15 Day Cruise
From US$6,300 pp
The double decked vessel to be named RV Sabei Pandaw is designed to meet the navigational challenges of shooting the rapids in the Laos gorges with its shallow draft and powerful engines to ensure year-round passage.
The Sabei will have just twelve classic Pandaw staterooms; eight on the main deck and four on the upper deck as well as an open plan saloon with flexible indoor or outdoor dining. The Sabei will be handcrafted to our usual level of excellence in teak and brass and provide all the comforts of the personalised service our guests expect.
The Sabei will sail between Vientiane, the Laos capital, and Jinghong in China. This is a unique expedition only offered by Pandaw, traversing Laos, Thailand, Burma and China. Highlights include the ancient Laos capital of Luang Prabang, visits to tribal villages, national parks and the river itself which is intensely dramatic and wild.
For the adventurous, the new Sabei Pandaw offers a great base from which to experience expeditions ashore, trekking or by mountain bike. Cuisine on board is a blend of flavours from Laos and Thailand but our expert chefs are always happy to prepare international dishes upon request.
DAY 1 LUANG PRABANG
Embark by noon for a lunch followed by an afternoon walking tour of this World Heritage Site with its delightful traditional Laos wooden houses and many gilded monasteries. Return to ship for drinks and dinner and a welcoming Lao baci ceremony.
DAY 2 LUANG PRABANG
Guided visit to the key Buddhist temples, libraries and the Royal Palace. Afternoon at leisure for individual explorations of the area. In the evening visit Luang Prabang’s lively night market with its buzzing café life.
DAY 3 KUANG SI FALLS
Morning drive to the amazing jungle pools below the Khaung Si waterfall and visit to a fascinating butterfly garden. This afternoon we will sail upstream towards Pak Ou. At the riverbank we will experience sandbank canapés and cocktails.
DAY 4 PAK OU BUDDHA CAVES
This morning we visit Pak Ou, a Buddhist sanctuary with spectacular limestone cliff faces. We explore deeper using a local boat and pay a visit to the so called “Whisky Village”. Back on board for lunch, we sail further upstream. Jungle mooring.
DAY 5 SAILING THE MEKONG
An exciting day spent sailing through dramatic scenery with lush jungle and forest punctuated by tiny villages clinging to the river bank. Stop for a walk ashore and there will be a presentation by the guide on Laos language and culture. Jungle mooring.
DAY 6 PAK BENG
The scenery becomes even more dramatic and the river faster and more treacherous. This passage can be very exciting and most passengers sit spellbound on deck. Morning cooking demonstration of favourite Laos dishes by our Pandaw chefs. Afternoon walk around the market town of Pak Beng. Jungle mooring.
DAY 7 SAILING THE MEKONG
A long sailing day covering a considerable distance but punctuated by a morning walk around Ban Pak Sit village, a traditional riverside village full of charm and life, and an afternoon walk around Pak Tha village. Village mooring.
DAY 8 INTO THAILAND
After an afternoon visit to the local pagoda, we proceed to Lao and Thai Immigration, joining the Pandaw ship again in Chiang Kong. Sail further into Thailand in the late afternoon and moor overnight in Chiang Kong.
DAY 9 GOLDEN TRIANGLE
Here the river forms the border between Thailand and Laos. Ashore to visit a Thai village and see a very different culture.In the evening traditional Thai dancers will perform on the deck. Overnight in Chiang Saen.
DAY 10 CHIANG SAEN
After breakfast, visit the Golden Triangle and Opium Museum and enter Burma exploring the smuggler city of Tachilek and its extraordinary market, essentially a massive duty free area. Back on board, we pass through Thai Immigration and sail on, with Laos on our right and Burma on our left. Jungle mooring.
DAY 11 BAN DOM MOON
Leaving behind the bustle of the Golden Triangle we return to a Mekong that is now narrower and faster than anything encountered so far on this journey. Afternoon walk around the Pok Lok village followed by a talk by our guide on the region’s ethnography.
DAY 12 SOB LUOY
Visit Ban Pak Keo village, one of the two villages along the Mekong, famous for producing lao-lao, the so-called Laotian whisky or rice wine. Earthenware jars are covered over a period with water and rice, so that the rice ferments to produce the liquor. Stop at Ban Na Kor (Sob Luoy Port) in the afternoon and sail on to a remote sand bank to moor for the night. Canapés and cocktails are served on the sandbank followed by local Laos folklore stories and traditional floating fire lanterns.
DAY 13 GUAN LEI
Crossing into China at Guan Lei Port in the morning, we are free to take a walk and explore before passing immigration. Sail the final stretch of the scenic and dramatic Mekong in China to Jinghong where we moor overnight.
NB: In the event that water levels are too low, too high or the flow too fast, we may not reach Jinghong. In this case you will be transferred for the final stretch by speed boat and lodged in the best available four or five star hotel.
DAY 14 JINGHONG
Jinghong was founded in 1180 by Tai King Phanya Coeng. Its turbulent history has been influenced by Thai, Burmese and Chinese occupations, which can be seen in its buildings and the local language. Today we visit Manting Park and the Tropical Plants Institute.
On our final evening in Jinghong, experience an evening cultural show at Maxmumbani, where dancers from 38 different ethnic groups display their traditions with acrobatics and fascinating story of China and its people. Moor overnight in Jinghong Port.
DAY 15 JINGHONG
Disembark after breakfast.
Please note this expedition is NOT suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
14 NIGHTS LAOS - CHINA FROM US$6,300 pp
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES
Notes on our prices
The guide prices shown are designed to provide you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
Prices are generally for private arrangements based on two people travelling together and sharing a room. There are a number of factors which will influence the price; these include the standard of accommodation, the season, and the level of private guiding versus shared excursions.
- Cruise Price Includes:
Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water. Transfers from Vientiane or Udon Thani to ship in Vientiane or v.v. Transfers from Jinghong airport/hotel to ship in Jinghong.
- Cruise Price Excludes:
International flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), imported beverages such as wines, premium spirits and liqueurs, fancy soft drinks like Perrier, espressos and cappuccinos at bar and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.
Value for money
We believe that value for money is important, we want you to travel with ICAN Holidays again. When comparing prices, ensure you are comparing like for like as often there may be a cheaper option, but there may be hidden extras or the quality may not be as good.
LAOS - CHINA - 15 Days
See it all, from Laos to China, Yunnan Province