The Mekong and Burma exciting excursions

February 5, 2017

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Pandaw expedition managers are constantly carrying out reconnaissance on the routes they sail in search of undiscovered treasures for inquisitive guests to explore. Salay can truly claim to have stepped off the beaten tourist track. So impressed with its wealth of history, preserved temples and sheer beauty, it became an essential new addition to our Irrawaddy itinerary.
Salay is one of the most beautiful and least visited places in all of Burma, its history rooted in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as an overspill of Old Pagan. To this day, Salay remains an active religious centre with almost fifty monasteries and many Pagan-era shrines to explore on foot, offering a truly peaceful insight into Buddhist culture. These are amazingly well-preserved thanks to the constant loving attention of the monks who tend to them. Once a bustling trading port under British rule, Salay is now a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries.
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Next season enjoy one of our most original expeditions tailored for guests searching for the true contrasts of Southeast Asia: from bustling Phnom Penh to the sheer delight of spotting the Mekong Irrawaddy Dolphin in protected waters north of Kratie, where only Pandaw travels. Sail on board RV Mekong Pandaw or RV Tonle Pandaw through the stunning riverside scenery of Cambodia, passing wide open paddy fields and lush villages fringed with banana, coconut and mango trees. During the high-water season, Pandaw, with its shallow draft, can reach the charming French colonial town of Kratie, one of the prettiest and most remote villages of Cambodia.
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From Kratie our guests travel 20km north to witness the dwindling population of indigenous River Dolphin (orcaella brevirostris). It is a rare privilege to get up close and personal with one of Southeast Asia’s most elusive and charismatic river-dwellers. Only with Pandaw can you venture far enough up-river to observe these dolphins. This conservation-sensitive opportunity underlines our status as the river expedition company most in-tune with the fabulous natural history of Southeast Asia.

Kratie and dolphin grounds can be visited during high-water season July to February.