From the bustling city of Saigon to the Parisian charm and grace of Hanoi, travel the length of Vietnam and savor its natural, cultural and historical delights. This 6 days trip offers the real essence of Vietnam and the real local experiences as you will enjoy the Halong Bay from your luxury of your traditional junk, stroll through the narrow streets in the historic town of Hoian, discover the bustling city of Saigon. The quality of accommodation is a real highlight of this trip.
Hotels are centrally located with private, western style bathrooms and air-conditioning. You will also have a lot of flexibility on this tour as you have your own private tour guide and driver who will be handy to assist you with any special travel need & interest.
Your cruise director and friendly crew await you this afternoon (around 4pm) with a warm welcome upon embarkation near the town of Nong Khai. (Nong Khai can be reached by a short flight or by train from Bangkok to Udon Thani (UTH) as well as on land with a transfer from the Lao capitol of Vientiane across the friendship bridge. Upon request we will be happy to arrange transfers accordingly.) Attend our welcome reception and enjoy Southeast Asian specialties served during your dinner menu on board. Overnight on board your river vessel.
Breakfast is served on board. In the morning we will take you on a excursion to the historical park of Phu Prabat, impressed with natural rocks shaped almost mushroom like. Phu Phrabat has also been a sacred place for centuries and has recently enlisted to become a UNESCO world heritage site. From a temple close by you can enjoy one of the most impressive Mekong-views along the river in this region. Upon returning aboard your cruise experience begins. Lunch is served aboard while cruising leisurely in a few hours from the small town of Sri Chiangmai downriver towards Nong Khai. In the evening you can stroll along the river promenade or bargain at the colorful Indochina market in town. Dinner and overnight aboard your cruise vessel.
In the morning, a guided tour will get you acquainted with the bizarre, yet interesting Buddhist-Hindu sculpture park. Upon your return aboard your cruise experience continues. Along both sides of the quiet river banks you may spot every once in a while small golden temple spires, while a presentation on tropical fruits grown in this region provides with possibly surprising insight benefits used in traditional local medicine. This cruise caters especially to those travelers who fancy discovery tours and an authentic Asia more than a fixed cruise schedule without having to miss the comfort and atmosphere of a Boutique river cruise ship such as the Mekong Explorer. At night your vessel is moored at a secluded sandbank or at a small village pier. After dinner, a documentary shows e.g. the river flow of the Mekong from the Tibetan highlands all the way to the South China Sea. Overnight onboard your river vessel.
While enjoying your breakfast on board you will reach the starting point for your next shore excursion. A short drive brings you to an impressive cliff monastery, which stands seven levels high above local rice paddies. Western visitors are welcomed very seldom – just like most of the times during your entire tour. On the fifth day you will cross the river into Laos (as the next immigration office is several driving hours away Mekong River Cruises arranges for a special permit by the provincial Lao government that their guests can enter Laos today without having to pass immigration). Continue to the small village of Pak Khading where we join a long-tail boat for a trip up the Nam Khading River to visit a remote village. Returning back to Thailand and your cruise vessel; continue your cruise. Overnight onboard your river vessel.
In this region picturesque karst-mountains pass by on the Lao side of the river. By a short bus ride along the mighty Mekong – “the mother of all waters” as the locals call the river here – you will reach the provincial town of Nakhon Phanom where you will enjoy your lunch in a local restaurant. You will get acquainted with the town during a short city tour on a motor-rikscha/TukTuk or by foot. In the late 1920s Ho Chi Minh planned and organized the Vietnamese communist movement from his exile in Nakhon Phanom. You will visit the house where he lived during these years. Back on board you will celebrate your farewell dinner together with your crew and captain at night. Overnight onboard your river vessel.
After breakfast you will disembark and leave towards Ubon Ratchathani (UBP). You will continue to the holy pilgrim center of That Phanom. Legend has it that Buddha himself came here to command that after his death one of his breastbones be treasured in That Phanom as a reliquary. The devoutness of the local pilgrims, which you will notice during your visit of the temple and its Buddhist mural-walls and well kept garden, is quite impressive. Afterwards transfer to a panoramic Hotel with superb views of the mighty Mekong. Dinner and overnight in your Hotel.
After breakfast services end with the transfer to Ubon Ratchathani (UBP) from where frequent flights to Bangkok are offered.
Please contact us to get best rates & dates of this cruise tour!
Note: Every river cruise on the Mekong is a pioneer experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions, including from floodwaters and shallows. Therefore please understand that we must reserve the right to alter the itinerary of this tour due to the logistical complexities involved. Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, local authorities and river and/or road conditions. For safety reasons and according to navigating conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice.
* The cruise is also operated in the opposite direction starting with the bus transfer from Ubon Ratchathani airport in the morning and ending with the transfer out to Nong Khai. All services are identical and the same program will then be conducted from south to north!