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SEE IT ALL, FROM LAOS TO CHINA, YUNNAN PROVINCE

THE MEKONG: FROM LAOS TO CHINA
14 NIGHTS LAOS - CHINA FROM US$6,300
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

For the first time it is possible for travellers to sail on the mighty Upper Mekong River from Laos to China or vice versa. This will be an incredible, pioneering 14-night river expedition discovering charming villages, stunning scenery, pristine jungle, the Golden Triangle and the very different emerald green Mekong in China's Yunnan province. Our journey also includes overnight stops in Luang Prabang, Chiang Saen and Jinghong.

The river recces sail aboard a Pandaw, specifically designed and built for sailing on the Upper Mekong with low draft and extra powerful engines.

Pandaw's founder, Paul Strachan, said: “it has been a long held dream to sail the length of the navigable sections of the Mekong River; now we can. There is much to explore in this undiscovered region; travellers need to be up for a real adventure as the daily itinerary might change, but with a flexible attitude will have the adventure of a lifetime”.

Please note this expedition is NOT suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

We are also offering pre and post cruise extensions visiting Kunming, Dali and Lijiang in Yunnan Province and the Plain of Jars in Laos.

SPECIAL OFFER – sail the length of the Mekong and get 3 nights in Siem Reap including a full day excursion to Angkor Wat – FREE!

Travellers can combine our new The Upper Mekong: Laos to China with Pandaw’s ‘Classic Mekong’ cruise from Saigon to Siem Reap (or vice versa), thus exploring the length of the Mekong in one great adventure. You will receive three nights in Siem Reap, including one full day excursion to Angkor Wat - FREE. Please note this offer does not include flights from Siem Reap to Vientiane (or v.v).

To book this offer, book the two cruises on www.pandaw.com and email information@pandaw.com to obtain your FREE stay in Siem Reap.

IMPORTANT NOTE: These are reconnaissance voyages and the itinerary is indicational only subject to daily revisions and many a change. Travellers should be up for a real adventure and be prepared for such uncertainties. This will be the first time a river expedition ship will have made this expedition and there may be delays at border crossing points when dealing with formalities. Travellers who might find sudden changes of plan or delays stressful should not book this trip. Our guides will do their best to ensure that we cover as much of this indicational itinerary as possible but some excursions may be changed for others. We can assure we will see and do as much as we can, hopefully more than indicated in the itinerary below.

LOW WATER SEASON DECEMBER - APRIL (Upstream) 

Passengers booking in the low water season months of December to April are advised in the event that the ship’s master decides that the water is too low it will be necessary to transfer passengers from as close to the China border as the ship can reach to Jinghong by speed boat and stay at the  InterContinental or similar for two nights in order to complete the Yunnan sightseeing.

LOW WATER SEASON DECEMBER - APRIL (Downstream)

Passengers booking in the low water season months of December to April are advised in the event that the ship’s master decides that the water is too low it will be necessary to stay at the  InterContinental or similar for two nights in order to complete the Yunnan sightseeing and then join ship by speed boat transfer from Jinghong to a position as close to the Laos - China border as the ship can safely reach.

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Please Note: Prices shown are per person in USD$ and include all discounts.
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IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

EXTENSIONS

PRE CRUISE EXTENSIONS

The Plain of Jars - Pre Cruise Upstream China

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Scenic Yunnan Province - Post

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OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS

Private Dining

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Pre-Bookable House Wine Package

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ITINERARY

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 LUANG PRABANG

Embark by noon for a lunch followed by an afternoon walking tour of this World Heritage Site with its delightful traditional Laos wooden houses and many gilded monasteries. Return to ship for drinks and dinner and a welcoming Lao baci ceremony.

More about Luang Prabang

DAY 2 LUANG PRABANG

Guided visit to the key Buddhist temples, libraries and the Royal Palace. Afternoon at leisure for individual explorations of the area. In the evening visit Luang Prabang’s lively night market with its buzzing café life.

More about Luang Prabang

DAY 3 KUANG SI FALLS

Morning drive to the amazing jungle pools below the Khaung Si waterfall and visit to a fascinating butterfly garden. This afternoon we will sail upstream towards Pak Ou. At the riverbank we will experience sandbank canapés and cocktails.

