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Upper Mekong & The Golden Triangle

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Fares
  • Accommodation

A journey overview

  • Vientiane
  • Sabei Pandaw
  • Pak Lai
  • Luang Prabang
  • Chiang Saen
  • Jinghong
  • Lijiang
  • Kunming

21 Days Explorations
  • Departing:
  • 12 Oct 2019

Drift along the Upper Mekong River aboard our privately chartered river ship, before exploring China.

Upper Mekong and the Golden Triangle 2019

We check into our Deluxe Rooms at the Settha Palace Hotel. Dinner at the Belle Époque Brasserie is the start to our journey. Before our 14-night cruise along the Upper Mekong aboard Sabei Pandaw, we pay a visit to Si Saket Temple, the President’s Hall and Wat Prakeo Temple. Also see the Patuxai monument.

Embrace the serenity of the lush jungle scenery as we spend a full day cruising. Riverside villages and colourful boats glide by. Upon crossing the border into Thailand, we step ashore to explore the stopover town of Pak Lai, with its many French colonial buildings and vibrant local market.

We dock to meet members of Ban Pak Bor village, set on the Mekong’s banks. On a walking tour, we learn about the local Khmu people and survey the Xayaburi Hydro Electric Power Plant currently in construction. Further along the river, we get to know the people living in a local Hmong village and admire the turquoise waters of Khaung Si Falls.

The temple city of Luang Prabang graces the horizon. We set out on tuk tuks to explore the Buddhist temples and, come evening, venture to the night market. On our second day here, we rise early to witness monks walking through the city collecting alms from locals. Onwards, we visit the Pak Ou Caves and explore a Whiskey Village. As the sun begins its descent, enjoy cocktails and canapés as traditional floating fire lanterns drift up above.

Traditional Khmu villages attract our attention over the next few days as we head ashore. After once again cruising along the border of Laos and Thailand, we spend the night docked in the Huay Xai area. We reach the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet, and make our way to the town of Chiang Saen in Thailand.

A walking track at Ban Pha Khao leads us up a steep hill, where stunning views of the surrounding jungle and valley are unveiled. Local Lao Lu people then host us for the afternoon. After a day spent cruising on the river, we arrive in China and disembark to stroll amid the wooden houses and temples of the Akha people. Continue cruising to Guan Lei for a walking tour.

In the cosmopolitan city of Jinghong, relax within the serene setting of Manting Park before a cultural show featuring acrobatics and dancers. We farewell our ship and take in Dai village before flying to Lijiang. Here, we have the privilege of being guests at a Naxi Ancient Music show.

On our final day in Lijiang, visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, take VIP seats at the Impression Lijiang show and visit Baisha village. We also take the opportunity to join the locals in a spot of folk dancing. Our next stop is Dali, where the Old Town presents the chance to taste traditional Yunnan cuisine. In Xizhou Village, we meander along the winding paths that lead us to the workshop of a noodle maker and the home of a cheesemaker, before joining a cooking class run by a local family. A brief flight then takes us to the city of Kunming.

The day is dedicated to the spectacular Stone Forest in Kunming. On the way back to our hotel, where we enjoy a Farewell Dinner, stop in at a village that is home to the Yi people, one of China’s many ethnic minorities. We are struck by the colourful and detailed traditional dress worn by their residents. Enjoy our final morning on your own schedule. Ours has been a journey of new world insights, knowledge and experiences rarely had by others.

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