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12 Asia River Cruise Reviews

Third Pandaw cruise after Irrawaddy & Mekong & very disappointing but we were forewarned after many bad reviews. All 19 pax were return custom & we departed in KATHA PANDAW on one engine which precluded us transitting the ... Read More
Third Pandaw cruise after Irrawaddy & Mekong & very disappointing but we were forewarned after many bad reviews. All 19 pax were return custom & we departed in KATHA PANDAW on one engine which precluded us transitting the Farraka lock 11 Dec so we transferred to the KALAW PANDAW 10 Dec to continue. The ship went aground on the afternoon of 14 Dec & remained stranded for 42 1/4 hrs until freed by a tug 16 Dec so nearly two days were lost never to be retrieved. The cruise ended at Putna 18 Dec as the section to Varanasi was not navigable due to lack of water & we completed the trip by road & air. 15 of the 19 pac were sick at various times which suggests standards if food preparation & general cleanliness weren’t “up to scratch”. Shore excursions were very ordinary & the menu was very bland & unimaginative. No alcohol for seven days while transitting Bihar state detracted from the conviviality of the evening meal. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
As previous very happy Pandaw clients, when the opportunity arose to cruise the Ganges we jumped at it. Did not comparison shop or explore other options such was our faith in Pandaw. First mistake on our part. After paying the balance ... Read More
As previous very happy Pandaw clients, when the opportunity arose to cruise the Ganges we jumped at it. Did not comparison shop or explore other options such was our faith in Pandaw. First mistake on our part. After paying the balance of our not insignificant account, alarm bells started ringing when on 28/10 a message appeared advising that due to problems they were experiencing they would allow a change of date to future sailings without penalty. No offer of refund though. As we had already arranged flights and other travel costs which were all subject to heavy cancellation/change penalties we decided to proceed. Second mistake. Shortly before departure, almost at the 11th hour, a disclaimer appeared on the Pandaw website: "Please Note these river expeditions are operated by Indus Expeditions, not Pandaw, and it is understood that the style and standards may be very different from those offered on Pandaw managed cruises. Indus Expeditions make every effort to offer the highest levels of guest care but it should be noted that given the chaotic but often charming way in which India works these are very different from what you will find in South-East Asia!" Having never heard of "Indus Expeditions" and knowing nothing about them we would never have booked this cruise. I feel Pandaw deliberately kept the fact that they had subcontracted these cruises from their clients. Everyone knows that subcontractors usually never perform to the same standard as the principal. As a small example, no safety briefing was held on embarkation which may be a violation of maritime law. But with no options left we proceeded. The first few days passed without incident and we enjoyed the river scenery. The ship ran aground at one point and it took a tug 2 days to reach us requiring another modification and reduction to the itinerary. Food was generally OK if not special and the shore excursions fairly ordinary. The staff, although obviously new to the job were however exceptional. Unfailingly helpful and cheerful, nothing was too much trouble. Unfortunately, some time around early/mid voyage a gastro intestinal/ upper respiratory bug struck affecting about 80% of passengers, some worse than others. One person told me he had been unable to eat for 5 days. Both my wife and myself were badly affected causing us to miss many meals and excursions (due to the need at all times to be in close proximity to a toilet) including the much awaited dawn cruise in Varanasi. The two extra days post cruise we had arranged were mostly spent in the hotel room. We are mature but fit people and world travellers but sadly were unable to 'take these things in our stride' as suggested by Pandaw. We have never experienced travel illness like this before. We have been home for 3 days and still not recovered, Xmas was a non event for us this year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed 3 prior river cruises with Pandaw, Mekong, Irra waddy and Red river/Halong bay, plus optional Pandaw land tours. On 12th October all that credibility crumbled to dust and blew away. Whilst in ... Read More
