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Anouvong

The first boutique ship to cruise the Upper Mekong, blends Laotian art with French-Colonial style.

Overview

Launched in 2023, the Anouvong is the first luxury boutique ship to cruise the majestic upper-Mekong river in Laos. This lesser-traveled stretch of one of the world’s most spectacular waterways is home to serene nature, quaint villages and stunning temples. The boat, with a capacity for 20 guests, was fittingly named after a former King of Lao and blends traditional Laotian ambiance and artwork with French-Colonial finesse.

Your Accommodation

Step aboard Anouvong for an unforgettable voyage as you leisurely cruise past a captivating picture of serene nature, isolated villages and magnificent temples, discovering the most beautiful, remote, riverside areas of Laos in utmost luxury.

Anouvong exudes an aura of exclusivity with just eight Deluxe Staterooms and two sumptuous Signature Suites, occupying both the main and upper decks, with four rooms on each level, all of which are characterized by floor-to-ceiling windows and an attractive French balcony or private terrace overlooking the verdant shores of the Mekong River. The two 30sqm Signature Suites are located at the front of the Main Deck and each has a spacious bathroom with a jacuzzi.

On Board Dining

The exquisite De-Lagrée Dining Hall—named after the leader of the French Mekong Expedition of 1866-1868—honors Luang Prabang’s temples and presents five-star cuisine showcasing the rich and flavorful dishes of Laos and Southeast Asia. Your voyage includes à la carte meals and bountiful buffets, alfresco breakfasts and barbecues, sandbank aperitifs and in-suite afternoon teas.

From the dining hall, walk up the classic wooden staircase to find the glass-encased Café-bar & Lounge, offering a laid-back experience in air-conditioned comfort with elegantly designed sofas, cushioned rattan chairs, and massive windows allowing fabulous views of the dramatic scenery. Shaded sunbeds line the Terrace Deck, and it’s here that cultural shows take place, such as the traditional Baci ceremony for good blessings.

Relaxation

Every morning at sunrise, find your inspiration and get ready for the day at the meditative Tai Chi class against a backdrop of rural life, where stilt houses and rice fields look like something straight out of a movie set.

The most peaceful place aboard Anouvong is the Bodhi Spa, filled with the calming aromas and gentle music. This blissful wellness sanctuary with its Laotian spiritual theme and grand tree of life mural offers various treatments for singles and couples at any time of the day. Watch evening cinema screenings or learn about the country’s rich culture through fascinating on-board demonstrations, or lectures conducted in the lounge by local historians. Other activities include local dance & music performances, cooking classes, kayaking and board games.

Your Experience

Laos is Asia in slow motion. Here, vivid nature, voluptuous landscapes, a vibrant culture and hospitable people invite you to discover a country untainted by mass tourism. The Anouvong Cruise leisurely meanders through unchanged local life and captivating riverscapes on different itineraries between the Thai-Lao border, Luang Prabang and Vientiane, and vice versa.

From its colonial and religious heritage to more nature than you can ever imagine, these splendid voyages through fabled Laos possess all of the ingredients for an unforgettable adventure.

Itineraries & Prices

All itineraries are subject to change due to seasonal weather conditions (and resultant variations in river and tributary water levels) affecting accessibility to locations. Thus navigation routes, times and excursions may need to be modified at the cruise captain’s or your guide's discretion.

1 / 8
4-Day July-Oct
4-Day July-Oct
4-Day Nov-April
4-Day Nov-April
8-Day July-Oct
8-Day Nov-April
10-Day July-Oct
10-Day Nov-April

4 Day - Golden Triangle Traverse: Luang Prabang - Huay Xai

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: In the morning, we extend a warm welcome to guests at the mooring of the Heritage Line ‘Anouvong’ in the city center of Luang Prabang. Our dedicated team assists with your check-in and attends to your luggage. Once ready, the captain of the ‘Anouvong’ sets the ship on its captivating 3-night journey along the Upper Mekong.

Heading towards our first destination, the renowned Pak Ou Caves, our expert guide presents an engaging lecture on the intricate tapestry of Laos' diverse ethnic groups along the Mekong River. Over the next few days, you'll immerse yourself in the fascinating array of cultural lifestyles, characteristics, and traditions.

Arriving at the Pak Ou Caves, nestled along the rocky shore of the Mekong, there are two grottoes sheltering approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images. We delve into the lower cave, the most impressive and easily accessible. Post-cave visit, Heritage Line offers two optional choices to enhance your excursion: an adventurous kayak tour along the serene Nam Ou River or a visit of the nearby village of Ban Muang Keo, known for traditional silk weaving Lao whisky distillation. We also meet in this village a local “medicine man” (if time and availability permit) who explains the traditional ways of treatments using mother nature as a natural pharmacy.

PM: As the afternoon progresses, we reach our mooring location for the night and explore the 200-year-old village of Ban Khok Phou. Primarily inhabited by the Lao ethnicity, many villagers engage in mountain farming. Gain insight into their practices and witness the collection and processing of agricultural products. The highlight is the traditional Baci ceremony, a heartfelt Laotian ritual led by local elders, bestowing blessings upon your journey. If time permits, we may ascend to a small temple, offering moments of quiet meditation with the local monk and novices.

The evening begins with a welcome cocktail on the sandbank, followed by a barbecue dinner amid astonishing natural beauty. Welcome to a memorable exploration of Laotian culture along the Mekong.

Anouvong's Golden Triangle Traverse Upstream Day One - Luang Prabang
Location
Luang Prabang
Day
1 / 4

Khok Phou - Had Sako - Khok Ek

AM: For early risers, our daily yoga class on the terrace deck, framed by the stunning Mekong backdrop, offers a refreshing start to the day.

The ship sets sail early, allowing you to enjoy breakfast while observing the morning life of nature along the river. Our mid-morning stop takes us to the enchanting village of Had Sako, a hidden treasure nestled in the mountains. Thriving with the Hmong ethnic community, known for their unique cultivation of corn, this village stands out among the various ethnic groups. Traverse a picturesque path through the rainforest to reach this secluded village, witnessing the traditional farming practices of the Hmong people and gaining insights into their agricultural methods. The highlight awaits at a local house, where residents adorned in traditional costumes will introduce the intriguing traditional instrument called “Kene” and treat us to the hypnotic melodies of this flute accompanied by a unique dance.

PM: Sailing into mid-afternoon, another breath-taking riverine spectacle awaits as we arrive at another remarkable village. Here, three distinct ethnic groups—Hmong, Lao Loum, and Khamo—coexist almost literally under one roof. Each group possesses its own unique history, traditions, ways of life, family dynamics, and housing styles. Venture into the village to a family home where representatives from each ethnic group will showcase and explain their differences and characteristics in day-to-day life. The theory provided the day before, through our lecture, suddenly comes alive before your eyes. If time allows and the season permits, we may offer a glimpse of the organic gardens where villagers nurture their crops (and we can try one or other local produce).

