Cruise
Mekong Pearl
Lernidee Cruises
Mekong Pearl, Mekong River Cruise ex Golden Triangle to Vientiane
Cruise Line: Lernidee Cruises
Selected Sailing Date: 24 Jun 2018

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Prices displayed are retail per person, twin share, to the Australian Travel Trade. Consumers please contact your local cruise agent to request this Cruise Abroad package. At time of booking please check current cruise fare and any inclusions. Prices are indicative only, subject to currency fluctuations and may change at any time without notice.

Itinerary
Cruise Itinerary
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.
Cruise Description

10 Night Cruise sailing from the Golden Triangle to Vientiane aboard Mekong Pearl.

Day 1 The Golden Triangle—Embarkation
You begin where three countries meet-at Sop Ruak, the heart of the infamous Golden Triangle.

Beneath a gleaming, near 40-foot golden Buddha, you enter the Hall of Opium, the museum where you learn how trade of this dangerous narcotic is wound through the region like the Mekong itself.

On that very river, you board the Mekong Pearl, the boutique vessel that will be your home for the next ten days. Unpack in your private cabin, complete with private bathroom, then head to the on-board longue and spacious top decks for welcome drinks and dinner in the warm, tropical, open air.

Day 2 The Golden Triangle—Huay Xay—Pak Tha
Wake to the lapping of waves and feel the warm morning air. You’re on the Mekong, floating downstream on Himalayan waters, wending their way beneath you to the South-China Sea.

Soon you’ll cruise Laos and enter the spectacular wilds of the north of the country. Stopping at the village of Pak Tha, you take a local long-tail boat to an authentic Khmu village on stilts, deep in the jungle.

As night approaches, and the Mekong Pearl moors at a remote sandbank, you dine in nature, enveloped by the dark.

Day 3 Pakbeng
Vivid green with wild, filmic, foliage. Bold rock formations emerge from the landscape and the Mekong Pearl curves downriver. Your expert captain navigates the rapids and powerful currents. These are remote, untouched stretches of wilderness, only accessible by water.

Impenetrable jungle runs for miles on every side. For the people who live along this shore, the river is their only contact with the outside world. You look for elephants at work and arrive in the small town of Pakbeng. The last outpost of civilization on the edge of a lost world.

Day 4 The Pak Ou caves
You breakfast among calling birds, then relax on the deck, soaking up the calm. At a riverside village stop, you sample Lao-Lao, the fearsome rice spirit, with local distillers.

Trek through the jungle to the famous Pak Ou Caves. Shielded from the world, the stunning sight of thousands of small Buddha statues greets you.

Dine along a sheltered sandbank, with smoke from the barbecue drifting above the trees of this incredibly exotic and tranquil setting.

Days 5 and 6 The UNESCO World Heritage Town of Luang Prabang
Following the river, you float out of the forest and into Luang Prabang, once the royal capital of Laos and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. From Phou Si Hill, you look out over the city, at French colonial buildings, Buddhist temples and monasteries mingling with tropical gardens under a mountain skyline.

You visit Wat Xieng Thong temple with its gleaming golden roofs and take an evening promenade along the Mekong. After sunset, enter the sounds and smells of the night market and its Hmong traders dressed in dazzling fabrics.

The next day, it’s just you and this fabulous city, and truly one of the world’s hidden gems. By e-bike or foot, you explore the old town, visit the elephants, relax at riverside cafes, taste exotic dishes and immerse yourself in Luang Prabang’s unique, laidback charm. Nowhere on Earth is quite like this.

Elephant camp visit on request, bookable on-site.

Day 7 Luang Prabang—Kuang Si Falls
Every morning at dawn in Luang Prabang, brightly robed monks pass through the streets collecting alms. You wake to watch this sacred ritual, then settle into breakfast, gazing over the rooftops from the top deck.

You take a bus to Kuang Si Falls, one of the great natural wonders of Laos. Crystal clear waters tumble through tropical vegetation into opulent turquoise pools. It’s perfect and you take a swim. Bliss.

You visit a small village, re-board and head into the roaring Keng-Luang rapids. The experienced crew ease your ship through the torrent, its crashing white waters an exhilarating reminder of the raw strength of the river around you.

Day 8 Tha Deua—Pak Lay
The ramshackle, brightly colored Tha Deua ferry you see moored to the shore is the only way to cross the Mekong for miles, and further downstream, you pass the controversial Sayaboury hydropower project and learn from your crew about its consequences for local people and their environment.

Stopping at the small community of Pak Lay, you walk through lush forest to a cave few travelers have ever seen. Glimpses of a world that may not last forever.

Day 9 Nature Along the Mighty Mekong
Beneath you, the serene Mekong Pearl carves ripples in the water. They spread gently to the bank, landing in Laos on one side, and in Thailand on the other. Today the Mekong sets the pace, and you relax on board, watching the two countries drift by. Steep riverbanks give way to fertile fields, and, as the sun sets, you anchor at a remote sandbank, dine and sleep on this epic river.

Day 10 The Lao capital of Vientiane
From the heart of the Golden Triangle, the Mekong draws you in to Vientiane, the vibrant capital of Laos. You visit the quiet enclosure of the golden Pha That Luang Temple, the national symbol, and pay your respects at the French-inspired Arc de Triomphe, a stunning monument commemorating the country’s fight for independence.

As the sun sets on the last day of your journey, you gather for a farewell dinner on board with crew, captain and companions, and celebrate your remarkable journey together.

Day 11 Disembarkation in Vientiane
A final breakfast, and a last chance to watch the morning sunlight on the water. Then it’s time to say goodbye to the Mekong Pearl and her crew.

For ten intoxicating days, you lived the Mekong.

Check out until 10am.

NOTE: There is nothing tame about the Mekong, and the itinerary of every cruise is subject to river conditions, including floodwaters, low water levels, and morning fog. The itinerary of this tour may be subject to change in the face of logistical complexities caused by natural phenomena. Our crew are highly experienced and our vessel is powerfully built but if navigating conditions prompt safety concerns, programs may be amended.

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