13 days/12 nights
Commences every saturday year round (minimum 2 passengers)
For a visit to Angkor Wat, and a fabulous Mekong Cruise to Vientiane with Luang Prabang visit see after the Thailand itinerary.
Day 1. Saturday. BANGKOK ARRIVE
Arrive Bangkok and transfer to the Indra Regent Hotel or similar
Day 2. Sunday BANGKOK (B)
Free day to explore at your leisure. Optional tour available to the River Kwai. Includes the bridge built by the prisoners in World War 2 - extra cost $190 per person including lunch.
Day 3. Monday. BANGKOK (BL)
Visit the amazing Grand Palace including Coronation Hall, Emerald Buddha, and the replica of Angkor Wat this morning and this afternoon cruise the canals by longtail speedboat and converted rice barge.
Day 4. Tuesday. BANGKOK - AYUTHA - LOPBURI - PHITSANULOKE (BLD)
Join Tour East Soot Sanuk coach tour this morning driving to Bang-Pa-In to tour the lavish Royal Summer Palace set in beautiful gardens. Continue to ancient Ayutha, the former capital of Thailand. Explore the ancient ruins of Wat Chai Wattaranam. Continue to Lopburi for lunch and a rickshaw ride of the city. Overnight in Phitsanuloke, spread along the banks of the Nan River. Overnight at Amarin Lagoon or similar Hotel.
Day 5. Wednesday. PHITSANULOKE - SUKHOTHAI - CHIANG RAI (BLD)
Drive to Sukhothai, first capital of Thailand from 1257- 1379 and explore the ruins then on to Sri Satchanali, northern outpost of the Kingdom of Sukhothai. This afternoon continue our drive through rural Thailand to Phayao and on to Chiang Rai arriving late afternoon. Accommodation at Teak Garden resort and Spa or similar
Day 6. Thursday. MAE SALONG - MAE SAI - GOLDEN TRIANGLE - CHIANG SAEN. (BLD)
North Thailand is famous for its colourful hill tribes and this morning we travel by mini bus into the hills to visit several villages. The scenery is magnificent and there will be the opportunity to buy some interesting Chinese medicines from the village of Doi Mae, founded by Kuomintang Chinese escaping from China in 1949. This afternoon visit Mae Sae, Thailands northernmost town, on the border with Myanmar. Many Burmese handicrafts are available for purchase. From Mae Sae we travel to the heart of the Golden Triange where the Ruak and Mekong rivers meet and there are fabuous views over Burma, Thailand, and Laos. Return to Chiang Rai.
Day 7. Friday. CHIANG RAI - CHIANG MAI (BLD)
Drive to Chiang Mai this morning. This afternoon visit Wat Doi Suthep and and climb the 290 steps to the top. This evening enjoy a special Kantoke Thai dinner and cultural performance. Accommodation at Empress Hotel or similar.
Day 8. Saturday. CHIANG MAI (BLD)
Visit the elephant camp to see the amazing strength and skill of these animals before returning to Chiang Mai for lunch. The afternoon visit the district of Sankampaeng, home to Chiang mai's famous cottage industries. See silkworms and the process of spinning silk, and the art of using handlooms to make intricate patterned silk fabrics. Also marvel at the transformation of bamboo, silk, and paper into hand painted multi coloured umbrellas and the skilled potters creating Thai celedon. Also see wood carvers creating furniture and ornaments from teak and the process of lacquerware and silverware.
Day 9. Sunday. CHIANG MAI. (B)
The day is free to relax and explore at your leisure. Lunch and dinner are not included.
Day 10. Monday CHIANG MAI - HUA HIN (B)
Transfer to the airport for departure and fly to Bangkok where you will be met and transferred to the beautiful beach resort and ancient royal city of Hua Hin. Accommodation and breakfast for 3 nights at the Hua Hin Hilton Resort or similar.
Day 11. Tuesday. HUA HIN (B)
Day 12. Wednesday. HUA HIN (B)
Two free days to relax and enjoy, or explore at your leisure
Day 13. Thursday HUA HIN (B)
Transfer back to Bangkok airport this afternoon. You are welcome to stay longer in Hua if you wish.
