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MEKONG RIVER CRUISES

Worried About Booking Just Now?

This is the time of year when you might be thinking of booking a trip for next winter but with current uncertainty you might be holding back from making any decisions.

To help out we are offering our members a flexible booking scheme: this means that if you make a booking for next season and then, for whatever reason, want to change the date of travel or the routing you will be able to transfer any monies paid as a credit to another date or route within 12 months of that sailing date without penalty, subject to availability of a cabin.

Please note this does not apply to flights or hotel arrangements, but these can be booked much later as there will always be plenty of options, whereas our more popular Pandaw routings can fill up quite fast.

We know that our Pandaw passengers can look beyond current events and hope this helps give some peace of mind.

Thank you for your continued support!

Discover the hidden worlds on the Mekong River

If you're travelling to South East Asia and want to immerse yourself in the rich culture, what better way to do so than on a Mekong River cruise.

The Mekong River is the 12th largest in the world, it winds its way from Southwest China through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia before it reaches the vast delta of Vietnam.

With an estimated length of 4,350km, there are many places to visit and embarking on a river cruise with Pandaw allows you to experience these remote towns and villages in a way like no other. From the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, (formerly Siagon) to the sleepier town of Luang Prabang in Laos. From the majestic Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to the multi-cultural town of Jinghong in China's Yunnan Province; we can take you there.

Meet local artisans and dancers, learn about the history from the natives themselves, and with Pandaw you can do it in comfort and style. The dining experience allows you to sample the local cuisine and is cooked using ingredients sourced as locally as possible.

Your staterooms are elegant and spacious and come with added extras such as fruit and flowers on arrival, kimonos, slippers and spa-branded amenities to make your stay that little bit more special. Whilst your peace and serenity are of utmost importance to us, when you're not onshore meeting the locals you can enjoy cultural performances, cooking demonstrations or a themed movie night.

River Cruise itinerary for Classic Mekong River Cruise map for Classic Mekong

Classic Mekong

7 NIGHTS

A cruise on the Mekong is like no other river cruise you will experience. The river runs along the border of such varied countries, from the bustling cities of Vietnam to the calm towns of Cambodia. This 8 day Upstream cruise begins in either Saigon or Siem Reap, travelling through the mangroves to the border of Cambodia. Discover Phnom Pehn by cyclo, why not book an extension and set sail to explore the awe-inspiring monuments of Angkor.

Rivers: Mekong River, Tonle River

Ships: RV Mekong Pandaw, RV Tonle Pandaw

from US$2,596.50 per person

members from US$2,308 per person

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for The Laos Mekong River Cruise map for The Laos Mekong

The Laos Mekong

10 NIGHTS

This 10 night Mekong cruise explores 3 countries; Laos, Thailand and Burma. We make our way past breathtaking jungle scenery and lone riverside, tribal villages to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang with its buzzing night market and Buddhist temples.

Rivers: Mekong River

Ships: RV Champa Pandaw, RV Laos Pandaw, RV Sabaidee Pandaw

from US$3,924 per person

members from US$3,488 per person

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for The Mekong: From Laos to China River Cruise map for The Mekong: From Laos to China

The Mekong: From Laos to China

14 NIGHTS

Embark on an epic 14 night journey on the upper Mekong River. We travel from Laos to China or vice versa. This incredible river expedition allows you to discover charming villages, stunning scenery, lush dense jungle and the Golden Triangle leading you on to the emerald green Mekong in China's Yunnan province. Your voyage will make stops in Luang Prabang, Chiang Saen and Jinghong.

Rivers: Mekong River

Ships: RV Sabaidee Pandaw

from US$4,708.80 per person

members from US$4,185.60 per person

Save up to 10%

River Cruise itinerary for Phnom Penh and Siem Reap River Cruise map for Phnom Penh and Siem Reap

Phnom Penh and Siem Reap

3 NIGHTS

This 3 night cruise starts its journey in either the lively city of Phnom Penh or Siem Reap where you can explore the impressive Angkor Wat. Start your day early with sunset views on one of the most picturesque parts of the Mekong. Visit the impressive structures of Wat Hanchey and Wat Nokor Bachey and meet the natives of Chiro Village.

