Pandaw River Cruises
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UPPER & LOWER MEKONG

THE FULL MEKONG, FOUR COUNTRY 21 NIGHT COMBO CRUISE

21 NIGHTS FROM US$9,596.00

For the first time, join Pandaw on an in-depth exploration of the Mekong River from South to North. Combining our two 10 night Mekong expeditions through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in this special four country expedition. Sailing all of the navigable stretches of this mighty river, you will learn about how one river can support a vast and diverse group of peoples and cultures, all from the comfort of our locally crafted Pandaw vessels.

New for 2024, this cruise expedition will be sailing from central Saigon, embarking or disembarking in Vietnam’s bustling metropolis.

This combo cruise includes flight and one night accommodation between cruises within the price of your ticket. Flights and hotels are subject to routing and availability at time of booking.

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or call TOLL FREE 1-877-872-6329
represented by Sayang Holidays
21 NIGHTS FROM US$9,596.00

IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS

PRE CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Pre Tour Saigon & Surroundings (Hotel Des Arts)

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Pre Tour Saigon & Surroundings (The Myst Dong Khoi)

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5 Night Vietnam's Heritage Road: Hue, Hoi An & Saigon Pre Tour

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

The Plain of Jars - Post Cruise Downstream Laos

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Exploring Vientiane 2 Night Post Tour (La Seine Hotel)

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Exploring Vientiane 2 Night Post Tour (Settha Palace)

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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 FROM SAIGON TO THE DELTA

Embark your Pandaw vessel in central Saigon and relax on the spacious sundeck as we set sail past the towering skyscrapers of Vietnam’s bustling metropolis. After lunch onboard you will meet the crew and enjoy local entertainment on the deck as we sail toward the Mekong Delta. We moor overnight on the Vam Co River.

From Saigon To The Delta
From Saigon To The Delta

DAY 2 BEN TRE AND THE FERTILE WATERWAYS

Early morning we set sail through the Cho Gao Canal, a vital waterway link for the transportation of goods to and from the city which was constructed in 1876 by the French and offers a fascinating insight to life along the water. We reach Ben Tre and journey by sampans through mangroves and bamboo forests to the fruit orchards abundant in the area. This is a fertile farming region with half of Vietnam's rice production coming from the Mekong Delta. It also hosts a rich artisanal culture which we will witness at a local village specialising in handicrafts. Back aboard we sail deeper into the delta toward Chau Doc.

DAY 3 CHAU DOC AND INTO CAMBODIA

In the morning, we take minivans for a short drive to Sam Mountain, the location of Phuoc Dien Tu or the Hang Pagoda. After climbing the steps we are greeted with stunning views across the Mekong. For those not keen on the stairs, explore the local market instead. Afterwards, we visit the nearby floating fish farms by Sampan before being treated to a private Lion dance performance at a local Village. Upon return to the ship, we navigate a web of canals before dropping anchor on the Vietnam/Cambodia border to undergo Immigration formalities.

Chau Doc And Into Cambodia
Chau Doc And Into Cambodia

DAY 4 PHNOM PENH

Morning orientation of Phnom Penh 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 Genocide Museum to learn more about the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. We dock overnight in Phnom Penh city port with its lively bars, restaurants and nightlife. Feel free to explore the city before returning to your hotel on the water.

DAY 5 PEAM CHI KORNG POTTERY VILLAGE

Enjoy morning Tai Chi or just a coffee on deck as we take a sunrise cruise to Peam Chi Korng, an untouched gem that is a hub of pottery in Cambodia. After a short tuk tuk ride from the banks of the Mekong, we witness the local potters in action before continuing to explore the village and local fresh market where you can test your language skills.

Peam Chi Korng Pottery Village
Peam Chi Korng Pottery Village

DAY 6 KOH TRONG ISLAND TREE PLANTING

Visit Koh Trong Island, a community based tourism site since 2008. We explore the island’s fruit orchards by local transportation or bicycle and sample the local delicacies before we head to a community reforestation project and plant trees to support the island. Moor overnight alongside the island.

DAY 7 KRATIE AND THE DOLPHIN GROUNDS

After breakfast we head to Kampi by coach to spot the Irrawaddy dolphins abundant in the waters below Stung Trang. We board small fishing vessels now used to monitor the dolphin populations and provide dolphin spotting for tourists to raise awareness of their plight. Whilst numbers have increased in recent years, they remain endangered and we learn more about the work of locals to support dolphin numbers and how Pandaw is supporting. This is a real highlight of the expedition. In the afternoon, we set sail downstream along the Mekong back toward Phnom Penh.

Kratie And The Dolphin Grounds
Kratie And The Dolphin Grounds

DAY 8 LIFE ON THE TONLE SAP RIVER

We sail early morning up the winding channels of the Tonle Sap River to Kampong Tralach. We travel by ox-cart around the river-side villages, markets and temples to get a sense of life in rural Cambodia. In the evening cocktails are served around a fire pit at a small fishing village where we will be joined by village folk keen to share tales and show us their traditional dancing.

DAY 9 KAMPONG CHHNANG AND THE TONLE SAP LAKE

Today we explore the backwaters of the vast Tonle Sap floodplains, with abundant fish farms around this important trading town. Returning to ship, we enter the Tonle Sap Lake to moor overnight in open waters savoring the peace and tranquility of this lake that in high water covers 6,200 miles and in low water shrinks to 1,000 square miles.

