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North-East Thailand
Laos/Cambodia

Mekong River and Indochina
Gateway Classic

Special Tour

4 Days / 3 Nights

Routing: Nakorn Phanom – Ban Nong Hoi Real Thailand – Ho Chi Minh’s House – Mekong Riverboat Ride – Mukdaharn Town – Indochina Market – Panna Monkey Forest Temple – Khong Jiam & 2-colour River – Pha Taem Historical Park – Khao Phra Viharn Khmer Temple Complex (Cambodia, no visa needed) – Wat Thung Sii Muang – National Museum #8 – Ubon Ratchathani (Thailand)

The Mekong River with Laos in the back-ground

Note on ‘Getting There & Away’: You may combine this module with others, or enjoy it as a ‘stand alone’ tour. This tour starts at Nakorn Phanom airport (daily flights from Bangkok). The trip ends at Ubon Ratchathani airport (4 flights to Bangkok daily).


DAY 1: ARRIVE NAKORN PHANOM – BAN NONG HOI YAI & THE REAL THAILAND – NAKORN PHANOM (BOAT RIDE ON MEKONG RIVER)
Fly to Nakorn Phanom in the morning. You will be picked up at Nakorn Phanom Airport.

Transfer 15km into town to check into the Riverview Hotel beside the Mekong River. This quaint & lovely town stretches several kilometers along the river. After drive south along the river to an ethnic-Lao village. Lunch will be en route or in Ban Nong Hoi Yai.

At Ban Nong Hoi Yai, you will see the “Real Thailand” few foreigners have been privileged enough to experience. Sip from a sweet, young “Bar-B-Q-ed” coconut upon arrival. Depending on the weather, take a walk around the village and learn about the actual process and work of growing and harvesting rice. See the entire hand-production process of cotton fabric … from cotton boll to thread, and finally to lovely “Matmee” fabrics. Fall in love with the village children who, under the guidance of their teachers and to the music of local musicians, will perform a number of traditional dances for you! Village elders will confer the “Bai Sii Su Kwan” welcome ceremony upon you. This is normally only done for and by villagers and their elders for themselves. It is generally performed for those going on, or returning from a long journey.

Visit Ho Chi Minh’s old house on the return trip to Nakorn Phanom. Take a town tour of Nakorn Phanom with your guide by van, bicycle, or local “Skylab” (local slang for a motor tri-shaw!) Visit Wat Pra Yai before taking a boat ride on the Mekong River to see beautiful scenery of Laos and Thailand. Return to the hotel to have dinner and relax. Spend the evening strolling around town and along the promenade or sample the nightlife.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Accom: Nakorn Phanom Riverview Hotel




DAY 2: NAKORN PHANOM – THAD PHANOM – MUKDAHARN – BAN PANNA – FOREST MONKEY TEMPLE –KHONG JIAM
After breakfast, drive to Thad Phanom to see the Thad Phanom Temple, built 1500 years ago according to the official historical record (the local legend relates an earlier beginning…some 8 years after the Buddha’s death!). You may see pilgrims from countries as distant as Sri Lanka & Japan! Have your fortune told in the Chinese “Siem Sii” tradition if it strikes your fancy! (Ask your guide how to do.) Then take a quick look at the museum which house many of the ancient artifacts held inside the Chedi, which collapsed during a typhoon in 1975.

Continue to Mukdahan for a walk through the Indochine Market. Products from the surrounding Mekong Countries (Vietnam, China, Laos & Cambodia) make their way here and are sold to local people. Walk the length of the Mekong River-side market, to a breezy riverside restaurant where we will enjoy lunch in a shady “sala” with a view of Laos!

On the way to Khong Jiam stop in Ban Panna, a typical country Isan town. Walk through the town's small streets to the market. Townspeople are very friendly, and usually curiously ask you questions, try out their basic English, or invite you over for a snack, especially if near meal time. Browse the local market to buy some local fruit. Then walk over to the forest park & shrine on the edge of the village. This shrine is to a holy hermit, and the park is filled with Rhesus Macaque monkeys who will be very pleased to have you feed them the fruit you bring. Enjoy meeting the monkeys for a few minutes before continuing on to Khong Jiam town.

