|Photo by Pandaw River Expeditions|
Pandaw River Expeditions has become the first Western tour operator to reach China’s Yunnan Province via the Mekong River.
The RV Champa Pandaw, complete with 14 teak-finished staterooms, moored yesterday at Guanlei. The ship was specially built to withstand the strong currents and challenging navigational conditions of the Upper Mekong and deliver as Southeast Asia’s first ever four-country river expedition.
Pandaw’s 14-night cruise, The Mekong: from Laos to China, will operate from October through April, heading up and downstream between the Lao capital Vientiane and Jinghong in China, via moorings in Thailand and Burma.
Highlights of the tour include the Golden Triangle, the Tat Kuang Si waterfall, the Mekong in China’s Yunnan province, defiles and more. Overnight stops on the itinerary include Vientiane, Luang Praband, Chiang Saen and Jinghong.
The Champa Pandaw is the latest addition to Pandaw’s fleet of colonial-era style ships. Currently, 17 members of the fleet ply Asia’s waterways, including the Irrawaddy, Chindwin and Mekong rivers. The Champa Pandaw was built in a specially created shipyard on the Burmese Mekong using methodology and design influenced by knowledge of local riverine conditions, featuring an ulta-low draft and extra powerful engines producing 1400 horsepower, nearly twice the power of other ships within the Pandaw fleet.