From Laos to China

Embark on an epic adventure along the upper reaches of the Mekong River. You’ll pass through the untouched beauty of Laos, through Thailand, with an excursion to the infamous Golden Triangle, rich culture Burma and into the dramatic landscapes of China’s Yunnan province

tour duration 20 Days from
tour price 7,340pp
tour type Private Tour

Places Visited

UK – Bangkok (1N) – Vientiane (1N) – Mekong River Cruise (14N) – Kunming (1N) - UK

Tour Highlights

The enchanting Luang Prabang
Cruise through Laos’ undiscovered rural beauty
Explore Thailand’s infamous Golden Triangle
Travel along the Old Mandalay Road in Burma
Discover the Menglun Botanical Garden

Day 1-2: Fly to Bangkok
Fly overnight to Bangkok. On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
Day 1-2: Fly to Bangkok
Day 3: Fly to Vientiane
Fly to Laos’ charming capital Vientiane. Nestled in a languid bend in the Mekong, it is a delightfully quaint city, more friendly backwater than chaotic capital. The rest of the day is at leisure, the perfect time to stroll the peaceful streets and soak up the relaxed ambience. (B)
Day 3: Fly to Vientiane
Day 4: Embark your cruise
Take a leisurely transfer to Vientiane jetty where you can embark your cruise vessel. Enjoy lunch onboard before heading out on a guided exploration of this delightful French city. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Embark your cruise
Days 5-6: Ban Paklay & Pak Lai
Putting the cultivated plains behind you, your ship will power you into a dramatic landscape of jungle and mountains where the river becomes faster and wilder and fascinating rock formations appear on the banks. Moor overnight on a sand bank. The next day, explore Pak Lai, a French-influenced town with colonial buildings and a bustling market. (B,L,D)
Days 5-6: Ban Paklay & Pak Lai
Day 7: Luang Prabang
Moor up in the heart of the delightful World Heritage city of Luang Prabang. An enchanting place, it is quintessentially Laos, full of lush greenery, golden temples and vivid-robed monks, all supplemented by a harmonious atmosphere. Spend the day exploring the town’s rich and colourful heritage seeing the many magnificent temples and the royal palace. Later, enjoy the atmosphere and browse the many stalls at the vibrant night market. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Luang Prabang
Day 8: Takbat ceremony
Head onshore with the dawn and experience the Buddhist ceremony of Takbat where hundreds of monks walk through the city every morning collecting alms from the locals, in the form of food offerings - you are invited to join in with the alms-giving if you would like to. Travel inland to visit H’Mong tribal villages and to enjoy the beautiful jungle setting and enchanting pools of Khaung Si Waterfall. There is a time to trek forest trails for those feeling energetic or for a leisurely dip in the waterfall’s pools. This evening is at leisure. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Takbat ceremony
Days 9-10: Pak Ou Caves & Nam Ou River to Pak Beng
Stop off at the Buddhist Pak Ou Caves, just up the Mekong from Luang Prabang, a cave full of Buddhas that can no longer be used for veneration because they are damaged or outdated. Then enter the Nam Ou River with its spectacular cliff faces. The next day you’ll moor up and be able to stroll through Pak Beng, a market town deep in the Laos jungle. At Pak Tha, take a side-trip up the Namtha River by long tail boat to visit a village of the Khmu people. (B,L,D)
Days 9-10: Pak Ou Caves & Nam Ou River to Pak Beng
Day 11: Chiang Saen, Thailand
Arrive in Chiang Saen, then travel by coach to the famous Golden Triangle. This is where Thailand, Burma and Laos meet, at the confluence of the Mekong and Ruak rivers, an area that was formerly known for being the world’s largest producer of opium. Enjoy the beautiful alpine-esque scenery and its interesting Opium Museum. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Chiang Saen, Thailand
Days 12-13: Old Mandalay Road, Burma
Travel to the Burma side of the Mekong and drive along the Old Mandalay Road passing through picturesque Shan villages and cultivated valleys to, if time permits, the British colonial hill station of Loi Mwe, reached by passing through forests and rice terraces. Here you can stroll amongst the old abandoned Anglo Indian Dak bungalows and see the old governor’s house all set around a picturesque lake. The next day, continue along the Mekong with Burma on your left and Laos on your right. Stop to explore a Laos jungle village. (B,L,D)
Days 12-13: Old Mandalay Road, Burma
Day 14: Muang Long, Laos
Moor at Xiang Kok and travel by car to Muang Long to visit some Aka tribal villages. (B,L,D)
Day 14: Muang Long, Laos
Day 15: Into China
Visit a local village, then cross the border into China and admire the ever changing colours of the Mekong’s water. Continue to Gang Lei and head ashore for a walking tour. (B,L,D)
Day 15: Into China
Day 16: Menglun Botanical Garden
Tour Menglun Botanical Garden, one of China’s most important botanical research centres. It is home to rare and exotic plant species including the ‘Clock Flower’ that opens and closes at sunrise and sunset and the ‘Dancing Grass’ that responds to sound. Stroll through the impressive gardens and soak up the natural beauty. After lunch cruise to Mengzhan to explore the Mangza Temple. (B,L,D)
Day 16: Menglun Botanical Garden
Day 17: Mangfeilong Monastery & tea plantation
Sail into Jinghong and enjoy a morning excursion to the impressive Mangfeilong Monastery. After lunch, visit a Chinese tea plantation with a tasting and Manting Park Buddhist Temple, one of Yunnan’s most important. After a farewell dinner, enjoy a traditional dance performance at Mengbalanaxi theatre. (B,L,D)
Day 17: Mangfeilong Monastery & tea plantation
Day 18: Disembark and fly to Kunming
Disembark your Pandaw cruise after breakfast and transfer to Jinghong airport. From here, fly to the relaxed Chinese city of Kunming. (B)
Day 18: Disembark and fly to Kunming
Day 19: Fly Kunming to UK
The time before your international flight to the UK is free for you to spend as you wish. Transfer to the airport and fly home to the UK, arriving the following day. (B)
Day 19: Fly Kunming to UK