Back on board, as the afternoon transitions to evening, gather at the bar to enjoy snacks while receiving a preview of the upcoming day's program. Prepare for an enriching experience before dinner as a traditional dance performance takes place on the terrace deck or the sandbank in front of our ship.

After dinner, feel free to join us in the lounge for a cosy cinematic setting featuring "Chiang" (Laotian for “elephant”). This cinematic gem, shot in this very region in 1927 and produced by the same visionary behind the first King Kong movie, promises to set the mood for our next day’s adventure.

Anouvong's Golden Triangle Traverse Upstream Day Two - Upper Mekong
Location
Mekong River
Day
2 / 4

Khok Ek - Pakbeng - Huay Ting

AM: Rise with the sun for the option of an invigorating yoga class. As the ‘Anouvong’ gracefully navigates upstream, indulge your creative side in a bamboo weaving workshop, where you'll craft your own bamboo basket—a cherished memento of this traditional art.

PM: Post-lunch, the next stop of our journey is Pakbeng. Along the riverside opposite of the town and nestled in the jungle lies Laos' most sustainable elephant sanctuary. Here, in an almost pristine natural setting, we have the privilege of encountering these majestic creatures. Born in Laos and once employed as logging elephants, they now find sanctuary in a peaceful and natural environment, their ability to survive in the wild having been curtailed in captivity. The sanctuary, a symbol of ecotourism and sustainability, reflects a deep commitment to these principles. Witnessing these gentle giants in the rainforest, and learning about their unique stories, makes for an unforgettable experience. If time allows, we'll take you to a hilltop vantage point in Pakbeng town (by vehicle), offering breath-taking panoramic views—perfect for capturing enduring memories. There is a remaining small Buddhist temple on the hilltop of the former Lan Na Kingdom. Many of the temples had been destroyed during wars with the Thai Kingdom 300 years ago.

As the afternoon unfolds, our journey continues, culminating in our final overnight mooring spot. Once again, we anchor at a splendid sandbank, creating a picturesque setting for a relaxed aperitif, ideally accompanied by a stunning sunset. Subsequently, a farewell dinner is served on the terrace deck, marking the conclusion of this remarkable journey.

Anouvong's Golden Triangle Traverse Upstream Day Three - Local market
Location
Mekong River
Day
3 / 4

Disembarkation

AM: After an exhilarating 3-night cruise, today invites a more leisurely pace, allowing you to savour the memories created during our journey. With a substantial distance to cover before reaching Huay Xai, our final destination, the day unfolds with a blend of relaxation and exploration.

Feel free to extend your morning snooze if desired. Breakfast is intentionally simplified, with fewer choices or à la carte, as we prepare for a diverse culinary brunch later- a prelude to bidding farewell. As we sail into the heart of the Golden Triangle, the morning is yours to relax or engage in our captivating presentation unravelling the intricate history of the Golden Triangle, exploring its complexities of colonialism, opium, conflicts, and the roles played by Burma, Thailand, Laos, Britain, China. The Golden Triangle, where Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos meet, extends far into each country. The name "Golden Triangle" was originally invented by the CIA referring to this area.

We are passing the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Tha River, a major tributary known as the "Green River". Our captain expertly navigates through rocks, rapids, and sandbanks, offering a fascinating observation from the terrace deck.

Just before appetites awaken, we delve into the lifestyle aspect of our final cruising day. Engage in a culinary Lao cooking class, setting the stage for a brunch featuring a buffet spread of enticing mains and desserts to tantalize your taste buds. Relax and relish the concluding tranquil hours of our voyage, with brunch served until approximately an hour before arrival, available in the restaurant, lounge, or on the terrace deck.

PM: As we dock at Huay Xai pier in the mid-afternoon, we facilitate a seamless transfer to the Lao-Thai border, bidding you farewell in front of the Lao immigration office. We extend our best wishes for a pleasant onward journey.

IMPORTANT: Kindly note that subject to low water level, the ship might not be able to sail all the way to Huay Xai and disembarkation will be at PAK THA instead. If so, Heritage Line will instead organize a land transfer to Huay Xai (about 2,5hrs). All timings remain unaffected.

Anouvong's Golden Triangle Traverse Upstream Day Four - Traditional Blessing
Location
Huay Xai
Day
4 / 4
1 / 4

4 Day - Golden Triangle Traverse: Huay Xai-Luang Prabang

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: We welcome guests in the morning after the Lao immigration office. Once all passengers have arrived, we travel by minivan to the ship, moored at Huay Xai Per. Our team assists with your check-in and takes care of your luggage. Once we are ready, the captain brings ‘Anouvong’ on course to begin its captivating 3-Night voyage along the Upper Mekong.

While ‘Avouvong’ makes its way to its first stop, our expert guide holds an interesting lecture about the intricate tapestry of Laos' diverse ethnic groups living along the Mekong River. Over the next few days, you will get to know all these fascinating varieties of different cultural lifestyles, characteristics, and traditions in real life.

As we reach the confluence of the Mekong and a significant tributary, let the river's gentle currents carry you downstream, granting you the gift of uninterrupted natural beauty. Our upcoming destination is a fairly modern village compared to the ones we are about to experience later, inhabited by 800 residents belonging to the Tai Lu ethnic group. This ethnic group spans across China, Laos, Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam. We walk through the village and gather together for a Baci ceremony. This is a heartfelt Laotian ritual conducted by local elders (and maybe monks), gracing your journey with their blessings.

PM: Our vessel continues its journey downstream, reaching our overnight spot at Huay Ting. For the first time, we moor one of these wonderful sandbanks, which sets the stage for a welcome cocktail followed by a welcome dinner with a background of astounding natural beauty. Welcome to the memorable Laotian Mekong.

Anouvong's Golden Triangle Traverse Downstream Day One - Waterfall
Location
Huay Xai
Day
1 / 4

Huay Ting - Pakbeng - Khok Ek

AM: For those who rise with the sun, we extend a warm invitation to our daily morning yoga class on the terrace deck, where the stunning Mekong scenery serves as a backdrop.

Our voyage brings us in the morning to the charming town of Pakbeng. Nestled on the starboard side lies Laos' best-managed elephant sanctuary. We have the privilege of visiting these magnificent creatures in an almost complete natural habitat. All the elephants residing here were born once in Laos and toiled mostly as logging elephants. Since finding refuge in this sanctuary, they've been embraced by peace and security, living in very natural territory. Why not release them into the freedom of Mother Nature? The answer lies in their past as working animals: they've lost to some extent the ability to thrive in the wild, where few of their kind remain. The sanctuary stands as a beacon of ecotourism and sustainability, embodying a profound commitment to these principles. It is a one-of-a-kind encounter to see these gentle creatures appear out of nowhere in the rainforest and learn so many interesting things about them. If we have enough time, we will take you up to the hilltop vantage point located at Pakbeng town (by vehicle) that offers breathtaking panoramic views, perfect for capturing lasting memories through the lens of your camera.

PM: After lunch, we ask for a touch of creativity: through a Bamboo weaving workshop, you can learn this widespread traditional craft and take home your own little bamboo basket as a wonderful memory.