My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed 3 prior river cruises with Pandaw, Mekong, Irra waddy and Red river/Halong bay, plus optional Pandaw land tours. On 12th October all that credibility crumbled to dust and blew away. Whilst in transit from Delhi to Kolkata afternoon of the 11th we received an email from Brett Lemish, Indian area manager of Pandaw, advising due to flooding our 14 day river cruise is not possible, causing changes to itinerary. On 12th October, commencement of our cruise, my wife and I plus 18 other passengers gathered in the Kolkata Oberoi hotel lobby, rooms vacated, bags packed, anxiously awaiting Brett Lemish who informed us at 10am the 14 day river cruise is not possible due to extreme flooding, and the river Farraka lock gates closed. Consequently Pandaw now offered cancellation and refund, or 7 day cruise only and part refund, or a revised itinerary 7 day cruise/ 7 day land tour with Katha Pandaw departing and returning Kolkata, followed by flight to Patna and land tour and short flight on to Varanasi. Brett informed all passengers he would provide us with the amended itinerary the following day, adding it will be very enjoyable. Being "stunned" by this news, and being in Kolkata, bags packed, vacated room, additional holiday itinerary after India, and based on past high standard experienced, with Pandaw my wife and I reluctantly decided to stay for the 14 days. ( we felt we had little choice and such a short time to decide). A BIG mistake. RIVER CRUISE 7 days ( Kolkata and return Kolkata ). Unfortunately the promised revised itinerary only arrived after 3 days cruising, and as the 14 days progressed we realised it lacked detail. We now know it was "scrambled" together. We passengers were testing and refining a "scrambled" itinerary. Pandaw duty of care - Pandaw staff and local Indian contractor knew the river lock was closed 8 days prior to commencement of our cruise, yet Pandaw failed to inform passengers. We were denied the opportunity to review our holiday arrangements. The Indian contractor General Manager (Captain) met all passengers on board the Katha Pandaw about 5 days into our cruise, and informed us it was known the Farraka lock was closed on 2nd/3rd October. He said the boat, having arrived from another country, had been detained in customs bonded area for 6 months, and end of August it was released to his company, leaving only 6 weeks to prepare everything and this was not possible. He stated he had insufficient time before our cruise. His company had never prepared a boat for Pandaw previously, no idea of standards required, apparently no check list provided from Pandaw. Safety - Serious omissions. We set sail lacking life jackets and fire extinguishers, these arrived in a small boat 2 days later. Passengers were given no evacuation procedure instructions/training. Maintenance - Katha Pandaw has many maintenance issues, water pipe leaking from our cabin ceiling as we unpacked our suitcase, then apparently fixed, but during that night water leaked again onto my wife's bed, soaking the mattress. We moved cabin first thing in the morning. Passengers complained of faulty light switches, wall tiles in showers falling off, random and dangerous gushes of very hot (scalding) water . Crew - very polite, but lacked english language and training, very frustrating when trying to order type of tea/coffee/variety of wine. All basic requirements for a river cruise. After 2 days another crew member came aboard and he appeared to have a better understanding. In addition new cooking equipment was brought on board, to be used for breakfast next day, but abandoned as no staff could operate the new equipment, and breakfast then served from below deck. LAND TOUR 7 days. First day predominately travelling to airport, booking in, flight, travelling to Patna. Hotel was "very average" and not to standard we expected. Second hotel Rajgir Residency was disgusting, dirty room, we could not wait to depart. Third hotel Bodhgaya Residency "hotel" was worse, shameful, our window was filthy not outside, but inside with years of dust and grime, bathroom filthy and poor maintenance (bath moved), electrical socket for kettle was "live" not possible to switch off kettle, only unplug. Bed sheet well worn with a tear about 25cm long. We felt grubby and unclean all the time, and could not stop washing our hands and were very happy to leave this dreadful place. A far cry from the Pandaw standard we knew, and expected. Two friends found their pillows were badly stained, and have a photo as memory. If this is best Pandaw can do, then don't do it. We then flew to Varanasi, and taken to " The Tree of Life", a luxury small resort, and had a most enjoyable stay. Only problem being the resort was nearly 2 hours travelling time to the Ganges, by bus/motorised rickshaw/walk to the evening ceremonies. Very interesting ceremonies, and followed by a delightful dinner overlooking the Ganges. All good, but we were all so tired, and by the time we walked/rickshaw/bus we returned to our resort at 11pm, and our suitcase arrived about 11.30pm, by which time we were shattered. Two