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SIEM REAP | Journey along the Mekong with Pandaw (8 days)
Overview Programme Inclusion Gallery Request
An extraordinary journey full of sights, colors, and sounds awaits as we voyage along the fabled Mekong River, for thousands of years a lifeline to people residing along its banks. In the comfort of the elegant Pandaw, intimate vessels reflecting the captivating charm of the region, we explore the Mekong’s myriad cultures, storied history, and enduring traditions. We call at rural villages, colorful floating markets, and ancient palaces, hike to hilltop shrines, and absorb the intriguing rhythms of riverside life. We also enjoy Cambodia’s charming capital, Phnom Penh. Our journey ends with a cruise across vast Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Asia. Extensions to Saigon and the astonishing World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat are available.
Name Siem Reap - Journey along the Mekong with Pandaw
Duration 8 days / 7 nights
Price from 1850 USD / pax (based on sharing cabin)
Itinerary in short

Day 1 : Siem Reap Embarkment

Day 2 : Kampong Chhnang

Day 3 : Kampong Cham

Day 4 : Phnom Penh

Day 5 : Phnom Penh / Chau Doc

Day 6 : Chau Doc

Day 7 : Cai Be

Day 8 : My Tho / Saigon



• Depart weekly on Saturday between June and March
• The rivers you will sail on are subject to seasonal rises and falls of water level, in some places as much as 30 metres. Water levels can change dramatically overnight and a sudden rise can impede our progress upstream considerably and even prevent us from passing under certain bridges. A sudden fall can result in our being unable to get into certain places or go as far upstream as we would hope. Groundings on sandbars are not infrequent and are part of the excitement of any Pandaw expedition. Published itineraries are indicational only and subject to sudden change. In such events alternative itineraries will be provided and we do our best to ensure that if a stop is missed we make up for it with another stop.  Passengers are thus forewarned and expected to be flexible and patient. River cruising in Asia can be a dramatic and adventurous experience - not like cruising the controlled waterways of Europe or America. Note also that we operate in areas with little or no developed infrastructure and subject to the strictures of local officialdom. Be prepared for this and it is all more the fun!
• There are six beautifully crafted Pandaw ships in operation. Each ship, hand finished in brass and teak by traditional craftsmen are in themselves objects of great beauty. Whilst luxury and comfort are discreetly present, it is the colonial character and friendly atmosphere that predominate. All Pandaw ships have ultra shallow drafts and can travel to remote areas unreachable by other vessels, let alone overland.

The great lake dominates Cambodia and is over 150 Km in length. Here bird life is profuse, and from the middle of the lake one cannot even see the shores. There is a great stillness and tranquility as we pass floating fishing villages. Because of seasonal high winds and varying water levels, we will start our journey one of the following ways:

1. High water, approximately August to November.  At 11h00  register at Koulen II restaurant in Siem Reap to transfer to the ship at Siem Reap Port. Passengers staying at the Victoria Resort and Spa will be collected at 11h15 from the hotel. On the way to the ship excursion by motor boat to the floating villages of Tonle Sap. Embark the ship at 13h00 and lunch onboard. Cross the great lake in the afternoon and drop the anchor after sunset. Moor overnight at the edge of the Tonle Lake.
2. Low water, approximately November to August.  At 12h00 Register at Koulen II Restaurant in Siem Reap to transfer by coach to Prek Dom on the Tonle River, enjoying a snacks and cold drinks on the way with a stop at Kampong Thom. Passengers staying at our partner hotel Victoria Resort and Spa will be collected from the hotel at 12h15. Arrive by 17h00 and cruise to Kampong Chhnang for overnight mooring.

High Water: Early morning sailing with a brief stop at Kampong Chhnang after breakfast. Cruise all day passing Phnom Penh to enter the Mekong River. Proceed upstream and stop for an afternoon walk at a rural village.
Low Water: Kampong Chhnang is a busy rural port town with bustling markets. Mooring mid-stream, we make a truly wonderful motor boat excursion into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the river. Here a stunning variety of birdlife may be seen, and of considerable interest are the great fish traps. We touch the capital Phnom Penh in the afternoon to change pilots and enter the Upper Mekong bound for Kampong Cham and stop for an afternoon walk at a rural village.

