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Mekong Journey (24 days)

The journey of a lifetime through South-Western China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam, following the course of the mighty Mekong River.


Day 1. Arr. Kunming (China) (D)
Arriving at Kunming airport, our Chinese representative will be at the airport to welcome you and transfer you to your hotel. Our afternoon city tour includes the famous Bamboo Temple dating back to the Tang dynasty with 500 colorful clay Buddhas and also the Taoist Golden Temple. Dinner this evening dinner is the famous local dish 'Mushroom Hotpot'.

Day 2. Kunming - Jinhong (B/L/D)
This morning visit Shilin's famous Stone Forest before stopping for lunch at a local restaurant for the fabulous local dish Yiliang Duck. Return to Kunming and transfer to airport for the afternoon flight to Jinhong, then transfer to hotel. This's evenings dinner will be accompanied by folk dancing and singing by the local Dai people.

Day 3: Jinhong (B/L/D)
Today we visit Ganlanba, stopping at the morning market, water Dai villages, Burmese temple and rubber garden on the way. After lunch visit the biggest botanic garden in China at Menglun. Dinner at local restaurant.

Day 4: Jinhong - Chiang Saen (Thailand) - Chiang Rai (B/L)
This morning transfer to pier to continue the journey by boat to Thailand on the Mekong River. Arriving in Chiang Saen (Golden Triangle) at about 18:00, our Thai representative will be at the pier to welcome you, then drive to Chiang Rai and transfer you to your hotel.

Day 5: Chiang Rai (B/L)
Today's tour includes the Yao and Akha Hill Tribe villages and the Opium museum. After lunch at Sri Wan riverside restaurant, we take a boat trip to Chiang Siang and visit Wat Chedi Luang.

Day 6: Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai (B/L/D)
This morning we drive to Chiang Mai, visiting on the way Doi (Mountain) Suthep, about 3500 feet above sea level, and the most sacred Wat Prathad Doi Suthep where the marvellous Golden Pagoda is situated. From there you can enjoy the panoramic view of Chiangmai city. Upon arriving in Chiang Mai, check in at hotel. This evening's dinner is at the Chiangmai Cultural Center with traditional northern food and Thai dance performances.

Day 7: Chiang Mai (B/D)
Today we visit an Elephant Camp (60 kms north of Chiangmai), watching elephants training and working, then take an elephant ride through foothills and jungle. After the ride we transfer by oxcart to restaurant for lunch. Afternoon trip by bamboo raft to visit an orchid nursery and butterfly farm before returning to Chiangmai. In the evening don't miss a stroll at the fascinating Night Bazaar in the city.

Day 8: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai (B/L)
Today we drive from Chiang Mai to Chaing Rai, stopping at the hot spring market then continue to the boat landing to continue our journey to Chiangrai by boat on the Mea Kok River. After lunch at a local restaurant we drive on to the Golden Triangle and transfer to hotel.

Day 9: Chiang Rai - Pakbeng (B/L/D)
An early start today as we transfer to Thai/Laos border to board the Luang Say Cruise Boat for the 2-day journey to Luang Prabang on the Mekong River. The boat leaves Houei Say pier at 09:00 hrs towards Pakbeng. En route one stop is made to observe rural life along the Mekong and visit minority ethnic groups; then a buffet lunch is served on board. Arrive Pakbeng before sunset and check-in at LuangSay Lodge. Dinner is taken on the terrace overlooking the Mekong River.

Day 10: Pakbeng - Luang Prabang (B/L)
Breakfast at the lodge. (Optional: walk to Pakbeng market, where people from the surrounding minority villages exchange their goods). At about 09:00 re-board the boat for the second leg of the cruise on the Mekong River. A short stop to discover a Hmong village will be made before a buffet lunch on board. Continue to Pak-Ou village at the mouth of the Nam Ou River and visit Tam Ting "Cave of a thousand Buddhas". Arrive at Luang Prabang before sunset, our Laos representative will be at the pier to welcome you and transfer you to your hotel.

Day 11: Luang Prabang (B/L)
Today our tour of the former Royal capital, Luang Prabang, includes a visit to Wat Visoun, the site of the impressive Thad Makmo stupa and Phou Sii hill which stands right in the centre of the small city, where you can climb its 350 steps to enjoy commanding views over the Mekong. Wat Phu Sii sits atop the mountain, alongside the skeletons of Indochina war anti-aircraft guns. Then we continue, visiting Wat Mai (1796) with its five-tiered roof, and Wat Xieng Thong which is considered to characterize the uniqueness of Luang Prabang's local style, its several roofs sweeping low to the ground. We see also the impressive "tree of life" mosaic here. The gilt panel on the exterior of the chapel depicts semi-erotic episodes from the Ramayana. Later we visit the National Museum, which was once the king's palace. Displayed inside is a collection of personal artifacts of the former royal family. Dinner at a local restaurant and evening walk of the night market.

Day 12. Luang Prabang (B/L)
Today we visit the Tad Khuang Sii waterfall, on the way visiting a Hmong village and Ban Ouh village where Lao and Lu hill people live. The falls cascade over many calcified tiers and down several hundred feet into a series of cool, turquoise pools. The water here has a clear blue-green tint due to the high mineral content. You can climb the stairs and look down from various viewpoints on the way to the top. We take a picnic lunch by the waterfall then return to Luang Prabang and take the afternoon at leisure.