The sailing time into the afternoon offers a breathtaking riverine cinema. We arrive then at a village that has a very interesting character to it. In this place, three distinct ethnic groups - Hmong, Lao Loum, and Khamo – live together almost under “one roof”. Each possesses its unique history, traditions, ways of life, family dynamics, and housing styles. We venture into the village to a family home where representatives from each of these ethnic groups are going to show and explain to us their differences and characteristics in day-to-day life. The theory provided the day before, through our lecture, suddenly comes alive in front of your eyes. If time permits and the season allows, we may offer a glimpse of the organic gardens where villagers nurture their crops (and we can try one or other local produce).

Back on the ship, when the afternoon gives way to the evening, gather at the bar to indulge in snacks while receiving a preview of the upcoming day's program. Before dinner time, some villagers join us to witness on the terrace deck a performance of the traditional instrument named "Kene, and then let us listen to the hypnotic melodies of this flute along with very unique movements.

After dinner, feel free to come to the lounge for a cosy cinema setting featuring "Chiang" (Laotian for “elephant”). This cinematic gem, shot in this very region in 1927 and produced by the same visionary behind the first King Kong movie, promises to set you in the mood for our next day’s adventure.

Anouvong's Golden Triangle Traverse Downstream Day Two - Lounge
Location
Mekong River
Day
2 / 4

Khok Ek - Khok Luang - Khok Phou

AM: Embrace the early morning as the river bathes in the sun's initial rays, offering an open invitation to partake in our daily yoga class.

After breakfast, our morning sojourn leads us to a picturesque village inhabited by the Khum people. Simplicity defines this locale, with bamboo huts elevated on stilts amidst vast rice fields. In this serene setting, we encounter an elderly couple or a multigenerational family deeply rooted in the land, sustaining their livelihood through manual agriculture. Peel back the layers of their daily existence, observing their way of life, and engage in insightful conversations to garner a profound understanding of their unique experiences.

PM: Returning to the ship for lunch, we resume our meandering journey down the river, eventually docking at our overnight mooring spot. Here, we explore the captivating 200-year-old village of Ban Khok Phou, perched just above a splendid expansive white sandbank. Inhabited predominantly by the ethnic Lao, this is a very nice hamlet with a nice square to observe the afternoon life unfolding. If time permits, ascend to a small temple, where you can meet the local monk and novices, providing an opportunity for serene moments of meditation.

Upon returning to the ship for a refresh, the evening unfolds with a cocktail on the sandbank, followed by a farewell dinner meticulously arranged in this perfect setting. Revel in the ambiance of your last evening on the Laotian Mekong River, as the hues of the blue hour gracefully give way to the tranquility of the night.

Anouvong's Golden Triangle Traverse Downstream Day Three - Lao's Cuisine
Location
Mekong River
Day
3 / 4

Disembarkation

AM: Concluding our exhilarating 3-night cruise, we approach the illustrious Pak Ou Caves, a prelude to our arrival in Luang Prabang. Today's breakfast, thoughtfully curated with a streamlined à la carte selection, paves the way for a diverse culinary brunch before our guests disembark.

Arriving at the Pak Ou Caves, nestled along the rocky shore of the Mekong, there are two grottoes sheltering approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images. We delve into the lower cave, the most impressive and easily accessible. Post-cave visit, Heritage Line offers two optional choices to enhance your excursion: an adventurous kayak tour along the serene Nam Ou River or a visit of the nearby village of Ban Muang Keo, known for traditional silk weaving Lao whisky distillation. We also meet in this village a local “medicine man” (if time and availability permit) who explains the traditional ways of treatments using mother nature as a natural pharmacy.

Back on board, just before appetites awaken, we delve into the lifestyle aspect of our final cruising day. Engage in a culinary Lao cooking class, setting the stage for a brunch featuring a buffet spread of enticing mains and desserts to tantalize your taste buds. Relax and relish the concluding tranquil hours of our voyage, with brunch served until approximately an hour before arrival, available in the restaurant, lounge, or on the terrace deck. During this final sailing stretch, we offer a captivating presentation unravelling the intricate history of the Golden Triangle, exploring its complexities of colonialism, opium, conflicts, and the roles played by Burma, Thailand, Laos, Britain, China. The Golden Triangle, where Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos meet, extends far into each country. The name "Golden Triangle" was originally invented by the CIA referring to this area.

PM: Our anticipated arrival in Luang Prabang around 15:00. Upon check-out, we extend our assistance with luggage and any additional requirements, bidding you farewell at the pier in the town centre, wishing you a pleasant onward journey.


Anouvong's Golden Triangle Traverse Downstream Day Four - Cave with Thousands of Buddhas
Location
Luang Prabang
Day
4 / 4
1 / 4

4 Day - Golden Triangle Traverse: Luang Prabang - Huay Ting

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: In the morning, we extend a warm welcome to guests at the mooring of the Heritage Line ‘Anouvong’ in the city center of Luang Prabang. Our dedicated team assists with your check-in and attends to your luggage. Once ready, the captain of the ‘Anouvong’ sets the ship on its captivating 3-night journey along the Upper Mekong.

Heading towards our first destination, the renowned Pak Ou Caves, our expert guide presents an engaging lecture on the intricate tapestry of Laos' diverse ethnic groups along the Mekong River. Over the next few days, you'll immerse yourself in the fascinating array of cultural lifestyles, characteristics, and traditions.

Arriving at the Pak Ou Caves, nestled along the rocky shore of the Mekong, there are two grottoes sheltering approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images. We delve into the lower cave, the most impressive and easily accessible. Post-cave visit, Heritage Line offers two optional choices to enhance your excursion: an adventurous kayak tour along the serene Nam Ou River or a visit of the nearby village of Ban Muang Keo, known for traditional silk weaving Lao whisky distillation. We also meet in this village a local “medicine man” (if time and availability permit) who explains the traditional ways of treatments using mother nature as a natural pharmacy.

PM: As the afternoon progresses, we reach our mooring location for the night and explore the 200-year-old village of Ban Khok Phou. Primarily inhabited by the Lao ethnicity, many villagers engage in mountain farming. Gain insight into their practices and witness the collection and processing of agricultural products. The highlight is the traditional Baci ceremony, a heartfelt Laotian ritual led by local elders, bestowing blessings upon your journey. If time permits, we may ascend to a small temple, offering moments of quiet meditation with the local monk and novices.

The evening begins with a welcome cocktail on the sandbank, followed by a barbecue dinner amid astonishing natural beauty. Welcome to a memorable exploration of Laotian culture along the Mekong.

Anouvong - Golden Triangle Traverse: Luang Prabang - Huay Ting - Day 1
Location
Luang Prabang
Day
1 / 4

Khok Phou - Khok Luang

AM: For early risers, our daily yoga class on the terrace deck, framed by the stunning Mekong backdrop, offers a refreshing start to the day.