Morning journey upriver to the hilltop pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Dating from the 8th century, these ancient brick structures characterize the architecture of the Chenla Empire which predated the glories of Angkor. Sail back downstream over lunch for an exploration of the Kampong Cham Area. We travel by bus to the 12th century Angkorian temple of Wat Nokor. We continue to the eco village of Cheungkok supported by the French-Cambodian NGO AMICA and the Kampong Cham orphanage, supported by the Pandaw ProBono programme. We make a late afternoon departure from Kampong Cham heading for Phnom Penh. Overnight mid-stream.

The capital of Cambodia retains its French charm. The city has several impressive wats, including Wat Ounalom, Wat Phnom and the newly-painted Wat Lang Ka. Pride of place goes to the Royal Palace and to the spectacular Silver Pagoda, one of the few places in Cambodia where artifacts embodying the brilliance and richness of Khmer culture were preserved by the Khmer Rouge. The National Museum is another highlight, with outstanding displays of Khmer crafts. An afternoon excursion is arranged to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre situated in the suburbs of the city then shopping at the Russian market or Central market. More happily, Phnom Penh has a lively night life, and some passengers choose to dine ashore or try one of the capital’s many watering holes; a favorites being the Foreign Correspondents’ Club..

We spend the day cruising in the main Mekong channel, an international shipping route for the Vietnamese border for the usual formalities.

We travel from the main Mekong channel at Tan Chau down the canals and backwaters by local ferry boat. At Chau Doc we visit a Cham tribal village and a cat fish farm. We make a trishaw ride round this fascinating town of fine French-colonial buildings and bustling market. We return to the ship for lunch and cast off for Cai Be.

We take a morning junk trip to Dong Hoa Hiep Island to Cai Be to see a floating market, and go ashore to visit the French Gothic Cathedral and colorful port area, with its colonial buildings, delightful flower gardens and local rice paper manufacturers. We explore evergreen islands and visit the former Imperial residence the An Kiet House. In the afternoon we continue our sightseeing by boat to Vinh Long to visit the Bonsai Gardens and see brick works.

Early morning sail from Cai Be for My Tho, where we disembark at 0830 for coach transfer to Ho Chi Minh City arriving approximately at 10:30.

Whilst Pandaw is a great cruise company, it has a quirky policy of changing their cruise costs without notice (normally lower pricing). Their seasonality changes from cruise to cruise - hence it proves impossible to show the exact cost for every cruise departure. Last minute booking & earlybird discounts (normally 10 mths in advance) are offered but change weekly.

• 07 nights on board Pandaw Cruise, based on double/twin cabin sharing
• Transfer in Saigon and Siem Reap to/from the meeting point to boat
• All meals on board, including mineral water, coffee/tea (B=Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
• Group shore excursions as listed in the programme
• Local English speaking guide on board
• 24/24h assistance from our company
• Service charges and government tax

• Travel insurance
• Visa and passport fees to Vietnam and Cambodia
• International flights to Siem Reap and from Saigon
• Port taxes in Phnom Penh and Saigon
• Single supplement applied to single accommodation
• Pre-arrangements in Saigon and post-arrangements in Siem Reap
• Meals and beverage that are not served on board of Pandaw Cruise
• Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry charges, bar expenses, (alcoholic beverages are not included)
• Hairdressing and massage treatments
• Telephone and internet charges
• Tipping for staff on board (5usd/person/day is recommended)
• Surcharge in peak season (Christmas, New Year, local public holidays)
• Any additional expenses caused by reasons beyond our control such as natural calamities (typhoon, floods), flight delays, rescheduling or cancellations, any accidents, medical evacuations, riots, strikes etc.

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