Rivers: Mekong River

Ships: RV Mekong Pandaw

from US$1,156.50 per person

members from US$1,028 per person

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for Saigon and Phnom Penh Short Cruise River Cruise map for Saigon and Phnom Penh Short Cruise

Saigon and Phnom Penh Short Cruise

3 or 4 NIGHTS

If you're travelling in South East Asia and want to experience the towns and villages the Mekong has to offer from the water why not choose a short 3 night Mekong river cruise over sitting on a hot and stuffy bus journey? Our 3 night cruise is a great way to see these phenomenal places in a unique way.

Rivers: Mekong River

Ships: RV Indochina Pandaw, RV Mekong Pandaw

from US$1,125 per person

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for Saigon, Siem Reap, Halong Bay & Hanoi River Cruise map for Saigon, Siem Reap, Halong Bay & Hanoi

Saigon, Siem Reap, Halong Bay & Hanoi

19 NIGHTS

Combine the fascinating and varied Mekong River, with its striking cultural contrast between the bustling Vietnam delta and the tranquility of Cambodia, with exploring the key sites of Northern Vietnam by traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of down town Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. Inbetween cruises spend a day at leisure to explore Hanoi or Siem Reap.

Rivers: Mekong River, Halong Bay & The Red River

Ships: RV Angkor Pandaw, RV Mekong Pandaw

from US$6,121.80 per person

members from US$5,441.60 per person

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for Hanoi, Halong Bay, Saigon & Siem Reap River Cruise map for Hanoi, Halong Bay, Saigon & Siem Reap

Hanoi, Halong Bay, Saigon & Siem Reap

19 NIGHTS

Combine the fascinating and varied Mekong River, with its striking cultural contrast between the bustling Vietnam delta and the tranquility of Cambodia, with exploring the key sites of Northern Vietnam by traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of down town Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. Inbetween cruises spend a day at leisure to explore Saigon.

Rivers: Mekong River, Halong Bay & The Red River

Ships: RV Angkor Pandaw, RV Mekong Pandaw, RV Tonle Pandaw

from US$5,980.50 per person

members from US$5,316 per person

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for Halong Bay, Red River & Laos Mekong River Cruise map for Halong Bay, Red River & Laos Mekong

Halong Bay, Red River & Laos Mekong

21 NIGHTS

If you really want to immerse yourself in the rich culture and beautiful surroundings these countries have to offer, why not embark on a 21 night river cruise where you will not only discover Halong Bay, the Red River and Hanoi in Vietnam, but also embark on a cruise on the Mekong in Laos.

Rivers: Halong Bay & The Red River, Mekong River

Ships: RV Angkor Pandaw, RV Champa Pandaw, RV Laos Pandaw

from US$7,012.80 per person

Save up to 10%

Mekong River Ships

RV Champa Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Champa Pandaw

The Champa Pandaw, sister ship of the Laos Pandaw, began cruises on the Upper Mekong from September 2016. The ship has quality mountain bikes fo....
RV Indochina Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Indochina Pandaw

Sister to the Orient and Bassac, the IP was built in Vietnam in 2009 and transferred over to Burma in 2011. The ship has quality mountain bikes ....
RV Laos Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Laos Pandaw

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....
RV Mekong Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Mekong Pandaw

Built in Rangoon in 2002 she was sailed round to Saigon under her own power and many a drama described in Paul Strachan’s Pandaw Story. This shi....
RV Sabaidee Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Sabaidee Pandaw

The RV Sabaidee is our seventeenth ship to the Pandaw Flotilla which was constructed to meet demand on our very popular Laos to China route acro....
RV Tonle Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Tonle Pandaw

Modelled on Pandaw II and originally called Pandaw III, the Tonle saw a year’s service in Burma in 2002/3 before being sent under tug-tow to the....

River Cruise Stops

Chiang Saen

Chiang Saen

According to an ancient chronicle the original city of Chiang Saen (Chiang: "offshoot", saen: "100, 000") was built in 545 CE in an area called Yonok by Tai migrants from the Chinese province of Yunnan, and was an important city of the Lanna ("million paddies") Kingdom. No reliable written history of the city exists until the arrival of King Mengrai in the 13th century. His grandson, Saen Phu, ruler of the Lanna Kingdom, founded Chiang Saen in 1325 or 1328. Once one of the major cities of the Lanna kingdom, it was originally called Wiang Hiran Nakhon Ngoen Yang and served as the capital before King Mengrai established Chiang Rai in 1262. The town was captured by the Burmese in the 16th century and sacked by King Rama I in 1803. Left as a ghost town for a hundred years, it was repopulated around 1900, but still hasn't really staggered to its feet. Traces of old double city walls and many other antiquities still remain in and outside the district town.
Cruising The Mekong

