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Mekong Adventure

A fascinating journey through southern Laos and northern Cambodia from Vientiane to Phnom Penh

Follow the Mekong by road and river

A 2 week Laos adventure following the mighty Mekong River south from the Lao capital Vientiane through rarely visited central Laos; the awe inspiring limestone karst scenery of Thakaek, old colonial river ports of Savannahket and Pakse to the bucolic landscapes of the 4,000 Islands and the majestic Khonephapaeng Falls on the Lao, Cambodian border. From here we’ll continue down the Mekong by boat into northern Cambodia and on to the modern day capital of Phnom Penh.

An unforgettable journey by land and river through some of the most spectacular, but little known, scenery that Southeast Asia has to offer.

Laos

Itinerary

Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

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Day 1 - Vientiane - arrival and Mekong sunset

Morning arrival in the Lao capital Vientiane and an afternoon at leisure to recover from jet-lag, explore the local markets or perhaps stretch your legs with a stroll along the Mekong waterfront & sundowners in a riverbank cafe?

Extra nights in Vientiane prior to your tour are available on request.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can also be arranged.

Overnight: Vientiane Transport: Walk,  Meals: D, 

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Day 2 - Vientiane - tour of the city sights

Day tour of some of the city’s fascinating sites; Si Saket Temple with its 1,000 Buddha images, the bustling morning market and Vientiane’s most famous monument, That Luang, as well as the unusual ‘Buddha Park’. Less cheerful, but an important and highly informative stop, will be made at the excellent COPE exhibition centre, highlighting a problem the local people face daily in the form of unexploded ordnance due to heavy bombing during the Vietnam War.

Overnight: Vientiane Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, 

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Day 3 - Hin Boun - spectacular Khammoune Province

Leave Vientiane for a leisurely drive southeast to Khammoune, one of Laos’s most picturesque, yet least visited provinces. Visits along the way will include a 15th century stupa, a hill-tribe market and plenty of photo opportunities! Afternoon arrival in Hin Boun, a remote village set among dramatic limestone scenery. Time to relax or explore the area.

Overnight: Hin Boun Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 4 - Hin Boun - boat journey up an underground river

Departure by boat for an exploration of the incredible Konglor Cave – a 7 km long cavern with spectacular stalactite formations and an underground river running from end to end. On traversing the cave we’ll have an opportunity for a hike through the hidden valley on the far side before completing our day with a transfer to the nearby town of Thakaek – an old Mekong river port from the French era – in time for sunset on the waterfront.

Overnight: Thakaek Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 5 - Hin Boun - day hike and on to Savannakhet

A fascinating day trip through the area’s awesome limestone landscapes including a forest hike where local guides will show you traditional food and medicines collected by the local inhabitants; a walk around the serene Nong Thao Lake to discover local fishing techniques, stop-offs in rarely visited villages and a visit to a secret 300 year old cave temple, only discovered in 2004. Late afternoon drive to Savannakhet for our night’s accommodation.

Overnight: Savannakhet Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 6 - Pakse - drive from Savannakhet and afternoon at leisure

Continue south along the Mekong River Valley to another old French period river port, Pakse. Lunchtime arrival with the afternoon at leisure to explore the local markets, try out a Lao style spa, or just relax and take in the views from the hotel’s roof-top cafe?

Overnight: Pakse Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 7 - Boloven Plateau - coffee plantations and waterfalls

Day tour of some of the sites of the Boloven Plateau, home to numerous ethnic minorities and the centre of Lao’s coffee growing industry including visits to one of the area’s coffee plantations, a fascinating local market and a chance to bathe in the spectacular Tad Yeuang Falls.

Overnight: Pakse Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, 

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Day 8 - Champassak - down the Mekong to Wat Phu

Back on to the Mekong River for a boat trip south to the small, historic town of Champassak. Afternoon tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wat Phu, a pre-Angkor, Khmer temple dramatically situated on a mountain side overlooking the valley of the Mekong.

Overnight: Champassak Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 9 - Kietngong - hike to mysterious ruins

Morning to explore tranquil Champassak Town before a transfer across the Mekong to Kietngong Village for a stay in the delightful Kingfisher Eco Lodge on the edge of the Sepian national Biodiversity Area. Afternoon hike to discover the mysterious hill-top ruins of Phu Asa, with of course time to relax on your balcony to admire the superb views in this charming setting.

Overnight: Champassak Transport: Minibus, Plane, Walk,  Meals: B, L, 

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Day 10 - The 4,000 Islands - land and river journey to Don Khone

Continue south to the ‘4 thousand islands’ – a stretch of the Mekong River of truly outstanding natural beauty straddling the Lao, Cambodian border – where we’ll stay in riverside chalets on Khone Island.

Overnight: Khone Island Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 11 - Don Khone - Khone Phapaeng Falls and dolphins

Explore some of the islands by boat, kayak and on foot. Visit Southeast Asia’s largest waterfalls, the stunning Khone Phapaeng Falls, and with luck catch a glimpse of some of the rare freshwater dolphins which still inhabit this stretch of the river.