DAY 4 PAK OU BUDDHA CAVES

This morning we visit Pak Ou, a Buddhist sanctuary with spectacular limestone cliff faces. We explore deeper using a local boat and pay a visit to the so called “Whisky Village”. Back on board for lunch, we sail further upstream. Jungle mooring.

More about Pak Ou Caves and Nam Ou River

DAY 5 SAILING THE MEKONG

An exciting day spent sailing through dramatic scenery with lush jungle and forest punctuated by tiny villages clinging to the river bank. Stop for a walk ashore and there will be a presentation by the guide on Laos language and culture. Jungle mooring.

More about Cruising The Mekong

DAY 6 PAK BENG

The scenery becomes even more dramatic and the river faster and more treacherous. This passage can be very exciting and most passengers sit spellbound on deck. Morning cooking demonstration of favourite Laos dishes by our Pandaw chefs. Afternoon walk around the market town of Pak Beng. Jungle mooring.

More about Pak Beng

DAY 7 SAILING THE MEKONG

A long sailing day covering a considerable distance but punctuated by a morning walk around Ban Pak Sit village, a traditional riverside village full of charm and life, and an afternoon walk around Pak Tha village. Village mooring.

More about Cruising The Mekong

DAY 8 INTO THAILAND

After an afternoon visit to the local pagoda, we proceed to Lao and Thai Immigration, joining the Pandaw ship again in Chiang Kong. Sail further into Thailand in the late afternoon and moor overnight in Chiang Kong.

DAY 9 GOLDEN TRIANGLE

Here the river forms the border between Thailand and Laos. Ashore to visit a Thai village and see a very different culture.In the evening traditional Thai dancers will perform on the deck. Overnight in Chiang Saen.

More about Golden Triangle

DAY 10 CHIANG SAEN

After breakfast, visit the Golden Triangle and Opium Museum and enter Burma exploring the smuggler city of Tachilek and its extraordinary market, essentially a massive duty free area. Back on board, we pass through Thai Immigration and sail on, with Laos on our right and Burma on our left. Jungle mooring.

More about Chiang Saen

DAY 11 BAN DOM MOON

Leaving behind the bustle of the Golden Triangle we return to a Mekong that is now narrower and faster than anything encountered so far on this journey. Afternoon walk around the Pok Lok village followed by a talk by our guide on the region’s ethnography.

DAY 12 SOB LUOY

Visit Ban Pak Keo village, one of the two villages along the Mekong, famous for producing lao-lao, the so-called Laotian whisky or rice wine. Earthenware jars are covered over a period with water and rice, so that the rice ferments to produce the liquor. Stop at Ban Na Kor (Sob Luoy Port) in the afternoon and sail on to a remote sand bank to moor for the night. Canapés and cocktails are served on the sandbank followed by local Laos folklore stories and traditional floating fire lanterns.

DAY 13 GUAN LEI

Crossing into China at Guan Lei Port in the morning, we are free to take a walk and explore before passing immigration. Sail the final stretch of the scenic and dramatic Mekong in China to Jinghong where we moor overnight.

NB: In the event that water levels are too low, too high or the flow too fast, we may not reach Jinghong. In this case you will be transferred for the final stretch by speed boat and lodged in the best available four or five star hotel.

DAY 14 JINGHONG

Jinghong was founded in 1180 by Tai King Phanya Coeng. Its turbulent history has been influenced by Thai, Burmese and Chinese occupations, which can be seen in its buildings and the local language. Today we visit Manting Park and the Tropical Plants Institute. 

On our final evening in Jinghong, experience an evening cultural show at Maxmumbani, where dancers from 38 different ethnic groups display their traditions with acrobatics and fascinating story of China and its people. Moor overnight in Jinghong Port.

More about Jinghong

DAY 15 JINGHONG

Disembark after breakfast.

More about Jinghong

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WHATS INCLUDED

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 from Vientiane or Udon Thani to ship in Vientiane or v.v. Transfers from Jinghong airport/hotel to ship in Jinghong.

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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TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 1 LUANG PRABANG

Transfers included from airport or hotel in Luang Prabang. 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 Luang Prabang 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.

DAY 15 JINGHONG

Disembark after breakfast and morning transfer to Jing Hong airport or city hotel.

Jing Hong Port: Jinghong Port Jetty, No. 51 Xuanwei Road (near Xishuangbanna Bridge).

TESTIMONIALS

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