Cruising The Mekong

Continue up the Mekong with Burma on our left and Laos on our right.
Golden Triangle

Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle is in Chiang Rai Province, in the far north of Thailand. The English name comes from the meeting of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand here, but to the locals it's Sop Ruak, since this is where the Mekong meets the Ruak River. Historically the Golden Triangle has been an area well-known for the growing of opium, and the name comes from a US State Department memo on the practice. These days, though, the place lives on the cultivation of tourists, and this is undoubtedly the largest tourist trap in northern Thai-land. The landscape is hilly, divided by the Ruak River that flows into the Mekong (Mae Khong) River. These rivers form a natural boundary between the three countries Laos (to the east of the Me-kong), Myanmar (to the north of the Ruak), and Thailand (to the west of the Mae Khong). The main area is the Thai riverside near the point where the rivers meet, which — in the dry sea-son, when the Mekong runs low — is even marked by a handy sandbar. This in itself is pretty anti-climactic, so a series of increasingly bizarre attractions have been erected by the riverside to make up for it: there's a giant golden Buddha on a ship, elephant statues where you can clamber to pose atop a palanquin (in exchange for a donation, of course), elaborate shrines to the royal family, half a dozen signs stating that yes, this really is the Golden Triangle and, inevitably, river cruise touts, souvenir shops and Western-style cafes.
Jinghong

Jinghong

Jinghong is a beautiful place and one that you will get to experience if you take one of our Mekong River Cruises . It is a city in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture which is in the Yunnan Province in South China. Jinghong is a famous destination and one that we highly recommend you see if you take a Pandaw river cruise ! Temple at Jinghong A History Of Jinghong Meng Bala Nax, which means 'ideal and magical paradise' are words that many people use to describe this place. It was founded in 1180, by the Tai King Phana Coyeng. It was originally named Chiang Hung but was later renamed to Jinghong. Jinghong has had its fair share of history throughout the Yuan and Ming Dynasty, making it a culturally rich destination to stop off at on your cruise. Attractions To See The Dai Water Splashing Festival is definitely something that you should experience. This is a New Year Celebration that takes place in Jinghong and is a beautiful spectacle for all those who behold it. This is not New Year as you know it, but rather this festival takes place on the 13th/15th of April every year to celebrate the Dai New Year. It is the most important festival in the Dai culture, and it is something that you are not going to want to miss if you happen to be in the area on these dates. As well as this, there are a whole host of small villages nearby that are full of people from different cultures. You can visit these places as many of them are not far from the river that you will be travelling on, and experience a completely different way of life to what you are used to. Obviously, you aren’t going to want to go too far from the boat, but you can consider heading to one of Jinghongs botanical gardens. There are at least three gardens in the city for you to explore! Jinghong also has multiple Buddhist temples that you can visit to experience the lives of the native population. Buddhist temple in Jinghong Why Is Jinghong Famous? There is a long history of the Dai Culture in Jinghong, but over the last few centuries, more people have travelled and settled here. Like we said above, you can visit some of the nearby villages to see the different ways of life that are now inhabiting this place. The Dai people have a long and rich history, with some of their dances being known throughout the world. Many Dai people live in bamboo houses, which is the traditional minority buildings in China. Best way to experience Jinghong The best way to experience Jinghong is on our Mekong: From Laos to China cruise where you get to visit the Tropical Plant Institute, Manting Park and experience a cultural show where dancers from 38 different ethinic groups.
Kuang Si Waterfalls