Relax or nap for the remainder of the journey to Khong Jiam and the “2-Colour River”. The area is named as this is where the tributary Moon River feeds into the Mekong and the water remains 2 colours for some distance. Upon arrival at the Tohsaeng Khong Jiam Resort, check in, and then spend the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the resort’s facilities. Optional boat rides available. Dinner at the Resort.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accom: Tohsaeng Khong Jiam Resort (http://www.tohsang.com/intro.html)



DAY 3: AROUND KHONG JIAM – PHA TAEM NATIONAL PRE HISTORICAL PARK – KHONG JIAM
After breakfast at the Tohsaeng Khong Jiam Resort drive to Pha Taem National / Historical Park to view the pre-historic paintings. You will cross the Moon River, a tributary of the Mekong, by ferry boat. This cuts a few minutes of drive time off our trip. First have a look at the visitor centre situated on this massive rock formation, then walk down the trail (some 500m) to see about 120m of paintings on the cliff-side. Some of the subject matter depicted there is easy to discern and interpret (elephants, fish & people). The subject matter in some other paintings is debatable. Listen to what the Fine Arts Department has to say, and then make your own decision! Enjoy lovely views of the Mekong and Laos. Walk the length of the trail around the cliff if you like (about 2km +).

At Khong Jiam, take a walk around this quaint little town. Then Lunch at a floating “raft restaurant” on the Mekong River. Take as long as you like in town, then cross back over the Moon River by Ferry, to the Tohsaeng Resort where you will enjoy the rest of your day at leisure enjoying this resort’s comfortable facilities.

Dinner at the Tohsaeng Khong Jiam Resort beside the Mekong River.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accom: Tohsaeng Khong Jiam Resort (http://www.tohsang.com/intro.html)




DAY 4: KHONG JIAM, UBON RATCHATHANI – KHAO PHRA VIHARN (PRAE VIHEAR) KHMER TEMPLE COMPLEX ON THE CAMBODIAN BORDER – UBON RATCHATHANI – BANGKOK
After breakfast drive to the Cambodian Border. Note that today's experience is a physical one that will require walking and some mild climbing. Khao Phra Viharn Khmer temple complex was started even before Angkor Wat in the heart of Cambodia! Unlike other Khmer Temples in Thailand, this one has not undergone the restoration efforts of the Fine Arts Department. If Indiana Jones were real, he would have found this place! Walk up steps to graded causeways through awesome "gopuras" and arrive at the extensive but dilapidated center, which is on a cliff-top overlooking the virgin Cambodian countryside. On the way back, stop off for a look at Maw-I-Daeng cliff carvings. These carvings exhibit many similarities to some of the Hindu subject matter at Khao Phra Viharn, but experts disagree exactly which site preceded the other. Lunch will be in Kantaralak. (Picnic lunch in a shady grove en route back to Ubon is also an option. You can ask your guide to organize.) Visit a number of city sites in Ubon including Wat Sri Muang, built in a very unusual mixture of Thai, Lao & Burmese styles. Also see the National Museum #8. The exhibits here help to put what you have seen over the last days into perspective. This museum is also home to 3 of the most important known inscription stones in Thai history. Your guide will have much local knowledge, so if last minute shopping does not interest you, he/she can take you to see a few more cultural attractions before flight to Bangkok.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accom: None

 

A typical scene of Isarn - A rice farmer with his water buffolo

North-Eastern style weaving

Rice fields of Isarn

Carr ferry over the Mekong River

Ancient wall paintings

Temple ruines

Laotian boys at the cave entrence

Children playing on the river

Local Tuk-Tuk Taxis

Cambodian temple

 


Departures : Daily

Note: The program is subject to changes

 Price per Person in Thai Baht (THB), based on twin sharing room:

 Prebooking inquiry or reservation - Click here!                                                                                                         Thai Baht Exchange Rate
 

Period: 1 Person 2 Persons 3-5 Persons 6-9 Persons Single Supplement
01.05.16 - 31.10.17 50,000.- 28,000.- 22,000.- 15,500.- 3,600.-

           Tohsang Khong Jian Resort surcharge as follows:

-       Songkran Festival (13-15 Apr 11) @ THB 400 /room/night

-       Candle Festival (18 Jul 10) @ THB 500 /room/night

-       Compulsory Gala Dinner on 31 Dec 10 @ THB 1,400 /person

-       Peak Season surcharge (24 Dec 10 – 3 Jan 11) @ THB 500 /room/night

 

    PRICE INCLUDES:

-       Accommodations

-       All land transport & transfers listed on the itinerary

-       All meals as listed on the itinerary

-       All entrance fees

-       Services of an English Speaking guide throughout the tour

-       All services as listed in the itinerary

-       Insurance

 

PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

-       Services or entrance fees not mentioned in the program

-       Meals other than those mentioned in the program

-       International airport departure tax and air tickets

-       Personal drinks at meal times

-       7% VAT & 4% Credit card charge

-       TIP and Gratitude for guide and driver

-       Hotel supplement during on the peak season