If Kenneth Branagh’s remake of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express has since evoked wanderlust for slow train travel, then the Pandaw experience along the rivers of Myanmar will soon recreate another Christie classic, Death on the Nile, ahead of its next reboot.
A world apart from large commercial cruises, the Pandaw experience takes to the rivers of Vietnam, India, Laos and China and Burma, where the destination and local life is the entertainment.
For 2018, the company is launching a new expedition, The Great Irrawaddy Delta (10 and 18 March 2018) using the 16-cabin RV Katha Pandaw, a re-built shallow-draft ship handcrafted in teak and brass. With spacious promenade and observation decks to relax on, and cabins measuring 170 square feet (outfitted with panoramic French windows so every room has a view), the experience feels more like a floating boutique hotel than being on a cruise. And rather than a formal dining room, meals on board are an alfresco affair, or during dry season, a sandbank barbecue. There’s also mountain bikes on board for independent daily shore explorations.
Starting and returning from Yangon, the cruise weaves through a labyrinth of waterways from Rangoon to Bogale to Bassein and Maubin, cruising past indigenous villages, markets, ancient ports, temples, with stops including the Mein Ma Hla Kyun Wildlife Reserve, a mangrove reserve home to salt water crocodiles, and the laidback Ngwe Saung Beach for a spot of snorkeling.
All in all, it’s a different (and more elegant) way to spend a week soaking up the soul of Myanmar, and experience the heart of a country that’s fast modernising.
The Great Irrawaddy Delta itinerary starts from US$2,117pp based on twin-share inclusive of seven nights accommodation and meals, local transfers, entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities, drinks (soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, coffee and tea).
Find out more at www.pandaw.com