River Cruise Itinerary for Hanoi, Halong Bay, Saigon and Siem Reap Downstream | Pandaw.com
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HANOI, HALONG BAY, SAIGON & SIEM REAP

19 NIGHTS FROM US$5,980.50 - MEMBERS FROM US$5,316.00
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Combine the fascinating and varied Mekong River, with its striking cultural contrast between the bustling Vietnam delta and the tranquility of Cambodia, with exploring the key sites of Northern Vietnam by 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. Inbetween cruises spend a day at leisure to explore Saigon.

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19 NIGHTS FROM US$5,980.50 - MEMBERS FROM US$5,316.00
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES
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ITINERARY

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 HOA BINH

Transfer to Hoa Binh, embark your ship at around 15.00 and set sail downstream for sunset and a night on the Da River.

More about Hoa Binh

DAY 2 HOA BINH

Hoa Binh was the site of a major battle with the French in 1951 & 1952 and is home to the Muong ethnic group.

The Hoa Binh Dam at the Black River is the largest hydroelectric dam in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Take an afternoon boat ride on the reservoir of Hoa Binh power station.

A traditional performance by local hill tribe people is given in the evening.

More about Hoa Binh

DAY 3 THE DA RIVER

In the morning, visit a museum and local village where villagers still wear traditional dress.

A day sailing downstream admiring the unspoilt beauty of the Da River, passing through the Ba Vi National Park with its rich and diverse tropical and sub-tropical flora and fauna before arriving at Trung Ha.

Our chef will share his skills in fruit carving and demonstrate how to create Vietnamese spring rolls.

More about The Da River

DAY 4 VIET TRI

After breakfast by coach through beautiful scenic countryside to the UNESCO praised village of Duong Lam then continue cruising downstream to Viet Tri. Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of craft and activity.

Meet your guide in the dining room for a lecture on Vietnam, its history, geography and the boat people.

More about Duong Lam

DAY 5 LO - RED RIVERS

Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of craft and activity. In the morning cruise to Tien Du ferry station to visit the Hung Lo Temple.

Continue by bus to Gia Thanh village, makers of the conical hats (known as ‘non la’). The ‘non la’ are handmade with palm leaves and bamboo. There is no machinery available to create this work of art. Their origin dates approximately 3,000 years back.

Afternoon excursion to a carpenter village famous for exqisite carvings and wood work techniques.

More about Lo and Red River

DAY 6 THE LOWER RED RIVER

Go ashore to visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by limestone rock formations. Of particular interest are the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas.

Enroute to Hanoi, stop at Bat Trang in the afternoon, a ceramic village (literally: ‘bat’ means ‘bowl’ and ‘trang’ means ‘workshop’). Bat Trang is a seven century-old pottery village, located in an area rich in clay.

On the way back to the ship watch a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty. This dance originated in China and spread over Southeast Asia.

More about Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas

DAY 7 HANOI

Drop anchor in the capital and bustling city of Hanoi to visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis. Must-sees include the notorious Vietnam War prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

Afternoon walking tour of Hanoi’s old quarter,including a visit to a coffee shop to learn about Vietnam’s famous coffee-making industry.

More about Hanoi

DAY 8 LUOC - THAI BINH - KINH THAY RIVERS

Observe the lively and interesting life on the river before reaching next destination in the afternoon.

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

Drop anchor near Hai Phong Port.

The Water Puppets are a tradition which dates back as far as the 11th century, originating in the villages of the Red River Delta. The stories tell the day-to-day life of rural Vietnam with a strong reference to Vietnamese folklore. The puppets are made of lacquered wood, and the performers are in a waist-deep pool hidden behind a screen.

More about Thanh Ha and Water Puppets

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.

Exploration of Halong Bay continues with a visit to 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.

Continue cruise around Halong Bay until dropping anchor in Rang Dua.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 10 HALONG BAY

Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years.

Stop at Viet Hai Village and explore on mountain bike or electric buggy, visiting the village’s vegetable farm and typical village houses. It is a breath-taking trip along a small road winding its way through the limestone rocks.

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

Weather dependent, end the day with cocktails at a beautiful beach in Halong Bay -bring your swimwear!

More about Lan Ha Bay

DAY 11 HALONG BAY - HANOI - SAIGON

Morning sail to Tuan Chau Jetty. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi Airport for your flight to Saigon and your hotel, with stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 12 SAIGON

Day at leisure to explore Saigon city.

DAY 13 SAIGON TO MY THO

Transfer from the meeting point in Saigon to My Tho Port. After boarding your Pandaw we sail downstream to Ben Tre and anchor midstream. In the afternoon, there is a lecture on Vietnamese life on the Mekong Delta. During cocktail hour passengers are entertained by an indigenous dance group and meet your key crew.

