We expertize in customizing comfortable, private, exploring trip in the Kingdom of Thailand and Indochina
14 Days in Bangkok - Nakhon Ratchasima - Udon Thani - Nong Khai - Vientiane - Luang Prabang
Price starts at USD 3,442/person for group of 4 (4 stars hotel)
Discover Bangkok, Viantiene, Luang Prabang on the unique cruise along the great Mekong
We will start the trip with colorful Bangkok with dinner with stunning panoramic view of Bangkok, and dinner cruise along the splendid Chaophraya River. Then follow the trail of Thai culture and nature to the northeast.
We will visit the Pimai Historical Park to witness the influence of Khmer culture in the past, together with many interesting museums along the route then take the 6-day cruise along the great Mekong from Vientiane to Luang Prabang in style. Along the cruise, we will visit other small towns, which live their lives the same way as they do a hundred years ago.
Day 1: Jim Thompson Thai House and Museum, Bangkok Art & Culture Center (-, -, D)
Morning: Check in and relax
Afternoon: Visit Jim Thompson Thai House & Museum and Bangkok Art & Culture Centre
Jim Thompson was the benefactor silk entrepreneur who improved the quality of Thai silk production and make Thai silk well known the world over. The museum houses valuable art items from countries in South East Asian countries e.g. the ancient statue from Myanmar, the table previously used by Thai King Rama V. The museum itself is old Thai houses relocated from other part of the country.
Dinner: Sky roof dinner with Bangkok Panoramic View
Day 2: Grand Palace & Temple of Buddha, Thailand National Museum / Museum Siam / Arts of the Kingdom (B, L, D)
Morning: Grand Palace & Temple of Emerald Buddha
The Grand Palace has an area of 218,400 sq. metres and is surrounded by walls built in 1782. The length of the four walls is 1,900 metres. Within these walls, situated government offices and the Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha besides the royal residences.
When Siam restored law and order after the fall of Ayutthaya (the previous capital of Siam), the monarch lived in Thonburi which is on the west side of the Chaophraya river. King Rama I, on ascending the throne, moved the centre of administration to this side of the Chao Phraya river and, after erecting public monuments such as fortifications and monasteries, built a palace to serve not only as his residence but also as his offices--the various ministries, only one of which remains in the palace.
This palace came to be known as the Grand Palace, in which the earliest edifices contemporary with the foundation of Bangkok were the two groups of residences named the Dusit Maha Prasat and the Phra Maha Monthian.
Afternoon: Visit Bangkok National Museum / Museum Siam / Arts of the Kingdom
Bangkok National Museum, dates back to 1874 when His Majesty, King Rama V opened the first public "museum" to exhibit the royal collection of King Rama IV, and other objects of general interest, at the Concordia Pavilion inside the Brand Palace. Later, the Museum was transferred to its present site, the "Wang Na", or "Palace to the Front" which had been the palace of the Prince Successor. In 1926, it was named the "Bangkok Museum" and subsequently developed into the Bangkok National Museum.
The National Gallery: Opened in 1974, the gallery exhibits traditional Thai art (starting around the 17th century) and moves through the ages to contemporary paintings, sculptures and graphic art created by current local artists. The gallery also houses pieces created by His Majesty the King.
Dinner: Chaophraya Dinner Cruise
Enjoy the sumptuous meal on the 2-hour dinner cruise along the Chaophraya river, the bloodline of Siam. You will also enjoy the scenery of the historic venues along the river built when the river was still the main transportation route of the Kingdom e.g.
- French Church of immaculate conception which was restored by French some 160 years ago. The neighborhood as the refuge of Cambodian, then later Vietnamese when there were hard times in those countries
- Santa Cruz Church; initially built by Portuguese merchants almost 250 years ago. The current Church is the third restoration in 1925 A.D. Designed by two Italian architects
- Temple of Dawn; the most admirable scene along the River. The temple used to house the Emerald Buddha image until it was later moved to Grand Palace in 1785 A.D.
