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TONLE RIVER CRUISES

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The Tonle River is the Mekong's main tributary that flows down from the Tonle Sap or "Great Lake" in central Cambodia. That giant body of water is 100km from end to end and in the rains it quadruples in size flooding much of the surrounding floodplain. The Tonle river changes direction twice a year: when the monsoon arrives, the flow from the Mekong backs up to the central plain and when the rains end, the river reverses direction and empties the flood back out into the Mekong.

Passengers of our famous Tonle River Cruises get the chance to experience the magical capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. This vibrant city sits astride the confluence of the Tonle and Mekong rivers and is our home port on the Lower Mekong.

Longer Expeditions

River Cruise itinerary for Classic Mekong River Cruise map for Classic Mekong

Classic Mekong

7 NIGHTS

A cruise on the Mekong is like no other river cruise you will experience. The river runs along the border of such varied countries, from the bustling cities of Vietnam to the calm towns of Cambodia. This 7 night cruise begins in either Saigon or Siem Reap. Discover Phnom Penh by cyclo, why not book an extension and set sail to explore the awe-inspiring monuments of Angkor.

Rivers: Mekong River, Tonle River

Ships: RV Bassac Pandaw, RV Mekong Pandaw

from US$3,358.80 per person

Save 10%, No Single Supplement & Kids go FREE on selected dates

River Cruise itinerary for Deeper and Further on the Mekong River River Cruise map for Deeper and Further on the Mekong River

Deeper and Further on the Mekong River

10 NIGHTS

Sailing port to port from central Saigon to Siem Reap inland port, venture deep into Vietnam’s vast Mekong Delta, explore the norther reaches of the Mekong River at the dolphin grounds at Kratie and discover the picturesque Tonle Sap as we cross the the 150 mile-long lake. This is a new itinerary never attempted in total before and only operable aboard Pandaw’s ultra-low draft vessels and only during the high water season until October.

No ship could be more appropriate for this expedition than the much-loved Mekong Pandaw that was the first ship to pioneer the river in 2002 and historically open the river border between Vietnam and Cambodia. Only the Mekong Pandaw has the shallow draft to go so far on these rivers and the low air draft to get under recently constructed bridges. Thanks to improvements in inland water navigation in these countries we can now take the ship from Saigon to Siem Reap with no long road transfers required on arrival or departure, something unimaginable in previous years.

This pioneering route is very much aimed at Pandaw club members who seek more immersive experiences in the countries Pandaw ships ply and wish to spend more days in the comfort and lively atmosphere of our beautifully crafted ships.

With 24 staterooms the Mekong Pandaw has been refitted with a sumptuous spa, library and gym this ship, built in Burma from golden teak. This is the most spacious of all Pandaw’s nineteen ships with broad promenades running around each deck and a vast sun deck of over 600 square meters on top.

Rivers: Mekong River, Tonle River

Ships: RV Mekong Pandaw

from US$4,800 per person

New ten night Mekong itinerary

Combination Cruises

River Cruise itinerary for The Full Mekong, Four Country 21 Night Combo Cruise River Cruise map for The Full Mekong, Four Country 21 Night Combo Cruise

The Full Mekong, Four Country 21 Night Combo Cruise

21 NIGHTS

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.

This combo cruise includes flight from Saigon to Vientiane and one night accommodation in Vientiane between cruises within the price of your ticket.

Rivers: Mekong River, Mekong River, Tonle River

Ships: RV Champa Pandaw, RV Mekong Pandaw

from US$10,075.60 per person

Land & River Tours

River Cruise itinerary for Classic Vietnam & Cambodia Tour River Cruise map for Classic Vietnam & Cambodia Tour

Classic Vietnam & Cambodia Tour

11 NIGHTS

Explore all the wonders of Southern Vietnam and the temples of Angkor in Cambodia in this new extended river & land tour from Pandaw. Combining our timeless 7-night river expedition between Saigon and Siem Reap with specially selected pre and post-cruise tours to enhance your journey, it has never been easier to book your Vietnam and Cambodia adventure with Pandaw.