days later we returned to the Ganges early morning, to experience a gentle river cruise and daily bathing and day to day rituals. Upon arrival we all boarded one large wooden craft, but no working engine. A smaller craft then arrived with an overworked engine disgorging fumes as we were towed, with all 17 passengers, guides, and crew aboard. Due to cruising against the strong current our boat was stationary or going backwards, very slowly forward. The whole cruise taking 3 times as long as planned. This meant we missed the opportunity to walk through Varanasi historical area. On the final day at Tree of Life, purely by chance, a passenger and I, sat down with Brett Lemish, Indian area manager of Pandaw. Brett stated they are dealing with the many concerns we have all raised, and apologised profusely and that Pandaw have engaged consulting electrical and plumbing engineers, maintenance staff and crew training of the Katha Pandaw, after we disembarked in Kolkata This of course is of no use whatsoever for any of our inaugural cruise passengers, now at the end of our 14 day survival. After receiving a very apologetic email from Paul Strachan quote " apologise for the appalling situation you are currently enduring on the Katha Pandaw. I am really sorry about this. " I can truly understand your anger". Judging by Paul Strachan saying how difficult it has been setting up in India, he seems to confuse what Pandaw offer with what we actually received. My wife and I entered into email correspondence with Paul Strachan, Brett Lemish and James Talbot. We requested 50% refund of monies paid, and that we are not interested in 25% from a future cruise ( must be joking ). After very many emails, Pandaw paid usd1000 total and offered 25% discount from a future cruise. We have not accepted their offer. We believe Pandaw senior management have much to answer for. Katha Pandaw was not ready to commence the cruise ( admitted by the Indian Company GM contractor), Ganges was flooded and Farraka river lock closed. So, why not cancel the inaugural cruise ? Never again will we use nor recommend Pandaw. On a positive note, our travel guide for 14 days, Suvendu, was most helpful and knowledgable, and recommend he is provided an assistant, having 20 passengers and 1 guide is too much. Whilst in Varanasi, at night along the Ganges we "lost" a lady passenger, fortunately she was located again. Torches would have been useful. Australian disgruntled passengers Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have travelled extensively on ocean and river over the last 20 years and have, with the exception of our October Pandaw India trip, always enjoyed our adventures. On two occasions plans went astray but we were adequately compensated. ... Read More
We have travelled extensively on ocean and river over the last 20 years and have, with the exception of our October Pandaw India trip, always enjoyed our adventures. On two occasions plans went astray but we were adequately compensated. This is the first time I have voiced my dissatisfaction in a public forum and I have endeavoured to report the issues as accurately as possible. We arrived in Kolkata in anticipation of the inaugural 14 day cruise to Varanasi. Unfortunately the late finish to the monsoon season and associated flooding closed the lock at Farraka and prevented our boat Katha Pandaw from reaching Varanasi. We were only notified of this closure at 3.30 pm the day before although Pandaw had knowledge of potential problems with our itinerary some days prior. One hour before we were due to board our boat, we were given the option to cancel but we had accommodation, tours and flights booked for the end of our cruise and we felt we were unable to organise an alternate itinerary without any notice or help let alone compensation for consequential losses. In reality there was no real choice. We were told the amended itinerary, which we did not receive for four days, of one week on the boat Kolkata return and one week by air and bus would be “amazing”. Sadly this holiday was far from amazing and far from the luxury as advertised by Pandaw. We made the best of our first week on Katha Pandaw as the scenery along The Ganges was beautiful. However the boat was not safe nor fit for passengers. In terms of safety, electrical sockets were loose, grouting in showers filthy, tiles were falling off bathroom walls and the showers would suddenly lose all cold water with the result that many passengers were scalded, including myself on three occasions. Our cabin was not as comfortable as on previous Pandaw trips. The mattress on the bed was the hardest we have ever slept on and the majority of passengers were complaining. The air conditioner which needed to be on at all times due to the heat and humidity was the noisiest we have ever experienced. Some were held together by packing tape to try and stop the