10 Days. End in Chiangmai. 2 per room $2,900. Single $3,700
13 Days. End in Bangkok day 13. 2 per room $3,800. Single room $4,900
Tour cost includes:-
** Arrival and departure transfers
** 12 nights accommodation at First Class hotels including American breakfasts
** 6 lunches and 5 dinners as shown in the itinerary
** Travel by tour coach or mini bus from Bangkok to Chiangmai with English speaking guide
** Comprehensive sightseeing with admissions where required.
DISCOVER THE MEKONG - LAOS REVEALED
10 days/9 nights(downstream)
Features 9 night Mekong cruise from Chiang Rai to Vientiane - the ideal add on to your Discover Thailand tour.(minimum 2 passengers)
CHIANG RAI - HUAY XAY - PAK THA - PAKBENG - PAK OU CAVES - LUANG PRABANG - KUANG SI FALLS - THA DEUA - PAK LAY - VIENTIANESavour the magnificent scenery of the Mekong River on this unique cruise from the Golden Triangle in Thailand to Luang Prabang and further south to the Laotian Capital, Vientiane. Travel along formerly inaccesible stretches of South East Asia's most exciting river. Discover the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, stroll through colourful markets and experience first hand the Laotian people's traditional way of life. Relax aboard your exclusive river vessel and enjoy the unspoiled nature along the upper mighty Mekong. The upper Mekong is one of the most difficult rivers in the world to navigate with fluctuating rivr levels. Your captain will master tight gorges, negotiate labyrinths of sandbank, and clears churning rapids. Enjoy the rural scenery and traditional way of life of the Laotian villagers as well as lush green mountains, impressive rock formations, and secluded villages. Enjoy the superb service on board. The Mekong Explorer has 16 cabins and the Mekong Sun 14 cabins.
Commences Chiang Rai
29 September - ends Vientiane 08 October. Mekong Sun
04 October - ends Vientiane 13 October. Mekong Explorer
20 October - ends Vientiane 29 October. Mekong Sun
25 October - ends Vientiane 03 November. Mekong Explorer
24 November - Ends Vientiane 03 December Mekong Sun
Commence Vientiane - 12 days upstream itinerary
15 October - ends Vientiane 26 October. Mekong Explorer
15 July - ends Chiang Rai 26 July. Mekong Explorer
04 November - ends Chiang Rai 15 November. Mekong Explorer
Day 1. GOLDEN TRIANGLE - EMBARKATION (D)
You will be picked up from Chiang Rai airport or any city hotel early afternoon and brought to the notorious Golden Triangle region. Visit th golden Buddha of Sop Ruak and the new hall of Opium, a fascinating museum sponsored by the Royal Family of Thailand. Embark aboard your boutique river vessel, Mekong Explorer or Mekong Sun, under joint German/Laotian ownership and settle in for the next 9 nights. This evening enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board.
Passengers joining from our DISCOVER THAILAND tour receive a free transfer from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai
Day 2. HUAY XAY - PAK THA. (BLD)
This morning we depart the Golden Triangle region where Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet. First stop is the nearby Laotian town of Huay Xay on the Laotian/Thai border. Continue our cruise through stunning scenery to the small village of Pak Tha. Join a long tail boat for a cruise on the Namtha River to visit a local village of the ethnic minority Khmu. Rejoin our cruise boat and continue down river to anchor at a sand or river bank for the night.
Day 3. PAKBENG. (BLD)
Enjoy the busy water life as we cruise through a more densely populated area accesible only by water, and the scenes of rural life in Laos. Later arrive in the market town of Pakbeng for a shore excursion. Usually you can see elephants working nearby.
Day 4. PAK OU CAVES - LUANG PRABANG. (BL)
The famous Pak Ou caves. lined with thousands of small Buddha statues will be a highlight today. Take an optional short walk through the jungle to a local village to observe how the local whisky is made. Late afternoon we reach Luang Prabang. The former royal capital of Laos, and now a UNESCO World heritage site. Take in the highlights of this beautiful city including the famous Wat Xieng Thong Temple and the towns unique atmosphere with its blend of French and Laotian architecture. After a short climb up Phou Si Hill enjoy the sunset vista over the Mekong and Khan rivers, and the surrounding mountains. After dinner enjoy strolling the Mekong promenade or visiting the colourful night market of the local Hmong people. Dinner is not included tonight to let you take your pick from a huge range of dining opportunities in town or along the river bank
Day 5. LUANG PRABANG. (BLD)
Full day in Luang Prabang. This morning visit the National Museum Wat Sene and various other sites. The afternoon is free to explore at your leisure or shop for the local handicrafts.This evening watch a traditional Bazi ceremony during dinner and watch local traditional dances.
