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Sailing on a Pandaw ship is an outdoor, fresh air experience. However comfortable and roomy the staterooms, passengers prefer to spend their time sitting outside, on the promenade decks or on the vast observation deck above. Unlike most other cruise ships, every window on board (except for the portholes on the lower deck) can be opened and closed to suit your comfort.
As we sail, we find that our passengers like to sit on deck, absorbed by the awe-inspiring riverside panoramas that unfold before them. From the comfortable vantage point of a teak-floored Pandaw deck, it’s hard not to become hypnotized by the unceasing human and wildlife activity that characterizes the great rivers of Asia.
PLEASE NOTE: The itinerary for this expedition is indicative only and subject to reconnaissance. As we travel to remote areas, changes to the itinerary will inevitably occur. A flexible approach is required if you book this cruise.
Transfers from airports or any city hotel in Chiang Rai (3 hours) and Chiang Mai (6 hours) with a visit to the Golden Triangle and the now infamous opium museum. Embark your ship by 16.00pm and cruise up river towards the Burma border for sunset.
We go through the immigration formalities at the Thai/Laos border and re-join the Laos Pandaw. Set sail downstream on the beautiful Upper Mekong River. After lunch, if time allows, enjoy sightseeing by foot in a Laos jungle village.
Laos – Pandaw Cruise
Morning walking tour of the local trading town of Pak Beng. Continue cruising downstream to Pak Ou, where we transfer to a local boat and enter the Nam Ou River to visit the extraordinary Pak Ou Buddha Caves. Admire spectacular limestone cliff faces in the Buddhist sanctuary.
Pak Ou Caves
In the early morning we will arrive in Luang Prabang.
After breakfast, there is an opportunity for you to explore the beautiful temple city of Luang Prabang 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.
Luang Prabang – Wat Xiengthong
Early morning walking tour to observe the morning alms offering by local people to the hundreds of monks who walk around the city every morning. Passengers are invited to join with the offerings we provide for the alms giving. Mid-afternoon traditional dance performance on board the Laos Pandaw. We moor overnight in Luang Prabang.
Morning sightseeing by mini coach. We drive to see the deep jungle pools at the Khuang Si Waterfall and for the teak forest trails and butterfly farm. Time permitting, we will also visit the elephant camp. After lunch, enjoy a cooking demonstration on board and wonderful scenic cruising on the mighty Mekong River.
Khuang Si Waterfalls
Pass through the Mekong water control lock at Xayaburi Hydro Electric Power Plant (itself an interesting and perhaps controversial tourist attraction).
Late afternoon walking tour of a local village (Pha Leap).
Morning visit to Ban Pak Huoang, an interesting local village on the Thai/Laos border. Continue to Pak Sao where we enjoy an excursion to a plantation village and meet the local people.
We pass through a dramatic landscape of jungle and mountain where the river flows fast and wild. Amazing rock formations straddle the river banks. Here we enter the cultivated plains of Vientiane province. We arrive mid-afternoon in Vientiane where we moor overnight. Opportunity for independent exploration of this delightful, French influenced city.
Vientiane – That Luang Stupa
Morning explorations of the delightful French city including visits to Sisaket Temple, the President’s Hall, Wat Prakeo Temple and the Phatouxay monument. Opportunity for independent exploration enjoying the many cafes and bistros in this charming little corner of L’Indochine. Farewell cocktails and dinner on your final night aboard the Laos Pandaw
Vientiane – Patuxay Monument
Disembark in Vientiane after breakfast and transfer to airports or hotel in Vientiane or Udon Thani in Thailand (1.5hrs, just across the river).
Laos – Pandaw Cruise
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