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Laos Mekong Explorer

11 nights / 12 Days

AsktheTraveller local Partner

Over 10 years of organising Travel

Seeing locals, authentic culture , landscapes and everyday life are the key secret ingredients used by this partner in designing the perfect adventure in Laos.  Our local partners in Laos are perfectly placed to offer the best travel experience, options and infrastructure to our clients.  You know your in safe hands, a personal touch backed up by the strongest team in the region.  We at AsktheTraveller are delighted to work with them. 

Hi, I'm Vithaya

Trip highlights

  • Mekong River Cruising

  • Luang Prabang

  • Pak Ou Caves

  • National Museum

  • Wat Xieng Thong

  • Ban Long Lao

  • Khone Phapeng Waterfall

  • Vientiane

  • Pha That Luang

  • Buddha Park

  • Vat Si Saket

  • First night in Thailand

Day 1

Arrive (Chiang Rai)

Arrival - Welcome to Thailand !

Welcomed by your English speaking tour guide & driver in the arrival hall and transfer to hotel in Chiang Khong for check-in

Dinner and watch traditional Hmong performance

Overnight in Chiang Khong :

Lanjia Lodge

Meals : Dinner

Day 2

Chiang Khong- Houay Xia - Pakbeng by Luang Say Cruise (Welcome to Laos)

After an early breakfast, Transfer yourself to Chiang Khong border at The 4th Thai – Lao Friendship bridge. Please arrive at the border no later than 0830am.


Cross the bridge by yourself on a shuttle bus to the Lao side. Welcome to Laos!

Welcome by your tour guide in the arrival hall and assist with your transfer to your Luang Say Boat for your 2 days cruise down on Mekong River to Luang Prabang.

Luang Say boat leaves slow boat pier at 9a.m. for cruising down the Mekong River to Luang Say Lodge in Pakbeng. One stop is made en route to Pakbeng to observe a rural life along the Mekong River at Ban Houy Phalam; a Kamu village. Buffet lunch on board. Arrival at Luang Say Lodge before sunset for an overnight stay and a dinner is served on the terrace overlooking the Mekong River.


From 1 November - 31 March and 1 – 31 October, the cruise departs every Monday, Thursday and Friday. Every Sunday, the cruise departs with Pak Ou I boat (white metal boat).From 1 April - 31 May and 1 July - 30 September, the cruise departs every Monday and Friday.

Overnight in Pakbeng:

Luang Say Lodge

Meals : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 3

Pakbeng - Luang Prabang by Luang Say Cruise

A continental breakfast is served on the terrace from 7a.m. The boat leaves Luang Say Lodge at 8a.m. and the first stop is at Ban Baw village to observe the process of making traditional rice alcohol. A buffet lunch is served on board. The boat stops again opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River to visit Pak Ou caves where there are two caves ‘Tham Ting’ and ‘Tham Phoum’ and thousands of Buddha images. The boat arrives in Luang Prabang pier (a UNESCO world heritage city) before sunset.

On arrival, met by our local guide from Luang Prabang and transfer you to your hotel for check in.

Recommended your dinner at the hotel (on your own expense)

Overnight in Luang Prabang:

Maison Dalabua

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 4

Luang Prabang - Full day city tour

Today we explore the historic town of Luang Prabang. We walk along Sisavangvong St, the heart of the old quarter and explore the National Museum , set in the former Royal Palace. Built in 1904, the palace is a blend of Laotian and French influences and houses many royal treasures. The most important item is the solid gold Pha Bang Buddha, a gift from the Khmer King to his son-in-law, Fa Ngum, founder of the Lao Kingdom. We then continue into the center of Luang Prabang, exploring the narrow alleys that criss-cross the town, stopping to enjoy some views over the mighty Mekong River. We follow the river until we reach Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most celebrated temples in Laos. A magnificent structure, this is the quintessential Luang Prabang temple with a graceful sweeping roof that reaches almost to the floor. We then make our way to the beautiful temple of Wat Saen, originally built in 1718.


There is the option of climbing Mt Phousi to explore the small temple here and enjoy sunset over this charming town. We then return to our hotel.


Overnight in Luang Prabang :

Maison Dalabua

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5

Luang Prabang - Ban Long Lao- Kuang Si Waterfall

After breakfast, we visit Ban Long Lao, a small Hmong village. Laos is one of Southeast Asia’s most ethnically diverse countries with literally dozens of ethnic groups each with their own language and customs. The Hmong is one of these many ethnic groups. From here you will walk through open farmland and forest trails to the Kuang Si Waterfall, which, while not very high, is striking in its lush jungle setting. Upon arrival there are plenty of opportunities to swim in the refreshing pools and enjoy a boxed picnic lunch (ordered from Luang Prabang). We’ll take some more time for relaxation and swimming before heading back to Luang Prabang by late afternoon. There is also the option to visit Ban Phonesay, a village well known for its silk weavings. Back to your hotel for a free and easy evening.

Overnight in Luang Prabang :

Maison Dalabua

Meals : Breakfast & Lunch

Day 6

Luang Prabang - Fly to Vientiane - Half Day City Tour

11:30 - Transfer to the airport for your flight to Vientiane (flight times subject to change)

Meet your guide in the arrival area and transfer to town.

