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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was chosen as way to see the more rural side of Vietnam and Cambodia and did not disappoint. In fact it went way beyond our expectations. The itinerary is new with many small villages visited, often being transported by local ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as way to see the more rural side of Vietnam and Cambodia and did not disappoint. In fact it went way beyond our expectations. The itinerary is new with many small villages visited, often being transported by local tuk tuk, ox cart or horse cart.The excursions are varied and well run, with a lot of local content , including making pots, basket weaving, cooking pancakes and planting trees. My highlight was one of our 2 school visits and sitting with a 12 year old student, in his open air classroom helping with his lessons. The amenities and space on board were truly amazing. Our cruise was about half full but even if is was at capacity you would never feel crowded. There is space and quiet when needed and a wonderful cocktail hour to mix with others. We dined with everyone on board at at various times during the week and the dining experience was always exceptional. The meals were varied with a lot of local dishes to try and beautifully presented. Lastly, the crew went above and beyond to ensure our safety and the enjoyment of all on board. Be ready for the crew/guest dance on the last night! I genuinely recommend this cruise and can’t wait to try another adventure with Pandaw. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Our cruise was on the Upper Irrawaddy. This is our 3rd Pandaw cruise in 2 years. They epitomize the benefits and joys of Myanmar experience. The food is great, the itineraries are creative. We faced a couple of crises (caught on sand bars) ... Read More
Our cruise was on the Upper Irrawaddy. This is our 3rd Pandaw cruise in 2 years. They epitomize the benefits and joys of Myanmar experience. The food is great, the itineraries are creative. We faced a couple of crises (caught on sand bars) and the crew is empowered to find solutions. The staff are friendly to the point of knowing passengers quite intimately which guarantees a personalized service, especially at meal times. This does NOT have ocean liner evening options. Pandaw takes you into the heart and soul of this country whose citizens are probably the nicest people on this planet. Despite having already done the Chindwin River cruise last year and Halong Bay/Red River out of Hanoi this year, we have been reminded of why Pandaw fulfills our river cruise needs. We almost certainly will return next year for another Pandaw experience. Children would not find this satisfactory. The clientele on all of our Pandaw cruises have been 'Senior' or close to it. The excursions are not particularly demanding but are VERY rewarding. One day, we found ourselves in the middle of a wedding and a funeral, just a few minutes apart and were urged - by the parties involved - to join them and participate. The interaction and opportunity to meet the Burmans is truly the highlight of our Myanmar experiences. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Quite a long coach trip to reach the boat, but a packed lunch was provided - which was adequate, there was also a short comfort break where you could buy snacks or souvenirs if you wished to. Embarkation was smooth and well prepared and ... Read More
Quite a long coach trip to reach the boat, but a packed lunch was provided - which was adequate, there was also a short comfort break where you could buy snacks or souvenirs if you wished to. Embarkation was smooth and well prepared and the staff were very helpful. The cabin was excellent - all facilities as advertised, and plenty of room. Dining room could accommodate several different sized tables, we opted for a table for two, but others wanted to sit at a table for 6 - food was very good, especially as I had a gluten free requirement, which was catered for - including producing fresh rice bread at several meal times. The cocktail hour, with a different featured cocktail each night, was also good, and we gradually got to know the other passengers on board during this - a lovely mix of people, which also helped make the experience memorable. Each day we had two excursions ashore - which were fairly varied, and all were enjoyable and informative. Loved Cambodia, and Vietnam, and really enjoyed meeting the school children in Cambodia who were very enthusiastic students. The crew were very helpful and welcoming and nothing was too much trouble - Would recommend this cruise to anyone thinking of cruising from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City (Siagon). Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our first Pandaw River Cruise and it was outstanding. We started in Viet Tri, Vietnam on the first day of tourist season 2016. We were welcomed by TV cameras and photographers before seeing a beautiful traditoinal dance by women ... Read More
This was our first Pandaw River Cruise and it was outstanding. We started in Viet Tri, Vietnam on the first day of tourist season 2016. We were welcomed by TV cameras and photographers before seeing a beautiful traditoinal dance by women and children in Viet Tri. We felt like rock stars but had been warned by the ships crew it might happen. That was the start of what turned out to be a most interesting 10- night cruise to villages with blacksmiths, carpenters, water puppeteers and conical hat makers where tourist rarely go. We were warmly welcomed wherever our small group of 18 ventured. Because our trip started mid-January we were unprepared for the unusually cold weather but that did not affect the warm and inviting staff who cared for our dining, cabin care and touring. Low water conditions on the Lo River caused us to start downstream but that did not affect the tour because buses were there to take us where the boat could not go. We cannot say enough about the cruise overall except to say it would have been nice to have a few more heaters in the dining room. We ended our tour in magnificent Halong Bay for two nights which was awesome. At the end we were efficiently delivered back to Hanoi. I want to compliment the staff because we had one man with significant mobility challenges. Our ports were often out-of-the-way with difficult egress. The crew was always there to help the man experience everything that we did. It was impressive. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Kindaw Pandaw boat holds 40 passengers, two decks. My room was 101 (Lower Deck) at very front - lots of action, watching captain/crew lay walking planks, anchor, take care of business of running boat - highly interesting to me, but others ... Read More
