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

18 NIGHTS FROM US$7,343.98
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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18 NIGHTS FROM US$7,343.98
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES
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OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS

Private Dining

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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 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 - MY THO - BEN TRE

Pick up from your city hotel or airport for the road trip from Saigon to My Tho City on the mighty Mekong River to embark your Pandaw Vessel and the commencement of your adventure. 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 local 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”.

More about Saigon

DAY 13 GAO GIONG

A morning of sailing through the delta provides an insight into life along this mighty waterway. After lunch, 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.

DAY 14 CHAU DOC - SAM MOUNTAIN - VIETNAM/CAMBODIA BORDER

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. Upon return to our boat, we cruise the local canals before dropping anchor on the Vietnam/Cambodia Border to undergo Immigration Formalities.

DAY 15 PHNOM PENH

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.

DAY 16 SILK ISLAND

We start the day by cruising upstream from Phnom Penh along the Mekong River before returning in the afternoon to 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.

More about Phnom Penh

DAY 17 TONLE SAP RIVER - PREK KDAM - OUDONG

After a short morning cruise along the Tonle Sap River we will disembark at Prek Kdam 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. We re-join our boat in Kompong Trollach for lunch. After lunch, we board our local limousines (Ox-Carts) for a meander along the Tonle Sap River visiting the 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.

DAY 18 KAMPONG CHHNANG - TONLE SAP FLOATING VILLAGES & MARKETS

Experience one of the highlights of our trip as we navigate the very narrow canals of the Tonle Sap River where we get up close & personal with the local riverside villagers. After lunch, we arrive in our final stop of Kampong Chhnang and 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.

DAY 19 KAMPONG CHHNANG - SIEM REAP

We disembark our Pandaw Boat and travel by coach from Kampong Chhnang through the countryside before arriving in the historical town of Siem Reap, home to the famous Angkor Wat.

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 12 SAIGON - MY THO - BEN TRE

Transfer from airport or hotel in Saigon on the day of embarkation will be provided to arrive at My Tho International Port at 12.00 midday. Pickup time is between 09.00 and 10.00.

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

Please note: We are not able to accept early arrivals before 11.30am.

DAY 19 KAMPONG CHHNANG - SIEM REAP

Early morning coach transfer to your hotel in Siem Reap, arriving mid-afternoon (approx. 12.30).

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

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