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PANDAW RIVER CRUISES
11 Days | The Mekong Unexplored
Northbound (Upstream)


SAIGON (Ho Chi Minh City) TO SIEM REAP

Day 1 | Saigon, Vietnam. Embark. Embark at the Saigon city port for a fascinating down river cruise then crossing the Delta through the busy Cao Gao canal to My Tho.

Day 2 | Can Tho Floating Market. Explore the largest floating market in the world having traversed the Delta through the back waters taking advantage of the Angkor Pandaw's low air draft.

Day 3 | Chau Doc to Ba Phnom. Go ashore at the busy border port of Chau Doc where we explore a Cham tribal village and visit fish farms. Return to the ship by boat for lunch and cast off for the Cambodian border for the usual formalities. Travel by coach to Ba Phnom one of the first religious and cultural sites in Cambodia and may be considered a birthplace of the Cambodian nation.

Day 4 | Phnom Penh by Cyclo. Passengers will visit Phnom Penh and will be provided with their own private cyclo. The Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh which provides the cyclos is a charity that provides basic welfare and medical services to cyclo drivers (www.cyclo.org.uk). In the afternoon, optional excursion (by coach) to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre. This tour is included in the cost of your cruise but must be requested at the time of booking in the comments box.

Day 5 | Cruise Upstream. Go ashore. No fixed schedule with run ashore to visit a village and take a walk.

Day 6 | Kampong Cham and Inland Excursion. Travel by local bus to Wat Nokor which is a modern Theravada Buddhist pagoda squeezed into the walls of an 11th century Mahayana Buddhist shrine of sandstone and laterite. It is a kitsch kind of place and many older building's archways have been incorporated into the new building as shrines for worship.  There is also a large reclining Buddha. At Chlung, walk along the road fronting the river contains a series of French colonial and Chinese style buildings, some in disrepair and others family homes.

Day 7 | Observe River Dolphins. We will travel by coach and transfer to boat to the WWF protected area where we hope to see the rare river dolphins. The river here is rocky and not navigable for larger vessels. In the afternoon, there will be free time to explore the town of Kratie, another remnant of French colonialism. Overnight in Kratie.

Day 8 | Kratie and Beyond. Visit to Phnom Sabok. Here passengers will visit a variety of small wats, monasteries and pagodas at the top of the hill and experience a wonderful view over the Mekong and surroundings areas. Afternoon continue to cruising downstream.

Day 9 | Tonle River and into Tonle Lake. Cruise up the Tonle River to Kampong Chhnang for an excursion into the lake wetlands on our Pandaw Explorer expedition boat and continue by mother ship across the lake through the afternoon and evening.

Day 10 | Battambang and the Circus School. attambang is Cambodia's second most populous city many ancient temples monasteries and the very curious bamboo railway. A highlight will be a visit to an NGO-run circus school.

Day 11 | Cross the Lake to Siem Reap. Disembark. We will make an early morning visit The Prek Toal, a virgin area freshwater swamp forest and bird sanctuary. We disembark at the Siem Reap port for 45 minutes transfer to the city and temples area.

Day River Conditions Warning! 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!

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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NORTHBOUND (UPSTREAM) ITINERARY
11 DAYS | SAIGON (Ho Chi Minh City) TO SIEM REAP

Click HERE to view 11-day SOUTHBOUND itinerary. Click ship name to view deck plan.
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