Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

Mekong river cruising in the golden triangle

The mountainous areas of Chiang Rai are not to miss for those who seek for peaceful and breathtaking greenery. Access to paddy fields, Kok or Ruak river, mountain ranges such as Phu Chi Fah or Doi Mae Salong and communities based lodging like Lanjia lodge can be easily and safely reached by car, boat, bicycle, motorbike or walking trails in order to observe organically the forest till the minority villages way of living. Culturally known as Lanna people, there are varieties of iconic man-made cultural sites starting 

from Mae Fah Luang Art & Culture Park, the Black House and the latest white temple or an amazing architectural landmark of the province ‘Wat Rong Khun’.

Chiang Rai is an ideal gateway to explore neighboring countries and especially a perfect fluvial linkage by the Mekong river across China, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. The river journey starts from Lao-Thai border in Amphoe Chiang Khong and Ban Houei Sai. Downstream river cruise of 2 day-1 night with a half way overnight stay en-route at Ban Pak Beng will bring you to explore multi-colors and unshaped rocks formation and unspoiled natural surroundings. The journey of approximately 300 km from Chiang Khong to the world heritage town of Luang Prabang offers you the mysterious and wild beauty of the mother of the river unlike the Mekong river elsewhere, you can enjoy Laotian life scenes of fishermen and gold panning along the river, support the community at the weaving village, ‘Lao Lao’ whisky tasting or rice alcohol at Ban Xang Hai. Do not forget to try choices of river fishes during this unforgettable moment with Mekong river cruise.

The arrival to Luang Prabang you can witness the most beautiful temple of this ancient and former capital of Lao PDR namely Wat Xieng Thong which is well-known for her amazing architectural and roof style. Sunset over Phousi Hill seems to be the popular photo shooting spot while another shot could not be neglected just across the Mekong to Ban Xieng Nguen and at Wat Chom Petch which is an only Thai temple and was built by Chao Phraya Surasak Montri during the past war. Peace of mind and lovely people of Luang Prabang have been proven true to outsiders. Let our pace slow down and learn from local people a simple model to slow down our life, here is a starting point for someone to rethink about TIME. Temples, monks and notice you can see almost at every corners of this tiny city. Early morning starts with the alms for monks by Laotian and those who wish to make good merit. An endless queue of this sacred moment is the Buddhism touching scene not to miss.

Day excursions can be organized to waterfalls; Tad Kuang Sy and Tad Sae, the weaving village of Ban Phanom, national museum which was once the royal place and probably the most beautiful setting 18-hole Golf Course by the river. Night market and walking street may draw you as dedicated shoppers by its various types of crafted products by artisans. Lao styled ‘Pho’ or Baguette Burger are a promising morning or lunch trial dishes. Luang Prabang sausage or salad, Oh Larm (local soup with flavor herbs), buffalo dried skin, river weeds and chili paste including black hill tribe sticky rice are local culinary to experience.

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