River Cruise Testimonial for ROLLO & BARBARA KIEK, AUSTRALIA, THE MEKONG TO CHINA, MARCH 2016 | Pandaw.com
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THE MEKONG TO CHINA REVIEW

ROLLO & BARBARA KIEK, AUSTRALIA, THE MEKONG TO CHINA, MARCH 2016

My wife and I have recently enjoyed yet another set of adventures with Pandaw Cruises, in March 2016: a pre-cruise tour of Yunnan Province (LTC2), a Mekong China downstream cruise (CH-002), and a post-cruise tour of the Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand (LTTH1).

Firstly we want to congratulate your staff on surmounting a number of difficulties brought about by the low river level which prevented the RV Laos Pandaw vessel from travelling up to Jinghong. The arrangements made by Joost and staff to accommodate us in the Empark Grand Hotel, to organise excursions in and around Jinghong, and to secure vessels to transport us downstream to the Laos Pandaw, were remarkable and compensated for our disappointment in not joining the Laos Pandaw in Jinghong.

The pre-cruise tour of Yunnan Province beginning in Kunming and concluding with a flight from Lijiang was wonderful. Guides, drivers, busses, hotels, and itinerary were all excellent.

When we arrived in Jinghong we were surprised to find that we would be staying there for some time. We guessed that it was the low river level of the upper Mekong that was the problem. How we were to get to the RV Laos Pandaw was a mystery. Those in our party of 18 who were seasoned travellers with Pandaw accepted the situation and enjoyed our time in Jinghong, especially the spectacular cultural show at the theatre one night. We also enjoyed shopping at the night markets. You can imagine our delight when, on day 3 in Jinghong, Joost explained that he had arranged two boats to take us down-river from Jinghong to meet the RV Laos Pandaw the next day. That trip was fascinating, and a marvel of organisation. We suppose the hiring of these boats would have cost Pandaw considerable sums of money, but we would recommend these modes of transport be incorporated in future Upper Mekong cruises if similar river level problems beset the RV Laos Pandaw. The second vessel, equipped with furniture from the RV Laos Pandaw, plus a Pandaw cook, whilst not a luxury craft, provided us with an adventure we won't easily forget. And we saw all the river we were supposed to see in the original itinerary.

Once aboard the Laos Pandaw we all enjoyed the usual attention to our needs which your Company provides, and had a lovely 4 days on the river, with interesting excursions.

Barbara and I much appreciated the efforts of the cruise director on RV Laos Pandaw to rescue our photographs by means of his computer and his purchase of a memory stick for us.

The post-cruise tour of the HillTribes of northern Thailand with "Nun" as our guide was great. Some adventures such as the bamboo rafting on the Kok River, and the following elephant safari, would have been daunting for people less able than we were.

Yours sincerely,
Rollo and Barbara Kiek. Victoria, Australia.

More Testimonials

KIM MCARDLE AND JAMIE AITKEN, AUSTRALIA, THE MEKONG TO CHINA, DEC 2016
RICHARD & DENA CLARK, AUSTRALIA, THE MEKONG TO CHINA, APRIL 2016

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