Kuang Si Waterfalls

Also known as the Tat Kuang Si Waterfalls and Kuang Xi, Kuang Si Falls is a breathtaking three-tier waterfall that is adored by every tourist that visits each year and is a location visited on our Mekong River Cruises . Featuring turquoise waters and incredible surroundings, it’s a popular destination for many visiting the area – particularly between December and May after the monsoon season has ended. Situated in Northern Laos, during your Laos Mekong or the Halong Bay, Red River & Laos Mekong river cruise you will be able to visit the falls by means of an exciting sightseeing minibus. A hidden treasure away from bustling Luang Prabang, you will want to return to the Kuang Si Waterfalls from the moment that you leave. Kuang Si Waterfalls Key facts about Kuang Si Waterfalls They have a 50m drop It is open every day between 8am and 5. 30pm It will take you 15-20 minutes to hike to the top It is 29km south of Luang Prabang (a UNESCO town) It is a popular tourist destination, visited by millions each year Top Things To Do While at Kuang Si Waterfalls Take a walk around the Kuang Si Falls Market As you walk towards the entrance of the waterfalls you will be greeted by the quaint Kuang Si Falls Market. Filled with delicious sweet and savoury treats, ice-cold beers and souvenirs (amongst other delights) it makes for a wonderful stop before you head to the waterfalls. Affordable and welcoming, it is a fabulous start to your trip to Kuang Si Falls. Explore the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre On your way into the waterfalls you will walk through the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre. Operated by the conservation foundation Free the Bears, the fascinating centre is home to over 20 Asiatic Black Bears which have been rescued over the years. A wonderful addition to your river stop, along with the market and butterfly garden, there is plenty to see and explore. Walk to the top of Kuang Si Waterfalls During your sightseeing trip you may have time to hike to the top of the waterfalls. Walking over a small wooden bridge, you will have unobstructed and awe-inspiring views of the main part of the waterfalls. With a lack of tourists and the beautiful sounds of nature around you, it’s a wonderful way to spend your time at the waterfalls. On a clear day you can even see out towards the Lao countryside. What Kuang Si Waterfalls is Famous For The perfect place to take incredible photos, your trip out to the falls will be unforgettable creating everlasting memories. Abundant with tropical greenery, extraordinary wildlife and boasting a sense of tranquility that showcases what the true Laos is all about, the Kuang Si Waterfalls will make you feel immersed into the surrounding nature the moment that you catch sight of it. Famous for its serenity and natural wonders, it is frequently voted as one of the top waterfalls to see in Laos and a must for anyone visiting Luang Prabang on their Pandaw river cruise. People swimming in the Kuang Si Waterfalls
Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang, or Louangphrabang, is a city located in north central Laos, at the confluence of the Nam Khan river and Mekong River about 300 km north of Vientiane. It is the capital of Luang Prabang Province. Inhabited for thousands of years, it was the royal capital of the country until 1975. It’s known for its many Buddhist temples, including the gilded Wat Xieng Thong, dating to the 16th century, and Wat Mai, once the residence of the head of Laotian Buddhism.
Pak Beng

Pak Beng

Sitting midway between Luang Prabang and Huay Xai lays Pakbeng on the Mekong. The river used to be the one major route for transport in the country, and over the years, Pakbeng has developed massively as a stop for both cargo and passenger ferries. If you want scenery, you should sit here where the Nam Beng flows freely into the Mekong. When you are on a Mekong river cruise from Chiang Khong on the Thai border on the Mekong, you're treated to spectacular views of Pakbeng. If you want to explore Pakbeng, start on the boat journey down the Mekong. The town is flourishing right now, and it's gaining more tourism and popularity as time goes on. The one thing to remember is that Pakbeng is not just somewhere to transit to Thailand. It's a corridor to so many different places, and it's for this reason that the hotels and guesthouses are so popular. They get very full in the higher seasons, and while arrival by boat can be a little busy, there isn’t as much to do or see than other places, but it still makes for an interesting stop-off! Elephant opposite Pakbeng Places To Visit When you come to Pakbeng, you want to have a list of things to do while you are off the boat. However, it's a small place to visit, and the reason it’s so popular is that it's where all the boats stop on the way from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai. There is a sleepy charm to Pakbeng, and it's the arrival of tourists in the evening that makes it so. There are some temples that are definitely worth seeing, but there are some things that you can see and do in the neighbouring villages, too. Head to Wat Koh Koh, a nearby town for excellent views over the town. See the skies around Pakbeng in the evening as the sun sets and enjoy the view from one destination to the other. There isn't much in the way of infrastructure in Pakbeng itself, but there are a lot of tours that are becoming more and more popular alongside the river cruises that stop in Pakbeng. There are a handful of restaurants and bars in the town, too, so you can always stop off at the Hive Bar for a drink overlooking the river. There may not be much in the way of shopping malls in Pakbeng, but there are local market stalls along the main road serving up baguettes stuffed with local ingredients, and you can stock up for getting back on the boat home. When you head on one of the Pandaw river cruises through Pakbeng, you get a little taste of life with the locals, and they will be able to greet you and show you some of the local charm available to you. The best way to experience Pakbeng is on our Mekong: From Laos To China cruise where you’ll stop off for a quick visit and a look around. Sunset on the Pakbeng waterfront
Pak Lai