Overnight: Khone Island Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, L, 

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Day 12 - Kratie - down the Mekong through northern Cambodia

Continuing down the Mekong we’ll follow the picturesque jungle-lined river into Cambodia and the remote town of Stung Treng. Here we’ll visit a traditional silk weaving workshop before continuing overland, south to the old French port of Kratie for our night’s accommodation. Afternoon to wander the bustling river front area.

Overnight: Kratie Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 13 - Phnom Penh - overland via Kompong Cham

The final leg of our journey will take us overland via Kompong Cham and a visit to the well -preserved Angkor era temple of Wat Nokor to Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh.

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 14 - Phnom Penh - morning at leisure and end of tour

Morning at leisure; relax by the pool or grab some last-minute shopping and lunchtime departure

Extra nights in Phnom Penh after your tour are available on request.

Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.

Overnight: Departure Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary

Details

The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Laos, Luang Prabang night market

Just a few of the many highlights

Travel up an underground river in Thakaek; hike through Hin Boun's incredible karst landscape, explore the Boloven Plateau, visit the UNESCO ruins at Wat Phu and kayak down the Mekong to one of the world's greatest waterfalls

  • Visit the sights of Vientiane, Laos’s charming Mekong-side capital
  • Explore the rarely visited Khammouane Province of Central Laos with the incredible limestone scenery of Hin Boun
  • Introductory tour of Phnom Penh; fast recovering from its recent tragic history to regain its place as one of Indochina's most attractive
  • Travel by boat on a scenic Mekong River trip through northern Cambodia
  • Visit the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wat Phu; an Angkor period temple overlooking the Mekong Valley
  • Meet the exceptionally friendly and welcoming local people ...and last but not least, sample the sumptuous, varied and contrasting local cu

The map is currently being updated...

Air Departures (UK)

  • 29 September 17 2,475 GBP
  • 28 October 17 2,475 GBP
  • 26 November 17 2,475 GBP
  • 22 December 17 2,675 GBP
  • 20 January 18 2,475 GBP
  • 11 February 18 2,475 GBP
  • 12 March 18 2,475 GBP
  • 7 April 18 2,475 GBP
  • 4 May 18 2,475 GBP
  • 30 May 18 2,475 GBP
  • 26 June 18 2,475 GBP
  • 23 July 18 2,575 GBP
  • 18 August 18 2,575 GBP
  • 17 September 18 2,475 GBP
  • 12 October 18 2,475 GBP
  • 4 November 18 2,475 GBP
  • 29 November 18 2,475 GBP
  • 25 December 18 2,675 GBP

Land Departures

  • 30 September 17 1,625 GBP
  • 29 October 17 1,625 GBP
  • 27 November 17 1,625 GBP
  • 23 December 17 1,625 GBP
  • 21 January 18 1,625 GBP
  • 12 February 18 1,625 GBP
  • 13 March 18 1,625 GBP
  • 8 April 18 1,625 GBP
  • 5 May 18 1,625 GBP
  • 31 May 18 1,625 GBP
  • 27 June 18 1,625 GBP
  • 24 July 18 1,625 GBP
  • 19 August 18 1,625 GBP
  • 18 September 18 1,625 GBP
  • 13 October 18 1,625 GBP
  • 5 November 18 1,625 GBP
  • 30 November 18 1,625 GBP
  • 26 December 18 1,625 GBP

Guaranteed Limited Places Special Price Solo Traveller Closed

*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Vientiane

*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.

We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...

Villa Langka, Phnom Penh view

  • Lush garden setting with pool
  • Very convenient central but quiet location
  • Helpful, friendly and efficient staff

Sengtawan Riverside Hotel, Vientiane view

  • Central but quiet location in Vientiane
  • Scenic riverside setting overlooking the Mekong
  • Great rooftop bar and restaurant

Kingfisher Eco-lodge, Kiet Ngong view

  • The superb Kingfisher Eco-lodge in Kietngong village
  • Luxury in the middle of nowhere!
  • Spacious, traditional style stilt chalets

Pakse Hotel, Pakse view

  • Splendid views from the hotel's rooftop bar and restaurant
  • Sip a cold one as you watch the sun set over the Mekong
  • Central but quiet location in the old port town

Seng Ahloune Resort, 4,000 Islands

  • Scenic riverside location
  • Located on Khone Island in Sth Laos's scenic '4,000 Islands'
  • Traditional style wooden chalets

Hilary’s Boutique Hotel, Phnom Penh view

  • Central but peaceful location in bustling Phnom Penh
  • Small, family run hotel
  • Garden setting, pool and in-house cafe/bar/restaurant

*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.

Visa Info & Notes

Laos: visas are available on arrival at Vientiane International Airport for between $30 & $42 depending upon nationality

Cambodia: No visa in advance is required. A 30 day visa is issued on arrival at the Cambodian border on day 16. (Approx. $33 plus a passport photo)

Further info: more details and photos of our Mekong Adventure tour or check our suggested reading and viewing list here.

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