- Flower market; the biggest flower market in the kingdom used to rely on the river as the main transportation route
- Rama 9 Bridge; the second longest cable-stayed span in the world when it was launched in 1987 A.D. It was built as the 60th anniversary for the King accession the throne
Day 3: en route to Nakhon Ratchasima and Petrified Wood Museum (B, L, D)
Morning: Hotel Breakfast and depart for Nakhon Ratchasima
Afternoon: Visit Petrified Wood Museum
Petrified Wood Museum (Korat): The petrified wood was firstly found in Nakorn ratchasima about a hundred years ago when King Rama VI visited the construction site of the railway crossing Mun River. A lot of petrified wood has been unearthed in 1956-8 during the construction of ‘super highway’ project linking the northeastern area with central part of the country and Bangkok. The museum was built to collect and research these wood properly and also protect them from the smugglers.
Overnight in Nakhon Ratchasima
Day 4: Phimai Historical Park
Morning: Hotel Breakfast and visit Phimai Historical Park
Phimai Historical Park. The temple marks one end of the Ancient Khmer Highway from Angkor. As the enclosed area of 1020x580m is comparable with that of Angkor Wat, Phimai must have been an important city in the Khmer empire. Most buildings are from the late 11th to the late 12th century, built in the Baphuon, Bayon and Angkor Wat style. However, even though the Khmer at that time were Hindu, the temple was built as a Buddhist temple, as Buddhism in the Khorat area dated back to the 7th century. Inscriptions name the site Vimayapura (which means city of Vimaya), which developed into the Thai name Phimai.
Afternoon: Nakhon Ratchasima city tour & handicraft shopping
Day 5: en route to Udon Thani and visit Ban Chiang World Heritage (B, L, D)
Morning: Hotel Breakfast and depart for Udon Thani
Afternoon: Visit Ban Chiang World Heritage Site and depart for Nong Khai
Ban Chiang is considered the most important prehistoric settlement so far discovered in South-East Asia which is dated back to the Before Christ era. It marks an important stage in human cultural, social and technological evolution. The site presents the earliest evidence of farming in the region and of the manufacture and use of metals.
Overnightt in Nong Khai (The 7th Best Living Town in the World by Modern Maturity Magazine)
Day 6: Buddha’s Relics and Chet Si Waterfall (B, L, D)
Morning: Hotel Breakfast then visit Bang Puan Buddha’s Relics and Phu Tok Temple
Bang Puan Buddha’s Relics was built approximately in 2000 B.E. (1457 A.D.) to keep the Buddha’s Relics from Bodh Gaya (The place where Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment), India and it was renovated in 2520 B.E. (1977 A.D.)
Phu Tok Temple is known as the serene temple in the forest with wooden stairs toward the top of the mountain where the simple Buddha Temple was built uniqely well with the wonder of nature, where the big rock naturally hang itself over the top. The Buddha’s Relics is kept in that temple. The scene from the stairs toward the Buddha Temple at the top should not be missed!
Afternoon: Chet Si Waterfall (Waterfall of seven colors)
Chet Si Waterfall. This very beautiful waterfall, especially during the rainy season, originates from a stream of Huai Ka-am and flows along a high sandstone cliff to spread over a long line. The falling water that hits the rocks below causes a spray of water which gives rainbow colors when seen in sunlight. So came the name “Namtok Chet Si,” which means a waterfall of seven colors.
Overnight in Nong Khai
Day 7: Nong Kai City sightseeing and en route to Vientiane (B, L, D)
Morning: Hotel Breakfast and city sightseeing
Nong Khai (The 7th Best Living Town in the World by Modern Maturity Magazine) is a sleepy Thai town with strong Lao influences, and is home to small Chinese and Vietnamese communities as well. Most locals speak both Thai and the local dialect called Isaan, which is closely related to both the Thai and Lao languages. Many locals speak a little bit of English, mostly tourism-related words, and are generally very friendly and helpful if you smile and are polite.
Afternoon: Depart for Vientiane and visit Haw Phra Kaew
Haw Phra Kaew was built between 1565 and 1556, on the orders of King Setthathirath. The temple housed the Emerald Buddha figurine, which Setthathirath had brought from Chiang Mai, then the capital of Lanna, to Luang Prabang. When Vientiane was seized by Siam (now Thailand) in 1778, the figurine was taken to Thonburi and the temple was destroyed. After it was rebuilt by King Annouvong of Vientiane in the 19th century, it was again destroyed by Siamese forces when King Annouvong rebelled against Siam in an attempt to regain full independence. The revered Buddha now resides in the Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok. The temple was rebuilt for a third time by the French in the 1920's, during colonization of French Indochina
Overnight in Vientiane
Day 8 – 13 Mekong Cruise from Vientiane to Luang Prabang (day 13 overnight in Luan Prabang)
VIENTIANE – EMBARKATION (-/-/D)
DAY 8: (B, -, D)
In the afternoon, you will embark on the Mekong Sun/ Explorer, a comfortable Laotian cruise ship. These unique vessels are the first German-Laotian owned river ship with cabins on the upper Mekong. Settle into your accommodating cabin and unpack for a six-day cruise. (Check-in is at 2:00 PM). In the afternoon you will visit the national symbol of Laos, the That Luang temple and the picturesque Arc de Triumph. Enjoy the spacious decks, lounge on board and attend your welcome reception and dinner this evening. A selection of Asian and European food will be provided throughout the cruise. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.
