POST CRUISE Journey to Laos
Fly to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang in northern Laos to behold its most revered temples, cruise the Mekong River and explore remote villages where traditional customs are still practiced.
Day 1 - Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Transfer from ship to Bangkok airport for flight to Luang Prabang, a city at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. Upon arriving and after getting your Laos visa issued (for a separate fee), you will proceed to the La Residence Phou Vao hotel to check in and relax.
The afternoon is devoted to visiting several temples or “wats,” beginning with Wat Visoun. Built in the early 1500s, the temple is perhaps the oldest in the city and is known for the rather odd shape of its lotus stupa, which resembles a watermelon. Adjacent lies Wat Aham, which was constructed about 300 years later in a totally different style. Although no longer the center of religious activities in the city, Wat Aham is still striking, especially its red and gold beams and murals depicting Buddhist precepts.
Then, it’s on to Wat Xieng Thong, the largest temple in Luang Prabang. Constructed in the 16th century on the banks of the Mekong River, it is best known for its Tree of Life mural, which describes the Buddhist story.
Finally, you will ascend Phousi Hill in the center of the old town for a magnificent view of the sunset, and then proceed to the La Residence Phou Vao hotel for the evening.
Day 2 - Thursday, April 16, 2015
Following breakfast at the La Residence Phou Vao hotel, you will transfer to an awaiting boat on the Mekong River, a scenic waterway that snakes through the lush countryside. An hour or so into the cruise, you will stop at the magnificent Pak Ou Caves. While the natural caves are beautiful, it’s what inside that is truly intriguing. The interiors are filled with thousands of Buddha images and statues of all sizes that were donated by local people.
Continuing down the river, you will then visit the village of Ban Sanghai to watch the residents make rice whisky using a traditional technique to distill the spirit. Then after cruising back to the pier, you will return to Luang Prabang to enjoy a traditional Laotian lunch.
Later you will drive to the beautiful multi-tiered Kuangsi waterfalls and then visit the Hmong and Khmu hilltribe village. Both groups are ethnic minorities in northern Laos that follow traditional customs and dress, which presents a fascinating glimpse into a lifestyle that has changed little over the years.
In time, you will transfer back to the La Residence Phou Vao hotel to freshen up before dinner at a renowned restaurant. Afterwards, you will be treated to a private performance of a Baci ceremony, which Laotians traditionally hold to celebrate a special event such as a marriage or birth. You will also visit the wonderfully atmospheric Night Market in Luang Prabang for a bit of shopping before returning to the hotel for the evening.
Day 3 - Friday, April 17, 2015
After breakfast and check out at the hotel, you will drive to the Luang Prabang airport for the flight to Bangkok. Upon arriving at Bangkok airport, you will transfer to your hotel for check-in.
Day 4 - Saturday, April 18, 2015
Breakfast at the hotel. Free at leisure until departure time to airport for your return flight.
Note: There is extensive walking at the temple sites, with steps at Wat Xieng Thong, Phousi Hill and Luang Prabang pier.
Land Program Step by Step: Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The flights and timings indicated are only approximate, and are given here for general reference purposes and are subject to change.
7:00am Transfer from Klong Toey Port to Bangkok Airport
10:05am Depart Bangkok by PG 941 for Luang Prabang (Subject to change)
12:05pm Process on-arrival visa
1:05pm Transfer from Luang Prabang Airport to hotel for check-in and relaxing
2:30pm Drive from hotel to Wat Visoun, Wat Aham
2:45pm Visit to Wat Visoun, Wat Aham
3:15pm Drive from Wat Aham to Wat Xiang Thong
3:45pm Visit to Wat Xiang Thong
4:45pm Drive from Wat Xiang Thong to Phousi Hill
5:00pm Visit to Phousi Hill until sunset
6:00pm Drive from Phoousi Hill to the hotel
Overnight at the La Residence Phou Vao or similar hotel
*Please note the excess luggage details further below and pack accordingly. Excess luggage will be taken upon your disembarkation.
7:00am Breakfast at hotel
8:00am Depart hotel for Pier
8:30am Boat trip on Mae Khong River for Pak Ou Cave
9:30am Visit to Pak Ou Cave, a part of limestone cliff that houses thousands of Buddha images.