Day 6. LUANG PRABANG - KUANG SI FALLS. (BLD)
optional early morning excursion to see the monks collecting food from the local people. After breakfast cruise on for a bus excursion to the famous Kuang Si falls. Enjoy the natural pools and pause in another small village before reboarding. Pass through the Keng Luang rapids.
Day 7. THA DEUA - PAK LAY. (BLD)
Today see the ferry connecting Luang Prabang and Sayaboury provinces as it crosses the Mekong at Tha Deua and pass the largest construction works in laos at the future site of th Sayaboury Dam. Discuss the Mekongs future, its ecology, and the people living along the river with your cruise director. During the afternoon visit the small riverside community of Pak Lay for a short walk through pristine nature to explore a cave near Ban Donkhai village.
Day 8. CRUISING (BLD)
Enjoy the vistas and natural beauty along the river and the water and village life before anchoring at a sand bank for the night. Here the river becomes the boundary between Thailand and Laos again.
Day 9. VIENTIANE. (BLD)
Continue cruising downstream to Vientiane, capital of Laos. Tour the city and see the Pha tat Luang temple, the Lao national symbol and the picturesque Arc de Triomphe. Farewell dinner on board tonight with your crew, cruise director, and captain.
Day 10. DEPART VIENTIANE. (B)
Say good bye to your crew and disembark after breakfast with transfer to the airport provided if necessary.
Tour cost per person in New Zealand dollars. July - September 2015
Classic cabin ........ 2 per cabin $3,540.... Single cabin $4,873
Superior Cabin........ 2 per cabin $4,600.... Single cabin $6,370
Deluxe Balcony Cabin.. 2 per cabin $5,290.... Single cabin $6,990 (Only available on Mekong Explorer)
Tour cost per person in New Zealand dollars. October - December 2015
Classic cabin ........ 2 per cabin $4,420.... Single cabin $6,150
Superior Cabin ....... 2 per cabin $5,740.... Single cabin $8,030
De Luxe Balcony cabin. 2 per cabin $6,620.... Single cabin $3,300 (Only available on Mekong Explorer)
Tour cost includes:
** 9 nights on board your cruise boat at grade chosen.
** Local english speaking guides
** Entrance for sightseeing excusions mentioned
** Tours and transfers by air conditioned vehicle
** Meals as indicated in the itinerary. Coffee, tea, and table water included during meals on board.
** Presentations and lectures on board
** Transfers in Chiang Rai and Vientiane
Tour cost does not include
** Travel to Chiang Rai and from Vientiane
** Visas for Thailand and Laos
** Laundry, telephone calls, alcoholic beverages, and personal expenses
** Tips for guides, drivers, porters, and boat crew
** Travel insurance.
Discover ANGKOR WAT, THE MEKONG, AND LAOS.
12 days/11 nights
Features 5 night Mekong cruise - the ideal add on to your Discover Thailand tour.(minimum 2 passengers)
SIEM REAP - ANGKOR WAT - PAKSE - NAKHON PHANOM - 5 NIGHT MEKONG CRUISE - NONG KHAI - VIENTIANE - LUANG PRABANGCommences Siam Reap
06 December. Ends Luang Prabang 17 December
31 January. Ends Luang Prabang 11 February
29 August. Ends Luang Prabang 09 September
28 November. Ends Luang Prabang 09 December
23 January. Ends Luang Prabang 03 February
20 February. Ends Luang Prabang 02 March
19 March. Ends Luang Prabang 30 March.
Day 1. SIEM REAP ARRIVE. (D)
Arrive Siem Reap. You will be met and transferred to your hotel
Day 2. SIEM REAP. (BLD)
Ths morning visit Angkor Thom, the last capital of the great Khmer empire surrounded by an 8 metre high wall with each side 4 km long. Explore the ruins and continue to Bayon temple in the centre of the city, built in the 12th century. Lunch at a local restaurant before visiting Banteay Srey temple, the so called "Citadel of Women", and now the best preserved temple in Cambodia. We also visit the unique Ta Prohm which has been left largely as it was found, overgrown by jungle trees. End our sightseeing today with a spectacular view of Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng and West Baray as well as the surrounding countryside from a tethered balloon 200 metres above the sites. Tonight enjoy dinner and a Khmer cultural show at a local restaurant.
