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In Myanmar, An Off-Grid Cruise Stuck In Time

By Kames Narayanan

The RV Mekong Pandaw cruise liner.
 
Pandaw
The RV Mekong Pandaw cruise liner.

Pandaw river expeditions have earned themselves a name as a pioneer in the Southeast Asian river cruise realm. In the new year, the river-cruise pioneer cements its status as a leader in the industry with the launch of a new expedition, The Great Irrawaddy Delta.

Sailing into territory mostly untouched by tourism, the cruise weaves through the tributaries and vast expanse of waterway along the The Great Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar. Setting sail from and returning to Yangon, the seven-night expedition is an immersive experience into nature and its surrounding history as the ship traverses across the delta, in the midst of markets, ancient trading ports, and religious grounds like churches, mosques and temples.

A refresher from the hustle and bustle of the cityscape, the river cruise presents the opportunity for one to completely unwind, without the worry of even having to plan an itinerary.

PandawAboard the RV Mekong Pandaw, lounge chairs by the aisle, outside the passengers' rooms.
Aboard the RV Mekong Pandaw, lounge chairs by the aisle, outside the passengers' rooms.
PandawA look inside the double room aboard the RV Mekong Pandaw.
A look inside the double room aboard the RV Mekong Pandaw.

Rates 

From US$1,535 (approximately S$2,023) to US$6,300 (approximately S$8,306) per pax

Locations

There are several ports of depature, including Laos, China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and India.

The Rooms

The cruise encourages passengers to get out of their rooms, sit by the deck or aisle to take in the pristine views of nature. There are two types of accomodation – the Stateroom or the slightly narrower Zawgyi. All rooms are decked in brass and teak and do not come with internet access nor satelite televisions. 

PandawLounge chairs by the entrance to the rooms.
Lounge chairs by the entrance to the rooms.
PandawThe RV Pandaw II docks momentarily for passengers to get a view of wildlife.
The RV Pandaw II docks momentarily for passengers to get a view of wildlife.

Dining

Dining rooms are, for the most part, al fresco. When dusk falls, the dining room's doors are drawn and the air-conditioning turned up. Ingredients are sourced locally where the cruise docks. 

Bottom Line

The Pandaw cruise brings the passengers onboard a journey through nature and the lives of the people who live amongst it.

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