Rivers: Mekong River, Tonle River

Ships: RV Bassac Pandaw, RV Mekong Pandaw

from US$4,387.50 per person

New Land & River adventures

Tonle River Ships

RV Bassac Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Bassac Pandaw

The third of these rather grand Vietnamese sisters, along with the Orient and Indochina. She is a good looker, and turns many a head as she plou....
RV Mekong Pandaw river cruise ship

RV Mekong Pandaw

Built in Rangoon in 2002 she was sailed round to Saigon under her own power and many a drama described in Paul Strachan’s Pandaw Story. This shi....

River Cruise Stops

Chau Doc

Chau Doc

Vietnam's stunning scenery, warm friendly locals and rich culture and history have long made it a favourite destination among adventure-hungry tourists. At Pandaw, we take great pleasure in helping travellers uncover the most naturally beautiful, historically significant and culturally rich destinations not just in Vietnam but all over Asia. Explore the bounty of Vietnam with our luxurious Mekong River cruises. Our understated yet luxurious river vessels provide an entryway into some of the country's most fascinating locations, like the charming French Colonial town of Chau Doc. Join us as we explore this stunning location that deserves a space on any bucket list. Sun setting over Chau Doc History of Chau Doc Chau Doc is close to the river border between Vietnam and Cambodia and is located in the Mekong Delta by the Hâu River- a branch of the Mekong that flows through Vietnam. It is believed that the Vietnamese people settled here during the 16th century. Its initial function was as a military base under General Nguyen Huu Canh (1650-1700) who is widely accredited with establishing Chau Doc. Troops stationed there built their own communities and a number of streets, canals and important public sites in the area still bear the general's name. In 1815, King Gia Long ordered construction of Chau Doc Fort on the river's western bank and farmers and artisans were recruited to settle and work the land. This was the first in a number of projects that saw the town grow both in prosperity and strategic military value. In the late 1800s, Chao Doc was one of the territories surrendered to French Indochina which is why the town has such a starkly European colonial aesthetic. Things to See and Do in Chau Doc Start your visit with a drink and a bite to eat at the Victoria hotel where you can enjoy free wifi and a quick game of billiards. Or simply sip a coffee while enjoying a stunning view of the river. Next, you may want to take a wander through the floating market to find some unique gifts for friends and family (or just treat yourself). There's also a very unique Catholic church where you'll see the images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and various saints with distinctly Vietnamese countenances. Journey north a little and you'll find Sam Mountain- widely considered a local pilgrimage site because of its many shrines and temples, the most significant of which is the Ba Chua Xu Temple. Military historians will also want to visit the Tuc Dup Hill where the Viet Cong fought off an assault by U. S. troops which lasted for four months. Near the hill, you'll see the graves of the fallen. Market stall at Chau Doc Saigon to Siem Reap with Pandaw Our Classic Mekong cruise is the perfect way to explore Chau Doc and myriad other under-appreciated treasures of Vietnam as you travel in relaxed comfort from Saigon to Siem Reap. Let Pandaw unlock Asia's gems for you Explore the natural and historic wonders of Chau Doc with Pandaw. Our team and crew are completely dedicated to bringing you a travel experience you'll remember for the rest of your life, combining the wonders of Asia with simple and unassuming luxury as well as peerless service.
Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

