Expat Holidays Thailand

Cruising the Mekong

This tour takes you on down the most famous river in SE Asia – the Mekong.  You will start by exploring the ancient town of Chiang Rai in Thailand, before starting your river journey to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage town.  On the way, you will stop at local villages, spend a night at a picturesque riverside lodge and visit the famous Pak Ou Caves, hosting over 2500 Buddhas of all sizes.

Note: this program can be done in reverse order – starting in Luang Prabang and ending in Chiang Rai.  There are also longer 3 day/ 2 night cruising options.  

Itinerary

Day 1 / Chiang Rai arrival
Upon arrival in Chiang Rai, you will be welcomed by your guide at the airport. On the way to your hotel, stop to visit the famous White Temple. Check into your hotel and rest of the day free at leisure.
Day 2 / CHIANG RAI – CHIANG KHONG – HOUEI SAI – PAK PENG (b,l,d)
Start the day early at 6:00am with a private transfer to the border town of Chiang Khong. Your Thailand guide will assist you with immigration formalities on the Thailand side. Upon crossing into Laos, Luang Say Cruise staff will meet you and transfer you to the boat and start cruising. After one-hour journey along the river, the boat stops in a traditional village and is a chance to observe rural life along the Mekong and witness ethnic minorities in their daily life and their talented craftsmanship. Lunch is served on board in a buffet style with a selection of starters and main course from Laos’ main culinary delights and a choice of fish and meat dishes. 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 appreciate the surrounding nature. A Laotian dinner is served on the open air terrace overlooking the Mekong River.
day 3 / PAK BENG – PAK OU – LUANG PRABANG (b,l)
Mornings are special times at Luang Say Lodge with stunning sights of the neighboring peaceful mountains, usually in the mist while a full breakfast is served on the expansive teak terrace. The cruise departs for another day of nature discovery along the legendary river with two stops planned along the way to Luang Prabang. A few hours into the day after enjoying the sight of granite and sparkling sandy shores, the river boat makes stops to visit the hill tribe village of Baw where you can watch the traditional process of making Lao whiskey. Lunch is served on board in a buffet style with a selection of starters and main course from Laos’ cuisine. A different choice of fish and meat dishes than on the first day is prepared for a greater culinary experience. 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. Opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River, near Pak Ou village, the cruise stops to visit the Tam Thing cave. Translating as Rock Cave, it is famous for hosting over 2,500 Buddhas of all size and being a place of pilgrimage for the locals. Following a day along the wide Mekong river with beautifully sceneries of mountains, wild nature, local life and delicious food, the cruise arrives at Luang Prabang, former imperial capital of Laos at 17:00. You will be welcomed by your Luang Prabang guide and transferred to you hotel.
day 4 / LUANG PRABANG SIGHTSEEING (b, l)
Today is a full day to explore the city with a private tour for your group. After visiting all the must see sights in town. After that we will head to Kuang Sy waterfall, a journey is about 50 miles. The road is bordered by villages and rice fields and you will stop in some of these villages and also have a nice countryside lunch at the waterfall. You can swim in the waterfall which scatters into many basins. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.
day 5 / luang prabang - departure (b)
Free time to further explore the town or relax at the hotel before transfer to airport for your departure flight.

Hotel options for this holiday

These are popular hotels that we have used for this holiday.  If you already have other hotels in mind, or would like more options, let us know.

Location Economy hotels/boats Premium hotels/cruises Luxury hotels/cruises
Chiang Rai Diamond Hotel (deluxe room) Le Meridien (deluxe river view) Le Meridien  (Suite)
Pakbeng Pakbeng Lodge (standard room) Pakbeng Lodge (standard room) Pakbeng Lodge (standard room)
Luang Prabang Luang Prabang Residence (deluxe room) Kiridara Hotel  (deluxe room) Luang Say Residence (pioneer suite)

Holiday includes

  • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = Dinner)
  • All transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All guides and sightseeing as mentioned

Holiday does not include

  • Flights (can be quoted separately)
  • Any meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as tips, laundry etc.

Map

About our holidays

Tailor – made

All of our suggested itineraries are based on holidays that have been very popular with our clients.  However we strongly believe that each holiday should be unique to the traveler.  Absolutely anything in our itineraries can be tailored to suit your requirements, travel style and budget.  Simply contact us and let us design your custom holiday!

