River Cruise Itinerary for Classic Mekong Downstream | Pandaw.com
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7 NIGHTS FROM US$3,392.76 - MEMBERS FROM US$2,714.21

There can be no tapestry of river life as fascinating and varied as the River Mekong. Indeed there can be no more striking a cultural contrast as that between the bustling Vietnam delta and the tranquility of Cambodia. We pass from the vibrant French colonial port of Saigon, through the vast delta so rich in human life and endeavour, to travel along the main channel into the rich countryside of Cambodia. With a full day in charming Phnom Penh we then explore remoter waterways as we progress to the great monuments of Angkor.


7 NIGHTS FROM US$3,392.76 - MEMBERS FROM US$2,714.21
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Exploring Angkor (Victoria Resort) Pre Tour

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Exploring Angkor (Jaya House Riverpark) Pre Tour

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Saigon & Surroundings (InterContinental Asiana)

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Vietnam's Heritage Road, Saigon - Hue - Hoi An 5 night Post Tour

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Private Dining

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Language Guides (Cruise portion only)

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Pre-Bookable House Wine Package

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Free Flow Drinks

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Free Flow Drinks & Wine Package

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Upstream      Downstream


Morning pick up from your hotel in Siem Reap to travel through the local countryside, skirting the Tonle Sap Lake, before arriving in Kampong Chhnang to embark your Pandaw vessel and the commencement of your adventure. Enjoy your first lunch on board.

More about Siem Reap


After breakfast we board our Tender Boat “Pandaw Explorer” to visit the famous Tonle Sap Floating Villages & Markets, observing locals fishing and tending their floating vegetable gardens. We then cruise back to Kampong Chhnang City and disembark our Tender for a walk along the newly constructed River Walkway. Upon returning to the ship, we navigate the very narrow canals of the Tonle Sap River and get up close & personal with the local riverside villagers. After lunch, we board our local limousines (Ox-Carts) for a meander along the Tonle Sap River visiting local villages, markets and temples. Tonight, we will host our Cocktail Hour around a fire pit in one of the local Khmer Villages where we will join the villagers dancing and learning about the local culture.


After a short morning cruise along the Tonle Sap River we will disembark at Kampong Trollach and travel by coach to the Ancient Capital of Cambodia, Oudong. We visit the Vipassana Dhura Meditation Centre for a morning of relaxation & meditation before taking a drive around the old capital. After lunch we visit Koh Nghe Tei (Silk Island) to study the entire silk-making process from worms to weavers. You will have the chance to visit local silk purveyors and purchase the locally made products before we enjoy a demonstration of the ancient martial art of L’bokator. L'bokator, which roughly translates as 'pounding a lion' includes weapons techniques and is one of the oldest existing fighting systems in Cambodia. Oral tradition indicates that L’bokator, or an earlier form thereof, was the close quarter combat system used by the armies before Angkor 1,700 years ago.


We dock in the Cambodian Capital of Phnom Penh where we will partake in a morning orientation of the city by cyclo, visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda followed by the National Museum with its marvellous collection of Angkorian statuary. In the afternoon, we visit the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn about the tragic history of the area and local people. Optional half-day and full-day tours are available during our stay in Phnom Penh at extra cost. Please contact us in advance or see your in-cabin information manual for further details. Overnight in Phnom Penh city port with its lively bars, restaurants and nightlife.

More about Phnom Penh


We up anchor early morning and cruise downstream along the Mekong River to the Cambodia/Vietnam Border to undergo Immigration Formalities. After lunch our boat docks alongside the picturesque border town of Chau Doc where we visit the famous floating markets & fish farms by Sampan. We make a stop at a local Chham Village and observe the lives of these local Vietnamese Muslims before boarding minivans for a short drive to Sam Mountain, location of Phuoc Dien Tu or the Hang Pagoda. We climb the 400 steps to the top to visit the pagoda, proclaimed an 'official historic monument' on 10th July 1980 by the Ministry of Culture and Information of Vietnam. In the evening feel free to wander along the Chau Doc Riverside.


Early morning, we leave Chau Doc and travel through the canals of the delta as locals awake to a hive of activity. After lunch, we drop anchor upstream of Cao Lanh and take a short coach journey through the lush countryside to Gao Giong ‘green oasis’, a 1,000-acre eucalyptus forest and listed wildlife sanctuary. Here a diverse selection of water birds and egrets gather in their tens of thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi or ‘Plain of Reeds’. Rowboats traverse the canals to take us to view the principal nesting areas where photo opportunities abound.


