River Cruise Testimonial for MAXINE GODLEY AND VICKI STANNARD, AUSTRALIA, THE LAOS MEKONG, DEC 2017 | Pandaw.com
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THE LAOS MEKONG REVIEW

MAXINE GODLEY AND VICKI STANNARD, AUSTRALIA, THE LAOS MEKONG, DEC 2017

Our trip on the Champa Pandaw was made very enjoyable and special by the care and attention from all the crew. Additionally, we felt lucky that every passenger was friendly and had a good sense of humour. The ship was decorated for Christmas and had a tree with lights - thank you.

Every effort was made to take care of us - many details undertaken to cater for our every need. Water and walking sticks for excursions, crew members to walk with us over difficult pathways, or to help us with shopping in small villages, exceptional guide services and detailed commentary with Vieng. On return from excursions, hand wash, cold towels, cold drinks to welcome back to the boat. Always friendly greetings and laughter awaited us.

New Year was celebrated in great style with special food and later all the crew joined with us with games and unexpected gifts for everyone. Then the crew played the guitar and sang Lao songs. In our room chocolates and a beautiful card.

The food is exceptional and delicious. Most passengers enjoying the local food best. All keen to try 'a little more chilli' and also to taste the delicate flavours. The chef's large variety of menus kept us all eating too much!! The professional service along with the beautiful food presentation is something we will always remember. We all enjoyed Chef Mr Mim's cooking demonstrations. Kop chai ly ly derrrr :)

The wait-staff were always attentive - Bow's happy nature and excellent English always shines. Viengsay joined us from Lao Pandaw and was friendly too. Our rooms were serviced promptly - usually while we were breakfasting (thanks Bow!)

I want to especially mention Say. His infectious smile and personal presentation along with his perfect hospitality training was noticed by us all. He deserves a special commendation.

Our Purser, Waew provided detailed nightly briefings and her great smile and little jokes were appreciated...she kept things "ship-shape" (new word!)

The character of the voyage was Vieng. As Guide he has a very important role and he is conscious of that all the time. Nothing is too much trouble for him. He has good, accurate knowledge of the area, the crops, the local villages and their people and cultures and general history. Vieng is respectful and friendly to the villagers and they seem always happy for us to visit. Additionally Vieng has regular crazy stories to tell us at the briefing...or during the day. His infectious smile and chatting keeps us laughing and waiting for the next visit or adventure. I feel that Vieng's communications with the group are - as we say - "above and beyond the call of duty".

On our longer excursions, I noticed that there was always staff from the boat watching over the group - Tor, Bow and others were always making sure we could manage steep areas, or that we didn't get lost on the longer treks.

In the later days the Captain had to go ahead to check water levels to provide safety for the ship but also for the passengers of course. I think everyone appreciated the high level of sailing and navigational skills required to make this river voyage safely.

Vicki and I would like to thank everyone on the ship for this exceptional and unique experience aboard Champa Pandaw. We would ask that you report this message to all the staff and crew on the ship.

We both hope that we have an opportunity to join Pandaw again in the future.

Maxine Godley and Vicki Stannard
Australia
December 2017

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