The ship sets sail early, allowing you to enjoy breakfast while observing the morning life of nature along the river. Our mid-morning stop takes us to the enchanting village of Khok Luang inhabited by the Khum people. Simplicity defines this locale, with bamboo huts elevated on stilts amidst vast rice fields. In this serene setting, we encounter an elderly couple, or a multigenerational family deeply rooted in the land, sustaining their livelihood through manual agriculture. Peel back the layers of their daily existence, observing their way of life, and engage in insightful conversations to garner a profound understanding of their unique experiences.

PM: We return to the ship for lunch. During the rest of the day, you can enjoy a wonderful sojourn onboard. The ship remains moors at the shores with great views on the river. During the afternoon some onboard entertainment is available. Join us for a Laotian cooking class and learn to make special dishes which can be easily made at home. Relax on the deck or in your cabin. Opt for a spa or rewind in our bar-lounge with a good book or chat with fellow passengers. In the evening, we invite you for a terrace deck dinner (if conditions allow). After dinner, feel free to join us in the lounge for a cozy cinematic setting featuring "Chiang" (Laotian for “elephant”). This cinematic gem, shot in this very region in 1927 and produced by the same visionary behind the first King Kong movie, promises to set the mood for our next day’s adventure.

Anouvong - Golden Triangle Traverse: Luang Prabang - Huay Ting - Day 2
Location
Mekong River
Day
2 / 4

Khok Luang - Khok Ek - Pakbeng

AM: This morning, after breakfast on the ship ‘Anouvong’ we unfortunately have to change the mean of transportation and leaving the ship ‘Anouvong’. The water levels and rapids further up the river do not allow us to pass through with our ship. We transfer to a traditional longtail boat and continue our journey upstream. Enjoy the passing scenery and adventurers ride until we reach the village of Khok Ek. Here, three distinct ethnic groups—Hmong, Lao Loum, and Khamo—coexist almost literally under one roof. Each group possesses its own unique history, traditions, ways of life, family dynamics, and housing styles. Venture into the village to a family home where representatives from each ethnic group will showcase and explain their differences and characteristics in day-to-day life. The theory provided the day before, through our lecture, suddenly comes alive before your eyes. If time allows and the season permits, we may offer a glimpse of the organic gardens where villagers nurture their crops.

PM: Our chef serves lunch aboard the longtail boat whilst we meander towards Pakbeng. Along the riverside opposite of the town and nestled in the jungle lies Laos' most sustainable elephant sanctuary. Here, in an almost pristine natural setting, we have the privilege of encountering these majestic creatures. Born in Laos and once employed as logging elephants, they now find sanctuary in a peaceful and natural environment, their ability to survive in the wild having been curtailed in captivity. The sanctuary, a symbol of ecotourism and sustainability, reflects a deep commitment to these principles. Witnessing these gentle giants in the rainforest, and learning about their unique stories, makes for an unforgettable experience. If time allows, we'll take you to a hilltop vantage point in Pakbeng town (by vehicle), offering breath-taking panoramic views—perfect for capturing enduring memories.

After the excursion you are checking in the Le Grand Hotel & Resort with great views over the town and the river below. Dinner is served at the hotel restaurant.

Anouvong - Golden Triangle Traverse: Luang Prabang - Huay Ting - Day 3
Location
Pak Beng
Day
3 / 4

Disembarkation

AM: Rise with the sun this morning and get ready for your last day on the river. We have to start quite early to be able to manage the distance to Huay Xai. Breakfast is served onboard the longtail boat whilst you can enjoy the morning breeze and the amazing riverbank scenery passing by.

We are passing the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Tha River, a major tributary known as the "Green River" where the captain of our small boat must navigate carefully through rocks, rapids, and sandbanks, allowing us to experience closely the elements of this. During mid-day lunch is served and fruit and drinks are available in between. As we dock at Huay Xai pier in the mid-afternoon, we facilitate a seamless transfer to the Lao-Thai border, bidding you farewell in front of the Lao immigration office. We extend our best wishes for a pleasant onward journey

(Please note that we can arrange transfers to Chiang Rai city or airport or to a resort/hotel in Chiang Sean if you extend your stay in the Golden Triangle on the Thai side.)

Anouvong - Golden Triangle Traverse: Luang Prabang - Huay Ting - Day 4
Location
Huay Ting
Day
4 / 4
1 / 4

4 Day - Golden Triangle Traverse: Huay Xai - Luang Prabang

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: In the morning, Hwe welcome guests at the Lao immigration office (please be on time! Please see timings see in the embarkation guide). After gathering all passengers, we embark on a short minivan ride to the pier, where we board a longtail boat for our transfer in cruise to the ship Heritage Line ‘Anouvong’ (transfer time approx. 08 hours).

PM: During the longtail boat day cruise we are offering you lunch and snacks onboard. Almost our entire crew is with you on the longtail boat to make this journey downstream as pleasant as possible. If you would like to opt for neck & shoulder or foot massage, please approach our team. Our tour guide is going to share some information and insights about the destination we cruise along as well as the Lao culture. Enjoy the ride and observe the fascinating scenery and activities going on at the shores.

We arrive the ship Heritage Line Anouvong around 5pm and you check in to your cabin. Refresh yourself in the comfort of your stateroom before we invite you to a ship and safety briefing. Enjoy a multi-course dinner in the restaurant. If you like you can consider to join our nightly cinema in the lounge showing every evening another interesting movie.

Anouvong - Golden Triangle Traverse: Huay Xai - Luang Prabang  (Downstream) - Day 1
Location
Huay Xai
Day
1 / 4

Kang Hang Yai - Khok Luang - Khok Phou

AM: Embrace the early morning as the river bathes in the sun's initial rays, offering an open invitation to partake in our daily yoga class whilst we are sailing downstream to our first stop.

After breakfast, our morning sojourn leads us to a picturesque village Khok Luang inhabited by the Khum people. Simplicity defines this locale, with bamboo huts elevated on stilts amidst vast rice fields. In this serene setting, we encounter an elderly couple or a multigenerational family deeply rooted in the land, sustaining their livelihood through manual agriculture. Peel back the layers of their daily existence, observing their way of life, and engage in insightful conversations to garner a profound understanding of their unique experiences.

PM: We head back to the ship continue our sailing whilst lunch is served.

Our next stop is the truly charming, small village of Khok Phou. It lays a short walk above an impressive sandbank and is captivating 200-year-old village. Inhabited predominantly by the ethnic Lao, this is a very nice hamlet with a nice square to observe the afternoon life unfolding. The highlight is the traditional Baci ceremony, a heartfelt Laotian ritual led by local elders, bestowing blessings upon your journey. If time permits, ascend to a small temple, where you can meet the local monk and novices, providing an opportunity for serene moments of meditation.

We remain moored at this nice spot. Join us at the lounge for a sunset cocktail and mingle with fellow passengers before heading to dinner. After dinner, feel free to join us again in the lounge for a cosy screening of "Chiang" (Laotian for "elephant"). This cinematic gem, filmed in this very region in 1927 and produced by the visionary behind the first King Kong movie, sets the mood for our next day’s adventure.

