River Cruise Itinerary for Halong Bay, Red River and Laos Mekong Downstream | Pandaw.com
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PANDAW COMBO RIVER CRUISE

HALONG BAY, RED RIVER & LAOS MEKONG

21 NIGHTS FROM US$7,940.50 - MEMBERS FROM US$6,672.40

For the first-time travelers will be able to explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by river ship traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of down town Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. This is a combination of scenic beauty, lively and interesting (sometimes industrial) life of the river and exploring rivers where no other tourist craft operate.

Combined this with a three-country expedition as we will traverse Laos to touch Thailand and Burma at the once notorious Golden Triangle. From Vientiane, the old French capital, and so redolent of L’Indochine, beyond Luang Prabang, Pandaw is the first river expedition since prewar days to cross all Laos.

This trip included flight between Hanoi and Vientiane or v.v. with a one-night hotel stay.

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21 NIGHTS FROM US$7,940.50 - MEMBERS FROM US$6,672.40
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IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

EXTENSIONS

PRE CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Pre Tour Hanoi 1 Night

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Pre Tour Sapa & Hanoi 4 Nights

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Hue & Hoi An 4 Nights Pre Tour

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

The Plain of Jars - Post Cruise Downstream Laos

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OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS

Private Dining

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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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ITINERARY

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 VIET TRI

Transfer to Viet Tri, embark your ship and set sail downstream for sunset and a night on the Red River. Tonight we enjoy a traditional dance on board.

More about Viet Tri

DAY 2 THE LO RIVER

In the morning transfer to Gia Thanh village and visit the conical hat making village. Then continue by bus to visit Hung Lo Temple where we will enjoy a UNESCO recognized "Hat Xoan" performance. In the afternoon will moor in Minh Chau to visit a carpenter village and smith's village in Vinh Phuc province.

DAY 3 UPPER RED RIVER

We will visit the UNESCO praised village of Duang Lam, then sail downstream on the Red River and visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by lime stone rock formations. Of particular interest are the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas, hardly known, yet with exquisite temples dating from the 8th and 11th century and home to some fine Buddhist statuary carved from jackfruit trees.

DAY 4 HANOI

Dropped anchor in the bustling city of Hanoi, passengers will visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis, must see’s like the notorious Vietnam war prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Welcome back to the ship by Lion Dances.

DAY 5 THE LOWER RED RIVER

In the morning going off shore to visit Bat Trang ceramic village followed by a Unicorn Dance. Sail down the lower Red River to Dien Xa Bonsai village.

DAY 6 DAY RIVER

After breakfast we visit Dien Xa Bonsai village followed by lunch. In the afternoon, visit the famous Phat Diem stone Cathedral and a local house where they make rice wine. Back to the ship then sail up the Day River to Ninh Binh.

DAY 7 NINH BINH

In the morning we will visit Thung Nang, taking a rowing boat to the so called "Halong on land" in Ninh Binh. In the afternoon we visit the quaint village of Pham Phao where guests can walk around the village visiting a host family where musician instruments have been made and repaired for generations. Listen to the owner who plays every instrument within his family run business. We visit local Woodworking Artisans who produce items for local and international markets.

DAY 8 LUOC - THAI BINH - KINH THAY RIVERS

Observe the lively and interesting life on the river before we reach our next destination in the afternoon.


Excursion to Thanh Ha Commune with village walk and a private water puppet show set under shade by a beautiful pond of lotus and lilies. 

We drop anchor near Hai Phong Port, the gateway to Halong Bay. 

DAY 9 HALONG BAY

Cast off early morning along the river before entering Halong Bay’s amazing island scenery with its 2,000 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations dating back 20 million years.

Exploring Halong Bay, we stop at the so called “Dark and Bright Cave”. Take a kayak or a local basket boat rowed by fishermen and enter this remarkable cave into an enclosed area similar to a crater. Bats can be heard in the cave and massive stalagmites hang from the ceiling.

We continue our cruise around Halong Bay until we drop anchor in Rang Dua.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 10 HALONG BAY

We make a stop at Viet Hai Village and continue our journey by mountain bike or electric buggy to visit the village’s vegetable farm and typical village houses. It is a breathtaking trip along a small road winding its way through the limestone rocks.

In the afternoon we will continue cruising towards Lan Ha Bay for a visit to a floating fishing house.

Weather dependent, we will end the day with cocktails at a beautiful beach in Halong Bay.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 11 HALONG BAY

Morning sail to Tuan Chau Jetty. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi Airport with stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Fly to Chiang Mai and be transported to your hotel where you will have the rest of the evening for self-exploration.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 12 CHIANG SAEN

Transfer from your hotel in Chiang Mai to your Pandaw vessel (6 hours), including a visit to the Golden Triangle and the now infamous opium museum. Embark your ship by 16.00 and cruise upriver towards the Burma border for sunset.

