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Luang Prabang to Golden Triangle with RV Mekong Sun 8 Days/7 Nights

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Route: Luang Parabang - Kuang Si - Pak Ou - Pakbeng - Pak Tha - Huay Xay - Golden Triangle
Duration: 8 Days/7 Nights 
Depart from: Luang Prabang
 

Day 1: Embarkation in Luang Prabang (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. Your program begins with a walk and visit at the famous Wat Xieng Thong temple, Wat Khili and Wat Sene as well. Enjoy the spacious decks, lounge on board and attend our welcome reception, bazi ceremony, Lao Dances performance and dinner this evening. A selection of Asian and European food will be provided throughout the evening. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.

DAY 2: Luang Prabang City Tour (B, L)

During a full day visit you will get to know some of the highlights of this beautiful city, the National Museum in the morning include. After Lunch trip by minivan for a visit Wat Visoun, Wat Manorom and Sa-Paper-Village at the Nam Khan River outside town. In the late 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. Enjoy the unique atmosphere provided by the abundance of well-preserved French colonial architecture mingling with traditional Buddhist temples. In the evening enjoy strolling along the Mekong promenade or visiting the colorful night market of the local Hmong minority. For Dinner on your own our Cruisedirector and/ or Lao Staff will recommend you some of the best local and international restaurants in town. 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: Pakbeng (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 - Huay Xay/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 Golden Triangle (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.*

* 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 pioneering experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions, including from flood waters and shallows. Therefore please understand that we must reserve the right to alter the itinerary of this tour due to the logistical complexities involved. Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, local authorities and river and/or road conditions. For safety reasons and according to navigation conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice
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Between Vientiane, Luang Prabang and the Golden Triangle, the Mekong Sun and Mekong Explorer are the only cabin cruisers available. The river vessel Mekong Sun was the first comfortable cabin cruiser capable of mastering these wild sections of the upper Mekong.
 
The river vessel Mekong Sun is a very comfortable ship capable of mastering the wild sections of the upper Mekong.  Accommodation and service is top level and guests enjoy a very exclusive yet casual travelling experience, while they reside in comfortable cabins or enjoy the services of the reataurant or bar. A selection of Asian and continental food is provided throughout the cruise. Special requirements can be catered for and wine, beer as well as spirituous beverages are available.
 
On the Mekong Sun there will be neither captain’s dinner nor any entertaining games like bingo. Rather than that, guests will go on exciting offshore excursions and enjoy a programme with profound travel information in form of presentations, speeches and films on relevant topics. Among many others, the French Mekong Expedition of the 1860s, the daily life of a Buddhist novice or the plants and fruits of the Mekong region will be the subjects.
 
The exclusive river vessel Mekong Sun (built in 2006) enables you to go on a comfortable journey, which seemed impossible for ages: over 450 miles of travelling along fantastic river landscapes, passing by World Heritage Sites and aboriginal villages. Safe and comfortable travelling with only 28 guests on board  is guaranteed, while you watch the incredible landscapes of this partly untamed river pass by.
 
The upper Mekong is one of the most difficult rivers in the world to navigate. Your comfortable cruise ship Mekong Sun masters tight gorges, labyrinths of sandbanks and mounts violent chutes. Water levels are prone to drop or rise about 2 m overnight on this part of the Mekong and quiet and calm parts of the river alternate with most dramatic and exciting shore sceneries: Tropical lush green mountains, impressive rock formations and secluded villages along the river banks.
 
Your journey includes visits to the lovely UNESCO World Heritage Site Luang Prabang, one of the most beautiful towns in South-East Asia, travelling along the secluded and impressive landscapes in northern Laos and into the once notorious region of the Golden Triangle. As of today, the Mekong Sun and Mekong Explorer are the only cabin cruisers sailing between Thai Chiang Saen and the Laotian capital Vientiane. Guests can lean back and indulge themselves unworried during this extraordinary trip. With 14 exclusive passenger cabins and high quality full board service, the Mekong Sun is perfectly suited for travelling in small groups with a most unique character.
 
Kindly note: Every river cruise on the upper Mekong is a pioneering experience and is subject to ever changing river conditions, e.g.  flood waters or shallows. Therefore, changes to the itinerary or schedule are not unusual and each journey will be individually adapted to ensure that all highlights are included.

The Mekong Sun - Facts

  • Built in Laos in 2006
  • 2 decks with 11 classic cabins on the main deck (12 m²), all facing out onto the water and with wide sliding windows with a French balcony providing a fantastic view of the passing landscapes
  • 3 superior cabins, one in the bow of the main deck (20 m²), two on the upper deck (21 m²). The two cabins on the upper deck have their own small private balcony; the one in the bow has a superb panoramic view to the front
  • All cabins with en-suite shower/WC and air-conditioning
  • Large sun deck with bar service and restaurant/bar area
  • All guided offshore excursions and meals are included

Mekong Sun - Technical information

  • Catamaran, two steel hulls, two decks, with teak and mahogany superstructure
  • Weight: approx. 100 tons
  • Length: 40 m
  • Width: 7,5 m (at its widest part)
  • Depth: approx. 0,9 m
  • Two diesel motors with 550 hp each
  • Fire alarm
  • Crew: 16
  • Construction completed in 2006

See Also

Cruise Southern Laos Tour by RV Mekong Islands 4 Days/3 Nights
Huay Xai to Luang Prabang with Luang Say Cruise 3 Days/2 Nights
Luang Prabang to Huay Xai with Luang Say Cruise 2 Days/1 Night
Luang Prabang Roundtrip with RV Mekong Sun 6 Days/5 Nights
Luang Prabang to Huay Xai with Luang Say Cruise 3 Days/2 Nights
Huay Xai to Luang Prabang with Luang Say Cruise 2 Days/1 Night

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