rattling. The compressor went on and off all night and it was very difficult to sleep. There was no usable soap and only a tiny glass bottle with body wash from which it was impossible to get the contents out. We were told that they tried to buy cakes of soap for the cabins but it was a public holiday! Is this the best Pandaw could do!? Even the representative of the Indian management company who visited the boat following multiple complaints admitted that Katha Pandaw was not ready for passengers. And yet there we were! The only conclusion we could come to was that Pandaw had failed miserably in ensuring the boat was fit for purpose. Staff was new to Pandaw and inexperienced, untrained, without name tags but always charming and polite. The food was well below the standard advertised and offered on other boats. The chef had no idea of the amount of food needed to feed 20 passengers and if you arrived a little late for a meal there would be insufficient food. Following complaints, half way through the journey the quantities increased and so did the variety of the dishes offered. However the presentation and quality never approached the food we enjoyed on other Pandaw boats. The dining area was located indoors but the two air conditioners were totally inadequate to cool the room. The lunch buffet was set up outside so food including rice sat in the heat for far too long before the meal. Whilst on board, we received an email from Paul Strachan, the founder of Pandaw, apologising for (and I quote) the “appalling situation” on board which was “far from the standards you would expect from Pandaw”. We continued on with our second week of the itinerary. We flew to Patna in Bihar and commenced a road trip which proved to be a very difficult and stressful week where everything seemed to go wrong. Two of the hotels were disgusting with torn and dirty sheets which looked like they had not been changed after the previous guests, mouldy bathrooms and air conditioners we did not turn on due to the filth inside them. One day we were in the bus for about eight hours so needed to find a toilet and all our guide could find was a disgustingly dirty pit toilet. In all we lost nearly two full days out of seven with air travel together with numerous hours sitting in a bus. The endless difficulties encountered during this week would be perfect material for a film sequel entitled “The Very Worst Marigold Hotel”!! When enjoying the tours organised by Pandaw whilst on the boat, there was always a tour guide and two other staff members one of whom carried the first aid kit. However on our land tour we only had one guide, albeit an excellent one, with no crew member walking at the rear and no first aid kit. Passenger safety was compromised especially taking into account that many were in their 70’s. We flew to Varanasi with three nights at a beautiful resort about 45 minutes from the city. Our luggage came by road and was expected to arrive late afternoon but we did not receive it until midnight. On our last day we arose at 4 am to travel to The Ganges to enjoy a romantic sunrise cruise. There were to be two small boats and two musicians on each but all we got was one large boat, two musicians and a broken engine which meant we were towed along by an underpowered small boat belching black diesel fumes over us. It took us so long to reach our destination that we needed to return straight to our bus and missed the one hour walking tour of the old town area of Varanasi. Yet another disappointment! In conclusion, regrettably the best day of this Pandaw journey was the day we flew home! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We did not choose this river cruise boat. It was part of a Cruise.co.uk bucket list tour. Three days on the Yangtze. The boat was boarded in Chongquin. A city that I would have liked to spend more time in. It was boarded via ... Read More
We did not choose this river cruise boat. It was part of a Cruise.co.uk bucket list tour. Three days on the Yangtze. The boat was boarded in Chongquin. A city that I would have liked to spend more time in. It was boarded via hundreds of steps. On reaching our cabin, over several metal floors that were seriously buckled and flipped you up as you walked over them, we were not at all pleased. There was a pervading smell of damp, the bathroom had black mound around extremely ageing bathroom fittings. They needed a deep clean and bleaching. Our single beds were falling apart, rust breaking off them. They were wet with damp. Our clothes began to smell and some hand washing done on board stayed wet for three days. Some from our party had mould growing on their washing. Cleanliness was not a priority. Bins were emptied and beds made. I dare not lift the covers to see what the mattress was like!! Our cabin was never hoovered. Cups were dirty. The room thermos of hot water was filled by the room