Pandaw Sets Four-Country River Cruise
PHOTO: Pandaw’s new itinerary features Chiang Saen, Thailand. (Courtesy of Pandaw River Expeditions)
Pandaw River Expeditions next year will operate a pioneering new itinerary on the Upper Mekong River.
The new seven-night itinerary will sail from Chiang Saen, Thailand, to Myanmar (Burma) and Laos before crossing, for the first time, the border into China, into the city of Jinghong in the scenic Yunnan Province.
The company has scheduled eight departure dates for the new itinerary, from Feb. 29 to April 18, 2016.
“It has been a long-held ambition to sail the length of the navigable sections of the Upper Mekong River,” said Pandaw Founder Paul Strachan. “With the construction of our new vessel and working with our partners, this journey is now possible. There is much to explore in this undiscovered region; travelers need to be up for a real adventure as the daily itinerary might change, but with a flexible attitude they will have the trip of a lifetime.”
Pandaw is calling the trip a “river recce,” using the British word for reconnaissance, since it is a truly new itinerary and might change, depending on what the first voyages encounter.
The voyages will be operated by the new Laos Pandaw, which was specifically built for the Upper Mekong with a shallow draft and extra powerful engines to navigate these waters. The ship has 10 staterooms measuring 180 square feet with panoramic French balconies.
The company anticipates highlights such as the Old Mandalay Road in Burma, Aka tribal villages in Laos, Menglun Botanical Garden and Manting Park Temple in China, and a monastery and tea plantation in China’s Ganlan Basin.
Pandaw also is offering pre- and post-cruise extensions with a private vehicle and guide visiting Kunming, Dali and Lijiang in Yunnan Province and the hill tribes of Northern Thailand.
Cruise-only prices start at $3,150 per person, based on two sharing a twin main deck stateroom and including a 10 percent discount when booked by April 30.
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