We have been on eight Pandaw cruises so far and are trying to do a river cruise alternately with ocean cruises. Pandaw is pioneering cruises to places where no one else goes and that’s my kind of stuff: I‘m sick and tired of the run-of-the mill touristic „offerings“ that are the same with all operators on the same routes.
This is where Pandaw delivers, also in Vietnam.
The cruise starts at Halong Bay, which has been hugely commercialized over the last few years. Already here Pandaw did a clever thing: By setting a route that bypasses the masses. Going up the Red River and the Black River gives an insight into true Vietnam. The day going through the vast harbour area of Haiphong might be a bit boring and the widespread dredging in the rivers, which will ultimately lead to erosion and extinction of river-life, saddening. The cultural events and the multitude of artisans visited on the shore excursions were just great.