attendant, from the same tap they used for their mops and buckets!! Our cabin floor was buckled and dangerous, especially on night time trips!! Drawers were falling apart and the wardrobe stank. Food was strange. Two hour buffet sitting resulted in food being taken away after just over an hour on two nights. Several items ran out early. The last night Gala Dinner was largely inedible. I resorted to biscuits in my cabin, but the damp had got to them. They were soft. In fact books and passports became wrinkled with the damp, my tin of mints became soft and crumbly and we all ended up with chesty coughs as a result of damp spores. I had previously spoken with Victoria at the World Travel Market and their literature dies not give a true image of their service. Our tour guide said this was their o,desk and cheapest ship and she should be retired! A really nasty experience, saved only by cheap drinks, which may have been reduced to placate us, and the young bar and entertainment team. One star rating, as lowest I could give!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
A 4 night cruise on the Yangtze was part of our package tour. I have given this ship a 1 star rating only because there is no option for a lower one. Absolutely appalling in every respect - the cabin, dining, no entertainment as ... Read More
A 4 night cruise on the Yangtze was part of our package tour. I have given this ship a 1 star rating only because there is no option for a lower one. Absolutely appalling in every respect - the cabin, dining, no entertainment as such. We had some locals attending dinner wearing singlets. The meals were self serve of a very basic standard. There is no option to upgrade dining not that I'd recommend paying for it. The floors on the cabin decks are "rippled" ie not flat, and they buckle when you walk on them. It was a standing joke amongst the western guests. Service - there was none. Dirty coffee cups, wine glasses were never collected from our cabin for the duration. Passengers had to ask at reception for toilet paper or soap as cabin stewards dont replenish supplies. We enjoyed our Yangtze trip despite this barge, not because of it. Avoid at all costs! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Friends told us but ours was different no zoo tour air food and lodging were bad we were sick the whole time and sick for 6 weeks upon return air born virus I broke 2 teeth eating at the restaurant inbejing first night and the insurance ... Read More
Friends told us but ours was different no zoo tour air food and lodging were bad we were sick the whole time and sick for 6 weeks upon return air born virus I broke 2 teeth eating at the restaurant inbejing first night and the insurance refused to pay Viking also refused any liability Way below Viking cruise standards we have done other Viking cruises this will be our last We had to repeatedly tell room service to clean the bathroom we and many passengers were sick from the food tubs were dirty the tour guide did not have sufficient bathroom stops they would have heavy breakfast at hotel and have us ride without bathroom stops for hours I learned quickly to put my breakfast in a napkin and not eat it till we arrived near a bathroom and not drink anything please understand cruisers are old people and must make bathroom stops Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The cruise was an add on to a land tour of the major cities in China booked by Friendly Planet Travel. The first thing you notice when you walk on to the ship is the pervasive mold smell throughout. We were promised a "superior" ... Read More
The cruise was an add on to a land tour of the major cities in China booked by Friendly Planet Travel. The first thing you notice when you walk on to the ship is the pervasive mold smell throughout. We were promised a "superior" cabin but were put into a standard cabin that was so mildewed that my eyes started to water within ten minutes of arrival. After they argued with us regarding what is supposed to constitute a "superior" cabin (this one was eight feet wide with no closet and sofa width single beds) We paid $300 for an upgrade to a junior suite (BAIT AND SWITCH!!!!!!!!) that was marginally less mildewed than our original cabin that I could almost breathe in. At least we had a place to put our suitcases. The dining was the best part of the cruise. The wait staff was excellent and the food edible. The lectures were boring and more like sales pitches than informational programs. Because we both got sick from the mildew, we needed to visit the on board physician, Dr. Lee, who seemed quite personable and competent. None of the shore excursions matched the description given in the brochure. We were supposed to go through the locks at the Three Gorges Dam but instead sat on the boat for an entire day not moving and going nowhere. Instead they took us on a horrible bus ride to the dam where you couldn't see anything. AWFUL. They promised a ride on a sampan through one of the smaller gorges - never happened. Instead they took the riverboat upriver to a Chinese style shopping arcade. I feel we were totally taken in and it was probably the WORST cruise I have ever taken. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Born in China and lived in the US for more than 30 year, I chose the Victoria Cruises because the cruise line claims that they are the only 'American company' on the Yangtze River. It turned out that the advertisement from the ... Read More
