Beyond the Mekong

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
5.0 Based on 5 Reviews
  • COVID-19protected
  • Cruise
  • Explorer
  • Active and outdoor
  • Cultural, religious and historic sites
See Itinerary
  • duration 16 days
  • tour type Group
  • age requirement 14+ yrs
  • max group size 17
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts Bangkok, Thailand
  • Ends Bangkok, Thailand
  • +8
Tour with Flexible Booking Policy
  • Change dates It is free to change your tour start date within 30 days of departure.
  • Choose a different tour Select a new tour run by the same tour operator within 30 days of departure.
HIGHLIGHTS Download trip notes
  • Bangkok Discover the glittering Grand Palace and the temple of the Reclining Buddha at Wat Po
  • Chiang Mai Explore the bustling old walled town full of ancient temples
  • Mekong River Take a boat journey past rugged cliffs, fishing villages and jungle covered hills
  • Luang Prabang Wander through the sleepy French Colonial riverside town
Starting and ending in Bangkok, the "Beyond The Mekong" tour is a guided active and outdoor tour that takes 16 days. You will be touring through Chiang Mai, Luang Prabang, Bangkok and 7 other destinations in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. "Beyond The Mekong" is a small group tour which will include accommodation, transport, meals and others. Please check the package includes section for more details.