Day 3. SIEM REAP - PAKSE. (BLD)
Enjoy our special tour of Angkor Wat built in the early 12th century. Marvel at the amazing sculptures and bas reliefs and carvings of over 2,000 Apsara dancers. Lunch at a local restaurant and this afternoon fly to Pakse in Laos. Tour to local market and monastery en route to our hotel
Day 4. PAKSE - THAILAND. (BLD)
After breakfast depart Pakse aboard a local long tail boat zigzagging through mild rapids and sand banks to Champassak. Tour the mysterious pre Angkor templ of Vat Phou. Enjoy lunch on the river side before continuing our journey into Thailand for a night at a hotel with grat views of the Mekong River.
Day 5. NAKHON PHANOM - EMBARKATION. (BLD)
Continue to the holy pilgrim centre of That Phanom. Afterwards drive to Nakhon Phanom for a short city tour by Tuk Tuk or foot. Visit the house where Ho Chi Minh lived in the late 1920's during his exile while he planned the Vietnamese communist movement. A short bus ride brings us to the mighty Mekong River where we meet our cruise director and friendly crew and embark on our boutique boat, the "Mekong Explorer". Enjoy the welcome reception and Asian specialities served during dinner.
Day 6. CRUISING THE MEKONG. (BLD)
We cross back into Laos to the small village of Pak Khading to join a longtail boat for a cruise up the Nam Khang river to visit a remote village. Return to the "Mekong Explorer" and continue cruising. Tonight we tie up to a secluded sand bank or small village pier.
Day 7. CRUISING THE MEKONG. (BLD)
A short drive will bring us to an impressive cliff monastery which stands 7 levels high above the local rice paddies. Overnight on board you cruise vessel
Day 8. NONG KHAI. (BLD)
Enjoy the tranquil scenes of rural and river bank life as we continue up the Mekong. At Nong Khai a guided tour get you aquainted with the bizarre but interesting Buddhist/Hindi sculpture park at Nong Khai.
Day 9. VIENTIANE. (BLD)
Today we tour Vientiane, capital of Laos, before reboarding our cruise boat for the last night on board. Farewell dinner with the captain and crew.
Day 10. VIENTIANE - LUANG PRABANG. (BLD)
Disemabrk after breakfast and en route to the airport visit a local non profit organisation providing prosthetics and rehabilitation services to war victims and other people with disabilities. Fly to beautiful Luang Prabang. This afternoon explore this UNESCO World Heritage town. Visit Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Mai. 2 nights hotel in Luang Prabang.
Day 11. LUANG PRABANG. (BLD)
Optional early morning dawn visit to witness the lines of Monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from local residents. After breakfast we proceed to the elephant village on the banks of the Nam Khan River. Here we will be introduced to these amazing animals and enjoy a 30-40 minute ride. After lunch we take we take our last small boat trip to the amazing Buddhist caves at Pak Ou. See the thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues crammed into the 2 caves carved out of the sandstone cliff. Visit a local village on the way back to Luang Prabang for our farewell dinner.
Day 12. LUANG PRABANG DEPART. (B)
Free time until you are transferred to the airport for departure.
Tour cost per person in New Zealand dollars:
6 December 2014 and 31 January, 2015
Classic Cabin......... 2 per cabin $5,990..... Single room/cabin $6,900
Superior Cabin........ 2 per cabin $6,840..... Single room/cabin $8,100
Deluxe Balcony cabin.. 2 per cabin $7,460..... Single room/cabin $9,130
Tour cost includes:
** All travel from Siem Reap to Luang Prabang by air, coach, and cruise
** 6 nights first class hotels and 5 nights cruise boat
** Local english speaking guides and english speaking cruise director
** Tours and transfers by air conditioned vehicles
** Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary including admissions
** Water in the vehicles and on the boat
** Presentations and lectures by cruise director
Not included: Visa, laundry, personal expenses, alcoholic drinks, tips to guides, drivers, porter, and boat crew