Combine a captivating seven-night cruise along South-East Asia’s famous Mekong River with culture-packed stays in the vibrant cities of Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap. During this unforgettable journey you will discover iconic sights and historic highlights, explore rural villages and see if you can spot the rare Irrawaddy river dolphin.
• Bangkok, Thailand
• Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
• My Tho, Vietnam
• Cái Bè & Sa Ðéc, Vietnam
• Châu Ðôc, Vietnam
• Phnom Penh, Cambodia
• Tonlé River, Cambodia
• Kratié, Cambodia
• The dolphin grounds (near Kratié, Cambodia)
• Siem Reap, Cambodia
• See the mysterious Angkor Wat temples in Siem Reap
• Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and Khmer Rouge’s Tuol Sleng (S21 detention centre)
• Head by local bus to view the dolphin grounds in a national park protected area in Kratié.
RV Tonle Pandaw
Embrace nostalgia and charm on board the RV Tonle Pandaw, a colonial-style ship. The simpler things in life take centre stage on a Pandaw cruise, such as plentiful promenade decks that offer far-reaching views while you sail. There are cultural performances, educational talks, cooking classes and nightly entertainment in the saloon bar, while all meals are served in the main restaurant. There are just 28 staterooms which are finished with teak and brass and feature a French window leading to your private deck space.
Is this for you?
On this itinerary you can explore multiple countries, iconic sights andd off-the-beaten-track destinations, both on land and on the water. On the cruise, you'll explore harder-to-reach destinations including the dolphin grounds near Kratié in search of the rare Irrawaddy river dolphin.
Good to know
• Itineraries are subject to change
• In certain destinations you may be disembarking the ship across a wooden plank straight onto the river bank which can be uneven and muddy at times
• Low water levels between January and April can restrict access to the dolphin grounds near Kratié. In the event of this, a variety of alternative excursions will be available instead
• You should pack comfortable clothes and walking shoes
• Clothing should cover legs and shoulders when entering a place of worship
• The Oct 13 and Nov 24 departures will be on the RV Mekong Pandaw, the RV Tonle Pandaw's sister ship, which has 24 staterooms
• Average group size of 8 guests for land section
• A maximum of 16 guests for land section (56 for cruise)
• For guests over 16. As this is a Kuoni recommended age, there may be other children on board the cruise.
What to expect
Day 1: UK to Bangkok Depart the UK on your overnight flight to Bangkok.
Day 2: Bangkok On arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy some time to relax or explore. There’s an optional Apsara Dinner Cruise by Banyan Tree where you can enjoy Thai food on board a former rice barge as you cruise past Bangkok’s landmarks on the Chao Phraya River. Stay: The Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok (or similar).
Day 3: Bangkok A full-day city tour includes visits to three of Bangkok’s most fascinating temples. Wat Po is one of Bangkok’s largest temple complexes and home to the golden Reclining Buddha. One of the city’s most famous sights – the Grand Palace, is home to the famed Emerald Buddha – one of the most revered images of Buddha in Thailand. See the world’s largest gold seated Buddha at Wat Traimit. Sample the street food for lunch in Chinatown before a long-tailed speedboat ride on the picturesque Chao Phraya River and Klongs (canals) of Thonburi. Stay: The Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok (or similar). B, L.
Day 4: Bangkok Rise early to visit two unique markets: Maekhlong and Damnoen Saduak. Maekhong Railway Market is your first stop, where street vendors sell fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood on working railway tracks. It’s an amazing experience as you hear the train sound its horn, signalling its approach, and watch as the vendors swiftly pull back their tables and awnings to let the train squeeze through just inches away from you before the market resumes back to normal again. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a famous tangle of waterways where vendors sell trinkets from stilted shops on either side of the canal and you can buy pad thai from a passing boat. You will also visit Nakorn Pathom, home to the iconic Phra Pathom Chedi which features the largest pagoda in Southeast Asia. Stay: Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok (or similar). B, L.
Day 5: Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Transfer to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (approx. 1½ hours). On arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. There will an optional excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, a tunnel network built by Vietnamese resistance fighters and used by Viet Cong guerrillas in the Vietnam War. Stay: Equatorial Hotel (or similar). B.
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) A half-day city tour takes in the Reunification Palace, the Central Post Office and the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral. Visit Cho Lon, the city’s Chinatown which is home to the famous Cho Lon Market. Admire the ornate Thien Hau Pagoda which is dedicated to a sea goddess. This afternoon is at leisure before a dinner cruise on board the Bonsai Legacy. Stay: Equatorial Hotel (or similar). B, D.
Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to My Tho Transfer to the Intercontinental Asiana Hotel to join your transfer to the bustling port at My Tho, gateway to the Mekong Delta. Board the colonial-style RV Tonle Pandaw and enjoy welcome drinks and lunch before beginning your seven-night cruise across the Mekong Delta. Stay: RV Tonle Pandaw. B, L, D.
Day 8: Cái Bè & Sa Ðéc Visit the floating market of Cái Bè and Sa Đéc where you’ll find the old home of Huynh Thuy Le, the lover of the French novelist Marguerite Duras. Stay: RV Tonle Pandaw. B, L, D.
Day 9: Châu Ðôc Before you sail for the Cambodian border, you have a choice between a visit to a Vietnamese Muslim Cham Village where the locals farm catfish beneath their stilted houses, or some independent exploration by bicycle. Stay: RV Tonle Pandaw. B, L, D.
Day 10: Phnom Penh As you sail past the golden-roofed Royal Palace and moor in the heart of Cambodia’s capital, you’ll be shown just why an intimate river cruise creates such lasting memories. Each guest will have their own cyclo with a friendly driver to take you around Phnom Penh’s sights, including the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. For an insight into Cambodia’s tragic history, there is an optional afternoon coach excursion to Cambodia’s Killing Fields and Khmer Rouge’s detention centres. Stay: RV Tonle Pandaw. B, L, D.
Day 11: Tonlé River Experience vibrant local life on the banks of the Tonlé River as you journey by ship or coach (depending on water levels), enjoying picturesque woodland views en route to Kampong Trolach, a silver-making village, and Chong Koh, a silk weaving village. Stay: RV Tonle Pandaw. B, L, D.
Day 12: Kratié This morning, enjoy a walk through the historic Angkor Ban before your journey to the French colonial town of Kratié. Stay: RV Tonle Pandaw. B, L, D.
Day 13: The dolphin grounds (near Kratié) Transfer by bus for an exclusive visit to a protected area that’s home to the rare Irrawaddy river dolphin. This special excursion is only offered by Pandaw Cruises. Return downstream, visiting a temple before mooring near Kampong Cham. Stay: RV Tonle Pandaw. B, L, D.
Day 14: Siem Reap Disembark and journey by coach to Siem Reap (approx. 4-5 hours), gateway to the magnificent Temples of Angkor. Stop en route to visit the picturesque town of Kampong Thom. Upon arrival in the city, you will be dropped off at a meeting point and picked up to transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Stay: Tara Angkor (or similar). B.
Day 15: Siem Reap Visit the impressive South Gate of Angkor Thom, the last capital city of the Khmer empire. Highlights include the central Bayon temple, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Leper King and Terrace of Elephants. Enjoy lunch in a traditional wooden house at Srah Sang, a large bathing pool, before visiting spectacular Angkor Wat. There’s an optional gondola ride as the sun sets over Angkor Thom. Stay: Tara Angkor (or similar). B, L.
Day 16: Siem Reap Explore some of Angkor’s lesser-visited temples including Banteay Srei, a pink sandstone temple renowned for its impressive stone carvings, and the small sandstone Banteay Samre temple which has an interior moat. Visit a village to see how the locals harvest the rice or collect sugar palm (Oct-Apr). This afternoon’s highlight is the breathtaking Ta Phrom temple where trees grow out of the ruins. You will also see the Preah Khan temple complex and Neak Pean temple. This evening, enjoy dinner with a traditional Apsara show at a local restaurant. Stay: Tara Angkor (or similar). B, D.
Day 17: Siem Reap Start the day at a local pagoda for a Buddhist monk blessing, followed by stops at an art gallery and artisanal store selling soaps and spices. Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight to the UK. B.
2018 Dec 31. 2019 Jan 28; Feb 25; Sep 16; Oct 13; Nov 24. 2020 Jan 06; Feb 03; Mar 02.
Included in price
• Full-board cruise
• Mixed meal plan at hotels on land
• Select complimentary beverages served on board
• Fruit and flowers on arrival
• Shore excursions and site entrance fees as per itinerary
• Crew tips on board
• English-speaking guide
• All specified flights.
Upgrade your cruise
Cabin upgrade Upgrade to an upper deck cabin from £500 per person, red FE1188
Optional excursions Day 2: Dinner cruise from £105 per person.
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