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Along the Mekong: China, Thailand & Laos

While the highlight is cruising on the legendary Mekong River, this Laos and Thailand journey also immerses guests in ancient Buddhist temples and the World Heritage Site city of Luang Prabang.

24 October, 2020 to 08 November, 2020 Make a booking request for Along the Mekong: China, Thailand & Laos, departing on 24 October, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Main Deck Stateroom £ 8785 GBP pp
8 main deck staterooms 170 square feet, finished in teak and brass Panoramic French window Kimonos and slippers Spa-branded amenities Unlimited mineral water Electric mini safe AC with individual control Imported quality linens with duvet and two kind of pillows Premium mattresses Welcome flower arrangement and welcome gift Mirror Multi-configuration plugs Generous closet space and under-bed storage Hair dryer Daily nightly turndown service 24h laundry service Complimentary evening canapés
Upper Deck Stateroom £ 10625 GBP pp
6 upper deck staterooms 170 square feet, finished in teak and brass Panoramic French window Kimonos and slippers Spa-branded amenities Unlimited mineral water Electric mini safe AC with individual control Imported quality linens with duvet and two kind of pillows Premium mattresses Welcome flower arrangement and welcome gift Mirror Multi-configuration plugs Generous closet space and under-bed storage Hair dryer Daily nightly turndown service 24h laundry service Complimentary evening canapés
Main Deck Stateroom Solo £ 11105 GBP pp

Along the Mekong: China, Thailand & Laos itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 Kunming, China
Board your independent flight to China. Arrive in Kunming in the late evening on October 24 and transfer to the Green Lake Hotel for overnight.
Day 2 Kunming
Explore the mysterious Stone Forest this morning, a series of limestone karst formations that have eroded into a series of pillars that resemble trees. Keep a lookout for the Ashima stone that resembles a girl with a scarf on her head and a basket on her back. After lunch, visit with people from the Yi ethnic group to learn about their unique language, customs, and cuisine. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 Kunming / Jinghong
After breakfast and a brief city tour and lunch, transfer to the airport for our flight to Jinghong. Upon arrival, check in to the Wanda Vista Resort Xishuangbanna for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 Jinghong
Jinghong was founded in 1180 by Thai king, Phanya Coeng. Its long history has been influenced by Thailand, Myanmar, and China, which is reflected in its unique architecture and the local language. This morning, visit the fascinating Tropical Plant Institute, a vast garden with over 13,000 plant species. Continue to Manting Park, which dates back 1,300 years. This evening, attend a cultural show at Maxmumbani, where dancers from 38 different ethnic groups display their traditions with music, dances, and acrobatics.
Day 5 Jinghong / Guan Lei / Embark Sabidee Pandaw / Mekong Cruising (Laos)
After breakfast, drive to the port of Guan Lei and board the Sabaidee Pandaw. After lunch on board, take a walking tour around Guan Lei. Set sail this evening.
Day 6 Mekong Cruising
Continue day along the Upper Mekong, savoring magnificent scenery of dramatic hillsides and cliffs—Laos will be on your left and Myanmar on your right. Arrive at Ban Na Kor, a remote sand bank where the ship will moor for the night. Enjoy an evening of canapés and cocktails on the sandbank, followed by local Lao folklore and traditional floating fire lanterns.
Day 7 Chiang Sean, Thailand (Golden Triangle)
Arrive Chiang Saen, Thailand. After lunch, visit the center of the Golden Triangle where you can see both Laos and Myanmar across the river. Visit the fascinating Hall of Opium Museum, which chronicles the history of opium in the region.
Day 8 Mekong Cruising (Laos)
Cross the Thai border back into Laos and continue the journey downstream. Time permitting, after lunch, take a walking tour of a village set in the surrounding jungle.
Day 9 Pakbeng / Pak Ou Caves
This morning, take a walking tour of Pak Beng, a small trading town perched high on the banks of the Mekong. Continue cruising downstream and transfer to a local boat for a visit to the extraordinary Pak Ou Buddha Caves. Admire spectacular limestone cliff faces and the thousands of miniature Buddha sculptures within the caves that have been left by local people over hundreds of years.
Days 10 - 11 Luang Prabang
Spend two full days exploring the beautiful temple city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit several of the city’s pagodas and temples, such as Vat Xieng Thong, Vat Visoun, and Vat Aham, as well as the Royal Palace, which now houses the National Museum. The evening is at leisure to explore the buzzing night market, or perhaps grab a drink or a snack at one of the many delightful cafés and restaurants. Early the next morning, join a 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 Pandaw
Day 12 Muang Khay Village
This morning will be spent exploring the deep jungle pools at the picturesque Khuang Si Waterfall with the chance to enjoy a dip in the cooling pools. Stroll through the teak forest trails and visit the butterfly farm. Time permitting there may also be time to visit the elephant camp. Enjoy lunch followed by a cooking demonstration on board while cruising onwards down the mighty Mekong.
Day 13 Xayaburi Dam
Pass through the Mekong water control lock at Xayaburi Hydro Electric Power Plant (itself an interesting and perhaps controversial tourist attraction). In the afternoon, join a walking tour of a local village.
Day 14 Pak Sao
This morning, visit Ban Pak Huoang, an interesting local village on the Thai/Laos border. Continue to Pak Sao for an excursion to a plantation village where you may mingle with locals.
Days 15 - 16 Vientiane
Pass through a dramatic landscape of jungle and mountain where the river flows fast and wild. Amazing rock formations straddle the riverbanks. Then enter the cultivated plains of Vientiane province, arriving mid-afternoon in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. There will be time this evening for independent exploration of this delightful, French influenced city. The next day, get better acquainted with the city with visits to Sisaket Temple, the President’s Hall, Wat Prakeo Temple, and the Phatouxay monument. The rest of the day is free for independent exploration to enjoy the many cafes and bistros in this charming little corner of L’Indochine. Attend a farewell cocktails and dinner on your final night aboard the Pandaw.
Day 17 Vientiane / Disembark
Disembark this morning and board your independent homeward flight.
Please Note:
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

