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Pandaw’s Classic Mekong Cruise & Angkor Wat

16 days from £3699*
Departing: October 2019 - November 2020
* Price shown: 20 October 2019 from LHR - VN54
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Experience the sights, sounds and sensory delights of Southeast Asia on this wonderful cruise and stay holiday

Step back in time and into another world, as you take a journey of the senses through the colourful lands of Vietnam and Cambodia. Take in Hanoi, with its colonial remnants, sail through the extraordinary seascape of Ha Long Bay and journey to the awe-inspiring wonder of Angkor Wat, before enjoying an unforgettable seven-night cruise on the mighty Mekong. You’ll complete the unforgettable adventure with a stay in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon.

Tour Highlights

  • Explore Vietnam’s charming capital, Hanoi
  • Spend a day cruising stunning Ha Long Bay
  • Fly to Cambodian Siem Reap for a three-night stay
  • Discover the awe-inspiring majesty of Angkor Wat
  • Cruise Tonle Sap, Cambodia’s Great Lake
  • Join five-star rated RV Mekong Pandaw at Kampong Cham
  • Enjoy a unique seven-day cruise taking in the sights and sounds of Cambodia and the Vietnamese delta
  • Cruise the Mekong River and enjoy delightful Kratie and its Irrawaddy dolphins, French-influenced Phnom Penh and the pretty Tonle River, Beautiful Con Phuoc Island and the Gao Giong Bird Sanctuary
  • See the infamous Cu Chi tunnel complex

What does the price include?

  • Transfer from My Tho to discover pulsating HCMC – the former Saigon
  • Six nights’ bed and breakfast hotel accommodation in Hanoi (two nights), Siem Reap (three nights) and Ho Chi Minh City (one night)
  • Seven nights’ full-board accommodation aboard five-star rated RV Mekong Pandaw, including main meals, locally made soft drinks, beer and spirits, jugged coffee and teas, mineral water, guide services, entrances, crew gratuities (excludes local guides and drivers) sharing a twin-bedded cabin
  • Return scheduled flights to Hanoi, returning from HCMC, and between Hanoi and Siem Reap
  • Air-conditioned coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager (please note: the ship’s appointed guides will take care of you on board the cruise)

Single rooms are available for a supplement

Your Itinerary

Day One

Fly overnight from the UK to Hanoi.

Day Two

Meet your tour manager and transfer into elegant, romantic Hanoi, for a two-night stay. Enjoy an introductory tour of the Vietnamese capital, with its old quarter, tranquil Hoan Kiem Lake and island temple. Perhaps visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the former leader’s traditional house, the Imperial Citadel and the Temple of Literature, and enjoy dinner at your leisure.

Day Three

Journey through a timeless landscape to the Gulf of Tonkin, and cruise through the stunning seascape of Ha Long Bay, with its limestone pillars, cone-shaped islands, floating villages, pearl-fishermen, and exquisite beaches. Return to Hanoi this evening.

Day Four

Fly south to Siem Reap, gateway to the incredible Angkor Thom complex and home to the Angkor National Museum. Enjoy a traditional Cambodian dance performance at dinner.

Day Five

One of the tour’s most unforgettable highlights is today’s visit to Angkor Thom, the great Khmer citadel. Great ruins litter the verdant jungle, including awe-inspiring Angkor Wat – the world’s largest religious building, with its towers and 1,000-metre-long carved bas-relief. Equally astounding, is the Bayon temple with its four giant heads and countless other faces carved into the rock. Return to your hotel, amazed at your discoveries.

Day Six

Cruise the waters of Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s great lake, passing villages built on stilts, and the floating communities that make a living from the waters. This afternoon, complete your visit to Siem Reap with a stopover at the Angkor National Museum and marvel at its priceless artefacts.

Day Seven

Journey through the Cambodian countryside to the Mekong River in bustling Kampong Cham, and board the RV Mekong Pandaw to begin your unique seven-day cruise. Settle into your cabin, perhaps try the on-board spa to unwind, and sail upriver to moor overnight at colonial village Chhlong. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and first dinner aboard.

Day Eight

Having cruised upstream to delightful Kratie, with its shop-houses and tiny farms, today begins with a morning visit to Koh Trong Island, with its sand dunes, traditional smallholdings and laid-back way of life. A delightful couple of hours are spent exploring by ox-cart or bicycle, with the chance to plant a tree as part of a reforestation programme, before lunch is enjoyed on board. This afternoon, journey by local boat to the waters of the Kampi pool, you’ll hope for a glimpse sight of the extremely endangered, snub-nosed Irrawaddy dolphins, one of the cruise’s undoubted highlights.

