through Xayabouri Hydroelectric Dam and take an inside look of the workings of this somewhat controversial attraction as you pass through the locks. Afternoon walk at Ban Khok Fark and moor overnight.

Day 10: Ban Pak Yun to Pak Lay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore Ban Pak Yun Mixed minorities tribe in the morning, a rural local village before setting sail to Pak Lay, your final destination. Enjoy a tour of the ship and fruit carving demonstration on the sundeck in the afternoon before farewell cocktails and dinner in the evening.

Day 11: Vientiane | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark at 08:30am followed by a local long-tail boat expedition downstream to Vientiane. Lunch and drinks are provided on the local boat by the ship chef and bar staff. Arrival to Vientiane around 17:30 with drop off at your hotel or Vientiane airport.

Ship/Hotel

RV Laos Pandaw

RV Laos Pandaw - Dining
RV Laos Pandaw - Deck
RV Laos Pandaw - Public Area

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$4,796
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
RV Laos Pandaw - Cabin
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Pandaw Stateroom
Bedroom: 12' x 10' Bathroom: 6' x 4' Showeroom: 2'8" x 3'4" Single Bed: 6'7" x 3'3"

Notes

  • Built in 2015 in Laos
  • Berths: 20 guests
  • Length: 44.50 m
  • Beam: 8.90 m
  • Draft: 1.20 m
Included
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All entrance fees as per program
  • Local mineral water, Jugged coffee, Teas & Tisanes
  • Transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark day
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Laundry 
  • Port Fees
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • Tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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