Trip Type : River Cruise
The Laos Mekong tour

The Laos Mekong

Pandaw
By Pandaw
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
11 days
From: $ 3,600 $ 327 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Enjoy your day at lush jungle scenery and tiny riverside villages
  • Explore the unique Pak Ou Caves
  • Visit butterfly garden and elephant camp
  • Cherish the day at jungle pools and dramatic Khaung Si waterfall

Short Description

Enjoy a three country expedition as we will traverse Laos to touch Thailand and Burma at the once notorious Golden Triangle. From Vientiane, the old French capital, and so redolent of L’Indochine Pandaw will be the first river expedition since pre war days to cross all Laos. We stop two nights at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang with its dazzling wood carved monasteries and then on deep into the mountains, through rapids and gorges on our high powered little Pandaw. Visit tribal villages and explore into jungle and countryside. As the first year of operation, please anticipate many a change - but a great adventure!

These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Trip Type River Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury - 5 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Vientiane
End City Golden Triangle

Trip Includes

Cruise Price Includes:

  • Entrance fees
  • Guide services (English language)
  • Gratuities to crew
  • Main meals
  • Locally made soft drinks
  • Local beer and local spirits
  • Jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes
  • Mineral water
  • Transfers Chiang Rai / Chiang Mai to ship v.v. and ship to Vientiane / Udon Thani v.v.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Vientiane

Transfer from airports or hotel in Vientiane or from Udon Thani (1.5hrs) in Thailand just across the river. Embarkation 11.30am, followed by lunch and afternoon explorations of the delightful French city including visits to Sisaket Temple, the President’s Hall, Wat Prakeo Temple and the Phatouxay monument. Set sail late afternoon, enjoy a welcome dinner on board and overnight near Vientiane.

Day 2: Cruising The Mekong

Today we cruise upstream on the Mekong, passing lush jungle scenery and tiny riverside villages. Morning presentation on the Lao language. Afternoon cooking demonstration on the upper deck. Arrive in Ban Xanakham where we more overnight.

Day 3: Pak Lai

Afternoon visit to the French administrative town of Pak Lai with many colonial buildings and a bustling local market. This town boasts the largest elephant festival in South East Asia, usually in February. We return to the ship at Ban Muang where we overnight.

Day 4: Ban Park Bor Village

Afternoon visit and walking tour of Ban Park Bor (Kmu Tribal) Village, a typical village, set on the banks of the Mekong amidst lush jungle.

Day 5: Ban Mouang Khai Village

In the morning we pass the newly constructed lock that forms part of the Xanyaburi Hydro Electric Power Plant. Continue upstream to the village of Ban Mouang Khai.

Day 6: Luang Prabang

Morning sightseeing by mini coach to visit the jungle pools and dramatic Khaung Si waterfall. We also visit a butterfly garden and elephant camp. Arrive in the heart of the temple city of Luang Prabang. After lunch, explore by tuktuk this well-preserved and unique world heritage site with its many Buddhist temples, libraries and royal palace. There is a buzzing night market and many delightful cafes and some quite good restaurants ashore.

Day 7: Luang Prabang

Early morning walking tour to see the alms offering by the local people to hundreds of monks who walk around the city every morning. Passengers are invited to join in with offerings we provide for the alms giving. Morning walking tour visiting the National Museum and morning market. Afternoon free to enjoy the beauty and unique atmosphere of Luang Prabang on your own explorations ashore. Enjoy traditional Laos dancing on the upper deck late afternoon. We moor overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 8: Pak Ou Buddha Caves

Morning sightseeing by local boat exploring the unique Pak Ou Caves, a Buddhist sanctuary with spectacular limestone cliff faces. Sail upstream on the beautiful Mekong towards Ban Bo. After lunch, enjoy a cooking demonstration on the upper deck.

Day 9: Pak Beng

Morning walking tour of the market town of Pak Beng. After lunch, if time permits, we explore Ban Pak Sip, a traditional riverside village full of charm and life.

Day 10: Chiang Khong

Scenic cruising to the border between Laos and Thailand at Huay Say. Here we cross into Thailand where our waiting transport takes you to re-join the ship at the bustling and pretty Thai port town of Chiang Khong. Enjoy farewell cocktails and dinner on board the Laos Pandaw tonight.

Day 11: Golden Triangle

Disembark by 8.30am in Chiang Sean and explore the Golden Triangle including a visit to the opium museum. Continue to airports or city hotels in Chiang Rai (3 hours) and Chiang Mai (6 hours).

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,600
Price Per Day: $ 327 per day
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Stride Featured in

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9 Pandaw Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
5.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 9
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

The Laos Mekong

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Amazing trip of a lifetime

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
On the Pandaw Mekong downstream from Cambodia to Saigon.

