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Pandaw River Cruise - Has ANYONE done this in June or July??

Pandaw River Cruise - Has ANYONE done this in June or July??

Old Aug 14th, 2008, 08:32 PM
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Pandaw River Cruise - Has ANYONE done this in June or July??

My husband and I are very serious about doing the Pandaw Mekong Cruise next summer. (I am a teacher, and can only travel June-July). Has anyone taken this cruise in summer?? (All postings seem to be fall and winter.) Are we crazy to go then?

Looked up the weather averages, but the real question is how does it feel to be touring at that time of year? Any and all input would be appreciated.
thanks,
kawh
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 05:28 PM
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Kawh - I haven't done the Pandaw Cruise but I have just done a 3 day cruise with Asian Oasis on the Mekong at the lower end of Laos. I did it the first week in July. Its humid then and more rain but the cruise was fine - I wouldn't let it stop you if thats the time you have got. I usually travel in that part of the world in either June July or August and it is wetter, more humid etc that December but still okay. In fact we didn't have rain to speak of on this cruise I did - just some showers at night. However the few days before and after there were a few spectacular thunderstorms in the mornings - all over in about 1 hour.
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Old Aug 18th, 2008, 12:17 AM
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The more rain the higher the river.
The higher the river the better the view.
I've done this cruise 3 times. Low water & high. High is best. Just do it.
Yup, it's hot. Yup, it's humid.
Dress light, drink lots, let the staff look after you - and if you're feeling uncomfortable let them attend to you. You'll be fine.

If you have a choice [time-wise] go from Saigon to Siem Reap - that way the real highlight [Angkor] is at the end.

Dogster's favorite cabin : 202
Dogster's fave boat: R.V. Mekong Pandaw


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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 09:45 PM
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I'm doing the Pandaw's Upper Irrawaddy Cruise in September this year. Having done their Mekong trip 2 years ago, I have no hesitation in saying just do it.

It really doesn't matter if it's wet or dry, and I concur with Dogster. In the wet season with river will be higher.

Besides,the Pandaw crew know how to look after guests more than just "very well".

You'll have a great time, so take the plunge and forget the time of year.

I repeat: Just do it!
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Old Aug 21st, 2008, 10:34 PM
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dogster-- thanks for info and opinions. only the RV Orient Pandaw is available in july... why do you prefer the RV mekong?? also, what do you like about room 202 ?... is the main level preferable to the upper level in your opinion?? any advice appreciated. we are getting close to diving in.
kawh sebastopol, ca
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Old Aug 21st, 2008, 11:14 PM
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I actually did the Pandaw cruise on the Mekong and stayed in a lower deck cabin....which meant that had the water flowed into the vessel I'd have been waist deep *lol*!!

The below deck cabins on the vessel I sailed on (the RV Pandaw Mekong) were actually larger that the deck and upper deck cabins. I made friends with a Pandaw representative and he also preferred the lower deck cabins because they were darker, larger and cooler than the main deck and upper deck cabins (each cabin had its own air conditioner, and the deck and upper deck cabins were not at all uncomfortable - just that the lower deck cabins, due to having two portholes rather that window, were darker and "seemed" cooler).

I was in cabin 104 on the Mekong Pandaw, and if I did the cruise again, I'd try for the same cabin.

I note that the Pandaw Orient doesn't have lower deck cabins.

Dogster has used both lower deck and deck cabins, so perhaps he knows more that I do(I met him on a Pandaw cruise from Saigon to Siem Reap in 2006).

You don't spent much time in the cabins apart from sleeping anyway, so it's pretty irrelevant which cabin you have.

The pics they show on the website are very accurate, although bear in mind the below deck cabins are slightly roomier as they don't have to provide room for the walkway outside your cabin.

If you are both smokers, the upper deck cabins have an outside table + ashtray, and two chairs on which to sit. Anyway, you can't smoke other than outdoors anyway and on my cruise there were only 4 out of about 48 pasengers who smoked anyway.

But most passengers sit on the top panoramic deck during daylight hours when they are not enjoying the fascinating on-shore excursions.

Email me if you want more information.
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Old Aug 21st, 2008, 11:56 PM
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Hiya,
I've actually used all three decks - but I haven't been on the Orient Pandaw. It's new and sailing for the first time in about a week. Dunno about the Orient .. but by the look of the deck plan 302 and 301 might be fine too. [you can grab that front bit of deck space for yourself and repel all intruders]

Cabins 202 and 201 on the Mekong P. have an extra window - but the crew hangs out on the front lower deck - and I kinda liked that. [Sometimes in my river cruising adventures the crew are a lot more fun than the passengers.. heh]

I think I like being closer to the water - and away from the other passengers who somehow think that being up high gives them an advantage [and, IMHO a sense of superiority] - I prefer my cultural adventures to be a little less removed.

July is a great month to travel [as canvassed above] with one added benefit: fewer people.

Fewer people means more relaxed touring, more personal attention, more Pandaw love and care, space to eat on your own [if you so desire]- and fewer fellow passengers to loathe.

There's a particular breed of elderly British tourist that just loves river cruising. I can't think why - all they do is moan and show little interest in anything - including their fellow passengers. I tended to use my lower deck as a special refuge and abandon the upper deck to the gin and tonic crowd.

But in July, August, you are more likely to be surrounded by happy, garrulous Americans, the odd confused Australian and travellers from Europe. Who are fun.

My trick is to book a lower [main] deck cabin then, on the spot, ask to move upstairs - if you so desire. And - at no extra cost if you smile nicely. But shhhh - don't tell anybody. All the cabins are exactly the same. I just think if you're gonna do a river cruise then BE on the river, listen to the anchor, talk to the crew, be PART of it. Not reading a book on the top deck, occasionally looking over your bi-focals at the passing parade.

But then, as you'll note if you read a dogster trip report or two, I'm a bit of an oddity.





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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 12:10 AM
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Hi Dogster,

Good to know you're around the place.

This time in 3 weeks I'll be on the Irrawaddy....aboard a Pandaw - up around near Bagan and heading for Bhamo!

Mitch
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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 12:15 AM
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Whoooooopsie! Up around Pagan and heading for Bhamo...

Mitch
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