GENERAL INFORMATION OF THE BEST OF THE MEKONG
Cruise following Mekong River downstream through The best of the Mekong with Orient Skyline Travel.Stop along the way to explore the iconic landmarks along the river basin and discover the cultural highlights. With stunning riverside landscapes, fascinating culture from people make Mekong River the greatest one in Southeast Asia.
Chiang Rai – Chiang Khong – Houay Xay – Pakbeng – Luang Prabang – Siem Reap – Phnom Penh – Chau Doc – Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh City
- Discover local life along waterways
- Enjoy the tranquility and history of Laos
- Explore Cambodian villages
- Explore the cultural diversity of the Mekong Delta in South Vietnam
- Accommodation in shared twin/double room with daily breakfast
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
- Tour transferred by private air-conditioned vehicles
- English speaking local guide
- Entrance fees for guided visits
- Service charges
THROUGH THE BEST OF THE MEKONG TOUR, YOU WILL DISCOVER
Day 1: Arrive Chiang Rai – Lanjia lodge (L, D)
Welcome to Chiang Rai, Meet your guide and drive to Lanjia Lodge. After check in, enjoy an informative presentation about the tribes of H’mong and Lahu, stroll through their beautiful villages. On the way, stop to visit a shaman of the Hmong for some tea and learn from him about his culture and discover the rituals from this minority.
After lunch in a local restaurant by the river, visit a H’mong woman to experience the process of making Hmong batik costume.
After dinner, enjoy watching traditional performance from Hmong.
Spend the night at Lanjia Lodge.
Day 2: Lanjia Lodge – Chiang Khong – Houay Xay – Pakbeng (B, L, D)
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge and drive to Chiang Khong Border. Please be present at the border no later than 8AM.
On the other side of the border at HouayXay, Laos, be welcomed by a staff from the Luang Say Cruises. Check in onboard the boat and start your next three days cruising to reach LuangPrabang with stopping for overnight in Pakbeng and Kamu Lodge.
After lunch, take time to enjoy the river scenery. Arrive at Pakbeng in late afternoon, the halfway town between HouayXay and LuangPrabang. The main street of the town is flanked by the arrays of wooden houses ascending the hillsides making the town looks attractive.
Overnight in Pakbeng.
Day 3: Pakbeng – Kamu lodge (B, L, D)
This morning, continue to travel on the mighty river downstream to Kamu Lodge.
Reach Kamu Lodge in time for lunch. Check in The Kamu Lodge which is designed faithfully to local style with thatch roof and using local material like bamboo and timber for the furniture.
After lunch, there are different options for you to participate. You will be rewarded with a very original Lao experience:
- Farming on rice field, planting or harvesting rice
- Gold panning (January to June) in the Mekong River. Keep whatever you find!
- Go fishing on Mekong River using traditional fishing techniques.
- Visit local villages
Enjoy dinner and spend the night at Kamu Lodge.
Day 4: Kamu lodge – Pak Ou caves – Luang Prabang (B, L)
After breakfast, take the whole cool morning to relax at your leisure. Alternatively, explore the surrounding villages with your guide. Please note to check-out by 10:30.
Enjoy lunch and depart for the cruise downstream to Luang Prabang with stops for sightseeing are made at Ban Baw to see how the rice wine is distill using traditional methods. Further near Luang Prabang, visit Pak Ou Caves often referred as Tam Ting. These caves are some of the most well known caves in Laos, hidden on limestone mountain cliffs and packed inside with thousands of Buddha statues of all sizes, small as a thumb or as big as a human.
After exploring the caves, continue to Luang Prabang for 2 hours further.
After check in your hotel, meet your guide and depart for sunset on Phousi mountain. After conquering over 320 steps, enjoy the stunning view of Heritage city and the surrounding countryside.
On the way to the restaurant, on the west side of the peninsula, take a stroll through the tribal night market where local ethnic minorities from the nearby country villages sell their best handicrafts.
