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Malaysian Peninsula, Laos & the Upper Mekong

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Singapore
  • Eastern & Oriental Express
  • Bangkok
  • Vientiane
  • Sabaidee Pandaw
  • Luang Prabang
  • Chiang Saen
  • Chiang Rai

19 Days Explorations
  • Departing:
  • 13 Sep 2020

The unmistakable carriages of the Eastern & Oriental Express transport us along the Malaysian Peninsula. Substituting rail for river, our expedition cruise aboard the Sabaidee Pandaw carries us gently along the Mekong. The vast beauty of Thailand and Laos presents itself as we explore deep into jungles and immerse ourselves in rural life, cherishing the contrast of luxury travel and remote discovery.

Map

We stay overnight at Raffles Singapore, prior to meeting up with our stylish train for a journey along the Malaysian Peninsula. Watch the passing landscapes and rural settlements from the Observation Car. Enjoy dinner and a cocktail in the Bar Car, while being entertained by the resident pianist. Afterwards, retire to your inviting cabin.

Having taken in the flourishing mountain scenery of rural Malaysia, our attention is gradually drawn to the multi-tiered roofs characteristic of Thailand’s temples. Hear stories of the historic River Kwai and enjoy a traditional Thai cooking class before we again board our train, bound for Bangkok. Upon arriving in the capital, explore by bicycle, then visit the Grand Palace compound and take a cruise along the Chao Phraya river.

Having taken a flight to Laos, we are welcomed to the Settha Palace Hotel. Get to know the people of Vientiane through visits to its temples, as well as charitable and educational organisations. At Xieng Khuan Buddha Park, we admire its impressive collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures. Our Mekong cruise then begins aboard the Sabaidee Pandaw and we savour a Welcome Dinner on board our ship.

Cruise past flourishing jungle and riverside villages, then watch as our onboard chef demonstrates the art of preparing local cuisine. Admire Pak Lai’s French colonial buildings and explore its vibrant local market. At Ban Pak Bor, we are greeted by the local Khmu people, then walk through lush jungle while learning about the Khmu’s traditions and their life on the Mekong’s banks.

Get to know local Hmong villagers, before being seduced by the turquoise waters of Kuang Si Falls. Aboard tuk tuks, we then explore Buddhist temples, as well as the national museum. Returning to our ship, we enjoy a demonstration of traditional Lao dancing on the upper deck. With our final moments in Luang Prabang, we investigate the intriguing Pak Ou Caves, where hundreds of Buddha sculptures seem to watch over us.

High in the mountains, we pay a visit to another Khmu village. Rejoining our boat, we drift further along the border of Laos and Thailand. Coming to rest on the Lao side of Ban Houayxay, we ascend the stairs to its temple before our ship reaches the Golden Triangle – the point at which the borders of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet. Enjoy farewell cocktails and a traditional Thai dance during our final evening on board our ship.

Disembark in Chiang Saen and visit the Hall of Opium, which serves as an opium museum, as well as an information centre on the dangers of drugs. Arriving in Chiang Rai, we toast the end of our journey with a Farewell Dinner at Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort.

Enjoy the grounds of our resort before saying goodbye to fellow travelers.

Brochure