Along the Mekong: China, Thailand & Laos reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Disembark this morning and board your independent homeward flight.
Pass through a dramatic landscape of jungle and mountain where the river flows fast and wild. Amazing rock formations straddle the riverbanks. Then enter the cultivated plains of Vientiane province, arriving mid-afternoon in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. There will be time this evening for independent exploration of this delightful, French influenced city. The next day, get better acquainted with the city with visits to Sisaket Temple, the President’s Hall, Wat Prakeo Temple, and the Phatouxay monument. The rest of the day is free for independent exploration to enjoy the many cafes and bistros in this charming little corner of L’Indochine. Attend a farewell cocktails and dinner on your final night aboard the Pandaw.
This morning, visit Ban Pak Huoang, an interesting local village on the Thai/Laos border. Continue to Pak Sao for an excursion to a plantation village where you may mingle with locals.
Pass through the Mekong water control lock at Xayaburi Hydro Electric Power Plant (itself an interesting and perhaps controversial tourist attraction). In the afternoon, join a walking tour of a local village.
This morning will be spent exploring the deep jungle pools at the picturesque Khuang Si Waterfall with the chance to enjoy a dip in the cooling pools. Stroll through the teak forest trails and visit the butterfly farm. Time permitting there may also be time to visit the elephant camp. Enjoy lunch followed by a cooking demonstration on board while cruising onwards down the mighty Mekong.
Spend two full days exploring the beautiful temple city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit several of the city’s pagodas and temples, such as Vat Xieng Thong, Vat Visoun, and Vat Aham, as well as the Royal Palace, which now houses the National Museum. The evening is at leisure to explore the buzzing night market, or perhaps grab a drink or a snack at one of the many delightful cafés and restaurants. Early the next morning, join a 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 Pandaw
This morning, take a walking tour of Pak Beng, a small trading town perched high on the banks of the Mekong. Continue cruising downstream and transfer to a local boat for a visit to the extraordinary Pak Ou Buddha Caves. Admire spectacular limestone cliff faces and the thousands of miniature Buddha sculptures within the caves that have been left by local people over hundreds of years.
Cross the Thai border back into Laos and continue the journey downstream. Time permitting, after lunch, take a walking tour of a village set in the surrounding jungle.
Arrive Chiang Saen, Thailand. After lunch, visit the center of the Golden Triangle where you can see both Laos and Myanmar across the river. Visit the fascinating Hall of Opium Museum, which chronicles the history of opium in the region.
Continue day along the Upper Mekong, savoring magnificent scenery of dramatic hillsides and cliffs—Laos will be on your left and Myanmar on your right. Arrive at Ban Na Kor, a remote sand bank where the ship will moor for the night. Enjoy an evening of canapés and cocktails on the sandbank, followed by local Lao folklore and traditional floating fire lanterns.
After breakfast, drive to the port of Guan Lei and board the Sabaidee Pandaw. After lunch on board, take a walking tour around Guan Lei. Set sail this evening.
Jinghong was founded in 1180 by Thai king, Phanya Coeng. Its long history has been influenced by Thailand, Myanmar, and China, which is reflected in its unique architecture and the local language. This morning, visit the fascinating Tropical Plant Institute, a vast garden with over 13,000 plant species. Continue to Manting Park, which dates back 1,300 years. This evening, attend a cultural show at Maxmumbani, where dancers from 38 different ethnic groups display their traditions with music, dances, and acrobatics.
After breakfast and a brief city tour and lunch, transfer to the airport for our flight to Jinghong. Upon arrival, check in to the Wanda Vista Resort Xishuangbanna for dinner and overnight.
Explore the mysterious Stone Forest this morning, a series of limestone karst formations that have eroded into a series of pillars that resemble trees. Keep a lookout for the Ashima stone that resembles a girl with a scarf on her head and a basket on her back. After lunch, visit with people from the Yi ethnic group to learn about their unique language, customs, and cuisine. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Board your independent flight to China. Arrive in Kunming in the late evening on October 24 and transfer to the Green Lake Hotel for overnight.
* = Indicative
Map for Along the Mekong: China, Thailand & Laos
Sabaidee Pandaw, the ship servicing Along the Mekong: China, Thailand & Laos

