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

19 NIGHTS FROM US$6,121.80 - MEMBERS FROM US$5,441.60
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 Hanoi or Siem Reap.

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19 NIGHTS FROM US$6,121.80 - MEMBERS FROM US$5,441.60
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES
Click Here to choose your dates and Book Online

IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

EXTENSIONS

PRE CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Saigon & Surroundings (InterContinental Asiana)

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Vietnam's Heritage Road, Hue - Hoi An - Saigon 5 nights Pre Tour

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Post Tour Hanoi 1 Night

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Post Tour Sapa & Hanoi 4 Nights

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Hue & Hoi An 4 Nights Post Tour

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ITINERARY

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 SIEM REAP - HANOI

Sail downstream to moor at Kampong Cham for disembarkation and road transfer to Siem Reap airport for your flight to Hanoi and your hotel.

More about Siem Reap

DAY 9 HANOI

Day at leisure to explore Hanoi.

DAY 10 HALONG BAY

Transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay to embark your Pandaw ship with a stop for lunch en route. Cast off late afternoon with a welcome cocktail for an evening sail, dropping anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the beautiful island scenery.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 11 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 12 HALONG BAY

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.

Depart Halong Bay and enter the river to drop anchor near Hai Phong.

In the afternoon, our chef will share his skills in fruit carving and demonstrate how to create Vietnamese spring rolls.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 13 THE KINH THAY RIVER

Observe the lively and interesting life of the KinhThay river, a key commercial waterway.

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

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.

Return to ship and continue cruising until late evening, dropping anchor midstream.

More about Thanh Ha and Water Puppets

DAY 14 BAT TRANG VILLAGE

The day is spent cruising towards Hanoi. Enroute, stop at Bat Trang in the afternoon, a ceramic village. 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 Bat Trang

DAY 15 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 16 THE LOWER RED RIVER

Morning sail through the day from Hanoi up the Red River to Viet Tri - not the most picturesque of towns, but an excellent base for going deeper into Highland Vietnam.

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.

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

Evening arrival in Viet Tri.

More about Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas

DAY 17 LO RIVER

In the morning cruising to Tien Du ferry station to the village of Gia Thanh, makers of the conical hats (known as ‘non la’). Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of craft and activity.

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.

By bus continue to Hung Lo Temple.

More about Lo River

DAY 18 THE DA RIVER

Day sailing downstream while admiring the unspoilt beauty of the Da River. Pass through the Ba Vi National Park with its rich and diverse tropical and sub-tropical flora and fauna before arriving at Hoa Binh then visit the UNESCO-praised village of Duong Lam.

In the afternoon, take a tour of the ship including the galley, crew area and engine room.

More about Duong Lam

DAY 19 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 a morning boat ride on the reservoir of Hoa Binh power station and visit a local village. A traditional performance by local hill tribe people is given in the evening.

More about Hoa Binh

DAY 20 HOA BINH

Disembark after breakfast (08.30am) and visit a museum and local village where villagers still wear traditional dress.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to Hanoi airport or drop off point Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi.

More about Hoa Binh

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WHATS INCLUDED

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 1 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 8 SIEM REAP - HANOI

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.

DAY 10 HALONG BAY

TRANSFER FROM HANOI AIRPORT
We pick you up at Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport – Seat in coach. The coach will leave the airport no later than 10:30 (Unless there are any delays with your flight). 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 Halong Bay at 14.00.

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 the Pan Pacific Hotel lobby at 09:30

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

Registration at hotel lobby 09:30. Coach departs from Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi at 10.00. Arrival in Halong Bay at 13:30.

PRIVATE ARRIVAL AT HA LONG BAY
For passengers already in Ha Long Bay on the night before, please come to Tuan Chau International Jetty. Embarkation time will be between 12:00 to 14:00.

DAY 20 HOA BINH

DEPARTURE TRANSFER
After lunch at local restaurant departure for Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport. Estimated arrival at Hanoi Airport at 15:15 and continuing to Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi, arriving 16:00.

Your flight out of Hanoi airport must be after 16:30 (domestic) or 17:30 (international).

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