River Cruise Testimonial for FRANK AND BARBARA ALMOND, LAOS, THE LAOS MEKONG, DEC 2017 | Pandaw.com
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THE LAOS MEKONG REVIEW

FRANK AND BARBARA ALMOND, LAOS, THE LAOS MEKONG, DEC 2017

Dear Paul

My wife, Barbara, and I were guests on the Laos Pandaw cruise from Vientiane to Chiang Saen from the 2nd to 12th December. On sorting the papers out I find a note asking for some feedback and ideas for improvements. I’m afraid we are going to disappoint you.

There is absolutely nothing that I can imagine to improve upon our experience. The delights of exploring the quiet country of Laos, the superb boat, the wonderful crew – all with different regional backgrounds and skills – all made it an unforgettable trip. That part of Asia was a somewhat unfamiliar destination which we wanted to explore by river, but we rapidly got depressed by the package tours and the larger river cruises on offer on the lower Mekong. (We tend to travel independently, but enjoy the company of a small group of people; otherwise, I would prefer to chew a leg off than go on an organised cruise). As I gather is common, an old friend then recommended that we try a Pandaw cruise. I will still never “go on a cruise” but Pandaw doesn’t count – it belongs to its own unique category.

Perhaps the only comment worth making is that some tour dates were not available to us as they were apparently block booked by tour operators. For us, one of the great pleasures was sharing the trip with 14 other people from 8 countries, who had all booked independently, with a wide and varied lifetime of experiences to share. I suspect if we were on a voyage with 9 other couples like us from similar backgrounds, we would rapidly tire of our company! I think a significant part of the charm of the cruises would be lost if they became just another homogenous package tour group offering.

With many thanks and very best wishes,
Frank and Barbara Almond

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