More about Saigon

DAY 14 BEN TRE

Travel by sampans through mangroves and bamboo groves to the fruit orchards of Ben Tre. In these local artisans are at work and are invite visitors into their homes for tea, fruit and honey products made from their own honey. This is an area rich in bird life and on our return journey we travel by local transport through the lush countryside. After lunch, the ship moors off Cho Lach island for pot making and further glimpses of Delta life, agriculture and local Viet hospitality including a culinary lesson in making traditional Banh Xeo.

DAY 15 CON PHUOC ISLAND

After breakfast, there is a short coach journey to the Gao Giong ‘green oasis’ with its bird sanctuary. Here a diverse selection of water and egrets that gather in the tens of thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi or ‘Plain of Reeds’. Rowing boats traverse the canals to take us to see the principal nesting areas. After returning to the boat we cruise upstream to Con Phuoc Island. We Moor in a small canal off Con Phuoc Island and go ashore to explore the island by Xi Loi seeing basket production and visiting a 100-year old Catholic Church as well as local woodworking artisans.

DAY 16 CAMBODIA BORDER

Afternoon, explore the labyrinthine canal system around Tan Chau to visit a Taoist temple where the monks will read fortunes. Continue through local villages by Xi Loi stopping off to help locals tend their fields before stopping off to visit a fish farm and earn merit by releasing fish back into the Mekong. Border crossing formalities take up much of the afternoon and during this stationary period there is an optional tour of the working ship and fruit carving classes on deck.

DAY 17 PHNOM PENH

Morning orientation of Phnom Penh by cyclo visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda followed by the National Museum with its marvelous collection of Angkorian statuary. Afternoon optional visit to the Killing Fields and Genocide museum or take a tuk-tuk to explore the riverfront and finish with High Tea at Raffles Hotel. Overnight in Phnom Penh city port with its lively bars, restaurants and night life.

More about Phnom Penh

DAY 18 SILK ISLAND

Sail up the Mekong/Tonle River convergence to visit Koh Okhna Tey, or ‘silk island’ to study the entire silk making process from worms to weavers. There will be a demonstration of the ancient Khmer martial art of Bokator. Return to ship and cruise upstream towards Kampong Cham. Evening lecture on Angkor and Khmer culture.

DAY 19 WAT HANCHEY, OBT CHIRO VILLAGE & WAT NOKOR BACHEY

Sunrise cruise to Wat Hanchey an important centre of worship during the Chenla period located on top of a hill above the mighty Mekong River with some of the best Mekong views in Cambodia. Visit 8th century structures some destroyed by American bombings during the Vietnam War. Well noted for its bizarre Fruit and Animal statues.

We cruise back downstream to Kampong Cham where after lunch we travel by Bus to the local OBT Chiro Village where the education of local children is high on the agenda. Pre-Hospitality training courses, plastic recycling, bee keeping, farming and handicraft skill projects are set up to improve the skill set of local children. We then travel to the Wat Nokor Bachey dating back to the Jayarvaman VII period. Built completely from Black Sandstone which makes it standout from other temples built during this period. Many legends surround this complex one being it was built by a king who accidently killed his father then married his mother as per Greek legend. This temple was built in penance for his crime.

DAY 20 SIEM REAP

Sail downstream to moor at Kampong Cham for disembarkation and road transfer to Siem Reap.

More about Siem Reap

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WHATS INCLUDED

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 1 HOA BINH

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. Arrival in Hoa Binh jetty at 15.00.

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:
PAN PACIFIC HOTEL HANOI
1 Thanh Nien Road, Ba Dinh District
10000 HANOI
VIETNAM
Tel +84 4 382 38888

Registration at hotel lobby 11.00. Coach departs from Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi at 12.00 noon. Arrival at Hoa Binh Jetty at 15.00.

PASSENGERS WITH OWN ARRANGEMENTS
Please arrive at Hoa Binh Jetty (behind AP Plaza Building) for embarkation at 15.00.

DAY 11 HALONG BAY - HANOI - SAIGON

Disembarkation at 10.00 Tuan Chau Port at Halong Bay. After lunch at local restaurant departure for Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport for your flight to Saigon and your hotel the InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel. Estimated arrival at Hanoi Airport at 15.30.

DAY 13 SAIGON TO MY THO

Transfer from the InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel in Saigon to the port of My Tho by coach to embark cruise.

Registration Details
INTERCONTINENTAL ASIANA SAIGON HOTEL
Registration is at 10.00
THE LIBRARY Bar, ground floor next to the hotel’s reception
39 Le Duan, Ben Nghe
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam
Tel: (+84) 8 3520 9999
WEBSITE

Morning transfer from the Inter Continental Asiana Saigon Hotel to the port of My Tho by coach to embark on the Pandaw vessel.

Please arrive at meeting point no later than 10.00. Transfer will depart 10.30.

Your guide will collect your passports at the meeting point so we can arrange the immigration formalities.

DAY 20 SIEM REAP

Early morning coach transfer to the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa in Siem Reap, arriving mid-afternoon (approx. 13.30).

Transfer by coach from Kampong Cham to Siem Reap takes approx 5 hours.

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