Kindaw Pandaw boat holds 40 passengers, two decks. My room was 101 (Lower Deck) at very front - lots of action, watching captain/crew lay walking planks, anchor, take care of business of running boat - highly interesting to me, but others may prefer more quiet. Rooms 105 106 107 are in center of Lower Deck, quieter, & closer to stairs leading to Main/Upper Deck for dining, gatherings, sun bathing. Rooms on Upper Deck are exactly same ($ more), but steps can be avoided to common areas. First, cabins (straightened 2x a day) super clean, bright (no windows but lovely large sliding glass door entrance), roomy & comfortable, ditto shower/bath. Bedding clean, comfy, white. Good AC. In addition, food is hands down the BEST food I encountered over my month long trip in Burma. Main Chef, Bakery Chef were at the top of their games - from seafood to salad to vegetables to breads to desserts - A+. In addition to lovely cabins & superb food, the crew, managed by a young man named Bo, is to be highly commended. Reserved, respectful, well trained in hospitality, genuinely caring & kind, Bo set a professional but approachable tone that was followed by others. And they were fun, too! Wait till you hear Bo & the gang belt out a song on the last evening! Honestly, I didn't want to leave. The remainder of my tour never came close to matching quality of service, dining, accommodations, & friendliness so naturally evident on the Kindat Pandaw. Thanks to everyone, especially Bo. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
This cruise in the high rainfall month of July could have been anything, however the very little rain we had did not interfere with our activities and excursions, unfortunately for Myanmar the rain arrived and produced devastating floods a ... Read More
This cruise in the high rainfall month of July could have been anything, however the very little rain we had did not interfere with our activities and excursions, unfortunately for Myanmar the rain arrived and produced devastating floods a few days after we left so we were very lucky. The cruise itself was very well organised, varied daily activities and visits to local attractions, information about Myanmar and its people and traditional entertainment by local performers. The food was excellent, just as an example, fresh baked bread warm from the oven with a wide variety of courses and desserts worthy of a good French restaurant. The accommodation was of a high standard and well serviced, nothing seemed to be too much trouble for the staff, we were supplied with bottled water as we left on excursions and on returning our shoes were removed as we boarded, cleaned and returned to us within a few minutes. As with all cruises, there is often some friction and maybe even unpleasantness among the passengers, with the way this cruise was organised we all got along extremely well and formed a number of friendships with a promise to maintain contact. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
As we worked more than 30 years for international organizations, we have been frequent travelers all our life, but this travel was really a highlight. This travel started at Ho Chi Minh city and ended at Siem Rep in Cambodia. The ... Read More
As we worked more than 30 years for international organizations, we have been frequent travelers all our life, but this travel was really a highlight. This travel started at Ho Chi Minh city and ended at Siem Rep in Cambodia. The entire cruise included daily shore excursions with small boat tours, great buses to reach other places, horses and cows carts,etc., and always excellent guides explaining absolutely everything you wanted to know. Entertainment was fantastic too: local traditional music and dances shows in the evening, marionettes spectacle, local musicians, etc. Disembarkation in every place (including spontaneous spots discovered on the way) was really amazing: in minutes, an absolute secure bridge to the coast was built, including side protections, hand rails, and a row of staff helping gently to safely walk down. The boat is so nice, well equipped, comfortable. The food exceptionally good (we are expert cooks ourselves...and we learned a lot!!). The staff in the boat, ALL, were really exceptionally good, friendly, efficient… and any good thing additionally you can think about!! SUMMARY: All in all, just perfect!!! There is absolutely nothing that we could criticize negatively. The contrary, just congratulations to Pandaw for a fantastic cruise!!! Every day was a new enjoyable journey, and we were sad to leave the boat at the end of our travel... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014
This cruise from near Ho Chi Minh City to Kampong Cham was part of the Viking Magnificent Mekong tour. By comparison with European cruise ships, Tonle Pandaw is a boutique experience. The cabins are well-designed and comfortable, with ... Read More
This cruise from near Ho Chi Minh City to Kampong Cham was part of the Viking Magnificent Mekong tour. By comparison with European cruise ships, Tonle Pandaw is a boutique experience. The cabins are well-designed and comfortable, with excellent storage. The dining room is a good size and the food overall was excellent. The sundeck is a delight, especially in the afternoons and evenings when a river breeze cools the passengers, and has its own bar and restroom. The downstairs meeting room is functional for movies and talks. The staircases are rather narrow and especially up to the sundeck are steep. The crew all provide excellent service. Internet access can be rather patchy unless close to the server in the Saloon Bar. I found the excursions interesting throughout but they can definitely be a culture shock for unwary Westerners. Only people with good mobility and health should attempt this cruise, unless they are happy to stay on board and not get to the sundeck, movies, talks and excursions. Getting off the boat can be a struggle at times due to steep banks and lack of formal staircases. The company – a mix of Americans, British, Canadians and us two Aussies – was very amiable. Tummy bugs were rife and our Tour Director kept telling us to avoid the salad and ice – just eat hot, cooked food and drink bottled water. This cruise was part of a longer tour that began in Ho Chi Minh City and ended in Hanoi. Best part was actually Angkor and the temples. We did an extension to beautiful Ha Long Bay. I loved Hanoi too, a mix of French and Vietnamese. Read Less
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