Born in China and lived in the US for more than 30 year, I chose the Victoria Cruises because the cruise line claims that they are the only 'American company' on the Yangtze River. It turned out that the advertisement from the Victoria Cruises is a total misleading. On November 11, 2016, we boarded Victoria Grace and started our 4-day Chongqing to Yichang (the three gorges) cruise and it is the worst cruise we even taken (we took more than dozen of cruises including river cruise in Europe). The ship. The so labeled “5-star” ship is absolutely outdated and nowhere close to a 3-star ship, and there is NO elevator. The floors are uneven and you can feel the metal sheet waving underneath the carpet and hear the noise when walking on the floor. Decoration is at the minimal and pale, at least. The embarkation. First, all passengers had to walk about 2 km to board the ship carrying all luggage and there was no help from the ship. When we asked for help to move our luggage to our cabin after we got on the board, we were told that we had to pay for the service by using the local labor whom the ship allowed to do so. During check-in, we were immediately asked to pay gratuities (150 RMB per person) at front because we are not Chinese citizen (however, the ship asked us to pay tip again at the end of cruise which we declined for the experience we had). Be aware that there is no food provided for the first night. The cabin: We had a standard cabin which is small, tired, dated and smelly. Bed is soft, furniture, sheets, bedcover and towels are old. We had toilet and door lock problems during our 4-day cruise. Food: Buffet breakfast and lunch were provided, and dinners were either buffets or Chinese style table dinner. Foods was boring with limited choices. Sometimes passengers had to wait for items to be refilled. Service: The ship provided absolutely minimal service. No greetings, and smiling was almost non-exist. There is thermal bottle in cabin but the room attendant wanted passages to fill the hot water themselves. It was a great effort to get the waiter/waitress to bring a cup of tea or coffee to you during lunch or dinner. Some of the staff were doing better job than others. However, if you complain, then the situation became worse! There was one English speaking person on board but she could not do much because all she could do was listening and reporting it to her boss. Excursions: There were couple of included excursions that were good but the poor air quality and visibility greatly discounted the true beauty of the three gorges. The optional excursions were very expensive and not worth to take. In summary, if you want to cruise the three gorges, go with other cruise lines and do a good homework. Do not simply believe the advertisement and DO NOT go with Victoria Cruises! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
It combined visits to several key Chinese cities and tourist attractions with six days on the Yangtze River. A great combination. We were well cared for from start to finish. Hotels were excellent and food was great with lots of choice ... Read More
It combined visits to several key Chinese cities and tourist attractions with six days on the Yangtze River. A great combination. We were well cared for from start to finish. Hotels were excellent and food was great with lots of choice including western and Chinese dishes. The sight seeing hit the high lights from the Imperial City and the Great Wall to the terra-cotta warriors to the Three Gorges and the Bund in Shanghai. The guides were excellent, really knew their material and had a fine command of English. The support staff did a fine job of taking care of getting tickets and getting bags fro one spot to another. Although the overall group was over 230 people, the fact we were divided into 8 small groups made for an enjoyable and friendly experience. After busy days on shore it was good to settle in on the Emerald for some more relaxing days. We enjoyed all the excursions off the boat with the school visit especially fine. A footy day meant we did not see too much of the Three Gorges Dam, but the weather could not be helped. We had a fine time and would certainly do another Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was meant to be the inaugural cruise of the MY Andaman Explorer commencing October 2nd out of Kawthaung Myanamar When we arrived we were told that the ships generator was broken and that it would not be sailing that day.We were ... Read More
