20 DAYS ●
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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
Our From Laos to China itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading guides whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly overnight to Bangkok. On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Moor at Xiang Kok and travel by car to Muang Long to visit some Aka tribal villages. (B,L,D)
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)
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)
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)
Disembark your Pandaw cruise after breakfast and transfer to Jinghong airport. From here, fly to the relaxed Chinese city of Kunming. (B)
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)
Wendy Wu Tours inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. We pick the right hotel for the specific destination, meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. If the hotels listed below for your tour are not available on your chosen departure date, hotels of a similar standard will be used.
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. ...Read more
Wendy Wu Tours is one of the UK's leading escorted tours specialist and we think it's easy to see why! We are knowledgeable, passionate and innovative about travel in Asia and the world beyond. Combine this with the excellent value, cultural experiences and industry-leading National Escorts that our tours offer and you can trust that you are going to have the best possible experience travelling with us. So, what are you waiting for?
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