This exciting journey uncovers northern Thailand before taking us deep into South East Asia's lesser-visited countries of Laos and Cambodia. Take a slowboat along the Mekong River, explore charming French colonial cities and sample fresh local dishes on this Indochina adventure. Bangkok - Wander the streets of Thailand's frenetic capital, where east and west collide at every corner Luang Prabang - Soak up the city's French colonial charm and watch monks line the street at sunrise. Siem Reap - Explore the once-hidden jungle temples of Angkor
5 - Excellent
Based on 5 reviews
  • Anthony
  • On Sep 07 2020
5 - Excellent
“Would definitely recommend this trip even if you have been to South East Asia before. Well paced and an interesting varied itinerary in the time available. Wit is a great tour leader. Nothing was too much trouble and everything ran smoothly. It wasn't clear from the trip notes which of the meeting points (there are 6) at Bangkok Airport the Explore rep for the transfer to the Hotel would be waiting. We exited the baggage reclaim at meeting point 6. We ended up wandering up and down the arrivals hall for a while before meeting them by chance at meeting point 4. The hotel in Bangkok was in a good location for the main sites and close to restaurants, Khao San Road and a 7/11. Would recommend the Mango vegetarian restaurant near Khao San Road. Really enjoyed the overnight train. Food on the train was fine and delivered to one's seat. You might want to bring an eyemask/ear plugs/layers for the air con if susceptible to the cold. Chiang Mai hotel was good, slightly out of the centre and within walking distance. Really enjoyed eating at the Night Market and nice to wander around Chiang Mai centre at dusk visiting temples. Comfortable mini buses for the journey from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai: reasonable leg room even if 6 foot tall. Some twisty roads from Chiang Mai but manageable (also after lunch en route to Laos border). Fairly basic hotel in Chiang Rai, in nice setting, with good breakfast. Nice food in the Night Market with live entertainment. "Interesting" Cat Cafe near the Night Market, even if just to stand outside and admire. Journey to Laos border via viewpoint with nice views over the Mekong and border between Burma, Laos and Thailand and interesting hill tribe museum. Make sure that you have nice new crisp US Dollars ($35 for us) for the Laos border crossing. The boat trip down to Luang Prabang was fantastic. Really spacious boat; delicious food; relaxing pace and beautiful scenery. Stayed overnight at Pakbeng. In the morning at breakfast keep an eye out across the river as you may well see elephants being brought down to the river. You'll need a zoom lens for a good photo! Luang Prabang is atmospheric though you may not have the sunset viewpoint to yourself. Nice vegetarian food at the Bamboo Tree restaurant and then you can pop into the Joma bakery for fresh cakes (Also a nice Joma in Vientiane). Ground floor rooms in the Luang Prabang hotel were noisy due to water tanks/plumbing outside. Nice breakfast area. Vientiane was nice to wander around in the evening. New Rose hotel has nice rooms though a bit lacking on the breakfast front compared to other hotels on the trip e.g. policing of the amount of toast allowed! The Buddha Park is well worth a visit (optional trip). It's a great way to see everyday life in Vientiane on the drive there and the Buddha Park itself is unexpected. COPE visitor centre was interesting. Suggest buying snacks on the day of the flight to Cambodia (poor breakfast, limited airport options and small cold lunch- salad/meat- on plane). Loved Phnom Penh. It's noisy, polluted, gridlocked but has something about it that grabs you. The trip to the Killing Fields and S21 museum would benefit from being a three quarters/whole day. Half a day made it feel rushed particularly at S21 museum where without a guide we ended up touring the site in reverse. He showed us around a bit but didn't keep the group together. You'll be taken to meet a survivor of S21 with the chance to buy a book about his experiences. For books about that era in Cambodia's history I would recommend "First They Killed My Father" by Loung Ung and "River of Time" by Jon Swain. John Pilger has some good essays in "Distant Voices". The National Museum is interesting and a nice setting. Highly recommend the Friends restaurant and Romdeng restaurant, both of which are part of the TREE Alliance. Really delicious food. The Masala Dosa Street Kitchen cafe is a really great place to guessed it...Masala Dosa. Hotel room in Phnom Penh were fine, although twin rather than double. Breakfast not great. Nice views of the Cambodian countryside on the bus journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Pleasant hotel in Siem Reap (room safes in both Cambodian hotels) though good luck ordering eggs for breakfast. Best local guide in Siem Reap (except when hung over). Also no mention made of dawn visit so would need to make a point of mentioning it if interested. Need to specifically ask re cooking classes. Marum restaurant, another Tree Alliance operation, has delicious food and a nice courtyard setting. You'll get offered the Ancient Angkor guide book by Michael Freeman and Claude Jacques for $10 at all of the sites you will visit in Angkor. The same book is on sale at Siem Reap Airport for $14 which has "authentic version" on it so perhaps the ones on sale at the Angkor sites are bootleg versions..... Book the trip- you know you want to and you won't regret it! ”
  • Jon
  • On Mar 24 2020
5 - Excellent
“Has now put Explore on top of my list of preferred travel operators. Have already booked for next year. ”
  • John
  • On Mar 13 2020
5 - Excellent
“You have a gold mine in Wit. He is the best advertisement your company has. Do everything you can to retain him.”
  • David
  • On Mar 03 2020
5 - Excellent
“Excellent trip, with an exceptionally good leader, Wit.The local guides in Cambodia were also very good, and it was extremely powerful (and moving) to hear their personal recollections of the Pol Pot era”
Select Tour Version:
  • Day 1 : Tour starts in Bangkok; Optional Longtail Canal trip
  • Day 2 : In Bangkok, visit the Grand Palace and Buddhist temples; take sleeper train to Chiang Mai
  • Day 3 : In Chiang Mai, free day to explore or try a Thai cookery class
  • Day 4 : From Chiang Mai journey by road and boat along the Kok River to Chiang Rai
  • Day 5 : From Chiang Rai travel via the Golden Triangle across the border into Laos
  • Day 6 : Cruise along the Mekong River, overnight in Pakbeng village
  • Day 7 : Continue boat journey via Pak Ou Caves to Luang Prabang
  • Day 8 : In Luang Prabang, free day with the option to visit the traditional village of Lao Loum
  • Day 9 : From Luang Prabang, visit Kuang Si Waterfalls; afternoon flight to Vientiane
  • Day 10 : In Vientiane, morning city tour; free afternoon with the option to visit the Buddha Park
  • Day 11 : Fly to Phnom Penh in Cambodia, visit Royal Palace and National Museum of Arts
  • Day 12 : In Phnom Penh, visit Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the 'Killing Fields'
  • Day 13 : Drive to Siem Reap; late afternoon visit Angkor Temples for sunset
  • Day 14 : From Siem Reap, return to Angkor to explore temples of Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei and Angkor Wat
  • Day 15 : From Siem Reap, option to see sunrise at Angkor Wat; explore Angkor Thom; afternoon flight to Bangkok
  • Day 16 : Tour ends in Bangkok
  • 14 Breakfasts, 1 Dinner
  • Royal Rattankosin Hotel (2 nights)
  • Overnight Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (1 night)
  • Park Hotel (1 night)
  • Diamond Park Inn Hotel (1 night)
  • Houeixai Riverside (1 night)
  • BKC Villa (1 night)
  • Visoun NamSok Hotel (2 nights)
  • New Rose Boutique Hotel (2 nights)
  • Home Chic Hotel (2 nights)
  • Angkor Panoramic Boutique Hotel (2 nights)
  • Driver(s)
  • Bus
  • Boat
  • Flight
  • Train
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Boat Crew
  • Local Guide(s)
  • Any international flights to/from Bangkok are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Beyond the Mekong tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
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GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes

No additional cancellation fees apply for this Beyond the Mekong tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.


For any tour departures within 16 November 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 16 November 2021, a deposit of 10% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 59 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Beyond the Mekong tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Beyond the Mekong tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

For Solo Travelers

A twin share room may not always be available for solo travelers as it depends on the final number of people on the tour. If you have picked twin share room while booking, and that option is not available, we will get back to you after booking. A single room might then be available against an additional fee.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • The average size of this tour is just 12 people.
  • Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing has been implemented on this tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected. Hygiene safety measures and distancing will furthermore be followed in transportation, accommodation and meal venues.
  • Various COVID-19 distancing measures have been implemented on this trip to ensure the safety of each traveller.
  • This tour has implemented COVID-19 protocols that are guided by the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation), the European Commission and local government regulations. It amongst others take into account personal protection, extensive disinfecting and social distancing measures.
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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