Arrive at the restaurant by the waterway of the Mekong. Enjoy the some local food and best specialties at a Sindat restaurant. Return to the hotel on a transfer or if you want to stay back and enjoy Mekong atmosphere around the restaurant then you can take a tuk-tuk.
Spend the night in Luang Prabang.
Day 5: Visit Luang Prabang by bike (B, L)
Begin your day at 6 AM. From the hotel, do some warm up and grasp for your bike and cycle to the former Royal Palace which is now served as the National Museum holding the history of Laos.
Continue to visit Wat Mai and Wat Visoun further at the end of the street. Wat Visoun is considered as one of the most revered temples in Laos, the holiest one in the city too. Continue the ride to the 15th century style Wat Aham and the further one Wat That which houses the royal ashes of King Sisavang Vong.
Wind down and ride along Nam Khan River to visit Wat Xieng Thong, built by King Setthathrirat in 16th century, this temple is another revered heritage temple in Luang Prabang, and perhaps the also the most impressively decorated with ornate mosaics and bas relief carvings.
Cycle to return your hotel by bike.
Take the remainder of the day for free time and spend the night in Luang Prabang.
Day 6: Luang Prabang – Kuang Si waterfall (B)
Grab your swim suit and travel a short distance from Luang Prabang to the Kuang Si Waterfall. The turquoise colour of the water with a backdrop of white limestone cliffs gives the waterfall a magical appearance. Depending on the season the water level varies and swimming may not always be possible. Next to the falls is the Sun Bear Reserve, a conservation centre that rescues animals from the wildlife trade. Meet the cute furry residents and learn about the efforts to protect Sun Bears in the wild.
Transfer back to Luang Prabang & overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 7: Luang Prabang – Fly to Siem Reap (B)
Today board the flight to Siem Reap. You will be greeted by the local guide and the driver of Orient Skyline Travel and transferred to your hotel.
After check in and refreshment at the hotel, enjoy welcome dinner tonight at the Marum, established in 2005 Marum is a training restaurant giving youth and orphans professional training for hospitality or cooking.
After dinner, enjoy an incredible performance of Cambodian circus. The artist from PharePonleuSelpak (PPS) will introduce a suitable program for people of all ages. Set up firstly in Battambang by the young people who were repatriated from refugee camps from the genocide regime.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 8: Siem Reap city tour (B)
Today start discovering Angkor temples with visiting to the ancient Angkor Thom, the great Khmer Empire’s last capital city. Begin the exploration from the South Gate, which was carved with elephants and giant faces and along each side of the entrance path, an array of 54 gods holding the sacred Naga snake.
Continue further to Bayon Temple which locates in the center of the city. Built in the 12th century, this masterpiece is well known for its bas – relief of Elephant, the Terrace of Leper King and 54 faces which are believed to represent for the 54 provinces of the lost Khmer Empire.
After your lunch break, continue to Ta Prohm temple which is one of the most unique and picturesque one in Angkor.
Before the day comes to its end, visit the world well known temple of Angkor Wat. Built from 12 century by the reign of King Suryavarman, Angkor Wat is built to illustrate the holy mountain, Mount Meru where the gods dwell. Interior walls of the temple are decorated with beautiful stone bas-reliefs reflecting Hindu mythology and Suryavarman II’s battles that he fought during the reign.
After the visit, stay a little longer when Angkor Wat will be quieter to see the Apsaras in the most beautiful light.
Return and overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 9: Siem Reap – Banteay Srei & Tonle Sap lake (B, L)
In the morning, visit the special pink temple of Banteay Srey. The material of the temple is pink stone making this temple one of the most unique one unlike any other temple in Cambodia, following visit the Banteay Samre temple.