10:30am Boat trip on Mae Khong River with a stop at Ban Sanghai
11:00am Visit Ban Sanghai, local people making the rice whisky
11:30am Proceed to Luang Prabang by boat
12:00pm Lunch at a local restaurant
1:00pm Drive from Luang Prabang to Kuangsi waterfalls
2:00pm Visit Kuangsi waterfalls, Hmong and khmu hilltribe village
4:30pm Back to the hotel
6:00pm Dinner at a local restaurant
7:00pm Private Baci ceremony and Night Market
8:00pm Transfer back to the hotel
Overnight at the La Residence Phou Vao or similar hotel
6:00am At leisure in the morning with breakfast at hotel and check out
10:00am Transfer from hotel to Luang Prabang Airport
12:45am Depart Luang Prabang by PG 942 for Bangkok (subject to change)
2:50pm Transfer from airport to hotel in Bangkok
Overnight at the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit or similar hotel
AM Breakfast at the hotel
12:00pm Check out time
Free at leisure until departure time to Bangkok airport
Transfers will be based on your flight details. For guests with late flights, luggage storage will be available at the hotel.
EXTRA NIGHTS: Should you book any extra nights through the cruise line, you will be transferred to the airport per your departure flight details. Please note that check out time is 12:00pm. Any meals other than breakfast as well as any activities are on your own after the program officially ends on the morning of Day 4.
Laos has a tropical monsoon climate with wet and dry seasons. November to April is the cooler, dry season. May is very hot with occasional rain. June to October is the humid and wet monsoon season.
The unit of currency in Laos is the Kip. However, U.S. dollars and Thai Baht are also accepted currencies. ATMs are widely available in Luang Prabang. VISA credit cards are also accepted in many places.
The electric current is 220 volts. Short power blackouts are common in Luang Prabang. In small towns, the current can be off for long periods of time. After dark, it is best to keep a flashlight or candles handy. In most hotels, adaptors are necessary for French and American electronics.
All visitors to Laos require a valid passport with at least 6 months left before it expires. Visas are also required for entry into Laos. A regular tourist visa is valid for up to 30 days and will be issued upon arrival in Laos. Visa prices vary according to your country of residence. For both the USA and United Kingdom, the price is $35 U.S. dollars per person.
**2 passport size color photos will be required for the visa.
**After completing the formalities, you are required to double-check your passport to make sure the stamping is legible to avoid penalty charges on your departure from Laos.
What to Bring:
We recommend bringing a jacket, as it can get quite cool in the evenings. Good walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent are also recommended.
Luggage information for flights:
The maximum weight allowance for your luggage is 20 kilograms (44 lbs) per person.
*Any excess luggage will be taken on Day 1 when you disembark the ship and stored at your hotel in Bangkok where you will receive it on Day 3. Kindly ensure that any excess luggage is tagged properly with your name and stateroom number on the ship.
Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit
189 Sukhumvit Rd Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Phone: 66 2 126 9999
La Residence Phou Vao by Orient Express
La Résidence Phou Vao, 3 PO Box 50, Luang Prabang, PDR 84330, Laos
Phone: (+856-71) 212194
*We will only substitute hotels in unforeseen situations. If similar hotels are substituted, they will be of equal ratings and standards.
Land cost includes:
? One-night accommodation in Bangkok at the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit (Deluxe Room) or similar hotel
? Two-nights accommodation in Laos at the La Residence Phou Vao (Garden Junior Suite) or similar hotel
? Transfers and sightseeing, local English-speaking guide, and admission fees as per the program
? 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners in Luang Prabang (Dinner include a choice of two glasses of house wine or local beer)
? Gratuities to drivers and guides
? Economy-class flights from Bangkok to Luang Prabang to Bangkok
Please Note: Guests booking their own flights (independent of the cruise line) are responsible for ensuring that the cruise line has the updated departure information so your transfer can be arranged. If you book additional hotel nights independently of the cruise line, a departure transfer is not provided.
Land cost excludes:
? Laos on-arrival visa fee (approximately $35 U.S. dollars per person, subject to change)
? Personal expenses
? Additional sightseeing, meals and beverages not mentioned in this itinerary
? Hotel incidentals including mini bar
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces, which may include inclines, cobblestones, sand, gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation.
$1,999 Per Guest