Kampong Chhnang And The Tonle Sap Lake
Kampong Chhnang And The Tonle Sap Lake

DAY 10 TONLE SAP FLOATING VILLAGES

Continue the traverse of the great lake stopping to visit a floating village where houses, schools and restaurants are all accessed only by boat. Learn more about how these communities survive on the water and how their lives are changing with the development of Cambodia. In the afternoon we continue across the lake toward Siem Reap inland port. This is the perfect chance to spot thee various bird life along the lake’s edges as well as crocodiles and snakes that are abundant in these shallow waters. Not to forget also the giant Mekong catfish, the largest ever caught being 648 pounds in May 2004. There are 148 other species of fish in the lake which provide the main source of protein for the entire Cambodian population.

DAY 11 SIEM REAP DISEMBARKATION

Disembark Siem Reap Port and transfer to Siem Reap airport for your flight to Thailand. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy a relaxing evening before your next cruise.

Siem Reap Disembarkation
Siem Reap Disembarkation

DAY 12 CHIANG KHONG

Transfers from your hotel to the ship including Lunch at Ban Rai Sabaidee Farm plus guided visit to the Golden Triangle and the now infamous opium museum. Embark your ship by 16.00 and enjoy welcome drinks on the sundeck with traditional Thai dancing.

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, Morning presentation on the Lao language. After lunch, if time allows, sightseeing on foot in Pak Sith.

Into Laos
Into Laos

DAY 14 PAK BENG ELEPHANT SANCTUARY

Morning walk at Ban Luang Tong Lao Lowland village. Laos is known as ‘The land of a million elephants’ and after Lunch we will visit a rescue sanctuary that is helping to preserve the elephants of Laos and provide sustainable alternative employment for Mahouts who once trained and rode these beautiful creatures. In the evening we moor at a sandbank for a special riverside barbecue and cocktail party. Light paper lanterns with the crew and enjoy a dance in remote Laos.

DAY 15 BAN BOR AND YOI HAI KHMU VILLAGES

Today we discover the Khmu minority group and learn about their remote way of life. In the morning we will visit Ban Bor village, home to the Lao & Khummu people. We will have the opportunity to support locally produced handicrafts and walk through the Khummu village of Yoi Haoi in the afternoon.

Ban Bor And Yoi Hai Khmu Villages
Ban Bor And Yoi Hai Khmu Villages

DAY 16 PAK OU CAVES

Continue cruising downstream to Pak Ou, sightseeing by local boat exploring the unique Pak Ou Caves, a Buddhist sanctuary with spectacular limestone cliff faces. See the production of local Laos whisky at the Whisky village and shop for locally produced handicrafts before sailing into the World Heritage City of Luang Prabang. Moor overnight in central Luang Prabang.

DAY 17 LUANG PRABANG CRAFTS & CULTURE

Today we explore the various handicrafts of Laos in more detail. We start with a morning walk up the 228 steps to Phousi temple where the best views of Luang Prabang can be found. After lunch aboard the ship, we visit Ock Pop Tok, a social enterprise providing sustainable employment and training for the women of local weaving villages. We then head to TAEC (Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre) to understand more about Laos musical instruments. Cocktail hour is accompanied by a traditional Bacci ceremony onboard highlighting some of the instruments seen in the afternoon.

Luang Prabang Crafts & Culture
Luang Prabang Crafts & Culture

DAY 18 LUANG PRABANG

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. We continue after breakfast to the morning market before taking tuktuks for a city tour of this well preserved and unique world heritage site with its many Buddhist temples, libraries and royal palace. The afternoon is free to explore the beauty and unique atmosphere of Luang Prabang.

DAY 19 KAUNG SI WATERFALL

After breakfast sail downstream to Ban Chan where we take part in a pottery demonstration at the local pottery workshop. After Lunch we moor at Ban Mouang Khai and take a short drive to see the deep jungle pools at the Khaung Si Waterfall where you can swim in the crystal-clear waters. We then stop at the Laos Buffalo Farm, a social enterprise utilizing the abundant buffalo in Laos before rejoining the ship. We sail downstream for a sunset cruise and moor overnight at Ban Na San.

Kaung Si Waterfall
Kaung Si Waterfall

DAY 20 XAYABOURI DAM

Morning walk through Ban Na San Hmong Village. In the afternoon we pass through Xayabouri Hydroelectric Dam and take an inside look of the workings of this somewhat controversial attraction as we pass through the locks. Afternoon walk at Ban Khok Fark and moor overnight.

DAY 21 BAN PAK YUN TO PAK LAY

Explore Ban Pak Yun Mixed minorities tribe in the morning, a rural local village before setting sail to Pak Lay, our final destination. Enjoy a tour of your Pandaw ship and fruit carving demonstration on the sundeck in the afternoon before farewell cocktails and dinner in the evening.

Ban Pak Yun To Pak Lay
Ban Pak Yun To Pak Lay

DAY 22 VIENTIANE

Disembark at 08:30am followed by a local long-tail boat expedition downstream to Vientiane. Lunch and drinks will be provided on the local boat by your Pandaw chef and bar staff. Arrival to Vientiane around 17:30 with drop off at your hotel or Vientiane airport.

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WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: One overnight hotel in Vientiane (Downstream) or Chiang Rai/Chiang Mai (Upstream), one flight between ships, entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes. Transfers between ports of embarkation and international airport or hotel 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 FROM SAIGON TO THE DELTA

Meet directly at RV Mekong Pandaw, docked centrally in Saigon between 10-11am.

Cruise Passenger Port: No. 5 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Ward 12, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City.

Please note: Your cabin may not be available until after lunch.

DAY 22 VIENTIANE

Disembark 08.30 in Pak Lay after breakfast and transfer to Vientiane by Pandaw's local long-tail boat. Arrival in Vientiane approx 17:30 at your chosen hotel or VTE airport.

TESTIMONIALS

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