Amazing trip of a lifetime. Ship is shiny wood and polished brass, cabins with total comfort. Spacious ship with plenty of seating areas and lovely sundeck. Itinerary varied and interesting in both countries.

Friendly and professional staff who is helpful, courteous and keen to help and always smiling. Amazing, thanks.
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Details

Ship Name

Rv Laos Pandaw

Ship Stats

  • Built in 2015 in Laos
  • Berths: 20 pax
  • Length: 44.50 m
  • Beam: 8.90 m
  • Draft: 1.20 m

Ship Description

Seeing the quality of this ship it is hard to believe it was built in a hurry. There are no proper ship yards above the Khone Falls and we could not persuade our Vietnamese builders to assemble a ship trucked in in bits on the river bank. We tried our Rangoon builder and he also chickened out. By January 2015we were taking bookings and selling out for November but still had no ship. Paul Strachan in a panic flew to Vientiane and took a taxi down to the river bank and boarded the first cargo ship we saw, a 40 meter barge used to carry heavy loads of cement and rice up to China. She had two 400hp truck engines and was just the thing for tackling the terrifying fast flow of the Upper Mekong .The captain was the owner and agreed terms with Paul. The owner agreed to stay on as skipper and is still there. He immediately took her up to the Golden Triangle, a week’s sail away.

Accommodation

  • 10 main deck staterooms
  • Staterooms are 14 square meters (150 sqf), finished in teak and brass
  • Panoramic sliding door
  • Kimonos and slippers
  • Spa-branded amenities
  • Unlimited mineral water
  • Electric mini safe
  • Imported quality linens with duvet and two kind of pillows
  • Premium mattresses
  • Convertible bed configuration
  • Welcome flower arrangement and welcome gift
  • Mirror
  • Multi-configuration plugs
  • Generous closet space and under-bed storage
  • Hair dryer
  • Daily nightly turndown service
  • 24hr laundry service
  • Complimentary evening canapés

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Transfers & Joining

Day 1: Vientiane

Transfers included from airport or hotel in Vientiane or Udon Thani. We suggest an early morning arrival. Any late arrivals will also be transferred to the ship but you might miss lunch and/or the afternoon excursion. If staying at a city hotel in Vientiane you will be picked up between 10.30am and 11.00am.

Please Note: There is a surcharge for private transfers if you are not able to meet us at above scheduled pick up times.

Vientiane Jetty - Land River Transport Enterprise, Thadeua Road km4, Sisattanark District.

Day 11: Golden Triangle

Disembark by 8.30am in Chiang Sean.

Group Size:

Standard Group

Cancellation Policy:

Cruise Cancellation and Refund

Cancellations for all or any part of the trip will not be effective until received in writing in the offices of Pandaw. Should you have to cancel, the following terms will apply:

From time of booking until 61 day prior to departure non-refundable deposit

From 60 days and less till departure, no show, late arrival or early return 100% cancellation fee

Note: We strongly recommend for your protection that you purchase a trip cancellation insurance.

Burma, China & Thailand

Cancellation of a Pandaw Pre or Post Reservations is cancellation is subject to 10% of total amount or a $50 per person administrative fee (whichever is higher) from the time of booking through 93 days prior to your scheduled Pandaw trip.

From 92-63: the penalty fee is 30% of the total Trip Cost

From 62-33: the penalty fee is 50% of the total Trip Cost

From 32 days to "no show" the penalty fee is 100% of the total Trip Cost

Because these cancellation policies are strictly enforced, we strongly recommend for your protection that you purchase trip cancellation insurance.

Additional Information:

Transfers & Joining

Day 1: Vientiane

Transfers included from airport or hotel in Vientiane or Udon Thani. We suggest an early morning arrival. Any late arrivals will also be transferred to the ship but you might miss lunch and/or the afternoon excursion. If staying at a city hotel in Vientiane you will be picked up between 10.30am and 11.00am.

Please Note: There is a surcharge for private transfers if you are not able to meet us at above scheduled pick up times.

Vientiane Jetty - Land River Transport Enterprise, Thadeua Road km4, Sisattanark District.

Day 11: Golden Triangle

Disembark by 8.30am in Chiang Sean.

Trip ID#:

TheLaoPan

Trip Excludes

Cruise Price Excludes:

  • International flights
  • Port dues (if levied)
  • Laundry
  • All visa costs
  • Fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions)
  • Imported beverages such as wines, premium spirits and liqueurs
  • Fancy soft drinks like Perrier, espressos and cappuccinos at bar and
  • Tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers

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