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Home > Thailand > Thailand Itineraries > Thailand And Laos A Luxurious Mekong Journey

Thailand and Laos: A Luxurious Mekong Journey


November through March


7 Days


Chiang Rai, Pak Tha, Pak Beng, Luang Prabang


On this exclusive luxury tour of Northern Thailand and the iconic Golden Triangle, you will experience the culture, indulge in fine Thai and Laotian cuisine and meet the local people. Your journey begins in the renowned Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle where you will be pampered beyond belief and commune with the elephants that live nearby. A voyage down the Mekong River on the Gypsy Cruise luxury longboat lets you experience the unique villages and explore life along the river. This fabulous journey is filled with torchlit dinners, local markets, ancient temples, and Buddhist shrines, punctuated with engaging cooking classes and architecture tours. The beauty of Northern Thailand will leave you breathless and its people will leave you glad you came.

Itinerary in Detail

    DAY 1 – Chiang Rai

    Upon your arrival at Chiang Rai Airport, you will be greeted by a representative of the renowned Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle and transferred to the camp pier. You will then take the traditional long-tail boat to your luxury home away from home. Before dinner, enjoy a relaxing massage at the spa, rejuvenating both body and soul in the bamboo forests of the Golden Triangle. Later, in true camp tradition, you will enjoy the sunset with a cocktail in hand. Dinner is served at Nong Yao Restaurant, an open-air, thatched-roof pavilion by the riverbank, offering Thai, Laotian, Burmese, and western cuisine. In keeping with the camp atmosphere, guests have the option of dining together at a long, family-style table or privately.

    Hotel: Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

    Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

    DAY 2 – Chiang Rai

    After breakfast, you will meet professional mahouts or elephant keepers who will show you how to care for an elephant. Once you have mastered the directives, a full trek in the bamboo jungle follows, where you will have the chance to display your skills, complete with a one-of-a-kind elephant shower experience. After lunch back at the camp, you will take a cruise down the majestic Mekong River on board a traditional longboat to the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos come together. Later, you will board a traditional Songtaew bus to visit a local market and Chedi Luang temple. This evening, a special torchlit dinner of regional Thai, Laotian, and Burmese cuisines is arranged at the elephant camp, with the elephants nearby. In true safari style, tables are arranged in a semi-circle around the campfire – after-dinner drinks and star-gazing to follow.

    Hotel: Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

    Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

    DAY 3 – Chiang Rai - Chiang Khong - Pak Tha

    After checking out of the camp, you will transfer to Chiang Khong to start the cruise of a lifetime on board the Gypsy Cruise – the most exclusive and luxurious cruiser in the country. With a crew of five, this intimate floating hotel with thatched roofs has only two private luxury suites. After a glass of Champagne, you begin the voyage to Pak Tha village. Onboard activities on the Gypsy Cruise include classes on yoga, folk dancing, weaving, and cooking. Excursions include fishing, jungle trekking, mountain biking, whisky-tasting, and elephant visits. Upon your arrival at Pak Tha, you will enjoy a welcome cocktail, followed by dinner on the beach.

    Hotel: Mooring at Pak Tha

    Mooring at Pak Tha

    DAY 4 – Pak Tha - Ban Houy Phalam - Pak Beng

    You will begin your day with a session in Buddhist meditation. After breakfast, the boat sets sail for the pretty Kamu village of Ban Houy Phalam, which is famous for its weaving and scarf production. You will then head to the village of Pak Beng, where visits include Pak Beng Temple, a Hmong village, and an elephant camp on the opposite side of the river. Local spirits and Lao rice wine accompany a fabulous dinner tonight.

    Hotel: Mooring at Pak Beng

    Mooring at Pak Beng

    DAY 5 – Pak Beng - Khok Aek - Ban Baw - Luang Prabang

    After a yoga class and breakfast, the cruise continues to Khok Aek, where you will have a walking tour of two villages – one Lao and the other a Hmong village. The ship then arrives at the village of Ban Baw before lunch, where you will take a guided tour of the traditional weaving workshops and enjoy a Lao whisky tasting. Back on board, you will participate in a cooking demonstration by the head chef, before arriving at the renowned Pak Ou Caves for a guided tour. Later in the afternoon upon your arrival at Luang Prabang, you will be met by a guide and driver at the royal pier and transferred to the newest hotel phenomenon in Laos – the Rosewood Luang Prabang.

    Hotel: Rosewood Luang Parabang

    Rosewood Luang Parabang

    DAY 6 – Luang Prabang

    Today, you will explore Luang Prabang with a knowledgeable local guide, visiting the highlights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and learning about Laos’s rich and colorful culture. Your tour begins at the former Royal Palace, which is now the National Museum. Venture through the corridors and see intriguing displays of historical relics and informative exhibits. Then, take a short walk to neighboring Wat Mai, a Buddhist temple whose gold-covered bas-relief reveals an incredible piece of craftsmanship. While here, you will learn about Buddhism and how its influence permeates the local culture. Continue through the streets of Luang Prabang to Wat Sensoukarahm, a temple noted for its dazzling gold façade. The final visit is to Wat Xieng Thong, one of the oldest and most revered temples in the country, filled with ornate carvings and mosaics. This afternoon, you will explore Luang Prabang with Francis Engelmann, a specialist in Lao architecture, learning how the buildings here have evolved over time, influenced by various historical and cultural factors. The excursion focuses on the four different building types identified by UNESCO. From traditional bamboo buildings to Chinese-style shophouses, the buildings reflect different eras in the country’s history.

    Hotel: Rosewood Luang Parabang

    Rosewood Luang Parabang

    DAY 7 – Luang Prabang

    This morning, a cooking master class delves into the rich culinary heritage of Royal Laotian cuisine. Forage for fresh produce, roots, and leaves during a tour of the morning market and a nearby farm. Learn how to prepare recipes using traditional methods without the help of modern shortcuts. After lunch, it’s time to say goodbye, with a transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

Speak to our Travel Designers about combining this itinerary with a pre or post-luxury cruise.

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