Days
9
Price from
€1,620EUR

Follow the Mekong River and uncover the secrets of Laos. From the bustle of Bangkok, we find a quieter South East Asia in the north of Thailand and an even more tranquil one still when we cross into Laos. The regal temples, with spires pointing towards the heavens, extols the glories of Theravada Buddhism. Meanwhile the Mekong River threads its way through the country, supporting communities that include its laid-back capital, Vientiane, which still maintains an ambiance that borrows from both ancient Lao traditions and colonial French influences.


Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Vientiane, Laos
Countries
Laos, Thailand
Style
Peregrine
Code
PAJD
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
19 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • No trip to Chiang Rai would be complete without a visit to the controversial White Temple. The contemporary design is fascinating, with jarring references to Buddhism, human sin and pop culture

  • Observing the stunning scenery and remote village life, while visiting a cave crowded with shrines is all done at a relaxed pace. Your private motorboat makes your slow trip down the Mekong River a peaceful experience

  • Unwind in the laid-back jungle town of Luang Prabang. Watch as orange-clad monks gather offerings of rice, fruit and sweets from locals before sunrise in a daily alms giving ceremony

  • Laos' evolving capital, Vientienne, is a great place to explore. The golden stupa of Pha That Luang, the symbol of Lao nationalism, is a particular highlight

  • Included flights on this trip make travelling easy and allows for maximum time in each destination

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please bear in mind that you're travelling in a remote area of Laos, which is less developed than other southeast Asian countries. Please have an open mind and come with an adventurous spirit.

  • On the third night of the trip, you'll be staying in the isolated village of Pakbeng. Conditions are basic but comfortable.

  • You will visit a number of temples which requires a level of modesty. You will need to bring clothes that cover the arms and pants or skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 May 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Welcome to South East Asia. Arrive into Bangkok today, where you’ll be transferred to the centrally located Hotel. A pre-trip briefing will be held in the evening at 6pm to meet the other members of your group and to discuss the itinerary. Please check for a welcome notice on the Peregrine noticeboard located on the 2nd floor of the Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel. The notice should provide the name of your trip leader, along with the exact time and location of the meeting. After the group meeting in the evening, perhaps adjourn to a nearby restaurant and enjoy a first meal together (this is optional and at your own expense). The rest of the evening is free to enjoy a quiet drink or visit the bustling night markets of Bangkok.
Accommodation
  • Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB1790
  • Bangkok - Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2465
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today take the one-and-a-half-hour flight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai. This scenic town is a lot more relaxed than neighbouring Chiang Mai. Visit the privately owned Wat Rong Khun, more commonly known as the White Temple. This contemporary temple is constantly being added to and its strange design features references to Buddhist mythology, human sin and pop culture icons such as Michael Jackson, Harry Potter and Superman. In the evening visit the buzzing Chiang Rai night markets, where you can snack on delicious Thai cuisine or shop for souvenirs and handicrafts.
Accommodation
  • Imperial River House Resort or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Rai - Wat Rong Kun (White Temple)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today leave Chiang Rai before dawn to travel for around two hours to Chiang Khong. After crossing the border, take a shuttle bus across the Mekong River to Huay Xai, which is your first stop in Laos. Transfer to the pier and board a slow boat for the trip down the Mekong River. The pace is very relaxed - a perfect way to observe the scenery and local life up close. The private boat has toilets on board, comfortable seats, dining tables and plenty of room to stretch your legs. In the evening arrive into Pakbeng, a village situated at the junction of the Mekong and Beng rivers. Hmong and tribal Thai people are frequently seen on the main street, where vendors sell local textiles and handicrafts. Spend the night in a village lodge.