Pak Lai

Our Mekong River Cruises can take you to many magical destinations, one of the most stunning of those is Pak Lai. Pak Lai is a stunning administrative French town with a plethora of colonial buildings and a small yet bustling local market that can itself be a wonder to witness. This town boasts the largest elephant festival in South East Asia, and this festival is usually hosted in February. The town stretches five kilometers of route four that is joined by an east road that is very sparsely dotted with buildings in the French-colonial and Lao style. The clamouring Mekong waterway port of Pak Lai is a practically unavoidable stop on one of our river cruises on the Mekong. Pak Lai sits prettily among Sainyabuli and Loei in Thailand. The town pursues a 5km twist of the river, paralleled further east by a smaller riverside cut-out that's sparsely sprinkled with historic structures in both Lao and French-colonial style. Pak Lai is popular with tourists for its free walk opportunities through some incredible rainforest. It even boasts a considerable number of elephants, so if you have never experienced a ride on an elephant before, this could be your chance. Forest Walks in Pak Lai Many residents of neighbouring towns such as Vientiane or Sainyabuli arrive in Pak Lai by bus as it people often travel to visit the famous market. Of course, one can not mention visiting such a wonderfully beautiful place without talking about how we get to it. The journey itself via the Mekong should be appreciated alone for its glory of being the twelfth longest river in the world. Apart from the famous market, there are also some fantastic restaurants to sample some of the finest local cuisines. School children in Pak Lai One place that everybody should also make an effort to visit is Wat Sisavang. Wat Sisavang is a Buddhist temple in Pak Lai that lies on route 4. Wat Sisavang sports some ancient monks' quarters and now has a new bell tower and gateway. Within a short 500 meter walk of Wat Sisavang, you will pass the main guesthouse and a river port. At this point, you will cross a picturesque wooden bridge where you will arrive at a quaint village-like area. All in all, any trip to northern Laos will be one that will surely stay with you for the rest of your life. If it wasn't for this colorful history, Laos would not play host to some of the incredible beauty that it does today. The best way to experience Pak Lai is on our Laos Mekong cruise, where you will visit colonial buildings and a bustling market.
Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

One thing that so many people love about going on a river cruise is that they get the opportunity to explore places they otherwise wouldn’t. This is something we definitely help you to achieve. One of the most popular spots on our Mekong river cruises is Phnom Penh for its rich history and wealth of things to do. Key facts about Phnom Penh Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and the most populous city in the country. It was founded in 1434 and it is noted for the many historical attractions and architecture, including a number of surviving French colonial buildings. It used to be known as Krong Chaktomuk. It has become the cultural, industrial, and economic centre of the nation. It has progressed to this status ever since becoming the capital once the French colonised Cambodia. What is Phnom Penh famous for? When you consider just how important Phnom Penh is in terms of the economy and culture in Cambodia, it is not hard to see why it has become such a famous city. However, there is more to Phnom Penh than this! It is actually widely referred to as the Pearl of Asia because it was deemed one of the most beautiful cities that was built by the French in the 1920s in Indochina. Phnom Penh, as well as Sihanoukville and Siem Reap, are both significant domestic and global tourist destinations for Cambodia. Waterfront at Phnom Penh Top things to do in Phnom Penh You probably won’t be surprised to learn that there are plenty of things to see and do while you are in Phnom Penh. This includes visiting the King’s official residence, which is the Royal Palace. This is a symbol of the Kingdom and it is a venue for court ceremony. Despite this, there are a number of different areas that are open to the public. You will also find the Silver Pagoda here too. This is a prominent template, which is named for its gleaming silver floor, taking a key place on the riverside. Another one of the most popular tourist spots in Phnom Penh is the National Museum of Cambodia. The good news is that you won’t need to travel far to see this, as it is right next to the Royal Palace. It is home to over 5, 000 artefacts that date back to the period of ancient Angkorian. Other places of interest include Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Cambodian Living Arts’ theatre show, and Wat Phnom. King’s Palace in Phnom Penh If you are interested in a Pandaw River Cruise , or you would like to visit Phnom Penh specifically, the best way to experience it is on our Classic Mekong cruise where you’ll visit the Royal Palace and the silver pagoda as well as the national museum with a collection of Angkorian statuary. In the afternoon, you’ll get to explore Phnom Penh’s waterfront and have high tea.
Saigon