A morning of sailing passing towns such as Sadec & Cai Be provides an insight into life along this mighty waterway. After lunch, we travel by sampans through mangroves and bamboo forests to the fruit orchards of Ben Tre. This is an area rich in birdlife which we will explore via local transport before transferring to a rowboat. We will journey slowly through the bamboo covered canals before arriving at a village specialising in coconut candy & rice wine. Here you can view the process of manufacturing these specialities and try them for yourself, including the local "Moonshine." In the evening you will be entertained by a Vietnamese Cultural Group highlighting “Life on the Mekong Delta.”


We disembark our Pandaw Boat and travel by coach from My Tho City through the countryside to your hotel in Saigon.

More about Saigon



Cruise Price Includes: Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes. Transfers between the meeting point and the ship at the start and end of a voyage.

Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.



Transfer from hotel in Siem Reap on the day of embarkation will be provided. Pick up time is between 07:45 and 08:45.

Please provide details of your flight or hotel at least 61 days prior to departure for transfer arrangements.

Transfer from Siem Reap to Kampong Chhnang takes approx 4 hours.


Early morning coach transfer to Hotel in Saigon or airport, arriving around 10.30.


Please note Vietnam e-visas are not accepted at the river border when travelling downstream from Cambodia to Vietnam. Click here for further visa information.

Please also visit cibtvisas.co.uk for VISA information.


We were so impressed, that when we are in a position to investigate another holiday, we will definitely have Pandaw on our list - posted by John and Dianne Ellis

We have never been on a river cruise before and this has definitely whetted our appetite for a similar experience - posted by Cathy Byrne

The cruise was an excellent and easy way to see lots of interesting things and places and we would thoroughly recommend it - posted by Carole Samuels

This was a wonderful cruise, and we are already looking at the new cruises in India with Pandaw - posted by Priscilla Kuzyszyn

The experiences we were able to enjoy due to the size of the ship and the knowledge of the local guides were unbelievable, we didn't see any other tourists apart from in Phnom Penh - posted by Tracy and Lesley

We went on your 7 day Pandaw cruise down the Mekong River, which was a wonderful experience and the highlight of our 24 day holiday - posted by Pauline and Nigel Hawkins

I really enjoyed all the hotels and tours you booked before and after the cruise as well as the cruise itself - posted by Candice W

My wife and I went on the Mekong cruise, it was indeed a very good experience - posted by Michael Vinding

Wonderful 7 day cruise, would definitely recommend this cruise - posted by Carol Gordon

This was my second trip with Pandaw and even exceeded my expectations from the first cruise - posted by Victoria Oliver

We spent an amazing week on the Mekong Pandaw. The crew were all amazing, well trained, polite, helpful, efficient - posted by Julie Evans

The cruise had just the right amount of excursions with enough time to meet fellow travellers and relax. It exceeded our expectations - posted by Brian Costello and Fiona Jackson

You would have to be very picky to find a fault as they have mastered the concept of managing their customers' experience, rather than just taking them on a cruise - posted by David Hinds

All I can do is rave! This was possibly the best holiday we’ve ever had as a family - posted by Sophie Ray

The 7 day Mekong cruise on the Pandaw was the highlight of our 3 week trip - posted by Linda Lee

We will take another river cruise on Pandaw! - posted by Joan Stockbridge

We can’t speak too highly of the entire experience - posted by Anne and George McKay

The whole cruise was excellent and beyond my expectations - posted by Ron Chisholm

The experience was beyond all our expectations and dreams - posted by Chris and John Speight

Such an enjoyable experience for us with the usual friendly, professional, conscientious thoughtful attention to the needs of guests - posted by Margaret Sewell and Wendy Purba

We particularly liked that Pandaw shares the tourism wealth with these small communities - posted by Margaret Kay and Michael Smart

Just wanted to let you know that once again I had an excellent cruise with Pandaw - posted by Diana Welsby

The service we received was far and above what we expected - posted by Bill and Jean Adam

Any suggestions for improvement? Not really. Why go with Pandaw twice? Why not go three times? - posted by Malcolm and Cath Lister

With Pandaw you not only get what you pay for but you get memories like never before - posted by Mr Rodney and Valerie Nash

What a wonderful experience! From start to finish this was a first-class trip in every way - posted by Susan Donaldson and David Perry