Anouvong - Golden Triangle Traverse: Huay Xai - Luang Prabang  (Downstream) - Day 2
Location
Mekong River
Day
2 / 4

Khok Phou - Pak Ou - Ban Mueng Kay

AM: Wake up early to do some yoga exercise again before you move to the breakfast. We are on the way to one of the most spectacular caves in Asia.

Nestled along the rocky shore of the Mekong, there are two grottoes sheltering approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images. By tender boat we reach to the entrance of the cave in the bottom and walk up some stairs to the lower cave. This is the most impressive and easily accessible. Post-cave visit, Heritage Line offers two optional choices to choose from: Join in for an adventurous kayak tour along the serene Nam Ou River or a visit of the nearby village of Ban Muang Keo, known for traditional silk weaving and Lao whisky distillation. We also meet in this village a local “medicine man” (if time and availability permit) who explains the traditional ways of treatments using mother nature as a natural pharmacy.

PM: Back on board, we enjoy our lunch as the boats sails further downstream passing actual Luang Prabang. During the afternoon sailing we offer a presentation unravelling the intricate history of the Golden Triangle, exploring its complexities of colonialism, opium, conflicts, and the roles played by Burma, Thailand, Laos, Britain, China. The Golden Triangle, where Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos meet, extends far into each country. The name "Golden Triangle" was originally invented by the CIA referring to this area.

We are mooring overnight moored to a sandbank where we invite you to a farewell dinner onshore. Enjoy your last night with your fellow passenger and our crew who is eager to entertain you with a local dance performance.

Anouvong - Golden Triangle Traverse: Huay Xai - Luang Prabang  (Downstream) - Day 3
Location
Mekong River
Day
3 / 4

Disembarkation

AM: On your last day of your journey, we offer you two more highlights. After an enjoyable breakfast, we set out by minivan to visit a local elephant site. You have the chance to meet very closely one of the finest local creatures in Laos. Laotian mahouts taking care of former logging elephants that have found a new home and receive a lot of TLC there. We will have a morning walk with the elephants along the riverbank and small path winding the bordering rainforest. The elephant love to bath in the river and the mahouts explain more about this unique Laotian creature.

We continue our morning trip and travel with the minivans to the next highlight in Laos, the nearby cascading Kuang Si waterfalls. Famed for its beauty and with its rushing turquoise waters it is an amazing natural park allowing for a leisurely walk to marvel at Mother Nature's creativity. You can also refresh yourself with a swim in the shallow pools of water at the waterfall’s base.

PM: Afterwards we return to the ship and serving a lunch onboard whilst Anouvong is making its way now to Luang Prabang, the final destination of this cruise. We arrive at Luang Prabang around 15:00 o’clock. Upon check-out, we help you with your luggage and bidding you farewell at the pier in the town centre. We wish you a pleasant onward journey.

Anouvong - Golden Triangle Traverse: Huay Xai - Luang Prabang  (Downstream) - Day 4
Location
Luang Prabang
Day
4 / 4
1 / 4

8 Day - Laotian Serendipity: Huay Xai - Vientiane (Downstream)

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: We welcome guests in the morning after the Lao immigration office. Once all passengers have arrived, we travel by minivan to the ship, moored at Huay Xai Per. Our team assists with your check-in and takes care of your luggage. Once we are ready, the captain brings ‘Anouvong’ on course to begin its captivating 3-Night voyage along the Upper Mekong.

While ‘Avouvong’ makes its way to its first stop, our expert guide holds an interesting lecture about the intricate tapestry of Laos' diverse ethnic groups living along the Mekong River. Over the next few days, you will get to know all these fascinating varieties of different cultural lifestyles, characteristics, and traditions in real life.

As we reach the confluence of the Mekong and a significant tributary, let the river's gentle currents carry you downstream, granting you the gift of uninterrupted natural beauty. Our upcoming destination is a fairly modern village compared to the ones we are about to experience later, inhabited by 800 residents belonging to the Tai Lu ethnic group. This ethnic group spans across China, Laos, Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam. We walk through the village and gather together for a Baci ceremony. This is a heartfelt Laotian ritual conducted by local elders (and maybe monks), gracing your journey with their blessings.

PM: Our vessel continues its journey downstream, reaching our overnight spot at Huay Ting. For the first time, we moor one of these wonderful sandbanks, which sets the stage for a welcome cocktail followed by a welcome dinner with a background of astounding natural beauty. Welcome to the memorable Laotian Mekong.

Anouvong's 8-Day Laotian Serendipity Day One - Laos' Local Village
Location
Huay Xai
Day
1 / 8

Huay Ting - Pakbeng - Khok Ek

AM: For those who rise with the sun, we extend a warm invitation to our daily morning yoga class on the terrace deck, where the stunning Mekong scenery serves as a backdrop.

Our voyage brings us in the morning to the charming town of Pakbeng. Nestled on the starboard side lies Laos' best-managed elephant sanctuary. We have the privilege of visiting these magnificent creatures in an almost complete natural habitat. All the elephants residing here were born once in Laos and toiled mostly as logging elephants. Since finding refuge in this sanctuary, they've been embraced by peace and security, living in very natural territory. Why not release them into the freedom of Mother Nature? The answer lies in their past as working animals: they've lost to some extent the ability to thrive in the wild, where few of their kind remain. The sanctuary stands as a beacon of ecotourism and sustainability, embodying a profound commitment to these principles. It is a one-of-a-kind encounter to see these gentle creatures appear out of nowhere in the rainforest and learn so many interesting things about them. If we have enough time, we will take you up to the hilltop vantage point located at Pakbeng town (by vehicle) that offers breathtaking panoramic views, perfect for capturing lasting memories through the lens of your camera.

PM: After lunch, we ask for a touch of creativity: through a Bamboo weaving workshop, you can learn this widespread traditional craft and take home your own little bamboo basket as a wonderful memory.

The sailing time into the afternoon offers a breathtaking riverine cinema. We arrive then at a village that has a very interesting character to it. In this place, three distinct ethnic groups - Hmong, Lao Loum, and Khamo – live together almost under “one roof”. Each possesses its unique history, traditions, ways of life, family dynamics, and housing styles. We venture into the village to a family home where representatives from each of these ethnic groups are going to show and explain to us their differences and characteristics in day-to-day life. The theory provided the day before, through our lecture, suddenly comes alive in front of your eyes. If time permits and the season allows, we may offer a glimpse of the organic gardens where villagers nurture their crops (and we can try one or other local produce).

Back on the ship, when the afternoon gives way to the evening, gather at the bar to indulge in snacks while receiving a preview of the upcoming day's program. Before dinner time, some villagers join us to witness on the terrace deck a performance of the traditional instrument named "Kene, and then let us listen to the hypnotic melodies of this flute along with very unique movements.

After dinner, feel free to come to the lounge for a cosy cinema setting featuring "Chiang" (Laotian for “elephant”). This cinematic gem, shot in this very region in 1927 and produced by the same visionary behind the first King Kong movie, promises to set you in the mood for our next day’s adventure.