This was meant to be the inaugural cruise of the MY Andaman Explorer commencing October 2nd out of Kawthaung Myanamar When we arrived we were told that the ships generator was broken and that it would not be sailing that day.We were put into a Hotel in Kawthaung for that night in the anticipation that the boat would depart the following day.The next day arrived we checked out of the hotel and did a sightseeing tour of Kawthaung.Well no surprise the boat was still not ready, it was stuck in Thailand,back to the hotel again. The following day we checked out of the hotel once more and finally we were told that the boat had left Thailand and would be arriving at Kawthaung that afternoon. Our jubilation soon evaporated once we boarded the boat. It was an utter shambles.The boat was a filthy rusting wreck,which should have been en-route for the breakers yard,certainly not a luxury cruise. It is almost difficult to give a description of what was an absolute shambles.Dirt,rust,toilets not working,chairs strewn around the decks,the decks a greasy filthy mess,the so called fitness room was a junk room,the passengers galley was trashed,our shower was black with dirt and full of mold,the toilet would not flush.My wife used the communal toilet ,there was no soap,no towels and the sink did not work.The front observation deck was missing half of the bar stools,bits were broken off,cushions had been removed. There were duct taped electrical sockets,holes in the ceilings,open hatchways with 20 feet drops into the unknown. This may sound unimaginable ,I am understating the disastrous condition of this boat. On talking to the Captain I asked him why there was damage to the starboard bow;it transpired the rudder had broken;this was apart from the generator which seems minor in comparison.We left the boat the following day before it set sail(it did not get far, the generator broke down again) Pandaw did reimburse us for the cost of the cruise after I threatened to post pictures of the boat online.They put us on a river cruise on the Irawaddy as an alternative.That boat was up to Pandaw standards although it took us another three days to get on that boat.I am truly dismayed at the the descriptions of the boat as advertized by Pandaw and other tour operators.This is really deception beyond ones wildest imagination.I wish I could attach photographs to this review. This boat needs a major overhaul before it should be considered fit for service. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The 'cruise' was scheduled to commence at Jing Hong in China. We duly arrived at a perfectly acceptable hotel which we had previously arranged, after an overnight stay we were due to be collected and transferred to the Laos ... Read More
The 'cruise' was scheduled to commence at Jing Hong in China. We duly arrived at a perfectly acceptable hotel which we had previously arranged, after an overnight stay we were due to be collected and transferred to the Laos Pandaw. We were indeed collected and transferred to a somewhat third rate Chinese hotel and informed that we would be staying here until further notice. Communications were virtually non existent. A local guide stated that we would be at this hotel for at least two nights, what a dismal prospect. We were provided with dinner and a small amount of beer two bottles between 8 people! A promise that a Pandaw representative was on his way to explain. Well he arrived the following day, no apologies were forthcoming, no reasons given for the itinerary not being adhered with, in fact rather a waste of time. We spent three nights in this ghastly hotel, no one spoke English, Pandaw I believe hastily organised some tours which should have been part of the original itinerary, by a rather old dirty coach. In the meantime the standard of food remained at a dismal low and if you required a drink well the bar was open at a cost. We were eventually taken by a Chinese boat along the Mekong to the China/Laos border and then transferred to a hastily converted freight carrier, well tables and chairs were provided to meet the Laos Pandaw We had left the hotel around 07.30 and arrived on the boat at18.00! We now had three days on the boat, we did not follow the itinerary in any way, we did not visit Burma, however we did eventually arrive at Chiang Saen, at last we complied with the itinerary. After speaking with members of the crew we were informed that Laos Pandaw had NEVER been to China! Well you pay your money and Pandaw appear to be at liberty to do what they like, it was certainly an adventure which I would not recommend. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016

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