Please note due to the remote location of Pakbeng, the accommodation tonight is basic but still clean and comfortbale.
Accommodation
  • Pakbeng Lodge or similiar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today continue down the Mekong River in your private slow boat, gaining more insight into local rural life along the way. Stop in at Pak Ou, where the famous Tam Ting Cave is home to thousands of Buddha statues. Continuing on, pay a visit to Ban Sang Hai village where potent rice wine is made. Travel time down the river varies greatly with the water level, but if all goes to plan you should arrive into Luang Prabang by early evening. This sacred town, with its gleaming temple roofs, French architecture and mountainous backdrop, is claimed to be ‘the best preserved city in South East Asia’ by UNESCO.
Accommodation
  • Sada Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Cave
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning, you may like to rise early to witness the daily procession of monks collecting alms from the villagers - a practice that dates back centuries. Following breakfast visit the town's major temples, including the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong. After the tour, walk around the local shops and find hand woven handicrafts. Next, visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace, a building that combines French colonial and traditional Lao architecture. In the afternoon head south of town to the beautiful Kuang Si Falls. Back in Luang Prabang this evening, perhaps explore the popular night market or enjoy a traditional Laos massage. A late night in Luang Prabang isn't really an option, as the town observes a nightly curfew of 11.30 pm.
Accommodation
  • Sada Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Visounnalat
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong
  • Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Luang Prabang - Royal Palace Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day in Luang Prabang. There are many of optional activities to keep you busy. Perhaps try your hand at preparing some traditional Laotian food in a cooking class. You could visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, a not-for-profit museum dedicated to promoting the diverse cultures and traditions of Laos' ethnic groups. Guided tours and seminars are available on request. If you feel like getting active, why not climb the 328 steps up Mount Phu Si in the centre of Luang Prabang's old town? The hill is crowned by a gilded stupa, That Chomsi, where you can enjoy spectacular views over the town and surrounding forest. Afterwards, you may like to wind down with a traditional Lao sauna and massage at the massage parlour opposite Wat Visounnarat.
Accommodation
  • Sada Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Cooking class - LAK250000
  • Luang Prabang - Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre - USD2
  • Luang Prabang - Laos Red Cross sauna - LAK10000
  • Luang Prabang - Lao Red Cross massage - LAK40000
  • Luang Prabang - Mt Phu Si - USD2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today take a 45-minute flight from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. On arrival into the capital, your leader will take you on a short orientation walk so you can get your bearings. The friendly city of Vientiane features a lot of French-inspired architecture and cuisine, so ask your leader where to find the best bakeries.
Accommodation
  • City Inn or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vientiane - Leader orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today embark on a tour around the major sights of Laos' capital. Visit the imposing Patuxai monument, which is Vientiane's version of the Arc de Triomphe. Call in at the oldest temple in the city, Wat Si Saket, and the former royal temple of Hor Phr Kaew. This previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha image before the Siamese took it in the late 18th century. Discover the golden stupa of Pha That Luang, which is an important Buddhist monument and the national symbol of Laos independence. Tonight enjoy an included dinner at the Makphet Restaurant in Vientiane. Peuan Mit runs the restaurant, which is an organisation that supports the needs of street children and young people in Laos.
Accommodation
  • City Inn or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vientiane - Haw Pra Kaew
  • Vientiane - Pratu Xai
  • Vientiane - That Luang
  • Vientiane - Wat Sri Saket
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your adventure ends after breakfast today. There are no activities scheduled so you're free to depart the accommodation at any time. A transfer to the airport is not included, however your tour leader will be able to advise you on the available options.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Boat, Plane, Private bus, Songthaew

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Lodge (1 night), Resort (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Chiang Rai - Wat Rong Kun (White Temple)
  • Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Cave
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Visounnalat
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong
  • Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Luang Prabang - Royal Palace Museum
  • Vientiane - Leader orientation walk
  • Vientiane - Haw Pra Kaew
  • Vientiane - Pratu Xai
  • Vientiane - That Luang
  • Vientiane - Wat Sri Saket

Reviews

Our Journey Down the Laos Mekong trips score an average of 4.79 out of 5 based on 19 reviews in the last year.

Journey down the Laos Mekong, March 2016

Rod Brown

Journey down the Laos Mekong, March 2016

Carville Stewart

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. Please note that on the following nights the single supplement is not available: Day 3 Pakbeng
2. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.