Saigon

Saigon or Ho Chi Minh is the capital of southern Vietnam and after Hanoi the country's second city. Remarkably despite the boom of the past ten years much of old Saigon has survived and there is still a real L'Indochine feel to the place. It is easy to walk around the central district exploring the broad leafy boulevards and splendid French colonial architecture - the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office and Opera. The Town Hall, scene of the 'fall of Saigon' on April 30th 1975 is worth a peek as is the war museum (interestingly the French seem to come off far worse than the Americans!). A half day excursion to the Chu Chi tunnel complex is also well worth it - here the Viet Cong held out against successive carpet bombing in an underground city. Saigon is a great place to eat with some excellent French or Vietnamese restaurants.
Siem Reap

Siem Reap

Siem Reap is the town around which the Angkor monuments are situated. Modern Siem Reap is about 45minutes from the Tonle Sap and the port facilities there are very poor - dusty and disorganised - so be prepared! The modern town is not very attractive and with the increased popularity of Angkor as a destination over the past few years literally hundreds of new hotels have opened. It is a big mess with congested traffic and even pollution. Such are the benefits of mass tourism. However, the temple complexes are so vast and varied that it is quite easy to lose the package tour groups and do your own thing. Explored with discernment, and good planning, many a magical moment is still to be had. (e. g. Avoid the sunrise from Angkor Wat as this is what most tourists will be doing). Look to exploring some of the complexes like Rolous that are further away and less busy. Although very busy, Angkor remains one of the most important architectural sites on the planet and is an absolute must!
Vientiane

Vientiane

Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, situated on the Mekong near the border with Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1563 due to fears of a Burmese invasion. Of the many temples and Stupas, highlights are: Sisaket Temple Wat Si Saket was built in 1818 on the order of King Anouvong (Sethathirath V. ) Si is derived from the Sanskrit title of veneration Sri, prefixed to the name of Wat Saket in Bangkok, which was renamed by Anouvong's contemporary, King Rama I. Wat Si Saket was built in the Siamese style of Buddhist architecture, with a surrounding terrace and an ornate five-tiered roof, rather than in the Lao style. This may have kept it safe, since the armies of Siam that sacked Vientiane following Anouvong's rebellion in 1827 used the compound as their headquarters and lodging place. It may be the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. The French colonial government restored Wat Si Saket in 1924 and again in 1930. Phrathat Luang Stupa Pha That Luang according to the Lao people was originally built as a Hindu temple in the 1st century. Buddhist missionaries from the Mauryan Empire are believed to have been sent by the Emperor Ashoka, including Bury Chan or Praya Chanthabury Pasithisak and five Arahata monks who brought a holy relic (believed to be the breastbone) of Lord Buddha to the stupa. It was rebuilt in the 13th century as a Khmer temple which fell into ruin. Wat Pra Keo Temple Haw Phra Kaew was built in 1565–1566 on the orders of King Setthathirath after he moved the capital from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. The temple was built on the grounds of the royal palace to house the Emerald Buddha figurine, which Setthathirath had brought from Chiang Mai then the capital of Lanna to Luang Prabang. The temple was used as Setthathirath's personal place of worship, and because of this, there were no resident monks in this temple unlike other temples in Laos. The Emerald Buddha stayed in the temple for over 200 years, but in 1779, Vientiane was seized by the Siamese General Chao Phraya Chakri (who founded the current Chakri Dynasty of Thailand), the figurine was taken to Thonburi and the temple destroyed. The Buddha now resides in Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, and is considered the palladium of Thailand. Patouxai Monument Patuxai is a compound word, 'Patuu' or 'patu' meaning a "door" or "gateway" and 'Xai', derivative of the Sanskrit ‘Jaya', which means "victory". Thus it means “Victory Gate”. The Patuxai was built during a turbulent period Lao history. It was built when Laos was a constitutional monarchy and was originally known simply as the "Anousavali" ("memory"), dedicated memory of the Laotian soldiers who died during World War II and the independence war from France in 1949.

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Vietnam's Heritage Road

Vietnam's Heritage Road

Start this extension after your cruise at Saigon with a two-night stay and full day tour of the city. Hue and Hoi An are two of Vietnam’s scenic....
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