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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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  •   Friends recommended Expat Holidays and it was one if our best holidays ever. Everything went smooth - from the pickup service at the airport - the transfer to Koh Chang... read more

    avatar thumb Berlin_foodlover1974
    11/19/2018

      excellent trip with buddies!we visit this place in first time. this trip is well organized.staff very friendly and well known

    avatar thumb Edward s
    9/10/2018

      I cannot say enough about our wonderful trip with adult kids. With the help of Lenny's panning we got off the beaten path and had a great experience. ... read more

    avatar thumb nms99
    1/30/2019

      We are always looking for a local travel agency to book a tailor-made tour. 6 persons (2 adults, 4 kids 5-16 years old). So I posted our ideas and... read more

    avatar thumb Petra C
    1/07/2019
  •   Exceptional 15 day tour of Thailand planned and organized by Expat Holidays Thailand . Lenny was very tentative to all details. Understood our request and what we wanted to experience.... read more

    avatar thumb amoore953883
    9/03/2018

      I had originally planned to organize this trip myself, but when time got short, Lenny came to my rescue. He fit in everything we wanted to do over our... read more

    avatar thumb Reagan D
    11/30/2018

      Wow what can I say. Lenny had everything covered from start to finish. He handcrafted an adventure that we will never forget. He always seemed to be one step ahead... read more

    avatar thumb mintyotter
    12/10/2018

      I would wholeheartedly recommended traveling to Thailand with Lenny from Expat Holidays. My wife and I had an amazing honeymoon in Thailand and Lenny made it effortless to book all... read more

    avatar thumb dandatraveler
    3/06/2019
  •   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... read more

    avatar thumb angie b
    3/20/2019

      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... read more

    avatar thumb Nancy R
    4/02/2019

      Wow what can I say. Lenny had everything covered from start to finish. He handcrafted an adventure that we will never forget. He always seemed to be one step ahead... read more

    avatar thumb mintyotter
    12/10/2018

      I would wholeheartedly recommended traveling to Thailand with Lenny from Expat Holidays. My wife and I had an amazing honeymoon in Thailand and Lenny made it effortless to book all... read more

    avatar thumb dandatraveler
    3/06/2019