Nick and Iris Van Gruisen undertake a pioneering expedition on the upper reaches of the legendary Mekong River, a world of stunning scenery, charmingly unspoilt villages and pristine jungle.
We travel aboard the RV Sabaidee Pandaw, a traditional but comfortable shallow draught river vessel with just 14 cabins, chartered exclusively for a 14-night cruise. We begin our journey in Kunming in China’s Yunnan Province before flying to Jinghong, where the majority of the population is made up of ethnic minorities. From here we will wind our way south on a thrilling voyage of discovery through the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet.
We stop for two nights in Luang Prabang, the former capital and the jewel of Laos with its dazzling wood carved monasteries and ancient Buddhist traditions before continuing our cruise downstream and disembarking in the old French capital of Vientiane. Although this will be Pandaw’s third season on the Upper Mekong, the voyage will have an exploratory feel to it and a degree of flexibility and perspective may be required.
There is also an optional post-tour extension offering the chance to explore Asia’s most magnificent archaeological remains – the Khmer Temples of Angkor in Cambodia – built between the 7th and 11th centuries comprising some 70 ruins and covering an area of 200 square miles.
OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO SIEM REAP AND ANGKOR WAT
16TH - 20TH FEBRUARY £1,580
17th February 2020
- Excluding international flights
His wife Iris was born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), where she lived for a few years before moving to Papua New Guinea. In the 1980s, she too joined Tiger Mountain to work at their flagship lodge, Tiger Tops, in Nepal’s Royal Chitwan National Park. As well as co-leading trips with Nick, she has taken trekking groups on expeditions to Kilimanjaro, the High Atlas, Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains and the Himalaya.