One thing that so many people love about going on a river cruise is that they get the opportunity to explore places they otherwise wouldn’t. This is something we definitely help you to achieve. One of the most popular spots on our Mekong river cruises is Phnom Penh for its rich history and wealth of things to do. Key facts about Phnom Penh Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and the most populous city in the country. It was founded in 1434 and it is noted for the many historical attractions and architecture, including a number of surviving French colonial buildings. It used to be known as Krong Chaktomuk. It has become the cultural, industrial, and economic centre of the nation. It has progressed to this status ever since becoming the capital once the French colonised Cambodia. What is Phnom Penh famous for? When you consider just how important Phnom Penh is in terms of the economy and culture in Cambodia, it is not hard to see why it has become such a famous city. However, there is more to Phnom Penh than this! It is actually widely referred to as the Pearl of Asia because it was deemed one of the most beautiful cities that was built by the French in the 1920s in Indochina. Phnom Penh, as well as Sihanoukville and Siem Reap, are both significant domestic and global tourist destinations for Cambodia. Waterfront at Phnom Penh Top things to do in Phnom Penh You probably won’t be surprised to learn that there are plenty of things to see and do while you are in Phnom Penh. This includes visiting the King’s official residence, which is the Royal Palace. This is a symbol of the Kingdom and it is a venue for court ceremony. Despite this, there are a number of different areas that are open to the public. You will also find the Silver Pagoda here too. This is a prominent template, which is named for its gleaming silver floor, taking a key place on the riverside. Another one of the most popular tourist spots in Phnom Penh is the National Museum of Cambodia. The good news is that you won’t need to travel far to see this, as it is right next to the Royal Palace. It is home to over 5, 000 artefacts that date back to the period of ancient Angkorian. Other places of interest include Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Cambodian Living Arts’ theatre show, and Wat Phnom. King’s Palace in Phnom Penh If you are interested in a Pandaw River Cruise , or you would like to visit Phnom Penh specifically, the best way to experience it is on our Classic Mekong cruise where you’ll visit the Royal Palace and the silver pagoda as well as the national museum with a collection of Angkorian statuary. In the afternoon, you’ll get to explore Phnom Penh’s waterfront and have high tea.
Saigon

Saigon

Saigon is one of the key cities in Vietnam, and it’s probably a place many people find the time to visit when they’re making the most of a Mekong River Cruise . It’s a city that’s brimming with life and excitement, and you certainly won’t be short of things to do and see while you’re there. Read on to find out more about Saigon and what the city has to offer. Saigon City Hall An Introduction to Saigon Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, is the largest city in Vietnam and is a major commercial centre for the country. It’s a busy and often overwhelming city, but it’s also a place with a lot to see, explore and experience. It has a population of over eight million people and a culture all of its own. Saigon was only founded in the 18th century, which makes it quite young in the wider context of Asian cities. It’s also a place that has experienced all of the ups and downs of Vietnamese history since then. It was a logistical base for US operations and the capital of South Vietnam until the country was reunified in 1975, when it was renamed Ho Chi Minh City after the revolutionary leader of Vietnam. Top Attractions and Things to See/Do in Saigon If you’re going to be spending time in Saigon, there are some things that you’ll want to spend your time on. These are the top attractions and things to do and see while you’re in Saigon. Binh Tay Market When you’re looking for the authentic and real side of Saigon, you simply need to head to the vibrant and historical Binh Tay Market. There are plenty of great foods for sale here too. War Remnants Museum If you want to learn more about the Vietnam War from a Vietnames perspective, you should take the time to visit the War Remnants Museums. There are some fascinating things and you’ll learn a lot. Cao Dai Temple Cao Dai is a unique spiritual religion that mixes lots of elements from other faiths. Be sure to visit the temple because tourists are allowed inside. It’s a simply beautiful space. Bitexco Tower and Sky Deck If you’re looking to experience the best of what modern Saigon has to offer, simply head to the top of the Bitexco Tower and enjoy the view over the city from the Sky Deck. Picturesque tourist jetty in Saigon What Saigon is Most Famous For Saigon is famous for a few things. Of course, the history of the country in relation to the Vietnam War is something people associate with it. But things are quite different today. It’s famous for being a bustling and lively city, as well as a growing commercial capital in Asia. It’s also famous for being home to some of the very best food Vietnam has to offer, particularly the pho and pork rolls you’ll find there. If you’re looking to visit Saigon anytime soon, be sure to make the most of these top attractions and the other information outlined above. It’s an incredible part of the world with a unique culture you’ll have a great time delving into and learning more about. It’ll be the trip of a lifetime!
Siem Reap