We recommend lunch at a local restaurant (own expense)

This afternoon, we visit the historic temple of Vat Si Saket, the oldest surviving temple in Vientiane. Then, it’s time to visit the striking golden stupa of Pha That Luang which is the most sacred monument in the city. We continue to the 'Arc de Triomphe' of Vientiane, or Patuxai as it is known locally. Built in the 1960s, the US-supplied cement was originally earmarked for a runway extension at the airport, but the Laotians found a much more creative use for it. We ascend the monument for some great views over this low-rise garden city.


We finish with a stroll along the Mekong riverfront.

Overnight in Vientiane : 

Ansara Hotel

Meals : Breakfast

Day 7

Vientiane - Buddha Park

Today we step outside the city boundaries and visit the incredible Buddha Park, a kitsch riverside garden brimming with garish religious statues. We see a famous reclining Buddha and can clamber inside some of the bigger sculptures to discover strange scenes from heaven and hell.

We enjoy a local lunch with views over the Mekong.

This afternoon, we return to Vientiane and can enjoy some free time or take an optional visit to a well-known Textile Gallery, enjoy a Traditional Herbal Sauna or visit the COPE Centre to learn about the scourge of unexploded ordnance in Laos.

Overnight in Vientiane :

Ansara Hotel

Meals : Breakfast & lunch

Day 8

Vientiane - Fly Paske - Join the vat Phou Cruise

04h40: very early transfer to the airport for your flight to Paske (flights subject to change)

09h30: We depart Pakse at by riverboat for the pretty town of Champasak where we enjoy a local lunch on the banks of the Mekong. We then visit the stunning Khmer temple of Vat Phou, set under the shadow of Lingaparvata Mountain, overlooking the Mekong River. Shrouded in mystery, the exact origins of this site are uncertain, but it is believed to have been sacred to early animist cultures. It is a magical place, rich in the spirituality of animism, Hinduism and Buddhism. As dusk falls, we board the Wat Phu for a relaxing cruise down-river, enjoying the tropical sunset from the deck. The boat docks for the night near a remote Laotian village.


From 1 November to 30 April and 1-31 October, the cruise departs every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

From 1 May to 30 September, the cruise departs every Saturday for  downstream programs and every Tuesday for cruises upstream.

Overnight in Laotion Village : 

Vat Phu Cruise

Meals : Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner

Day 9

Vat Phou cruise to 4000 Islands

After breakfast, we set sail for the village of Huei Thamo, only a few minutes’ walk away from the spectacular hidden forest temple of Oum Moung. After exploring the ruins of this old Khmer sanctuary, we rejoin the boat for a cruise southwards to Si Phan Done or 4000 Islands is where the Mekong splits into tiny tributaries creating hundreds, the name suggests thousands, of small islands where the pace of life is unhurried and the people unconcerned by the changing world beyond. We visit the traditional Laotian Village of Ban Dua Tae where the traditional way of life has not changed in centuries.

We return to our boat for a quiet dinner under the stars.


Overnight in near Ban Dua Tae :

Vat Phou Cruise

Meals : Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner

Day 10

Vat Phou Cruise - Paske

After breakfast on board, we cruise to the small village of Ban Veuthong where we board a small long-tail boat to Don Khone Island. We explore this charming island, free from traffic and learn about the local way of life. We take a long tail boat back to the mainland for lunch amid the by-gone splendor of another age, where there are colorful French colonial houses and an old customs post, alongside a stone quay. We continue south to Khone Phapeng Waterfall, “the Niagara of the East“, close to the Cambodian border. After the cruise finishes, we offer a return transfer to Pakse.

Overnight in Pakse :

Sisouk Residence

Meals : Breakfast

Day 11

Last day & transfer to Airport

Transfer to the Airport for your return flight home.


Departure - We recommend that you arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to your international  departure flight (or 2 hours if travelling business class). Your departure time will be given to you by your guide. It is recommended that you check in online for your departure flight so that you can avoid long queues at the airport check in counters. On line check in is available for most airlines 24 hours before your flight. Your hotel will be able to help you with this if necessary. We wish you a pleasant journey back home or to your next destination.

International flights home

Trip details

Price from £ 2195  Per person based on twin share basis.

With all domestic & international flights to/from Uk,

approx price from £ 3245  per person

**This itinerary may change depending on your dates due to the cruise operating an upstream or downstream itinerary. You will be advised of this at the time of reservation.

Price includes

  • Private tours and transfers

  • All site entrance fees on tours

  • English speaking guides

  • Hotels as shown or similar 

  • Private Boat cruise

  • Vat Phou cruise Cruise 3D/2N

  • Luang say cruise 2D/1N

  • Meal plans as show day by day

  • ATOL protection (When taking international flights)

Additional Extra's

  • Domestic & International Flights

  • Additional unscheduled excursions / activities

  • Early check-in, late check-outs

  • Drinks during meals

  • Immunisations

  • Visa's

  • Personal travel insurance

  • local gratuaties / tips

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