Your Route: Bangkok — Nakhon Phanom — Pak Khading (River Expedition Laos) — Wat Phu Tok (Rock Monastery) — Nong Khai (Buddha Sculpture Park) — Udon Thani — Bangkok
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Thailand is so full of beautiful scenery and has so many spectacular and bizarre sights to offer that many of its attractions haven’t even made their way into the travel guidebooks yet. These are exactly the ones we’re making you familiar with on your journey onboard our boutique river cruise ship Mekong Sun, among them a grotesque Buddha sculpture park in Nong Khai and the most breath-taking monastery ever, Wat Phu Tok, soaring 7 stories above the rice terraces of Northern Thailand. The cruise-package includes your flights from/to Bangkok in economy-class.
Today, you start your journey by flying from Bangkok domestic airport to Nakhon Phanom (planned flight: DD9514 DMK – KOP, 10:20 –11:30). Welcome at the airport and one-hour drive to embark your boutique river vessel Mekong Explorer. Depending on the water level, your river vessel moors about 50 to 80 km north of Nakhon Phanom. Onboard, the Laotian way of life awaits you: lean back in your cosy cabin, enjoy tropical salads and exotic fruits and have a cold BeerLao on the sun deck. Now, your cruise through a rarely visited region begins. 4 overnights on board.
Your contemplative journey follows the Mekong river upstream until your ship makes a stop on the Laotian shore. The Mekong Explorer has a special permit for a visa-free visit of its guests here, as there is no border checkpoint anywhere near. An exciting excursion with one of the local long-tail boats on the Khading river, a branch of the Mekong, brings you to a typical village of this region. You return to Thailand onboard the Mekong Explorer in the late afternoon. In the evening, your ship moors on the shore or on a sandbar for the night and you enjoy your dinner on board or maybe even somewhere in the wild! The following day, an inland excursion brings you to a spectacular rock monastery hovering an impressive seven stories above the rice terraces. With its hermit cells stuck on the rock the complex seems like a combination of the monastic state of Athos in Greece and the Hanging Temple of Datong in China. Be aware that some parts of the way up are steep and may present difficulties for some travellers, especially given the tropical temperatures.
Far away from the madding tourist crowds, the next day gives you the chance to indulge in the serenity of tropic life and Buddhist culture! Your journey concentrates on the region’s small sensations. Short and entertaining lectures provide you with background information about everyday life on the Mekong. Spoil yourself with fresh tropical salads and fruits from the galley and take a look at the manifold books in the onboard library. After a few hours, you arrive at today’s destination: Nong Khai. A bizarre sculpture park is waiting for you, full of characters from Buddhist and Hindu myths and tales — try to enter the mind of an eccentric shaman here! Tonight’s dinner is prepared for a very special occasion: say farewell to your ship’s crew and your cruise director.
Disembarkation and bus ride to Udan Thani from where you fly to Bangkok (planned flight: TG/WE 2005 UTH – BKK, 12:45 –13:45). End of your exciting and comfortable cruise through the Isaan region.
Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L), dinner (D).
Services incl. in the tour rate: