Cruising the Upper Mekong - Laos to China

A pioneering voyage of discovery between Luang Prabang and Jinghong, within the comfort zone of the reassuringly luxurious Laos Pandaw.   Explore caves and witness rice planting, harvesting and gold panning using remote riverside lodges as your base before enjoying seven nights cruising through uncharted waters into China's Yunnan Province.

The Laos Pandaw, built in 2015, exudes colonial charm with all the comfort of today's luxuries.   A traditional, intimate river cruiser with just 10 main deck staterooms - all of which have panoramic French windows allowing you to observe the ever changing backdrop of this magical river.  On board, the local master chef and his experienced culinary team will create wonders that you can enjoy in the restaurant and there is plenty of outdoor seating on deck for quiet moments.  

Sailings are either upstream from Chiang Saen to Jihnghong, or downstream in reverse. Below is a description of the upstream journey including pre-cruise nights in Luang Prabang.


FURTHER JOURNEYS IN LAOS  brown-arrow-right.png

Sailings are either upstream from Luang Prabang to Jihnghong, or downstream in reverse. Below is a description of the upstream journey.

Day 1 - Luang Prabang
You will be met at Luang Prabang airport and transferred to your colonial-style boutique hotel on the banks of the Mekong River.  Once settled in, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore Luang Prabang independently with its markets, temples and gentle Buddhist way of life.
Overnight: Bela Rive Boutique Hotel (or similar)

Day 2 - Luang Prabang - Pak Ou - Kamu Lodge
Board your Mekong river cruiser and set sail upstream to the mouth of the Nam Ou River, near Pak Ou Village.  Here you will find Tam Thing cave, packed with over 2,500 Buddha statues, used as a place of pilgrimage for Laotians.  Tonight you will stay at Kamu Lodge on the banks of the Mekong with all meals included.  Once settled in you can explore the village or witness rice planting, harvesting, traditional fishing and gold panning.
Overnight: Kamu Lodge (or similar)

Day 3 - Pak Beng
After a hearty breakfast, rejoin your river cruiser and continue upstream past beautiful jungle scenery and remote villages to Pak Beng.  Enjoy the backdrop of granite cliffs, sandy shores and observe traditional Lao whisky processing in a small village.  Just before sunset, arrive at Luang Say Lodge (or similar) and relax by the river with a sundowner.  Tonight, feast on a traditional Laotian dinner served on the deck overlooking the Mekong.
Overnight: Luang Say Lodge (or similar)

Day 4 - Board Laos Mekong
Spend the morning cruising the river with lunch on board.  In the late afternoon you'll arrive in Huay Xai where you will pass through immigration on the Laos/Thai border to Chiang Saen which is the starting point of your 7 night cruise on board Laos Pandaw.
Overnight: Laos Pandaw

Day 5 - Old Mandalay Road, Burma
Cross the Mekong to the Burma side and travel by car deep into the Kengtung State on the Old Mandalay Road.  Pass through pretty Shan villages nestled between mountains and jungle and visit the old colonial hill station of Loi Mwe. 
Overnight: Laos Pandaw

Day 6 - Cruising The Mekong
Continue on up the Mekong with Burma on the port side and Laos on the starboard side.  Stop to explore a jungle village in Laos and for those that wish to this is a great opportunity for a trek.
Overnight: Laos Pandaw

Day 7 - Muang Long
The ship will moor at Xiang Kok from where you will travel inland by car to Muang Long - a mountainous district sharing a 50km long border with Burma.  Visit the Aka tribal villages.
Overnight: Laos Pandaw

Day 8 - Into China
After a morning visit to a rural village, leave Laos and cruise across the border into China.  See how the scenery changes and the Mekong turns to a beautiful emerald green.  Enjoy a walking tour in Gang Lei.
Overnight: Laos Pandaw

Day 9 - Menglun Botanical Garden
This morning will offer the opportunity to visit China's most important botanical research centres, built in 1959.  The garden is home to many rare, exotic and endangered species such as the Dragon Tree, the poisonous Upas Tree and the Dancing Grass which responds to sound.  After lunch on board, cruise upstream to Mengzhan for a visit to Mangza temple.
Overnight: Laos Pandaw

Day 10 - Mangfeilong Monastery & Tea Plantation
Cruise on to Jinghong with a morning excursion to Mangfeilong Monastery.  After lunch on board the afternoon's activity is a walk around a Chinese tea plantation where you will see how the tea is picked and processed and will be able to taste the tea.  Before returning to the ship, visit Manting Park Temple and then enjoy a traditional dinner show in Mengbalanaxi theatre.
Overnight: Laos Pandaw

Day 11 - Disembark Jinghong
It is time to leave the boat behind and head off to Jinghong airport to continue your journey or return home.  


From £2,320 / $3,500 per person, based on two people sharing a cabin. On board the Laos Pandaw all your meals, excursions, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water and tips for crew are included.  Price excludes flights, visa costs, imported beverages.

See here for pre and post cruise itinerary suggestions or contact our Laos holidays specialist, Melissa Mattthews, to discuss your own requirements on +44 (0)1242 787804.




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