The following is a suggested itinerary.

Contact us to design your unique wellness break!

Days 1 – 4: Luang Prabang, Laos

Welcome to Laos!

Upon arrival into Luang Prabang you will be transferred to your wellness sanctuary. The next few days will be yours to explore the local area, take a sunset cruise, visit nearby villages or indulge in spa treatments. This is your time so enjoy it your way!

About your Laos sanctuary:

Long ago in Luang Prabang, Lao princes would climb to Phou Vao hill, high above the town, to fly their kites. Today, this spot known as Kite Hill is home to La Résidence Phou Vao, a Belmond Hotel, Luang Prabang

With its lofty vantage point overlooking jungle-clad mountains, this serene sanctuary is moments from the architectural treasures of Luang Prabang, the former capital of Laos and UNESCO World Heritage site. And yet, to enter it is to discover a world where time stands still.

Connection with nature is everything at this colonial-style retreat. Sculpted grounds, lush with bougainvillea and frangipani, give way to endless cloud forest. A dramatic cliff-edge infinity pool beckons for a dip. The celebrated Mekong Spa offers open-air pavilions clustered around a lily pond. In lemongrass-scented rooms, healing Laotian therapies draw on Buddhist philosophies to rejuvenate and revive.

Guests relax in light-flooded suites boasting a harmony of traditional Lao materials: teak and rosewood, silk and cotton, handmade textiles. Free-form terrazzo bathtubs and entertainment systems ensure modern indulgence is never far away. Views from the private balconies range from the exotic gardens to mountaintop Phousi Temple.

Exceptional Asian gastronomy is served in the panoramic Tam Nan restaurant. For unbridled romance, the Magic and Lights Dinner is an intimate, glimmering affair by the lotus pond. Cookery classes, ancestral Baci ceremonies and local dance shows provide an authentic immersion in Laotian culture. Beyond the hotel gates, enthralling adventures await, from mystery tuk-tuk dining tours to sunset cruises on the Mekong River.

Breakfast is included every morning

DAY 5: Luang Prabang – Ban Khok Kham

After boarding our luxury river ship Anouvong this morning, we will meet Mr Francis Engelmann, who previously worked for UNESCO on heritage preservation projects. Born in Paris in 1947, he has lived in Laos for over 20 years. In his fantastic presentation, he shares some of his expertise on the country’s rich cultural heritage and fascinating history.

After arriving at the confluence of the Mekong and one of its larger tributaries, we offer our adventurous guests an optional kayak tour on the Nam Ou River. Hop in a kayak and feel the river’s waters carrying you downstream with almost no effort while enjoying the natural beauty.

We then explore the famous Pak Ou Caves, located on the Mekong’s rocky shore and opposite the mouth of the Ou River. There are two limestone grottoes that house approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images ranging from mere centimetres up to 2m in height. We arrive first at the lower, impressive cave and then head up the stairs (approx 200 steps) to the smaller chamber.

Next, we meet a local medicine man at the cave of a nearby local village. We take a small trek leading into the jungle while our local expert explains various fascinating things about the flora and nature in this area. Arriving in the village, we see traditional weaving and the art of local whisky distilling. A basic fitness level is required for the 45 min trek with relatively easy downhill walking and some short uphill sections. Guests not wanting to do the walk can return to the ship moored in front of the Pak Ou caves.

Our journey takes us further up the river into the golden evening sun in the late afternoon. We will have an opportunity to wander through another local village if we arrive still in daylight. A mixture of Lao Loum and Lao Theun (lowland and midland Laotians) live in this idyllic riverside settlement. The town has a Buddhist temple though many of these tribes and ethnicities in the Golden Triangle are not religious and follow beliefs in ancestorship and nature.

Meanwhile, our culinary team will prepare an impressive dinner – a BBQ on a peaceful sandbank nearby. Tonite, some local villagers will join us and entertain us with a traditional dance and music performance. Soak in this truly unique dining experience.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: Ban Khok Kham – Ban Kok Aek

Our local expert hosts a lecture with exciting insights and facts about the local Laotian cultures living along the Upper Mekong during our morning cruising.