Private

We never mix groups during holidays.  All the holidays are arranged for your group only so you can travel at your own pace.

Prices

Prices can vary often due to things such as travel period, best accommodation rates during that period, number of persons traveling, etc.  Please send us your holiday requirements and an approximate budget (if you have one in mind) and we will get back to you with a detailed quotation right away.

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Testimonials

  • Lenny and his team were outstanding. He worked with our schedule and needs perfect and made great suggestions that added to our trip. Every tour we were set up on was amazing and they guides were so friendly, knowledgeable and punctual. This is the first vacation that not 1 single thing went wrong/no details were missed. Lenny was available to answer any questions – big or small- while we were abroad and it was a very nice and secure feeling knowing you are in a different land with someone looking out for you. I travel often, but This is my first review for any service like this and I am doing it because I am so happy and grateful that I used this company!!

    Link to review https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g293916-d12396420-r659946426-Expat_Holidays_Thailand-Bangkok.html

    Angela Braganini – luxury trip around Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Phuket
  • This was, by far… the best trip I have ever taken in my whole life and I feel like I owe much of this to Lenny and his outstanding team of professional tour guides. This was a mother daughter trip commemorating my 60th birthday and I will NEVER forget it. It was actually my daughter who booked the trip through Lenny after reading the rave reviews from other travelers and he did not disappoint! NOT ONE SINGLE HICCUP throughout the trip!!!. How many times has anyone actually been able to say that while on a vacation, much less, traveling out of the country?? First class all the way! We traveled to Bangkok, Chang Mai and Phuket. The hotels were amazing, the tours were fabulous. Tour guides were friendly and knowledgeable and spoke wonderful English…not to mention punctual. Lenny pre-arranged all the tours and flights within Thailand. In Bangkok, we did the street food tour, Railway Market,Floating Market and Wat Pho Temple tour. In Chiang Mai, we did the home tour and cooking class in Lanna, the Elephant Valley Sanctuary and had a tranquility spa package at Cheeva Spa. In Phuket, we did the John Grays Sea Cave Tour…I would recommend all of these…they were all 5 star worthy… if not more. Transportation was always provided in a comfortable, air conditioned vehicle. On one evening in Bangkok, Lenny made a recommendation for dinner at Tea-licious and made our reservations for us. He was easily reached on WhatsApp ( reaches out and recommends this before arrival) and was always quick to respond and help in any way. I will sing his praises and recommend him to anyone considering a visit to Thailand or other countries in Asia for that matter since his services are not limited to Thailand. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say, if you don’t use Lenny from Expat Holidays, you’re crazy! Friends and family expressed concern of two women traveling alone in Thailand but I never felt safer..wherever we went. Thank you Lenny for a great and once in a lifetime vacation. I hope to one day need your services again!

    Link to review https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g293916-d12396420-r663208970-Expat_Holidays_Thailand-Bangkok.html

    Nancy and Amanda – mother & daughter trip to Thailand
  • I was hesitant to take my three daughters to Thailand without my husband’s help. However, Lenny and his staff were absolutely amazing from the moment I started planning the trip, until the day I came home. I truly felt as if they were right there beside me, helping and guiding me the whole time. I contacted Lenny and his staff on several occasions while in Thailand and they’re responsiveness and helpful guidance were remarkable. Lenny took the time to understand our priorities and effectively personalised our itinerary accordingly. It was a wonderful vacation with very well planned activities and knowledgeable guides. I cannot recommend Expat Holidays Thailand highly enough!!

    Lattie Louah – mother & daughters Thailand trip
  • My husband and I have been living in SE Asia for 3.5 years and have used Lenny’s services on many occasions! From a night in Bangkok, to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, to arranging everything for a trip for my in-laws, he’s been able to manage it all quickly and efficiently! He is very thorough and provides clear details that ensure you have a magnificent experience. I tell everyone I know about Lenny and his services! I highly recommend getting in touch with him to plan your next SE Asia trip!

    Laurie Ranz, expats based in Bangladesh
  • Thank you Lenny and team for making our trip to Thailand so memorable! All the transfers and tours were exactly as described and we felt at ease the whole trip knowing your team were working away making sure we enjoyed it. Thanks for all the recommendations and especially the elephant tour, definite highlight! We’ve already passed your details to others because we know our friends and family will be in good hands when booking their trips through you. Thank you again for taking such good care of us!

    Reena Mandora from UK – Bangkok and North Thailand tour