Sabaidee Pandaw

Vessel Type: Luxury River Cruising

Built: 2018

ACCOMMODATION

6 upper deck, 8 main deck staterooms, 170 square feet, finished in teak and brass, Panoramic French window, 

AC with individual control

WINING & DINING

Bistro style dining room with outside seating and air-conditioning inside, Local master chef heading an experienced international culinary team, Semi-buffet breakfast, semi-buffet lunch, and seated theme dinners, Daily lean & light menu options, Complimentary coffee, water, tea, local soft drinks, local beer, local spirits, Extensive wine list with premium wines, Series of cultural performances, educational talks, cooking classes, and ship tour, Welcome drink on arrival, Welcome cocktail, Farewell reception, Theme dinners, 24hrs hospitality bar, Onboard bakery with daily freshly baked breads and rolls

ON EXCURSIONS

Admissions, Shoe cleaning after excursions, Bottled drinking water, Cold towel service after excursions, Refreshing drink following excursions, Full-size motor coach on all excursions, 1st aid trained assistant guide to follow all tours and excursions

SAFETY & SECURITY

All onboard crew is trained and certified as per international marine standards, Fire alarm system in all cabins, public areas and back areas, Fire fighting system in all ship areas, Expert marine superintendant, 24 hrs watch on duty

ONBOARD STAFF

Captain, River Pilot, First Officer, Chief Engineer, 1st Engineer, Electrician, Bosun & nautical crew, Ship manager, Housekeeping, Dining, Bar keeper, Chefs, Local tour guides

PUBLIC SPACES

Guest relation desk, Library with contemporary and classic literature

Cabin layout for Sabaidee Pandaw
• Cruise the Upper Mekong River aboard the luxurious 24-guest Sabaidee Pandaw.

• Discover the Buddha-crammed Pak Ou Caves, an important religious site for the Laotian people set in spectacular limestone cliff faces.

• Enjoy timeless river scenes as you drift past dense jungles, steep-sided gorges, emerald rice paddies, and tiny, traditional villages.

• Spend two days exploring beautiful Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

• Step ashore in remote, rural villages to meet with locals and learn about their culture and daily life along the river.
Enquire now about Along the Mekong: China, Thailand & Laos

Travel on the Sabaidee Pandaw

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