27. Juli 2018
…and board the Gypsy, an ultra-exclusive two-cabin river cruiser, between the ancient Laos capital of Luang Prabang and Thailand’s Golden Triangle
For those who seek a superior cruise experience that can be as spirited, laidback or personalised as their heart and soul desire, Gypsy offers the most intimate journey where adventurous voyagers and armchair travellers alike can enjoy first class services – from plush contemporary surrounds to gourmet meals and bespoke experiences both on board and ashore.
Meticulously designed to accommodate the modern day lifestyle of the most discerning wanderlust souls, the 41-metre, two-cabin vessel epitomises a fine balance between playful mingling and reflective solitude. With ample indoor and outdoor living spaces to comfortably accommodate families or small groups, Gypsy also features a communal mid-ship lounge, bar and dining area, as well as a separate veranda style lounge with an al fresco panorama deck at the bow of the boat.
For Bangkok based design consultant Ms Jiraparnn Tokeeree from TOUCHABLE, furniture and interior design is more approachable and touchable than the abstract concept of art – for her, art is all around us and she adapts aesthetics and artistic aspects into her designs in order to accentuate this notion. For the Gypsy interior design project she fashioned a harmonious social atmosphere of modern homely design, juxtaposed with hints of the glamorised bygone era of romantic voyaging.
Wood and thatch throughout blend seamlessly with the verdant surrounds of the mighty Mekong River’s shores through floor-to-ceiling windows and from open sun decks. The boat’s contemporary designed interiors feature tongue and groove wood panelled ceilings, floors and walls; etched wooden cupboards and closets; solid wood tables; dark woven leather seating; and oversized bamboo daybeds. Local handwoven ornaments adorn the spaces and freshly cut flowers create a naturally soothing ambience, while Thai silk and fabrics drape the furniture in bold colours and lustrous appeal.
The well-appointed spacious sleeping cabins are fully air-conditioned and consists of a king bed and twin beds configurations, each with an en-suite shower and vanity. Intimate touches of bathrobes and slippers; crisp white bed linen; regular and feather pillows; and a choice of exquisite bathroom amenities provide convenient functions with the comfort of home. A hair dryer, vanity and make up mirror are provided, while a personal safe promises in-room safety.
Cruising along the majestic mighty Mekong River from near the world renowned Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Chiang Saen to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang conjures up images of old Indochina, of languorous days gone by, teeming with exhilarating river adventure, mystical temples and stunning untouched scenery. Voyagers will be captivated by the languid river lifestyle, soaking in nature’s wonders along the Mekong River Valley, marvelling at encounters with fascinating local cultures as they stop at villages and attractions along the way.
Daily shore excursions offer a mix of age old culture, local immersion and adrenaline charged adventure and include guided jungle treks; mountain biking in Ban Houy Phalam; freshwater fishing; a traditional weaving workshop at Ban Baw; Laos whisky tasting; a visit to a little known elephant camp in Pak Beng; and the Pak Ou caves – with its breath taking limestone karst formations, these two caves have been gifted thousands of Buddha images, left by pilgrims over the centuries.
Even while cruising the placid waters, guests can enjoy a range of wellness, cultural and fun diversions on board, including yoga; folk dancing; learning to speak the Laos language; weaving workshop; and cooking class.
After an adventurous day of exploring Southeast Asia’s most beguiling waterway, the boat’s open decks offer a welcome respite to savour a decadent Champagne high tea while watching the world go by. As the sun sets, cocktails on the panorama deck are the order of the day before retreating to the dining area for an evening of fine dining and imbibing, courtesy of the on board chef.
Images: Courtesy of Mekong Kingdoms