More about Golden Triangle

DAY 13 INTO LAOS

Pass through immigration formalities at the Thai/Laos border and re-join the ship. Set sail downstream on the beautiful Upper Mekong River. After lunch, if time allows, sightseeing on foot in a Laos jungle village.

More about Into Laos

DAY 14 KHAMO VILLAGE

Morning walk in a Khamo village. Sail downstream on the beautiful Mekong then relax with evening cocktails on a sandbank.

DAY 15 PAK OU CAVES & LUANG PRABANG

Continue cruising downstream to Pak Ou, transfer to a local boat and enter the Nam Ou River to visit the extraordinary Pak Ou Buddha Caves. Admire spectacular limestone cliff faces in the Buddhist sanctuary.

More about Pak Ou Caves and Nam Ou River

DAY 16 LUANG PRABANG

In the morning explore by tuktuk this well preserved and unique world heritage site with its many Buddhist temples, libraries and royal palace. Visit the National Museum and have the afternoon free to explore the beauty and unique atmosphere of Luang Prabang. Traditional Laos dancing on the upper deck late afternoon. Moor overnight in Luang Prabang.

More about Luang Prabang

DAY 17 KHAUNG SI WATERFALL

Early morning walking tour to observe the morning alms offering by local people to the hundreds of monks who walk around the city every morning. Drive to see the deep jungle pools at the Khaung Si Waterfall, the teak forest trails and butterfly farm.

More about Kuang Si Waterfalls

DAY 18 XAYABURI DAM

Pass through the Mekong water control lock at Xayaburi Hydro Electric Power Plant (itself an interesting and perhaps controversial tourist attraction). Late afternoon walking tour of a local village.

More about Xayaburi Dam

DAY 19 XANAKHAM

Morning visit to Ban Pha Leab with its beautiful limestone mountain. Continue to Pak Houng-Thai Lao Border for an excursion to a plantation village and meet the local people.

DAY 20 VIENTIANE

Pass through a dramatic landscape of jungle and mountain where the river flows fast and wild. Amazing rock formations straddle the river banks. Here we enter the cultivated plains of Vientiane province. Arrive mid-afternoon in Vientiane to moor overnight. Opportunity for independent exploration of this delightful, French influenced city.

DAY 21 VIENTIANE

Morning exploration of the delightful French city including visits to the golden Pha That Luang Stupa, Sisaket Temple, the President’s Hall, Watt Prakeo Temple and the Phatouxay monument. Opportunity for independent exploration and experience the many cafes and bistros in this charming little corner of L’Indochine. Farewell cocktails and dinner.

More about Vientiane

DAY 22 VIENTIANE

Disembark in Vientiane after breakfast and transfer to airports or hotel in Vientiane or Udon Thani in Thailand (1.5hrs, just across the river).

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WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: One overnight at Pan Pacific Hotel (Hanoi) or Ansara (Vientiane) or similar, one flight from Hanoi or Vientiane or v.v., entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes. Transfers between ports of embarkation and Hanoi International Airport at the start and end of the 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.

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 1 VIET TRI

TRANSFER FROM HANOI AIRPORT
We pick you up at Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport – Seat in coach. Last departure is no later than 12.00 noon. A Pandaw representative will be waiting for you with a Pandaw Sign at column No12. On the right hand sided of the international arrival exit.

Please note: Guides and drivers are not allowed inside the terminal building. We will be waiting for you outside with a Pandaw sign. Hanoi Airport has two exits; if you don’t see us, please try the other exit on the same level (30 meters).

TRANSFER FROM HANOI CITY
For passenger already in Hanoi the night before, please meet us at: 11.00am
PAN PACIFIC HOTEL HANOI
1 Thanh Nien Road, Ba Dinh District
10000 HANOI
VIETNAM
Tel +84 4 382 38888

Registration at hotel lobby 11.00am. Coach departs from Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi at 12.00noon.

DAY 22 VIENTIANE

Disembark 08.30 in Vientiane after breakfast followed by transfer to airport or hotel.

Please note: There is a surcharge for private transfers, and pick up and drop for Udon Thani if you are not able to meet us at above scheduled pick up times.

Vientiane Jetty- Land River Transport Enterprise, Thadeua Road km4, Sisattanark District.

TESTIMONIALS

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MEDIA MENTIONS

The Mekong's Magical Secret

25 May 2021 - article by Caroline Hendrie for the Mail Online

 

The 30 best river cruises for 2021 and beyond

16 Mar 2021 - article by Sara Macefield for The Telegraph

 

Pandaw Cruises Pte Ltd ©2021 Pandaw Cruises Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.

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