We arrive at a very rural and charming village inhabited by the Khmu people. The village has a small primary school for the few children that reside here with their families. We take a leisurely walk into the surrounding neighbourhood of the village. In the simple bamboo huts built on stilts and scattered across rice fields, the local people still perform all work manually, processing agricultural products. Once back on board, the ship continues its slow meandering upriver.

This afternoon we arrive at a secluded sandbank. The local ethnic Lao, Khmu and Hmong live in a tiny village named Kok Aek. These residents have committed themselves to the organic growth of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. They have set up a small parcel of land at the riverside as an organic garden, caringly maintained and enclosed by bamboo fences.

These plots are unusable at certain times of the year due to flooding. However, the nutrient-rich Mekong irrigation ensures bountiful annual harvests. As we get to know the villagers who proudly display their gardening achievements, we sample a local specialty, kai paen. Made of dried freshwater seaweed and topped with sesame and vegetables, it is wholesome, unique, and delicious!

The village also has a little temple where we can arrange an optional meditation session. After taking in a bit of Zen, dinner is served in Anouvong’s elegant De-Lagree Dining Hall. Afterwards, you might like to relax in the lounge or join the cinema-under-the-stars on the open terrace deck. The movie “Chang” (Laotian for elephant) was shot in this region in 1927 and was made by the same producer as the first King Kong movie.

Enjoy your night’s sleep moored mid-river.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: Kok Aek – Pak Ngui

Wake up early to catch the sun’s first rays on the river, which is always a magical moment. Earlybirds can join the morning exercise on the terrace deck (Tai Chi or Yoga).

After breakfast and on our way to Pakbeng, our local expert guide hosts a lecture about Laotian elephants. You will learn about their cultural importance and current situation, which places them on the brink of extinction. It is an informative session and a good preparation for meeting these fascinating animals this afternoon.

In the early afternoon, we arrive in the small town of Pakbeng. This riverside settlement is halfway between our embarkation at Huay Xai and Luang Prabang. Many locals also stop here when they travel or transport goods between these two hubs on the river.

Opposite the town is the country’s most sustainably managed elephant sanctuary. If we arrive early enough, we might still see elephants freely walking along the shoreline and taking a bath.

All the elephants at the conservation sanctuary used to work as logging elephants but now live in peace and safety. After their time as working animals, they cannot live and survive in the wild. The sanctuary is fully committed to the tenets of ecotourism and sustainability.

After we visit the sanctuary, we cross the river and look at the town of Pakbeng. We get fantastic river views of the zig-zagging Mekong River at a lovely hill-top temple.

Back on board, we will be cruising for a few hours. Lay back and take in the fantastic scenery or enjoy your downtime in the spa.

Tonight we drop anchor at a protected area mid-river. Kick back with an aperitif on the open deck and prepare for your last dinner on board. The culinary team is pleased to spoil you with a gala and farewell dinner in alfresco style on the terrace deck.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: Pak Ngui – Huay Xai

Enjoy your last sunrise Yoga or Thai Chi on board, and then enjoy a relaxed brunch as we cruise towards the Thai-Lao border.

Before lunch, the ship passes the junction with the Nam Tha River, one of the Mekong’s major tributaries. The Nam Tha, which translates to ‘Green River’, begins near the Chinese border, 325 km to the northeast, and ends at this crossing with the Mekong.

Kick back and enjoy these last quiet sailing hours as the river scenery slowly opens up. The river is now broader, and our captain has to watch for rocks and stones or sandbanks while navigating, making the sailing interesting to observe from the open deck. After a few hours, you will notice that the landscape has become mountainous, and the river has narrowed.

Join a Lao cooking class onboard and learn how to prepare some of the tasty and easy-to-make snacks and local dishes. The rest of the cruising time is at leisure until we reach Huay Xai (approximately 15:00). Check-out is on arrival. The crew will assist with luggage and transfer us to the Lao-Thao border. The team will also help with the border crossing before bidding us farewell on the Thai side in front of the immigration building. From here, we will transfer to Chaing Rai and your onward journey.

Meals: Breakfast

NOTE: Tour also operates in the reverse direction.

OPTION: Consider adding a Bangkok stop-over either before or after your incredible Laos experience. Contact us for more information.