Siem Reap

With unparalleled views of the Angkor monuments, Siem Reap has become increasingly popular in recent years. Known as the gateway to the ruins of Angkor, Siem Reap is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cambodia and one of the most exciting stops on our Mekong River cruises . Top Tourist Attractions In Siem Reap Once the capital of the Khmer Empire, Angkor is known all over the world for its temples, monuments, and history. Believed to be the earthly representation of Mt Meru and ancient gods, the temples reflect the spiritual commitment and devotion of their creators. Angkor Wat Recognised as the largest religious building in the world, Angkor Wat is one of the must-see sights in Siem Reap. Surrounded by a wide moat, the iconic structure is a sight to behold. A series of bas-reliefs stretches 800 meters around Angkor Wat, whilst the central tower rises 55 meters above the ground. In continuous for centuries, Angkor Wat has religious, cultural and historical symbolism. Featured on the national flag, it is Cambodia’s most well-known site and is a great source of pride for native Cambodians. With almost two-hundred unique heavenly nymphs, or apsaras, carved into the temple walls, there is something to behold at every turn. Whilst you could spend days exploring Angkor Wat, most guides recommend you allow at least two hours to explore the main parts of the temple. For those who want to take a guided tour of the bas-reliefs or visit the upper level, also known as the Bakan, a half-day visit to Angkor Wat is a more realistic option. Angkor Wat Visiting the Temples of Angkor at Siem Reap Although the Angkor Wat is the most well-known temple in Angkor, it is surrounded by other stunning temples and buildings. The 12th-century state of the temple of Jayavarman VII, Bayon, comprises 54 towers, adorned by 216 epic faces of Avalokiteshvara. With 11, 000 figures featured in the temple’s 1. 2km of bas-reliefs, Bayon is a wonderful example of the creativity and spiritual belief employed by the architects of Cambodia’s famous temples. Ta Prohm To experience a truly atmospheric ruined temple, a visit to Ta Prohm is a must. Seemingly overtaken by the jungle, the ruins of Ta Prohm are intertwined with vines and root system, the land surrounding Ta Prohm is surprisingly clear, with only the largest trees remaining. Constructed in the 12th century and maintained by over 80, 000 people, Ta Prohm served as a functioning temple for centuries, before it was claimed by nature. Ta Prohm Temple One of the smallest sites in the area, Banteay Srei features exquisite carving, artworks, and monuments. When you’ve finished exploring the largest religious building on earth, be sure to pay a visit to one of the smallest in Angkor. Arranging a visit to travel to Siem Reap is easy with Pandaw river cruises . The 3-night Phnom Penh and Siem Reap river cruise feature a stop here, so you’ll find it simple and straightforward to visit the Temples of Angkor. Similarly, the 7-night Classic Mekong river cruise includes a stop at Siem Reap, so guests will have the opportunity to explore this ancient city, its temples and its ruins.

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Travel Blogs

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Tonle River Climate

Tonle River climate chart

Tonle River Optional Extensions

Exploring Angkor

Exploring Angkor

Explore the magnificent temples of Angkor including the world famous Angkor Wat, high on any bucket list destination. With our specially selecte....
Explore Hanoi

Explore Hanoi

Welcome to this charming boutique hotel situated a stone's throw from Hoan Kiem Lake, the historical center of Hanoi. Silk Path Boutique Hanoi i....
Explore Hanoi

Explore Hanoi

Hanoi is a magical and charming city. You will find that the character, history and romance of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi may add a litt....
Saigon & Surroundings

Saigon & Surroundings

Discover the vibrant and dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, the largest and most populous city in Vietnam. On this two-night pre or post-cruise tour, you....
Saigon & Surroundings

Saigon & Surroundings

Discover the vibrant and dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, the largest and most populous city in Vietnam. On this two-night pre or post-cruise tour, you....
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