River Cruise Testimonial for JULIE WHEELER, AUSTRALIA, HALONG BAY AND THE RED RIVER, SEP 2017 | Pandaw.com
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HALONG BAY AND RED RIVER REVIEW

JULIE WHEELER, AUSTRALIA, HALONG BAY AND THE RED RIVER, SEP 2017

Firstly congratulations to Captain Nguyen Duc Do and Purser Peter for a very well run cruise. There were 30 passengers on the RV Angkor Pandaw and all commented on the excellent presentation plus quality and taste of the food prepared by Hung and his team. I have cruised with Pandaw many times but the food served on this cruise was exceptional.

The itinerary was again well planned with interesting visits and experiences for all as we cruised down the Black, Red, Thai Binh & Kinh Thay Rivers. However I felt a commentary was partly needed whilst cruising by our guides Duoc and Vu, not just on land tours as most of us were confused about the rivers.

Julie Wheeler on board the RV Angkor Pandaw cruising the Red River and Halong Bay in Vietnam.

Highlights for me were:

  • Upcountry Hoa Binh visiting the beautiful cave Buddhist temple and cruising on the Hoa Binh power station reservoir with its fish traps and pleasure boats.
  • Mr Bing’s museum displayed over 3 stilt houses was a treasure trove and the upcountry Muong village set amongst rice fields with green tea and rice wine tasting.
  • Market visit where groups were given money to purchase 5 vegetables (only verbal pronunciation given by guide) - lots of fun!
  • On board lecture on the History of Vietnam - excellent!
  • At Tien Du village the elderly ladies weaving conical Vietnamese hats which are worn by all the villagers in the rice fields.
  • Many beautiful temples, such as C11th Thay Pagoda (heavenly Blessing) and C8th Tay Phuong Pagoda.
  • The cultural performances - especially the Lion dance & Water Puppet show to name the highlights.
  • Walks around the Old Quarter of Hanoi with a most welcome coffee stop in an unusual building.
  • The ever changing countryside whilst cruising - banana trees, crops, buffalos grazing, rice fields, small villages and barge life on the rivers (fishing and sand collecting).
  • Halong Bay with its picturesque large and small limestone islands and our fun activities of kayaking, walking around Viet Hai Village & into the National Park whilst ending the day with cocktails on an island.
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