Our next RAS HK Overseas Tour is to Chiang Rai and some of the northern parts of Thailand, travelling to the border with Laos, where we cross the Mekong and take a boat downriver to the ancient capital of Luang Prabang.
Along the way we plan to visit a number of the famous, beautiful and magnificent temples of this region, to travel up into the hills of northern Thailand, to visit the Golden Triangle region bordering Thailand, Burma and Laos, and to spend two days relaxing on a boat as we travel along the mighty Mekong river.
In or near Chiang Rai, deep in the ancient kingdom of Lan Na, we plan to include visits to the Emerald Buddha temple and its museum, the unique White Temple, a personal creation of a Thai artist and the Black House – another unique and eclectic creation of another Thai artist. While in the hills we may visit some hill tribe villages and should get fine views of the countryside, and tea plantations.
At the Golden Triangle we visit the Hall of Opium. We cross the Mekong, the natural border from Thailand into Laos, across one of the Friendship bridges and take a boat on a two day sojurn, between wooded hills, down the Mekong, past villages staying overnight in a resort hotel of a local village en route to Luang Prabang.
Luang Prabang, site of the ancient kingdom of Lane Xang, is sited at a promontory where the Nam Khan River meets the Mekong. We shall visit the old Royal Palace, home of the last king of Laos, which now serves as the National Museum. We visit glittering temples including the famous Wat Xieng Thong with its mosaic and gilded decorations and have a chance to see the bare-footed monks walking through the town collecting alms from devotees early in the morning. The area also enjoys French colonial architecture and is so rich in sacred art and architecture it was recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage site. We shall return, probably by flight to Chiang Mai and thence to Hong Kong.
We shall sample the local food delights and stay at reasonably comfortable hotels.
Outline itinerary, subject to refinement:
RAS HK Tour to Northern Thailand overland to Laos - (8 days/7 nights)
Friday 11 Jan: Direct afternoon flight from HK to Chiang Rai. See the illuminated monument show in the evening. Dinner and overnight in Chiang Rai.
Saturday 12 Jan: Visit Wat Phra Kaew (Emerald Temple and Museum), White Temple, the Blue Temple and the Black House (Baandam Museum). Overnight in same hotel in Chiang Rai.
Sunday 13 Jan: From Chiang Rai travel up to the hills and to the Golden Triangle, staying close the Friendship Bridge.
Monday 14 Jan: Cross the border into Laos at the Friendship Bridge. Board the boat at Houay Xai, follow the Mekong downstream, visit a village en route and stay overnight at Pak Beng.
Tuesday 15 Jan: Return to the boat to continue the journey to Luang Prabang, arriving late afternoon in time for a brief introduction and dinner. Overnight at Luang Prabang.
Wednesday 16 Jan: Sightseeing in Luang Prabang, visit the Royal Palace designed by the French colonial administration to symbolize the union between France and Laos (now the National Museum), the Phousi Hill, the superb Wat Xieng Thong built during the reign of King Setthathirat (1548 to 1571) and the site where the two rivers meet. Overnight in same hotel in Luang Prabang.
Thursday 17 Jan: Option to see the bare-footed monks collecting alms at 6 am. Further sightseeing in and around Luang Prabang. Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, Pak Ou caves. Explore the arts and crafts, night market etc. Overnight at same hotel in Luang Prabang.
Friday 18 Jan: Flight from Luang Prabang to Chiang Rai and back to Hong Kong arriving near midnight, or flight to Chiang Mai and thence to Hong Kong, also arriving around midnight.
Cost: 8 days: HK$18,700 per participant with sharing twin or double room. Single Supplement: Add HK$ 3,800
The full program is for 8 days and seven nights. However, there is flexibility, enabling those who may wish to arrive early to Chiang Rai to do so, or who may wish to stay on, perhaps visiting Vientiane or to spend more time in Chiang Mai, to do so, if you let us know at the time of booking. For example, it is possible to travel by bus from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng on Friday 18, Overnight in Vang Vieng.
Sat 19 Jan: Bus Vang Vieng to Vientiane, overnight in Vientiane.
Sun 20 Jan: Flight Vientiane to Chiang Mai to Hong Kong (getting back about midnight).
If you wish to extend your trip, please let us know as soon as possible and with the Booking. Phoenix Services Agency (HK) Ltd would be happy to quote according to your requirements.
* Your early expression of interest to Peter Stuckey or Rocky Dang would be appreciated as soon as possible, please. We will then send you a Booking form. This should then be filled in to confirm your interest and returned with your cheque before 31st October 2018.
Included: Tour price includes flights, accommodation, meals, entrance fees, transport, basic tips.
Not included: Tour price does not include travel insurance or beverages. It is a requirement of RASHK that all Participants must have travel insurance.
A Visa for Laos entry will be required and can be obtained at the Border. Your passport must have an on-going validity of at least 8 months from the date of entry.
The Tour is intended primarily for RASHK Members. A surcharge (HK$ 750) applies to Non-Members.
Please contact Peter Stuckey and/or Rocky Dang for details and booking.
Peter Stuckey: email@example.com Tel: 923 24 284 Rocky Dang firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 918 23 483