Day Nine

Turning downstream, you’ll enjoy a leisurely day of cruising, passing through Phnom Penh and enjoying a fascinating on-board lecture and film presentation as you head into the pretty Tonle River. The river connects the Mekong with Tonle Sap lake, and undergoes a twice-annual reversal of its flow according to the level of water in the Mekong relative to the lake. A visit is made by smaller Pandaw Explorer to Ko Oknha Tey, or Silk Island, where there will be the opportunity to learn about the process of silk-making, from worm to weaver, and to see a demonstration of Bokator, an ancient Khmer martial art.

Day Ten

Today, Mekong Pandaw arrives in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, a French colonial treasure chest, and home to the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and a superb National Museum. You’ll enjoy a tour by private cyclo taxi and a sobering afternoon excursion by coach to the sombre Killing Fields and Tuoi Sleng Museum, which chronicles the Pol Pot years. Perhaps enjoy a drink at the Foreign Correspondents Club or the Royal Elephant Bar at the Raffles Hotel, before dinner aboard.

Day Eleven

Turning south, today you’ll cross the riverine border into Vietnam, completing customs formalities, and enjoying the chance to tour the ship while she awaits clearance. This afternoon, explore Tan Chau’s labyrinthine network of canals, visit a Taoist temple, meet locals tending fields near Xi Loi, and visit a fish farm, later releasing fish back into the Mekong.

Day Twelve

This morning, sail into a canal to moor off beautiful Con Phuoc Island, where local artisans engage in basket-weaving, woodworking and delicious coconut-candy-making. Explore by tuk-tuk, visiting the island’s 100-year-old Catholic church and the artisans’ workshops, before re-boarding the ship to cruise downstream. An afternoon visit is made to the colourful Gao Giong bird sanctuary, where several species of water bird, including thousands of egrets, can be seen nesting amongst the reeds.

Day Thirteen

A morning call is made at colourful Cho Lach Island, where more glimpses of Delta life can be enjoyed, and there’s a chance to take a culinary lesson in how to make Banh Xeo, traditional Vietnamese savoury crepes. A last delightful afternoon sees you cruise downstream through the tranquil Delta to Ben Tre, with its ancient waterfront. Board a traditional sampan to journey through mangroves and bamboo groves to the local fruit orchards, sampling the delicious jams and honeys, before returning to Mekong Pandaw by horse cart, for a last memorable dinner aboard ship.

Day Fourteen

Disembark in bustling delta town and commercial hub My Tho and journey through the landscape of rice fields, orchards and verdant foliage, to Ho Chi Minh City for an overnight stay. Enjoy a guided tour, a fascinating mix of French colonial past and the pulsating Vietnam of today. Highlights include the grand General Post Office, Reunification Hall, Xa Loi Pagoda and  time-permitting, the War Remnants Museum.

Day Fifteen

Visit the labyrinthine Cu Chi tunnel complex, used by the Viet Cong, and which now serves as a poignant memorial to the conflict. After a last dinner with new-found friends, transfer to the airport for the return overnight flight.

Day Sixteen

Arrive back in the UK early this morning.

 

Departure Airport Date Price From
LHR
LHR 20 October 2019 £3699
LHR
LHR 26 January 2020 £3999
LHR
LHR 18 October 2020 £3999
LHR
LHR 15 November 2020 £3999

Further Information

Hotel transfer times

The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 45 minutes.

Travel vaccinations

Requirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.

Passports and visas

British citizens require machine-readable passports when travelling overseas. A visa is required for entry to Cambodia. Your passport must contain two blank pages and be valid for six months beyond the exit date from Cambodia. The current charge for British Citizens is £30. Visas are required for multiple entry visits to Vietnam and your passport must contain one blank page for the visa. The current charge for British Citizens is £55. Full details of how and when to apply will be sent out about eight weeks before your departure date.

Luggage allowance

You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.

Changes to your hotels

Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.

Road Conditions

In developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, which can lead to roadworks and rough road surfaces increasing journey times. Some journeys are made on winding mountain roads and passes, which may also make for slow travelling. Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads.

River water levels

The cruise sailing schedule may have to change depending on water levels. The ship’s crew reserve the right to do this at any time.

Special requirements

If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

Disabled access

The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Itinerary changes

Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

 

Foreign Office Travel Advice

Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.