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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our third trip to Myanmar (Burma) and our first river cruise. The Pandaw cruise line originated in Burma, and I wouldn't consider any other cruise line for a Burma river cruise. Our cruise was on the Chindwin River, far off ... Read More
This was our third trip to Myanmar (Burma) and our first river cruise. The Pandaw cruise line originated in Burma, and I wouldn't consider any other cruise line for a Burma river cruise. Our cruise was on the Chindwin River, far off the tourist track. We saw no other westerners from the time we boarded our ship in Monywa until we disembarked in Homalin. The Pandaw Kalay is a very shallow draft ship, designed specifically for the shallow rivers of Burma. With just 5 cabins, the small ship offered an intimate cruising experience. We were in the huge owner's cabin, with windows curving across the front of the cabin. It was a lovely space. The crew were gracious and helpful, always accommodating. The food was excellent. We were the only passengers who had not been on a previous Pandaw cruise, and while all said the food on Pandaw cruises is very good, the food on our cruise was really exceptional. There were twice a day stops at villages to visit stupas, shrines, monasteries, markets and schools in small villages. We were onboard on election day, so seeing the people lined up to vote and hearing what they had to say about the election was a great experience. There were no docks at any of our stops. But the ship had a flexible metal gangplank (with handrails) that made getting on and off the ship as easy as possible. Also, crew members were available to help anyone who needed assistance. I would term this a luxury adventure cruise. We traveled to Mandalay several days before the cruise. A bus picked up all the passengers at their hotels and drove us the two hours to Monywa. At the end of the cruise, a flight back to Mandalay or onward to Yangon was included in the cruise price. Drinks made with local liquor and local beers were included as well as drinking water. Wine was extra. We availed ourselves of their laundry services (very reasonably priced). There is not an entertainment program, but the ship has a small library with many books on Burma. This is not a cruise for children. We loved this cruise and will take another Pandaw cruise in Burma. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
This cruise in the high rainfall month of July could have been anything, however the very little rain we had did not interfere with our activities and excursions, unfortunately for Myanmar the rain arrived and produced devastating floods a ... Read More
This cruise in the high rainfall month of July could have been anything, however the very little rain we had did not interfere with our activities and excursions, unfortunately for Myanmar the rain arrived and produced devastating floods a few days after we left so we were very lucky. The cruise itself was very well organised, varied daily activities and visits to local attractions, information about Myanmar and its people and traditional entertainment by local performers. The food was excellent, just as an example, fresh baked bread warm from the oven with a wide variety of courses and desserts worthy of a good French restaurant. The accommodation was of a high standard and well serviced, nothing seemed to be too much trouble for the staff, we were supplied with bottled water as we left on excursions and on returning our shoes were removed as we boarded, cleaned and returned to us within a few minutes. As with all cruises, there is often some friction and maybe even unpleasantness among the passengers, with the way this cruise was organised we all got along extremely well and formed a number of friendships with a promise to maintain contact. Read Less
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