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

05-Feb > 23-Feb - £7,340 BOOK NOW
05-Mar > 23-Mar - £7,440 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Subject to availability
Single supplement from £590
Sole traveller supplement from £640
Land only from £6490 (Vientiane - Kunming)
Includes crew gratuities
Excludes tips to tour guides & driver

Wendy Wu Tours, inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.

Jinjiang Hotel
Jinjiang Hotel - Kunming (1 Nights)
hotel star rating

Jin Jiang Hotel is located close to Kunming’s main sttractions. Each of its air conditioned, modern en-suite rooms include satellite television, a minibar, complimentary toiletries and tea making facilities. The hotel includes the Shanghai and the Lily restaurant, which serve local Huaiyan and Yunnan specialties. The onsite fitness centre and spa is a highlight.

Hong Kong Glimpses

Hong Kong Glimpses

tour duration 3 Days from tour price 199pp
Hong Kong in Focus

Hong Kong in Focus

tour duration 4 Days from tour price 370pp

The cost of a Laos visa is not included as there is no Laos consulate in the UK.  However, visas are very easy to obtain upon arrival in Laos and will cost $35, you will need to bring passport photo for the visa. Your guide will assist you with this process.

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and China is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.

Due to the French colonial influence in some Southeast Asian countries, black tea (commonly referred to as ‘lip-ton’ by the locals), coffee, and baguettes are available in most places. However, the local style is to have sweet condensed milk with their tea and coffee. Fresh dairy milk is not usually served but many restaurants will provide this if requested. ‘Cafe Sua-da’ (or iced coffee with milk) is a favourite choice amongst the locals.

What's Included

International flights & current taxes
Domestic transportation
Touring with guides & entrance fees
Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders
Meals as stated
Local soft drinks, local beer and local spirits on the cruise
All excursions
Crew gratuities
Use of bikes on board

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