Transfer to Tonle Sap Lake to enjoy the boat cruise passing through the floating villages on the lake. Tonle Sap is the Southeast Asia’s largest fresh water lake. During the boat ride to Kampong Phluk village where the houses are built on stilts above the water, enjoy the scenery and discover the flooding ecosystem, some typical water birds can be seen. Your visit today is also a supportive day to the local communities living under privileges.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 10: Siem Reap – Phnom Penh by speed boat (B)
Today, transfer from Seam Reap to Phnom Penh. There two options or speed boat or road transfer. Please note during the dry season, when the water level Is too low then only the road transfer is possible.
Spend the night in Phnom Penh.
Please note that the program can change in low season (transfer by bus or private car instead) in case of low water level.
Day 11: Phnom Penh city tour (B)
Today, discover the city visiting the most remarkable sites of Phnom Penh by tuk tuk. Begin the tour at Vat Phnom the historical founding place of the capital city.
Travel along the Mekong river bank to visit Royal Palace complex and the famous Silver Pagoda but the former name was the Emerald Buddha pagoda. The main hall of the pagoda, see a collection of Buddha statues, in gold, silver, and bronze.
At the National Museum, the Khmer styled building see world’s best collection of ancient Khmer’s arts, archaeology and religion items date between the 4th and the 13th century.
After lunch break, visit the sadly evidential Genocide Museum TuolSleng, originated from a school then converted into the Khmer Rouge prison. This was the torturing and detaining center named -S21 ‘. It is sad to visit but it is worth a visit that sheds some light into understanding the country history.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 12 : Phnom Penh – Chau Doc by express boat (B)
Early in the morning, embark on a fast boat, the Blue Cruiser boat to be transferred to Chau Doc (5 hours).
Arrive at Chau Doc, meet your Vietnamese crews, your guide and driver will welcome and transfer you to the hotel in Chau Doc.
Overnight in Chau Doc.
Day 13: Visit of Chau Doc (B, L)
After breakfast, take a boat trip cruising to visit Chau Doc floating markets. Upon arrival, see the farmers from the surrounding islands selling wholesale their local produces such as vegetables, fruits, and fish. From the market, glide through the fish farms, which flank the river bank, to visit villages of Cham people one of the ethnic minorities of Vietnam. The cruise will follow Vinh Te canal, the man made waterway to get to Sam Mountain. Climb up the mountain to visit the most revered temples in the Southern part of Vietnam.
After lunch break, transfer to the most highlighted destination in Chau Doc: the Tra Su Forest, here discover the eco mangrove on a tropic lush sampan cruise through endless water flanked by mangrove swamps and verdant jungles. This wetland ecological reserve covers almost 900 hectares and quickly becomes a paradise for fauna and flora, and a lot of birds and bats species. The best time to visit Tra Su is from early September to December when the waters are high and everything is accessible by boat. On the returning way, stop to visit a small Khmer ethnic village, where you will learn the importance of Buddhism in this community, chat with the Khmer monks in the pagoda to learn more about this tradition.
Overnight in Chau Doc.
Day 14: Chau Doc – Can Tho – Overnight cruise (B, L)
In the morning, depart from Chau Doc for the 2.5 hour transfer to Can Tho. On arrival Ninh Kieu pier, board the boat Bassac and the ship cruises downstream following the Hau River. Enjoy lunch and relax on the deck of the boat while watching the views of coconuts, rice fields and local houses along the waterway. Arrive at Mang Thit where the boat’s anchor is dropped and dinner will be severed.
Overnight onboard the boat on the Mekong Delta.
Day 15: Can Tho – Cai Be – Ho Chi Minh City (B, L)
Enjoy breakfast while the boat motors towards Cai Be. Swap to the smaller wooden boat and cruise through Cai Be floating market into a quieter canal. After the market, cruise to have more exploration on the peaceful island of Dong Hoa Hiep on Tien River, enjoy the rural landscape and rural village life.
From Cai Be, take the private transfer to Ho Chi Minh City or to the airport for your departure flight.
You might be interested in our Indochina journey, otherwise look for other interesting options in our Multi-country tours.