Day 13: Luang Prabang - Vientiane (B/L/D)
If you like, we can take you into the centre of Luang Prabang at 5:30 in the morning to watch local people give food to the hundreds of monks who line the street. You can also give rice to the monks - your guide will provide sticky rice. (This dawn tour is optional - a very early start!) Afterwards a stroll though the morning market before returning to your hotel for breakfast. Transfer to airport for your flight to Vientiane. Pick up and transfer to hotel. Lunch at local restaurant, then our afternoon city tour includes Wat Hoprakeo, built in 1566 by King Setthathirat to house the Emerald Buddha, Wat Sisaket, the only temple in Vientiane that survived the destruction of the city by the Siamese (Thai) in 1828; ThatLuang Stupa Museum shrine (great Sacred Stupa) ,the most important national monument in Vientiane, with a golden stupa believed to contain a relic of Lord Buddha; Pratuxay Monument situated in the centre of Vientiane prefecture, its architecture inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and incorporating typical Lao motifs. Finally see the sunset at Mekong riverside. Dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 14: Vientiane - Siem Reap (B/L/D)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where our guide will meet you and transfer to hotel. After lunch at a local restaurant, take a boat trip & enjoy the wonderful views of Tonlesap Great Lake in the afternoon, also visit the beautiful Phnom Krom temple by the Tonle Sap Lake. Evening at local restaurant with traditional Cambodian dance performance on stage. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 15: Siem Reap (Angkor) (B/L)
Today we have a full day visit to the antiquities at Angkor, starting with the ancient royal capital city of Angkor Thom: the Bayon Temple, Thommanon, Chau Say Tevoda, Terrace of Elephants and Leper king and Taprohm temples. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the world famous Angkor Wat and the Ta Som, Ta Keo and Pre Rup temples. Return to town.

Day 16: Siem Reap - Phnom Kulen - Siem Reap (B/L)
This morning we drive to Phnom Kulen where the 'River of 1000 Lingas' features thousands of symbols carved into the sandstone rocks under the water. We also visit the Rock temple, with its large reclining Buddha, and take a picnic lunch by the waterfall. On the return trip, we visit the oldest temple in Angkor, the 10th century Banteay Srei. This temple has the best engravings among all the ruins and was used in the film 'Lara Croft Tomb Raider'.

Day 17: Siem Reap - Phnom Penh (B/L)
Transfer to airport for your flight to Phnom Penh. Our guide will meet you nad transfer you to your hotel. Today our city tour of Phnom Penh includes the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, the Independence monument the Raung Damrei Museum and National Museum of Fine Arts.

Day 18: Phnom Penh (B/L)
Today we visit Toul Sleng Museum of Genocide and Cheung-Ek Killing Fields. After lunch at local restaurant, afternoon tour of Central Market and Russian Market or at leisure.

Day 19: Phnom Penh - Chau Doc (B/L/D)
Today we set off for Vietnam by river. First transfer to pier for the boat on the Mekong River towards the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, stopping for immigration formalities at the border. On arriving at Chau Doc, our Vietnam guide will be at the pier to welcome you and transfer to your hotel. After lunch, a walking tour of market and then a drive up Sam Mountain to watch the sunset over the Cambodian border. Dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 20: Chau Doc - Can Tho (B/L)
We travel from by boat from Chau Doc to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta. Upon arriving at Can Tho we check in at the hotel then go for lunch at a bonsai garden with speciality food - "Elephant's Ear" fish. After lunch, a motor-boat takes you along the Mekong river and follows small canals flowing sluggishly between banks of luxuriant vegetation to Cai Be floating market, one of the most typical floating markets of the Mekong Delta.

Day 21: Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh City (B/D)
Drive to Ho Chi Minh City and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Evening dinner at local Vietnamese restaurant.

Day 22: HCMC (B/L)
A full day city tour of HCMC today includes a tour of The Reunification Palace (former Presidential Palace), the Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Lam Son Square, Ben Thanh Market, Thien Hau pagoda, The Museum of HCM Campaign, China Town in Cholon and Binh Tay Market etc.

Day 23: HCMC (B/L)
Enjoy a morning drive through typical southern Vietnamese countryside to Tay Ninh Province in the west of Vietnam. At Tay Ninh visit the incredible Cao Dai Great Temple, with architecture that could have come straight from a Walt Disney fantasy and where all the major faiths of the world blend together in a unique religious cocktail. Lunch. In the afternoon visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence. Return to HCMC.

Day 24: HCMC - Departure (B)
Free at leisure until it is time to transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

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Tour Price Guide

This tour can also be shortened by omitting the early portions in China/Thailand.

Please note that this itinerary is our suggestion only- all our tours are custom made to your requirements!

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Tour Price Guide
Bamboo Temple, Kunming
Bamboo Temple, Kunming
Stone Forest
Stone Forest
Doi Suthep
Doi Suthep
Elephant Camp
Elephant Camp
Luangsay Cruise Boat
Luangsay Cruise Boat
The Mekong
The Mekong
Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang
Tad Khuang Sii Waterfall
Tad Khuang Sii Waterfall
That Luang Monastery
That Luang Monastery
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Mekong Deltat
Mekong Delta
HCM City Hall
HCMC City Hall
Your quoted price will normally include:
International flights
Accommodation.
Meals as shown in the program (B/L/D)
Transfers, tours with English speaking guide.
All entrance fees and boat fees.
Service charges, rooms tax and handling fee.
Domestic flights.

Your tour price will not include:
Visa fees
Airport departure taxes
Drinks with provided meals
Tips, personal expenses and other services which are not mentioned in the program.