Anouvong's 8-Day Laotian Serendipity Day Two - Sundeck
Location
Mekong River
Day
2 / 8

Khok Ek - Pak Ou - Luang Prabang

AM: Wake up early to catch the sun’s first rays on the river and join our daily yoga class if you like.

As we sail through the outskirts of the Golden Triangle towards Luang Prabang you have time this morning to relax or listen to our interesting presentation about an enthralling presentation that unravels the intricate history of the Golden Triangle, composed of its complexities of colonialism, opium, conflicts, and the multifaceted roles played by Burma, Thailand, Laos, Britain, China, and more. The Golden Triangle is the area where Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos meet, but it also extends far into each country. The name "Golden Triangle" inventory by the CIA refers to this vast area.

The ship zigzags down the river with plenty of time to observe the river life. After lunch, we reach the Pak Ou Caves, nestled on the Mekong's rocky shore, just opposite the Ou River's mouth. There are two limestone grottoes that house approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images ranging from mere centimeters up to 2m (7ft) in height. We are going to visit the lower cave, which is the most impressive one and relatively easy to reach. After the cave visit, Heritage Line offers two optional choices to choose from to continue the excursion: For those seeking adventure, a kayak tour along the serene Nam Ou River offers a riverine experience in total symbiosis with the peaceful flowing stream and the stunning surrounding mountainous scenery. Alternatively, you can opt for a short, tender boat ride to the nearby village of Ban Muang Keo to witness the local artistry of traditional silk weaving. In the village, we also meet a local “medicine man” who explains the local and traditional ways of treatment using simple mother nature as a natural pharmacy.

PM: After the outing, we take the course to one of (if not the) most enchanting towns in Southeast Asia). We arrive in Luang Prabang in the early evening. There is still time to have a first stroll through the streets of downtown Luang Prabang after dinner. We highly recommend just taking a place in one of the nice little coffee shops and letting the time and on-goings float by. You will feel instantly that this town has a therapeutical aura that slows you down to the depth of your soul.

Anouvong's 8-Day Laotian Serendipity Day Three - Local Knitting
Location
Mekong River
Day
3 / 8

Luang Prabang

AM: Begin your day with the serene beauty of a sunrise, accompanied by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and a selection of teas, all waiting for you in the bar lounge. While sipping your morning beverage, prepare to rejuvenate your mind and body with our daily Yoga class on the terrace deck right at the footstep of one of the most iconic temples in Laos.

Following breakfast, we will embark on an enchanting walking tour through Luang Prabang. Our morning venture takes us along various of the very calm streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our experienced guide leads you through the old town and its scenic peninsula, where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers converge. Marvel at the distinctive architecture that graces Luang Prabang's streets and immerse yourself in fascinating tales of the houses and landmarks you encounter. As we stroll leisurely along the crisscross of small roads adorned with antique structures and majestic mango trees, you'll find the perfect opportunity to pause and refresh. One of the houses, the ‘Lamache’, was once home to noble families and later was the appointed ice cream supplier to the royal family. There is no better place to have a “Lao Tea Break” accompanied by traditional snacks and some artisan ice cream.

PM: We get back onboard for lunch and some refreshment time. The afternoon is dedicated to the rich cultural heritage of Luang Prabang, with a visit to the former Royal Palace, now transformed into the National Museum. On display is local art and historical treasures that once belonged to the esteemed Lao royal family. Following the museum tour, feel free to explore the city centre further at your own pace, perhaps opting for a visit to one of the inviting street cafés and embracing the laid-back, "sabai-sabai" atmosphere.

As the day transitions into the evening, we leave the ship once more for an outside dining experience at the renowned ‘Le Caloa’ restaurant with some entertainment to it. Return to the ship after to rest or continue your exploration of the town, including a visit to the nearby vibrant Night Market.

INSIGHT: If you visit the Wat Xieng Thong temple, you may see that the rear wall of the main building is encrusted with coloured glass pieces on a red background, representing the Bodhi Tree. According to Buddhists, this is the Tree of Enlightenment under which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. The Bodhi Tree is considered a place where one can seek refuge from worldly desires.

Anouvong's 8-Day Laotian Serendipity Day Four - Cuisine
Location
Mekong River
Day
4 / 8

Luang Prabang - Kuang Si - Xayaburi

AM: Before the daylight basks the town in warm golden tones, the morning alms round, referred to as “Tak Bat” in Lao, is a spiritual Buddhist tradition for Lao people and dates back generations. Wake up before dawn to witness a procession of hundreds of saffron-robed monks in the early morning light. We say goodbye to Luang Prabang and continue our cruise further downstream on the Mekong River.

At the first stop, we set out for a sightseeing of an innovative and socially responsible Laos Buffalo Dairy Farm. Having almost no dairy products some decades ago, these milk-based products have become more and more popular in recent years in Asia and also in Laos. Various dairy products, such as cheeses, ice cream and yoghurt are made locally and distributed to the markets. We continue our tour to the nearby cascading Kuang Si waterfalls. Famed for its beauty and with its rushing turquoise waters it is an amazing park hiking post (leisurely) to marvel at Mother Nature's creativity. You can also refresh yourself with a swim in the shallow pools of water at the waterfall’s base.

PM: Back on the vessel, the cruise carries on towards the nation’s first famous dam and hydroelectric power plant. Before we arrive at the dam, we offer an interesting lecture about the role of energy production in Laos’ economy and how the country is set to become the ‘battery’ of Southeast Asia. Eventually, we arrive at the Xayaburi Hydroelectric Dam.

We take our mooring position nearby the dam to be ready for next days’ early passage. After the dinner, we set up again our lounge cinema screening another movie classic.

Anouvong's 8-Day Laotian Serendipity Day Five - Kayaking
Location
Mekong River
Day
5 / 8

Xayaburi - Don Saynhan

AM: In the morning, our guests can witness the passing of the structure of Xayaburi Hydroelectric Dam which stands tall at an impressive 32.6 meters (107 feet). It is an imposing elevation that the ship has to overcome with the help of this massive water gate.

Also, during the morning sailing time, we have two offerings in regards to onboard activities. Our guide presents a lecture on the history of Lao royalty with a focus on King ‘Anouvong’ – this vessel’s namesake. We also would like to make Lao-Thai cuisine more accessible for you by offering another cooking class with a different dish that you can copy easily later at home. Food brings back memories doen’t it.

PM: The shorelines become a bit rockier with some narrow passages to navigate through. In the afternoon we reach Don Saynhan. We moor our ship nicely and set out to explore the village and area. From the village, we take a local “Tuk Tuk” and travel inland to visit the so-called ‘Khao Cave’. Travelling by a local means of transportation through the jungle-like surroundings and plush vegetation is an adventure in itself. The cave has been home to a large bat population for generations and is a vital source of potent fertilizer for the village. You can stroll inside to see stalagmites and stalactites as well.

The ship moors here overnight. Join us for some prelude snacks at the bar with our guide to provide you with an outlook for the next day. Enjoy the evening on the deck or opt for an after-dinner reflexology to find your slumber easily.