I can only say that it was a fantastic, informative, memorable and enjoyable adventure - posted by Susan and David Burgess

We had the most amazing time and have returned with lovely memories that we will cherish forever - posted by Barry and April Palmer

What is there to say, except that it was probably our best trip for many years! - posted by Pierre and Patricia Laederich

The ship was first class and all your crew were a credit to you - posted by Valerie John

Thanks to all the crew for making our cruise truly memorable. It has now left us with a problem. Which Pandaw cruise shall we go on next? - posted by Gordon and Christine Halliday

The Pandaw Mekong cruise provides a fantastic moving picture of village life along the river - posted by Trevor and Sandy Johns

The service and friendliness of the staff was sensational - posted by Andrew Wannan

As you can see I loved every minute and wish more people knew about it - posted by Betty Geldard

I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed the cruise, the food, the cocktails and the company of our fellow travellers and the staff - posted by Vivienne Bourke

The journey itself was magical, experiencing the local villages and being amongst the locals was very special - posted by Camilla Gomes

Well done Pandaw - we would highly recommend this voyage to any traveller as the best river cruise - posted by Neville & Jill Pinkham

What a wonderful experience we had on the RV Mekong Pandaw - posted by Bob & Barbara Hackman

We fully intend to book another cruise with Pandaw - posted by Bill & Michelle Hammons

The friendliness of the crew made the whole trip such a delight - posted by Lorna & David Williams

Thank you for the very special memories I now hold - posted by Laura Kelly

Read article on Roamarroo.com - posted by Collette & Scott Stohler

I don’t know of any other company/staff that would do this for their guests - posted by Vivienne Zaarour

Thank You again for this wonderful experience, all 7 of us had a fantastic time - posted by Linda Elliott

The cruise was fabulous - posted by Ed Barry

All passengers in our group thought this cruise to be the best part of our holiday - posted by Wendy Urquhart

Many thanks and congratulations on creating something terrific - posted by Paul & Emily Christensen

A holiday of a lifetime - up their with going on a safari in Kenya - posted by The Classic Mekong, Apr 2015

My wonderful trip on the Angkor Pandaw cruising up the Mekong River - posted by Jeff Carrier

Stephen Read's blog about the RV Mekong Pandaw - posted by Stephen Read

A cruise on the Mekong is a must whether take a long cruise like this or a short one - posted by The Classic Mekong, Feb 2015

The ship, built in Scotland and modeled on the old steam-ships was fabulous - posted by The Classic Mekong, Oct 2014

Please relay our gratitude again to all the crew - posted by Michael & Anna Cox

You can be very proud of your boat and staff - posted by David & Pamela Bainbridge

We were very delighted at all the Pandaw experience - posted by Philip Johnston

Once again we had a fabulous time on board the RV Pandaw Mekong - posted by Mrs Wade


Insights into the Khmer Empire Under Jayavarman VII

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Khmer Rouge Killing Fields

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Vietnam and Cambodia by Pandaw

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Dolphin delight: New opportunities to see the Mekong's favourite inhabitants

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Happy ending - how a veteran Vietnam War protestor found peace with Pandaw

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Vietnam River Cruising - A truly immersive experience (PODCAST)

12 May 2021 - article by Kerry Newsome Episode for What About Vietnam


Pandaw redesigns Classic Mekong cruise

20 Jan 2020 - article by TTR Weekly


Spirited away on a river cruise in Laos

13 Apr 2019 - article by Lee Beaumann for The Times


Five of the best Mekong river cruises for wildlife fans

11 Dec 2018 - article by Tamara Hinson for The Telegraph


Mekong River cruise, Cambodia: Flickers of hope along the Mekong Read

02 Dec 2016 - article by Nina Karnikowski from the Wendy Wu press trip


RV Mekong Pandaw: along the mighty river from Cambodia to Vietnam

26 Nov 2016 - article by Helen McKenzie for The Australian


The Pandaw Luxury River Cruise: An Odyssey on the Mekong from Saigon to Phnom Penh

26 Jul 2016 - article by Glenn Harris for the Luxury Lifestyle Mag UK


Mekong river cruise: exploring Cambodia and Vietnam from the water

01 Oct 2015 - article by Telegraph Travel


Grand dame of the vibrant Mekong River

01 Apr 2015 - article by Shirley Sinclair, Sunshine Coast Daily


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