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Remote Laos River Cruise Thailand & Malaysia by Luxury Rail

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Luang Prabang
  • Pak Ou
  • Ban Khok Phou
  • Huay Xai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Johor
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Penang Island
  • Singapore

13 Days Exploration
  • Departing:
  • 4 Oct 2025 New release

Relax before mountain vistas and sample the culinary bounty of Laos. Carried along the Upper Mekong during our private cruise charter, we discover remote riverside villages before being afforded a choice of adventure in Thailand. The unmistakable carriages of the Eastern & Oriental Express then transport us along Malaysia’s coast. Just 16 guests will experience these uncommon aspects of Asia on this journey where everything has been considered and included. Image: Ken Seet

Remote Laos River Cruise, Thailand & Malaysia by Luxury Rail

In Luang Prabang, we transfer to La Résidence Phou Vao. Get to know your fellow travellers and Tour Host Team during this evening’s Welcome Dinner.

Enjoy a leisurely morning to appreciate our beautiful, leafy surrounds. We then set out on tuk tuks for a progressive dinner. Beginning at a nearby theatre, we are treated to a private show with traditional live music. Afterwards, enjoy drinks while taking in a memorable sunset from a neighbouring balcony. Back aboard our tuk tuks, we soon rendezvous along the banks of the Nam Khan River for a light meal and refreshments before following the river back into town. Our tastebuds are then introduced to the flavours of Khmer-fusion, accompanied by fine wine. From here, we are conveyed to the little-known Artisan Bar, where our palates are satiated once more. Savour dessert and a nightcap, before returning to our hotel.

Begin your day with a Your World experience: 

— Become more familiar with the local way of life, while learning the various processes of rice cultivation, from planting to harvesting. 

— Head out of the city for a visit to the Elephant Conservation Centre. Here, you can meet the elephants, feed them, and also join them for a brief walk through the jungle. 

We come together for lunch at Bio Bamboo restaurant, where everything, from cutlery to bowls and cups, has been fashioned from the evergreen plant. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure.

This evening, beneath a canopy of palm trees and a blanket of stars, we dine amid the flickering of 500 candles within the grounds of our hotel.

This morning, we make our way to the port, where we meet our boutique vessel, Heritage Line Anouvong. Over the following three nights, we explore the Upper Mekong, discovering the customs of riverside villages amid flourishing jungle scenery. Our cruise will be of an expeditionary nature, where local conditions and water levels may also determine the day’s activities. The first destination of our voyage is the Pak Ou Caves, which contain hundreds of small Buddha sculptures. Our river ship docks and we negotiate a series of steps before investigating the cave system firsthand. 

After our cave visit, the following Your World experiences reveal further aspects of the region:

— Paddle along the Nam Ou River aboard a kayak. 

— You may prefer to visit the nearby village of Ban Muang Keo, which is known for its traditional silk weaving and whisky distillation.  

This afternoon, one of our local hosts presents an onboard lecture, during which we become more acquainted with the various ethnic groups of the region. Soon after, we reach our mooring for the evening, the remote village of Ban Khok Phou. While here, we meet local farmers, who enlighten us regarding their agricultural methods. We also attend a traditional Baci ceremony led by the community’s elders, who bestow blessings upon our onward journey. This evening, we adjourn to a nearby sandbank, the ideal spot for a cocktail, followed by a barbecue dinner.

Those who rise early today may like to join us up on deck for the first of our daily yoga sessions. Later, our ship docks and we follow paths through the rainforest to reach the mountainous village of Had Sako. Here, local villagers in traditional costumes dance to the hypnotic melodies of the khene, a traditional flute. After this special presentation, we bid farewell and continue our river voyage. Arriving at another riverside village, Khok Ek, we step ashore and discover three distinct ethnic groups – the Hmong, Lao Loum, and Khamo – living together. During our visit, we learn firsthand the unique history, traditions and way of life followed by each group. 

Back aboard our vessel, day soon becomes night, and we adjourn to the bar for our briefing of tomorrow’s adventures. We are then captivated by a traditional dance performance before dinner. As we glide further along the river, perhaps join us in the lounge for a screening of Chang, which was filmed in this region and directed by the team who made the first King Kong movie.

