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Southeast Asia River Delight

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[simple_tooltip content=”Journeys with particular attention to the rich cultural heritage and diversity of life in the region. ” heading=”Culture“]culture[/simple_tooltip]

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Day 1 Arrival in Bangkok

Arrive in Bangkok and transfer to hotel.

Day 2 Bangkok (B,L)

Today, visit Wat Traimit, with its Golden Buddha Image. The Golden Buddha Temple is located right at the heart of Chinatown in Bangkok and it features a three meter high solid Buddha. Continue on to see Wat Po, the oldest and largest temple of Bangkok that was built nearly 200 years ago and houses the enormous Reclining Buddha. Visit the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha built in 1782 by King Rama I. Have lunch at a local restaurant with a view of the Chao Praya River. After lunch we’ll visit the museum of entrepreneur, Jim Thompson, the American who revived the Thai Silk industry after World War II.

Day 3 Bangkok – Embarkation Mekhala Cruise (B,L,D)

Late morning, embark on The Mekhala Cruise. We will take a river trip on the Mekhala at 1:30 p.m. and head up the Chao Phraya River, passing the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of Dawn while observing the way of rural life along the river. At your arrival in Pathum Thani, you will visit a fresh market where local people shop for food, produce, and a variety of Thai sweets. At sunset, the Mekhala will dock at Wat Kai Tia, a Buddhist temple located in a tranquil rural village. An exquisite candlelight dinner will be served on the deck. Overnight on the cruise.

Day 4 Ayutthaya - Bangkok (B, L)

Start the next day cruising to the small village of Baan Saladang, an aged-old Mon community who migrated from Burma to this area in the early 19th century. The villagers here have successfully maintained their traditional life style, customs and natural surroundings. You will also see a collection of well-preserved, typical Thai houses in this charming village. Enjoy breakfast and disembark at the pier of Wat Niwet Thama Prawat next to Bang-Pa-In Summer Palace. Your biking tour begins riding through idyllic villages along rice-paddies. Make a stop at Phaniat Royal Elephant Kraal. The closer we get to the old capital, the more temple ruins we see along the way. Enjoy lunch at a riverside restaurant. You will see temple ruins as you enter the old capital. Visit historic places such as Wat Mahathat and Wat Pra Sri Sanphet as the guide explains the history of Ayutthaya. We have a short ride to the local market where typical local delicacies are baked, fried, and sold. Make a stop at the big reclining Buddha. Continue drive to Wat Chai Wattanaram, located on the river bank of the Chao Phraya River, this is a remarkable and beautiful temple. We arrive back to Bangkok in the late afternoon.

Day 5 Bangkok – Luang Prabang – Embarkation Mekong Cruise (B,L,D)

Breakfast at hotel, you will be transferred to Bangkok airport for flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival, meet your guide and transfer to town. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. After lunch, embark on your Mekong Cruise vessel, a comfortable boutique-cruise ship. After you settle into your cabin, we will begin a guided walk up Phou Si-hill, which offers a spectacular sunset view over the Mekong as well as the Khan River and the surrounding mountains. In the evening, enjoy strolling along the Mekong promenade or visiting the colorful night market of the local Hmong minority. Enjoy the spacious decks, lounge onboard and attend our welcome reception this evening. A selection of Asian and European food will be provided throughout the cruise. Overnight on the cruise.

Day 6 Luang Prabang (B,L,D)

In the early morning you will be able to observe the traditional giving of alms in the streets of Luang Prabang. Breakfast is onboard. We have a guided city tour with visits to the morning market, National Museum, and Wat Mai. Continue the drive to Ban Xang Khong and Ban Xieng Lek where you will see a traditional Laos weaving village. Lunch will be served at Sonphao Restaurant. Your spectacular cruise departs from Luang Prabang around 3 p.m. cruising north through beautiful scenery. Overnight on the Cruise.

Day 7 Pak Ou Caves (B,L,D)

Breakfast is onboard. 8:30 a.m. begin cruising slowly across the Mekong to explore the famous Pak Ou Caves, with thousands of small Buddha statues inside the cave. After a short walk through the jungle (optional) you visit a Laotian village. In the village you can observe how the local liqueur, Lao-Lao, is being distilled traditionally. Return to Mekong vessel for lunch. Enjoy a few hours of cruising down the Mekong River amidst beautiful landscapes, arrive Ban Hadtre around 5 p.m. Dinner will be served onboard. Overnight on the cruise.

Day 8 Disembarktion Mekong Cruise – Luang Prabang (B)

In the morning visit Ban Hadtre village ('Lao Lum' with more than 100 houses, temple, school). After breakfast, the ship will head south to the Mekong ferry crossing at Tha Deua, stop at Ban Huaykire where you will see H-Mong daily life. Further downstream you will discover some of the most remarkable, most impressive landscapes of this still-untamed river. The landscape becomes more and more spectacular: hills covered with tropical vegetation, awe-inspiring rock formations along the river banks, and a fascinating array of fast currents and slower river parts. The power of the mighty Mekong will give you a feeling of a real expedition. Disembarkation and transfer to local boat to Luang Prabang. Check in hotel, the rest of the day is free at leisure.

Day 9 Luang Prabang (B,D)

In the morning, you will visit the famous Khuangsi Waterfalls, some of the most remarkable waterfalls in Laos. Enjoy the beautiful nature views along the shores. This evening experience one of Laos' oldest traditions, The Baci ceremony to celebrate special events such as weddings, births, traveling, welcoming friends and farewells. The purpose of this ancient belief is to call back escaped souls to the body, this will re-establish harmony and balance to the body.

Day 10 Luang Prabang – Departure (B)

The morning is free at leisure. Transfer to airport for flight departure.

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