Day 9: DEPART VIENTIANE (B, L, D)
The morning your vessel start for your spectacular river cruise upstream into formerly inaccessible parts of the Mekong river. The night is spent on a beautiful sandbank, surrounded by nothing but pure nature. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.
Day 10: WILD NATURE ALONG THE MIGHTY MEKONG (B, L, D)
Further north you will discover some of the most remarkable, most impressive landscapes of this still-untamed river. The landscape becomes more and more spectacular: hills covered with tropical vegetation, awe-inspiring rock formations along the river banks, and a fascinating array of fast currents and slower river parts. The power of the mighty Mekong will give your cruise the feeling of a real expedition. Enjoy the beautiful views and watch nature’s wonders along the riverbanks before you head north again and stop at a remote sandbank for the night. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.
Day 11: PAK LAY (B, L, D)
Upstream you will stop at the small riverside community of Pak Lay, known for once possessing many colonial buildings. The purely natural landscape is only broken by the seldom sights of small villages and local herds of cattle. Enjoy the comfort and service onboard: exclusive, yet casual, you’ll share the boat with no more than 26/30 fellow guests. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.
Day 12: THA DEUA (B, L, D)
During and after breakfast on board, enjoy the beautiful view and possibly watch local fishermen along the shore. Today you will see the Mekong ferry crossing at Tha Deua, connecting Luang Prabang Province with the Sayaboury province. Overnight aboard the Mekong Sun/ Explorer.
Day 13: KUANG SI – LUANG PRABANG (B, L, -)
A shore excursion will take you to the Kuang Si-waterfalls, some of the most attractive waterfalls in Laos. This afternoon you will reach Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Luang Prabang you will say goodbye to your Lao crew. Check out and disembarkation. This is the end of the cruise trip.
NOTE: Every river cruise on the upper Mekong is a pioneer experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions including flood waters and shallows. Therefore please understand that we must reserve the right to alter the itinerary of this tour due to the logistical complexities involved. Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, local authorities and river and/or road conditions. For safety reasons and according to navigating conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice.
Day 14: Luang Prabang City Tour (B, -, -)
Morning: Hotel Breakfast then Luang Prabang City Tour
Luang Prabang: Set at the confluence of two rivers that almost surround the town, and beneath a temple-topped hill, Luang Prabang is a wonderful patchwork of traditional Lao wooden houses and hints of European architecture - reminders of when Laos was part of the French colony of Indochine. Golden-roofed wats (temples), decorated with mosaics and murals of the life of Buddha, sit under the gaze of wrap-around teak balconies and 19th century shuttered windows. All of this is set against a backdrop of verdant greenery and rugged mountains.
One of those small cities with atmospheric and charming personalities, Luang Prabang is now in the radar of most tourists who have been or dream of going to Venice (the mother of all atmospheric cities with charming personalities), Salzburg, Dubrovnik, Ubod, Hoi An, Cuzco, San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Puebla, Morelia, Oaxaca, Napier or Santa Barbara in California.
As a visitor, you cannot help but be amazed by the tidiness and cleanliness of perhaps the most charming city in all of Southeast Asia. With UNESCO so closely involved and a largely responsible group of local business owners, the pressures of mass tourism development have been held at bay, but for how much longer remains to be seen. Restaurants in the main street cater for luxury tourists. More typical Lao venues can still be found along the Mekong
Transfer to airport (end of tour with smile and happiness)
Please be reminded that our most of the program is private (except the cruise) so you can adjust the program to suit your requirement or you may consult us to offer you the program which fit your requirement or schedule. You may also buy ‘additional package’ on top of this program. For example, if you want to travel futher to Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, etc., we will be more than happy to arrange it for you.