Following our morning yoga class, you may like to develop your creative side during a bamboo weaving workshop. After lunch, we arrive at Pak Beng, set along the banks of the Mekong. Nestled within the jungle nearby, the local elephant sanctuary facilitates our encounters with these majestic creatures. After continuing along the river this afternoon, we eventually arrive at our overnight mooring, Huay Ting. Another idyllic position along the river sees us enjoying an aperitif, before we gather for dinner on the Terrace Deck.

Enjoy a relaxing morning on board as we cruise toward Huay Xai. Following a light breakfast, learn about the complex history of the Golden Triangle, where Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet. Stories of conflict, colonialism and opium are revealed during a presentation, as our captain navigates the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Tha rivers. Afterwards, stimulate your appetite during a Lao cooking class, as we prepare for our final onboard culinary experience. Choose to dine in the restaurant, lounge, or out on the Terrace Deck, making the most of our remaining time aboard the ship. Soon we disembark in Huay Xai, before crossing the border into Thailand and transferring to the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai. We dine within our hotel’s restaurant this evening, selecting from a range of regional and western cuisine.

A day of Your World experiences offers the opportunity for immersion:

— Our camp has rescued and adopted several of Thailand’s mistreated elephants. Meet these gentle mammals on their own terms and forge natural connections with them. 

— Discover Chiang Rai’s lavish temples, including Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple), Wat Rong Suea Ten (the Blue Temple), and Wat Huay Pla Kung (the Chinese Temple). 

— Try your hand at fish trapping and bamboo fishing with a local fisherman. These techniques have developed over thousands of years along the Mekong River. 

— Head out on a two-hour hike from the village of Wang Lo. Negotiate a range of terrain, past northern hill architecture, through flourish jungle and past terraced rice fields, to arrive in Sob Ruak.   

We gather together this evening for an al fresco dining experience at our accommodation. With candles and live classical Thai music enhancing the atmosphere, enjoy a menu of Thai or international cuisine.

The morning is yours to either relax or take advantage of our verdant, idyllic surrounds. We then transfer to Chiang Rai’s airport for a scheduled flight to Singapore, via Bangkok. Arriving in Singapore late in the afternoon, we transfer to Raffles Hotel. Enjoy the opulence of our residence, whose ambience and heritage are renowned.

Enjoy this morning on your own schedule; perhaps wander the promenade along Singapore’s Marina Bay for striking waterfront views. This afternoon, we board the distinctive carriages of the Eastern & Oriental Express. Settle into your air-conditioned cabin as we prepare to roll across the verdant and rugged terrain of Malaysia’s west coast. Flourishing jungle and palm plantations pass by our windows as we enjoy afternoon tea aboard our train. Come evening, we adjourn to the Dining Car to partake of the expertly prepared regional specialities. Our train comes to a stop overnight in the Malaysian town of Gemas.

Captivating jungle scenes continue today as our train rolls across Malaysia’s wilderness areas. Alight at Merapoh Station and transfer to Taman Negara National Park. Here, we learn about the conservation work being undertaken to save the area’s wild tigers. Taman Negara comprises one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests. A diverse range of wildlife makes its home here, including water buffalo, tapirs and macaques. Following our forest discovery, we return to our train, where an appetising dinner leads into a night of entertainment in the Piano Bar Car. Our train comes to rest once more, this time in the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

This morning, we alight in the city of Butterworth. Here, we embark a ferry for the brief crossing to Penang Island, where we then explore George Town. Discover the region’s temples and learn about the prevailing art and culture, including opera and puppetry. 

Take the opportunity to delve further into George Town with a Your World experience:

— Learn the secrets of Peranakan cooking during a cookery class. 

— Alternatively, see more of the city’s sights from aboard a trishaw. 

Back aboard our train, we enjoy a final dinner.

Our train carries us through the Malaysian state of Johor, as we make our return journey to Singapore. Johor is renowned for its beaches and rainforest, which we admire before crossing the Strait of Johor. Making our arrival in Singapore, we disembark the Eastern & Oriental Express and join our private transfers to the airport, where our journey concludes.

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