Anouvong's 8-Day Laotian Serendipity Day Six - Sunset
Location
Mekong River
Day
6 / 8

Don Saynhan – Pha Liep - Sandbank

AM: Today, on our final full day of this expedition, the journey takes us to the lovely village of Pha Liep, where the landscape is adorned with majestic limestone mountains, forming a magnificent. picturesque and picture-perfect backdrop.

The ethnic Lao Loum live in this region mostly making their living in agriculture. However, today we get to know two other “industrial” businesses. The first one is the craftsmanship of a producing traditional longtail boat. Call it factory, but the process of constructing these typical water vehicles which are nowadays still the primary modes of transportation found in Laos, is very much down to hard manual work. The other “business” is perhaps a more enjoyable one to run. To be an owner of a local whiskey distillery does not only allow the craftsman to have one or other tempter double checking the quality of the product, but it is also a business that surely never runs dry in Laos. The Lao whiskey is a national establishment and every Laotian has a bottle at home. We recommend obtaining a bottle mixing the classic “Laotian whiskey cola”, a good copy of the well-known Cuba Libre.

PM: After this mix of entertaining local culture on the ground, we set sail once more, gliding along the Mekong's gentle currents to a very special mooring location for the night. We will be cast away at a remote and terrific sandbar on which the journey comes to an end with us on a high note. We invite you to a cocktail reception, toasting the memories collected along the Mekong, and enjoy a great and romantic barbecue dinner under the Laotian sky.

Anouvong's 8-Day Laotian Serendipity Day Seven - Anouvong's Suite
Location
Mekong River
Day
7 / 8

Disembarkation

AM: Enjoy your last sunrise aboard with a morning Yoga outside on the deck. We have set up breakfast on the terrace deck this day (if weather permits) to enjoy the last sailing hours with views until we reach Pak Lay. We kindly ask you to prepare your luggage and be ready for check-out by 9 a.m. We transfer you in minivans to Vientiane. You will reach the city around 12:30 hrs.

Anouvong's 8-Day Laotian Serendipity Day Eight - Taichi Class
Location
Vientiane
Day
8 / 8
1 / 8

8 Day - Laotian Serendipity: Huay Xai - Vientiane (Downstream)

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: In the morning, we welcome guests at the Lao immigration office (please be on time! Please see timings see in the embarkation guide). After gathering all passengers, we embark on a short minivan ride to the pier, where we board a longtail boat for our transfer in cruise to the ship Heritage Line ‘Anouvong’ (transfer time approx. 08 hours).

PM: During the longtail boat day cruise we are offering you lunch and snacks onboard. Almost our entire crew is with you on the longtail boat to make this journey downstream as pleasant as possible. If you would like to opt for neck & shoulder or foot massage, please approach our team. Our tour guide is going to share some information and insights about the destination we cruise along as well as the Lao culture. Enjoy the ride and observe the fascinating scenery and activities going on at the shores.

We arrive the ship Heritage Line Anouvong around 5pm and you check in to your cabin. Refresh yourself in the comfort of your stateroom before we invite you to a ship and safety briefing. Enjoy a multi-course dinner in the restaurant. If you like you can consider joining our nightly cinema in the lounge showing every evening another interesting movie.

Anouvong - Laotian Serendipity: Huay Xai - Vientiane (Downstream) - Day 1
Location
Huay Xai
Day
1 / 8

Kang Hang Yai - Khok Luang - Khok Phou

AM: Embrace the early morning as the river bathes in the sun's initial rays, offering an open invitation to partake in our daily yoga class whilst we are sailing downstream to our first stop.

After breakfast, our morning sojourn leads us to a picturesque village Khok Luang inhabited by the Khum people. Simplicity defines this locale, with bamboo huts elevated on stilts amidst vast rice fields. In this serene setting, we encounter an elderly couple or a multigenerational family deeply rooted in the land, sustaining their livelihood through manual agriculture. Peel back the layers of their daily existence, observing their way of life, and engage in insightful conversations to garner a profound understanding of their unique experiences.

PM: We head back to the ship continue our sailing whilst lunch is served.

Our next stop is the truly charming, small village of Khok Phou. It lays a short walk above an impressive sandbank and is captivating 200-year-old village. Inhabited predominantly by the ethnic Lao, this is a very nice hamlet with a nice square to observe the afternoon life unfolding. The highlight is the traditional Baci ceremony, a heartfelt Laotian ritual led by local elders, bestowing blessings upon your journey. If time permits, ascend to a small temple, where you can meet the local monk and novices, providing an opportunity for serene moments of meditation.

We remain moored at this nice spot. Join us at the lounge for a sunset cocktail and mingle with fellow passengers before heading to dinner. After dinner, feel free to join us again in the lounge for a cosy screening of "Chiang" (Laotian for "elephant"). This cinematic gem, filmed in this very region in 1927 and produced by the visionary behind the first King Kong movie, sets the mood for our next day’s adventure.

Anouvong - Laotian Serendipity: Huay Xai - Vientiane (Downstream) - Day 2
Location
Mekong River
Day
2 / 8

Khok Phou - Pak Ou cave – Luang Prabang

AM: Wake up early to do some yoga exercise again before you move to the breakfast. We are on the way to one of the most spectacular caves in Asia.

We reach the Pak Ou Caves, nestled on the Mekong's rocky shore, just opposite the Ou River's mouth. There are two limestone grottoes that house approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images ranging from mere centimetres up to 2m (7ft) in height. We are going to visit the lower cave, which is the most impressive one and relatively easy to reach.

After the cave visit, Heritage Line offers two optional choices to chose from to continue the excursion: For those seeking adventure, a kayak tour along the serene Nam Ou River offers a riverine experience in total symbiosis with the peaceful flowing stream and the stunning surrounding mountainous scenery. Alternatively, you can opt for a short, tender boat ride to the nearby village of Ban Muang Keo to witness the local artistry of traditional silk weaving. In the village, we also meet a local “medicine man” who explains the local and traditional ways of treatment using simple mother nature as a natural pharmacy.

PM: After the outing, we take the course to one of (if not the) most enchanting towns in Southeast Asia). We arrive in Luang Prabang in the later afternoon. There is still time to have a first stroll through the streets of downtown Luang Prabang after dinner. We highly recommend just taking a place in one of the nice little coffee shops and letting the time and on-goings float by. You will feel instantly that this town has a therapeutical aura that slows you down to the depth of your soul.

Back on board, we enjoy our lunch as the boats sails further downstream passing actual Luang Prabang.

Anouvong - Laotian Serendipity: Huay Xai - Vientiane (Downstream) - Day 3
Location
Mekong River
Day
3 / 8

Luang Prabang

AM: Begin your day with the serene beauty of a sunrise, accompanied by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and a selection of teas, all waiting for you in the bar lounge. While sipping your morning beverage, prepare to rejuvenate your mind and body with our daily Yoga class on the terrace deck right at the footstep of one of the most iconic temples in Laos.

Following breakfast, we will embark on an enchanting walking tour through Luang Prabang. Our morning venture takes us along various of the very calm streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our experienced guide leads you through the old town and its scenic peninsula, where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers converge. Marvel at the distinctive architecture that graces Luang Prabang's streets and immerse yourself in fascinating tales of the houses and landmarks you encounter. As we stroll leisurely along the crisscross of small roads adorned with antique structures and majestic mango trees, you'll find the perfect opportunity to pause and refresh. One of the houses, the ‘Lamache’, was once home to noble families and later was the appointed ice cream supplier to the royal family. There is no better place to have a “Lao Tea Break” accompanied by traditional snacks and some artisan ice cream.

PM: We get back onboard for lunch and some refreshment time. The afternoon is dedicated to the rich cultural heritage of Luang Prabang, with a visit to the former Royal Palace, now transformed into the National Museum. On display is local art and historical treasures that once belonged to the esteemed Lao royal family. Following the museum tour, feel free to explore the city centre further at your own pace, perhaps opting for a visit to one of the inviting street cafés and embracing the laid-back, "sabai-sabai" atmosphere.

As the day transitions into the evening, we leave the ship once more for an outside dining experience at the renowned ‘Le Caloa’ restaurant with some entertainment to it. Return to the ship after to rest or continue your exploration of the town, including a visit to the nearby vibrant Night Market.

INSIGHT: If you visit the Wat Xieng Thong temple, you may see that the rear wall of the main building is encrusted with coloured glass pieces on a red background, representing the Bodhi Tree. According to Buddhists, this is the Tree of Enlightenment under which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. The Bodhi Tree is considered a place where one can seek refuge from worldly desires.

Anouvong - Laotian Serendipity: Huay Xai - Vientiane (Downstream) - Day 4
Location
Luang Prabang
Day
4 / 8

Luang Prabang - Kuang Si - Xayaburi

AM: Before the daylight basks the town in warm golden tones, the morning alms round, referred to as “Tak Bat” in Lao, is a spiritual Buddhist tradition for Lao people and dates back generations. Wake up before dawn to witness a procession of hundreds of saffron-robed monks in the early morning light. We say goodbye to Luang Prabang and continue our cruise further downstream on the Mekong River.

At the first stop, we set out for a sightseeing of an innovative and socially responsible Laos Buffalo Dairy Farm. Having almost no dairy products some decades ago, these milk-based products have become more and more popular in recent years in Asia and also in Laos. Various dairy products, such as cheeses, ice cream and yoghurt are made locally and distributed to the markets. We continue our tour to the nearby cascading Kuang Si waterfalls. Famed for its beauty and with its rushing turquoise waters it is an amazing park hiking post (leisurely) to marvel at Mother Nature's creativity. You can also refresh yourself with a swim in the shallow pools of water at the waterfall’s base.

PM: Back on the vessel, the cruise carries on towards the nation’s first famous dam and hydroelectric power plant. Before we arrive at the dam, we offer an interesting lecture about the role of energy production in Laos’ economy and how the country is set to become the ‘battery’ of Southeast Asia. Eventually, we arrive at the Xayaburi Hydroelectric Dam.

We take our mooring position nearby the dam to be ready for next days’ early passage. After the dinner, we set up again our lounge cinema screening another movie classic.

Anouvong - Laotian Serendipity: Huay Xai - Vientiane (Downstream) - Day 5
Location
Kuang Si
Day
5 / 8

Xayaburi - Don Saynhan

AM: In the morning, our guests can witness the passing of the structure of Xayaburi Hydroelectric Dam which stands tall at an impressive 32.6 meters (107 feet). It is an imposing elevation that the ship has to overcome with the help of this massive water gate.

Also, during the morning sailing time, we have two offerings in regards to onboard activities. Our guide presents a lecture on the history of Lao royalty with a focus on King ‘Anouvong’ – this vessel’s namesake. We also would like to make Lao-Thai cuisine more accessible for you by offering another cooking class with a different dish that you can copy easily later at home. Food brings back memories doen’t it.

PM: The shorelines become a bit rockier with some narrow passages to navigate through. In the afternoon we reach Don Saynhan. We moor our ship nicely and set out to explore the village and area. From the village, we take a local “Tuk Tuk” and travel inland to visit the so-called ‘Khao Cave’. Travelling by a local means of transportation through the jungle-like surroundings and plush vegetation is an adventure in itself. The cave has been home to a large bat population for generations and is a vital source of potent fertilizer for the village. You can stroll inside to see stalagmites and stalactites as well.

The ship moors here overnight. Join us for some prelude snacks at the bar with our guide to provide you with an outlook for the next day. Enjoy the evening on the deck or opt for an after-dinner reflexology to find your slumber easily.

Anouvong - Laotian Serendipity: Huay Xai - Vientiane (Downstream) - Day 6
Location
Don Saynhan
Day
6 / 8

Don Saynhan – Pha Liep - Sandbank

AM: Today, on our final full day of this expedition, the journey takes us to the lovely village of Pha Liep, where the landscape is adorned with majestic limestone mountains, forming a magnificent. picturesque and picture-perfect backdrop.

The ethnic Lao Loum live in this region mostly making their living in agriculture. However, today we get to know two other “industrial” businesses. The first one is the craftsmanship of a producing traditional longtail boat. Call it factory, but the process of constructing these typical water vehicles which are nowadays still the primary modes of transportation found in Laos, is very much down to hard manual work. The other “business” is perhaps a more enjoyable one to run. To be an owner of a local whiskey distillery does not only allow the craftsman to have one or other tempter double checking the quality of the product, but it is also a business that surely never runs dry in Laos. The Lao whiskey is a national establishment and every Laotian has a bottle at home. We recommend obtaining a bottle mixing the classic “Laotian whiskey cola”, a good copy of the well-known Cuba Libre.

PM: After this mix of entertaining local culture on the ground, we set sail once more, gliding along the Mekong's gentle currents to a very special mooring location for the night. We will be cast away at a remote and terrific sandbar on which the journey comes to an end with us on a high note. We invite you to a cocktail reception, toasting the memories collected along the Mekong, and enjoy a great and romantic barbecue dinner under the Laotian sky.

Anouvong - Laotian Serendipity: Huay Xai - Vientiane (Downstream) - Day 7
Location
Sandbank
Day
7 / 8

Disembarkation

AM: Enjoy your last sunrise aboard with a morning Yoga outside on the deck. We have set up breakfast on the terrace deck this day (if weather permits) to enjoy the last sailing hours with views until we reach Pak Lay. We kindly ask you to prepare your luggage and be ready for check-out by 9 a.m. We transfer you in minivans to Vientiane. You will reach the city around 12:30 hrs.

Anouvong - Laotian Serendipity: Huay Xai - Vientiane (Downstream) - Day 8
Location
Vientiane
Day
8 / 8
1 / 8

10 Day - Laotian Serendipity: Vientiane - Huay Xai (Upstream)

itinerary map